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Aug. 12, 2022

100% Transparency in Facebook Advertising with Colby Flood

100% Transparency in Facebook Advertising with Colby Flood

This episode features Colby Flood, the founder of Brighter Click, an education-first agency that focuses not just on performance but on proactive communication led by education. Brighter Click helps eCommerce companies 2-3x their current Facebook marketing performance and they are the only agency that leads all communications through education.

Listen to why Colby believes it is important to educate the clients on the process of advertising and why he thinks other agencies don't employ this type of education first approach.

Colby shares some of the common mistakes he currently sees going on inside an account when taking over a Facebook account for a new client. Discover the indicators of FB campaigns to be successful and whether is it the creative or the audiences that you target that is more important.

Colby gives a piece of actionable advice to those who are thinking of starting to run ads using Facebook. What do people need to be careful of when determining which agency to hire?

Episode Action Items:

To find more information about Colby’s company, go to www.brighterclick.com or email him at colby@brighterclick.com

ABOUT THE HOST:

Andy Splichal - Make Each Click Count PodcastAndy Splichal is the World's Foremost Expert on Ecommerce Growth Strategies. He is the acclaimed author of the Make Each Click Count Book Series, the Founder & Managing Partner of True Online Presence and the Founder of Make Each Click Count University. Andy was named to The Best of Los Angeles Award's Most Fascinating 100 List in both 2020 and 2021.

New episodes of the Make Each Click Count Podcast, are released each Friday and can be found on Apple Podcast, iHeart Radio, iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Amazon Music, Google Podcasts and www.makeeachclickcount.com.

Transcript

Andy Splichal 0:00

Welcome to the Make Each Click Count Podcast is your host, Andy Splichal. We are happy to welcome this week's guests to discuss today's topic which is 100% transparency in Facebook advertising. This week's guest is the founder of Brighter Click an education first agency, the focus is not just on performance, but on proactive communication, led by education. Brighter Click helps ecommerce companies two to three times their current Facebook marketing performance. And they are the only agency that leads all communication through education. A big hello to Colby Flood. Hi, Colby.

 

Colby Flood 0:36

Hey, thanks for having me on Andy.

 

Andy Splichal 0:38

Yeah, you know, we're excited to have you. So why do it? Why do you believe it is important to educate your clients on the process of advertising? Using Facebook when working on a client's account? And your most clients? Do they even care?

 

Colby Flood 0:53

I believe most clients do care. Yeah, I think education is important with communication for a couple of reasons. One, when you're explaining results to a client, it's very important to educate them on the why behind the results and not just feed them KPIs and data like that. So that they can take that and they can translate it into other parts of their business, other parts of their marketing. However that may be it also is very important, because when you're looking at opportunities within their business, let's say that campaign performance is down on Facebook, right? A lot of times it can go back to what's going on in the ad account what's going on this one, sometimes it is the ad account. But maybe there is an education opportunity on website performance or creative needs within the account. And you know, the last thing I'll add to it is, we've talked about performance, we've talked about negative performance. One thing we could look at as well as educating them on continuing to grow as a business at Brighter Click, we focus on Facebook, Instagram ads, and we're looking at Google here soon. But we want to educate our clients so that they can succeed, but their entire marketing stack. So maybe they need to add in SMS marketing, or email marketing, or a certain type of marketing that we don't offer. But we know that it would help their business grow. Because at the end of the day, that's our real goal is helping them grow.

 

Andy Splichal 2:13

So you make some great points. Why do you think other agencies aren't doing this?

 

Colby Flood 2:19

You know, yeah, I don't want to over speak for all agencies. But you know, something I commonly see is just a rapid churn and burn type approach of just focusing on new client acquisition. And it seems to create a bottleneck for working with your clients through their journey and really taking them on a growth path that will help them kind of best grow their business. So with that comes lower communication. And when you have not as frequent communication or lower communication, there's oftentimes not education as well. So.

 

Andy Splichal 2:56

So when you take over a Facebook account for a new client, what are some of the common mistakes that you currently see going on inside an account?

 

Colby Flood 3:09

Yeah, that's a great question. Yeah, one thing I see missing all the time, which kind of boggles my mind is, people, agencies or freelancers aren't often running loyalty campaigns enough, right? So I saw some statistic that said that 40% of growing ecommerce company's revenue comes from existing customers with repeat purchases, why not run Facebook ads to those people, so too often I don't see loyalty campaigns running. And then, you know, the biggest opportunity I think, on the market right now and the thing I hear from most agencies that they struggle with is creative. And clients having enough creative or the agency being able to provide the creative services for that we see tick tock is moving everything towards creative oriented, Facebook's now moving towards that as well. So creative fatigue, or just burnout has been a major kind of impact or for a lot of accounts.

 

Andy Splichal 4:06

You know, you just kind of rolled into my next question, which is what are some of the best indicators that a Facebook campaign will be successful? The important elements I guess, I guess I'm asking the age old question, is it the creative or the audiences that you target that is more important?

 

Colby Flood 4:24

Facebook is moving towards a broad audience targeting platform you see so many of the major influencers in the marketing space talking about that and we see that time and time again, with our accounts as well used to it was 1% look alike and focus on this specific interest and get very granular now we're going Max broad audiences wide open targeting when we can and really focusing on the creative. One little thing I'll add in there as as we're doing this schema markup is very important to make sure that the SEO on your website can drive the proper traffic from the bots that are being sent over by Facebook. But yes, I would say creative and then really understanding we use a revenue calculator to make sure that just based on website performance, cost of traffic cost of goods sold that a business can actually be profitable from Facebook ads.

 

Andy Splichal 5:18

What about placements?

 

Colby Flood 5:20

placements? That's a good question. So generally, we choose feed placements, stories, placements and real estate placements. Now, every business type is a little bit different. There could be some business types where for example, Marketplace makes sense or right hand column makes sense. But we like to stick to the those three, and we're really pushing towards reels, because it's such a new space or surfaces Facebook calls it, and there's a lot of opportunity with it.

 

Andy Splichal 5:49

So not to get too technical on here. But how do you test that opposed to just clicking all placements on? Let Facebook decide?

 

Colby Flood 5:58

Yeah, so we go into the ad set level, and we do manual placement that way. And then we really focus on looking at a couple of things when we do placements. So what level of the funnel? Is the placement working for like does, reels work better here or there? And then what type of creative or what purpose of the creative works best in each placement as well, like, for example, I'll give you with loyalty campaigns to existing customers, we always find that new product release ads, or end of season sale ads in Instagram Stories, always knock it out of the park. So we try to find the purpose behind the placement and even like the level of funnel, and then use it kind of with that strategy there.

 

Andy Splichal 6:42

How much traffic do you need to have enough to know that you're confident in your decisions?

 

Colby Flood 6:53

Yeah, that's a good question. We don't We in house, don't look at it from a traffic perspective, per se, we look at it from a spin comparative to CPA goal, if you will. So let's say like your CPA goal, and it's gonna be different for everybody. But your CPA goal is 50. Right? So if we've spent two to 2x, your CPA for an ad, and it's not bringing sales, then we know that it's something that we need to change there. So we do it based on our goals for CPA.

 

Andy Splichal 7:24

So how, let me ask Kobe, how did you start running Facebook? How'd you get into Facebook ads?

 

Colby Flood 7:30

That's a great question. So I started out freelancing, and I was the common thing freelancers can do, where I fell in the catch all I was doing website design, email marketing, everything that I could, and ended up taking a course for Facebook ads back in the day and just started honestly doing free work or as close to free work as I could in ad accounts just to get that seat time and really get an understanding of the platform. And it just kind of continued for from forward from there kept freelancing and then eventually started building out brighter click to where we grew 300% last year.

 

Andy Splichal 8:08

Wow. Now for people listening that are thinking about starting to run ads using Facebook, maybe they've never done it before. What would be a piece of actionable advice that you would give them?

 

Colby Flood 8:22

Yeah, I would say to make sure that you don't forget about the aspect of marketing within the account. Understand that it's very important to know about bid strategies and cost cap and all the different things that go into Facebook ads, but really remember that it comes down to right audience, right messaging. And don't forget to look at the entire funnel as well. So understand, how is the website performance? Does the business you're working with? Make sense for Facebook? And do they have a year round business? I'll give you an example. If you're working with a clothing company, and they only sell hoodies, or warm wear sweatshirts, are they going to succeed all year? Or is their business going to rise in the wintertime and decline during the warm season? So take those things into account. Look at the whole business. Look at the whole marketing stack. Don't just get stuck on the Facebook part and spin your wheels everyday trying to optimize something that can't perform

 

Andy Splichal 9:22

what type of businesses do well on Facebook? And what don't?

 

Colby Flood 9:28

Yeah, that's a really good question. So we work specifically within e commerce and I would say businesses that work well are going to be ones that can pull the main three levers for marketing growth, which is get more customers increase average order value when you can and increase purchase frequency from existing customers. So you can see success with some companies that are like one off impulse purchase items. But the companies that really succeed and grow are ones that can have campaign's that don't just rely on a front end CPA to drive their entire business, but they can use Facebook ads to acquire new customers, get repeat purchases, and then build out their full marketing stack to go into email marketing and things like that. That's a roundabout answer. If you're looking for a specific niche, we consistently see sustainability products performing well. Clothing and apparel, sporting goods CPG most ecommerce businesses that have a profitable business model can perform well Facebook ads.

 

Andy Splichal:

What's CPG?

 

Colby Flood:

Consumer packaged goods.

 

Andy Splichal:

Got it got it. So Amazon's quite popular. You know, it is right. But I'm curious, do you ever run ads for clients directly to their products on Amazon? Or generaly are you sending ads to a company's own website?

 

Colby Flood:

We have not run ads to Amazon, mainly for tracking purposes. We run ads to Shopify or other platforms that our clients

 

Andy Splichal:

Got it. And how are you tracking? How, you know, I was just thinking, so I, I bought a pair of shoes off of Facebook last week, and I liked him so much, I went back to the website and purchased a second pair. Is there any way to track the lifetime value of a customer? As far as the row is? Or how are how are you providing the profitability of those campaigns?

 

Colby Flood:

Yeah, that's a great question. And everybody needs to listen to what you just said, and take actions like that do repeat purchases on your own, that's great. So we suggest clients, especially after iOS 14.5. And with the rumors, I'll call it of Google Chrome getting rid of cookies next year, we push our clients towards a tool like triple whale. So we prefer to have a first party data and have our clients have that pixel on their website. And when you have things like that, you can see lifetime value. You can see assisted conversions or assisted attribution. You can see all of those things that don't necessarily show up on Facebook and sometimes don't show on Google Analytics as well. So triple well is definitely a good tool to use for that.

 

Andy Splichal:

I haven't heard of that before. Is that an analytics program?

 

Colby Flood:

It is? Yeah. So it's similar to if you've heard of like high rose or wicked reports or any track it's similar to those but triple well is definitely seems to be the one that's stepping ahead of everybody else.

 

Andy Splichal:

So let me ask you, if you had a crystal ball, where do you see Facebook ads headed in the next 12 - 18 months?

 

Colby Flood:

That's a good question at. So I'm hopeful that's a that's a good way to put it after 2021 and 2020. So we see a couple of things happening. And this is all up in the air. But the CEO of Facebook recently stepped down Sheryl Sandberg, she had been that for some time. And the person that was working under her the company's chief growth officer Javier is taking over her position. What we do know about him is that he is very, very analytical, he is not going to be in the spotlight and spending a lot of his time in the media, he's going to be very hands on with focusing on the Facebook marketing algorithm, and really improving that platform for business owners. So it's nice to see that there is a fresh set of eyes coming in to take leadership that way. And we'll see how things go with that over the next 12 to 18 months. And then something else that we're looking at is Apple is the one that put out iOS 14.5 caused a lot of disruption with tracking their claims was that it was for safety or privacy for their users. But what we do also see is Apple is moving towards its own marketing or advertising platform. What is Apple going to do when it wants to come out with that platform? And it needs to use user data to target people with customized ads? Is it going to backtrack on iOS 14.5 and let other platforms like Facebook and Tik Tok use its user data? Or is it going to bite the bullet and the PR storm that would come and still just use it for its own self and its advertising platform? We will see. So I think there's some interesting things that will be going forward and at the same time Facebook's working to take over and have its own e commerce platform with Facebook and iG shops. So you know it's really a race to who can who can own the user data I guess is the best way to put it or who can have control over it.

 

Andy Splichal:

So you would touched on the the privacy issue but you know, that's the forefront If someone has seen a decline in their results on Facebook, since that's come out that that new iOS privacy blocker, what do you suggest to him? What what should they be doing right now?

 

Colby Flood:

Yeah, definitely look at your back end, right. So we've seen reports of some accounts on Facebook losing up to 70% of attribution. So that doesn't necessarily mean that your performance is down, it means your attribution is down, go on to Shopify, check your blended row, understand if you are still getting sales, or if you really have lost performance that way, if you're losing performance on Facebook, you really do want to go broad audience we used to want, like I said earlier, focus on very narrow audiences. Now you want to go very broad with your audiences wide open targeting have good schema markup on your website, and really focus a lot of your time, energy and effort on putting out a lot of creative, I'm going to put out a number and say you should try to be testing at least 25 to 30 ads every month. That's a blanket statement. Because I don't know what your ad spend is if you're listening to this, but you need to have a mindset of frequently testing creative and then have a tool like triple well make sure you are fully up to speed with your tracking and ability to see the performance in your account.

 

Andy Splichal:

That's a second time you've mentioned schema markup. If somebody doesn't know what that can you explain that and how they would make sure they had it.

 

Colby Flood:

Yeah, of course, I'll put it in. Because I'm not an SEO person, myself, I'll put it in the easiest way to go, which is schema markup is like the English language for bots, or for algorithms on Facebook and on Google and things like that. So there is schema markup language on your website, which tells the bots from Facebook and Google who you are, what your business is, and what you sell. When you launch a Facebook ad, some of the first traffic that comes from that ad is the Facebook bots crawling your website to understand it. So what you need to do is you need to make sure that you have proper schema markup because the bot pulls that schema from your website understands what you sell and who you're trying to target. And it also pulls that from other websites. And if your schema matches other websites, and there is the Facebook algorithm shows that Jim and Nancy visited those websites, it knows that they're high interest for your website as well. And it will find those people in the audience's that you create. So you can go onto Google and type in schema markup checker or schema markup validator put in your URL. And you can see if you have schema, you if you need it installed, definitely go on somewhere like Upwork search for someone that does schema markup, find somebody that has good reviews, good credibility for schema markup, and definitely get them to look and see which additional schema markups you need for your website.

 

Andy Splichal:

And if you're using Shopify isn't that's already on there, I believe.

 

Colby Flood:

Not always no. So there's close to 10 different versions of markup. And no some many websites are missing. I think you have basic organizational markup, and you may have one other but there's a lot of markups that would still need to be added.

 

Andy Splichal:

Now, let me ask you, if somebody is just like, wow, I'm not gonna be able to do all this. I'm gonna hire somebody to do my Facebook ads. What do they need to be careful of when determining which agency to hire?

 

Colby Flood:

Yeah, that's a great question. So I would make sure when you're looking at hiring an agency that they have experience in your niche. So what I mean by that is lead generation ads for software companies. And campaigns are very different than campaigns for Ecommerce companies, which are very different than campaigns for solar panel, installers. Make sure that the agency you're working with has experience and specializes in your vertical e commerce solar panel, whatever it is, make sure that that agency does a formal audit on your business, your ad account and your website before sharing results that they believe they can help you achieve, right. So when we look at taking over an account, we go in, we do a full audit on their Facebook Ad Account. We understand their website performance, and we plug them into an Excel calculator to see the profitability opportunity they have based on the numbers that they currently have within their business, their website and their ad account. So the goal would be that your agency or potential agency educates you on those things. So then you can make a comprehensive decision on if it's a good fit for you or not.

 

Andy Splichal:

You know, that's interesting and it brings me to another point is far as the vertical, so my specialty in true online presence is Google ads. And I only work with Ecommerce companies. But I don't take the same companies that have the same products. Right. So if I have a private company, for example, they sell pond fountains, I wouldn't take another clients selling pond fountains that are the same products, because I'd be bidding against myself. Yeah. Um, do you have that policy in place at your company? Or do most agencies?

 

Colby Flood:

No, that's a good question. We so we don't generally take clients that are the exact same, like, for example, if we're selling women's swimwear, right, if we get super hyper niche that way, we will take on clothing companies, as long as they're not direct directly kind of battling each other, like one may be targeting women 45 to 61 may be targeting males 20 to 35, things like that,

 

Andy Splichal:

But but they're not selling Nike shoes

 

Colby Flood:

Correct. Yeah, correct.

 

Andy Splichal:

Got it. Now, let's talk about you and your journey. Have there been any business books out there that you can attribute to your success?

 

Colby Flood:

I might name too many here. You know, if we're, if we're talking about mindset, and really looking at how I can improve my mindset, just not even from a business owner perspective, but just mentally it would be the Big Leap by Gay Hendricks that is a pivotable pivotal book, the compound effect from Darren Hardy, also a very, very good book, if we're going towards business and specific, as I went from freelancing to building a team, to books that really stuck out to me were Who not how, and then Clockwork, both of those books are very effective on building teams and on building sustaining businesses as well.

 

Andy Splichal:

With your agency, is there a favorite success story that you can share?

 

Colby Flood:

Yeah, there's actually a company called Great Wrap that I love telling the story of. So Great Wrap because a sustainability business in Australia and they take the byproduct waste from making potato chips, and they turn that into clean wrap. Their goal is to eliminate plastic waste from landfills and from the ocean. And we started working with them in July of 2021. They had a what I'll call a brand new ad account, they had tinkered with a little bit, but hadn't done too much. And we were able to, within two months, start tripling their revenue. And as we've continued working with them, we've stuck to that tripling their revenue, month over month. And the greatest thing was we were able to scale their ad spin astronomically while maintaining positive results. So I don't know how similar it would be on the Google end of things, Andy, but generally, with Facebook ads, you want to scale at a 20% increment. But we went from under the 10k range to over the 60k range in a very short period of time, and remains profitable that way. So we've had a great time working with great rap. And they're actually in the process of scaling to the United States, as well, just based off of the sales that they've been getting from our partnership.

 

Andy Splichal:

How long does your average client stay with you?

 

Colby Flood:

So our current our current right now is if you want to get super technical, 8.2 months, but you know, we'll just say eight months for that.

 

Andy Splichal:

And who is the perfect client for working with you?

 

Colby Flood:

Yeah, so we don't go hyper niche. And in between ecommerce, we, I mean, we do generally work with clothing companies and sustainability companies. But I would say any ecommerce company who is in growth mode and who's willing to put budget towards multi channel marketing, we understand that we run Facebook ads, and we like to do the best that we can there. But for any business to be truly successful online, you need to have a multichannel approach Google ads, especially. So we like to find businesses that are growth ready, not just growth oriented and have the kind of the capital to continue forward that way.

 

Andy Splichal:

And you had mentioned that you do some with the creative or how does that work?

 

Colby Flood:

Yeah, that's a great question. So currently, as we record this on June 16, of 2022. Right now, we just do post production, which is everything in Adobe, we take the assets that clients give us, but we're actually in the works of and I was talking with my operations consultant before this recording on building out that leg of the business where we can start doing the influencer sourcing, we can start doing the photography to videography, because that is a big opportunity for a lot of businesses. So that's something that we are in the works of expanding to,

 

Andy Splichal:

And how does your fee structure currently work? And will there be changes with this new services that you're offering?

 

Colby Flood:

Yeah, so right now with the fee structure that we have for full account management, for copywriting for graphic design for communication. Our management starts at 2650 usd per month. And that is for up to $25,000 a month in ad spend. When you go from 25 to 39 per month, we start looking at 12% ad spend, we don't do base and percent, we just do percent of spend. And then as you continue up that tier, it goes down to 10% than 8%. And so on that way, so we try to stagger it out so that there's no major Wall to discourage scaling that way, will that change? When we build out the creative part? The management part will stay the same. I cannot give you a definite answer on will the fee structure change? It may just be that we're looking at, like an ala carte add on. But that's something as we build this out, I'll have a better answer for that.

 

Andy Splichal:

Well, I like how you're so straightforward with your pricing.

 

Colby Flood:

Yeah, yeah, we try to I try to say it on call one if I can, we like to be as forward as we can. Because our goal is to have long term partnerships with our clients. So I don't we don't do a pricing based off project. We do it just kind of flat that way.

 

Andy Splichal:

Now, how much does somebody you know, how developed is their account? Because what did you say the initial pricing is per month? 2600?

 

Colby Flood:

Yeah, I'll be more clear. Sorry, sorry, I'll be more clear. We have an onboarding fees a month 130600. And then every month after that 2650 until you scale.

 

Andy Splichal:

And what if you're just launching a Facebook program? I mean, is it? Do people come to you right away? Or usually? Have they been advertising for a while?

 

Colby Flood:

That's a good question. So we look at it in the sense of their availability to spend. So can they spend enough to be profitable, in addition to our retainer, so we have a calculator in Excel to guide clients through that, because that's a that's a pretty weighted thing to figure out. So can they be profitable based on their margins based on their CPA, and our retainer. And if they can't, one thing we actually do have is like a partnership program in that will work with you for up to three months, with the goal of getting you past breakeven where our retainer would be, so that we can start charging you that and in that three months of working with you, we have a greatly reduced rate, to work with clients to meet them where they're at with things. So generally, if they're coming on at that retainer, it's because they have the business to do that. But if they don't, we can work with clients to get there.

 

Andy Splichal:

And how can an interested listener learn more about working with you?

 

Colby Flood:

Yeah, of course. So of course, you can go to brighterclick.com. That's a great way so see our business and you can schedule a call that way through our Calendly you can email me at Colby@brighterclick.com. That's colby@brighterclick.com. Or just add me on LinkedIn. And we can connect there.

 

Andy Splichal:

Well, this has been great. Is there anything else you'd like to add before we wrap it up today? Colby?

 

Colby Flood:

Nothing that I can think of right now. I would say hopefully everybody has a good business year ahead of them. I know we have talks about financial downturn and recession I would say don't forget about right audience, right messaging, keep focusing on really connecting with your audience. And I know that it can seem like cutting marketing is an option during downturn, but the marketing is what gets people through to their audience and what gets people through times as well. So definitely find those opportunities to keep growing.

 

Andy Splichal:

Well, it's been great. Well, thank you once again for joining us today.

 

Colby Flood:

I appreciate you for having me, Andy.

 

Andy Splichal:

For listeners. Remember if you liked this episode, please go to Apple podcasts and leave us an honest review. And if you're looking for more information regarding Colby, or Brighter Click you will find the links in the show notes below. In addition, if you're looking for more information on growing your business, check out our all new podcasts Resource Center available at www.makeeachclickcount.com. We've compiled all the different past guests by show topic and included each of their contact information in case you would like more information on any of the services I have discussed during previous episodes. Well that's it for today. Remember to stay safe, keep healthy and happy marketing and I will talk to you in the next episode.