Episode 60

Adam, Carlton, and Derek

One Paid Media Hack for 100+ Weekly Conversions

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In this Friday special, Adam and Carlton are joined by the one and only Derek Rogers to hear about his paid media strategy. This is a hack we use in everyday work with our clients here at HEARD Media, so we’re here to give you on-the-ground intel about how it works and how it scales.

Highlights from the conversation:

  • YouTube podcast page (3:44)
  • Derek’s paid media strategy (8:20)
  • Best practices for these ads (15:12)
  • Real numbers from real results (17:57)
  • Tweet of the week (20:37)


Content Is for Closers is a bi-weekly podcast powered by HEARD Media. Each episode we get into the nitty-gritty details with an entrepreneur, marketer, or business owner about how they literally use content to close more business, drive more sales, and grow their company.

HEARD helps service-based businesses leverage digital content to close sales. Learn more about HEARD by visiting trustheard.com.

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Transcription generated by Otter.ai

Derek Rogers 0:06
At the end of the day, you’re trying to get a conversion. You’re trying to get somebody to talk to you about whatever it is you’re selling, or whatever it is you’re trying to get them to do. We found it to be of super effective way to start that dialogue.

Intro 0:21
Put that content down. Content. The close is over. What’s your name? Content. That’s my name. You know why, mister? Because you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight. I drove an $80,000 BMW. That’s my name. Content Is for Closers.

Adam Vazquez 0:43
Alright, we are back yet again. Another episode of content is reclosers Carlton doing another very bizarre face. I can’t even look at it. Get through this intro. without ignoring it and just trying to help you out. It’s helpful. It’s another prompt for people to go look at the YouTube channel. Of course. On today’s episode, we’re gonna go through a few things quick couple notes, YouTube taking over podcasting. And then we have a very special guest, the goat the legend one, Derek Rogers will be joining us to talk about a little paid media hack. If you’re a small business, if you’re trying to acquire customers, Derek has created this little system that has driven some pretty massive results for some of our clients. We’re going to share the details with you here. But before we get to that, Carlton, any weird stories or anything bizarre you do as a child that we should dive into the audience.

Carlton Riffel 1:32
I feel like I’m gonna let the audience down if I don’t have one. But I really don’t have one that’s top of mind. Of course, I can always dig one out of the anals of my history.

Adam Vazquez 1:41
The anals. That’s a good place to start looking for that type of thing. Let’s steer clear of that. But, Derek, I don’t know if you heard. Last week, Carlton told us this story how he and his friends used to compress their chests after like breathing heavily, and then they would pass each other out. Have you done anything like that?

Derek Rogers 2:01
No, absolutely not. I’ve heard that story too, though.

Carlton Riffel 2:05
That just jogged my memory a little bit and thought of another one if you guys want it. So right around Christmas time, there was these lights that they put along the lockers. And so we would take out some of the bulbs. And then you take your class ring, and you’d see who could hold the longest connecting the voltage from like one light to the next and those classrooms. And that would give you a kind of good jolt.

Adam Vazquez 2:35
Two instant reactions. One: you grew up in like The Hunger Games, is the first thing. This is continually this series. Number two, didn’t peg you for a class ring nerd. My respect for you has gone down just a little bit. Didn’t have you pegged there.

Carlton Riffel 2:51
I think they were just on the way out. Like Josh has got like three more years problems. Like because when by the time I became a teacher, they would show up and it was just like, everyone’s like, Oh, come on, at some point between like, when I was in high school, and then when I started teaching, they went out of fashion.

Adam Vazquez 3:12
Did you have one, Derek? Did you have a class ring?

Derek Rogers 3:14
No. No. Did you give your classroom to a lucky lady?

Carlton Riffel 3:18
Yeah, so she could wear with a necklace because it was too big to fit on her finger. I did not have a Letterman’s jacket, though.

Adam Vazquez 3:28
Well, that would have been cool. I wouldn’t make fun of you for that. All right. Well, that’s your weekly update on Carlson’s childhood. We’ll come back next week with another marring story of some kind. But for this week’s episode, we before we get into the paid media stuff, I wanted to touch on: YouTube made an announcement this week, and they’ve begun beta testing in the US a podcast page. You should try this. If you go to youtube.com/podcast, some of you will have access to it. And some of you won’t because it’s not rolled out everywhere. But a pretty massive move for Google and for YouTube. And for our industry that they’re sort of planting this fly, they only have a couple other dedicated landing pages like this gaming is one, I think fashion is another. And so the fact that they’re pouring this much energy into the podcast page is pretty important. Basically, right now, it’s just a pure discoverability tool. So if you go to it, based on what you’ve watched on YouTube, based on the user data you’ve given them, they suggest podcasts that you might want to watch or listen to. We’ve talked about internally and thought for a while that YouTube could become a much bigger part of the podcast space. And it’s something that we need to continue to develop our own strategic thought on and for our clients as well. But what did you guys think when you saw this?

Carlton Riffel 4:51
There are a couple interesting aspects to it because I think they made some announcement about getting into podcasts. Some people were kind of waiting for something to happen and then someone discovered that slash podcasts actually had stuff on it. But I think they went ahead and did a few more things to make it ready for public. They announced initially that they were going to follow some of the same analytics tools, or there was some sort of audio-only aspect to him that was talked about. And that doesn’t seem to be there. So it will just be interesting to see how they play with the rest of these tools. Because obviously a video is such a huge part of it, that it’s hard to even have some of the same feature sets that the normal RSS feature has.

Adam Vazquez 5:35
Yeah, I think the audio stuff is coming. Still. That’s why they haven’t made a full-fledged announcement yet. I mean, in some ways, they’re going to be immediately hamstrung when it comes to audio, because you have to have YouTube, what does it premium in order to just listen? So those analytics aren’t going to be as robust as like, say, Spotify or something. But I do think YouTube is the biggest urgent and besides Google, the user behavior, especially amongst Gen Z are seems to be some of the more popular podcasts like full sand and some of those are predominantly listened to and engaged with on YouTube. And this is history, like Rogan was mainly YouTube before he went to Spotify. So I feel like the user behavior will lead people to engage with podcasts there. And it’s something that normal podcasters like us, and our clients are going to have to plan for and adjust to, I think.

Carlton Riffel 6:25
Yeah, the fact that Spotify already has video, to some of the podcasts, it will be interesting to see how that speeds up Spotify as game in the video space.

Derek Rogers 6:35
So do you think there will be an audio-only option as well? Or is it just video required?

Carlton Riffel 6:41
I guess the idea would be if it’s playing by the RSS rules, then it would have to be you’d have to have an audio file, but I don’t know how they would parse that.

Adam Vazquez 6:50
Today it’s video because you go to the discovery page, but they YouTube, they said they’re gonna provide audio analytics. So how many people are listening or whatever? And yeah, that’s where I was saying you have to have premium or whatever, to be able to do that function. So it’ll be interesting to see. But I think it’s a positive sign for the industry and, and something that a lot like, we’re just gonna need to layer on and become proficient at, specifically that broadcasting on YouTube.

Derek Rogers 7:20
Yeah, well, we need to publish all of our shows to that at some point, I would think.

Adam Vazquez 7:26
Yeah, exactly. And then it folds into we talked about this a little bit last time, but if you can get proficient and user growth with shorts or whatever. Carlton, is there a dinosaur attacking you?

Carlton Riffel 7:41
Instacart came up, and we have our doorbell set to a cricket sound. It sounds more like a dinosaur.

Adam Vazquez 7:50
First of all, flex. Instacart. Just spending that cash. I like that. Alright, so that’s the news for this week. Let’s get to the paid media strategy.

This is something that we were talking about. Derek, you’ve developed and executed really efficiently for some of our clients. Maybe you could just give the sort of like overall idea. And then we can drill down into how it works. So how did you come across this messenger little paid media hack?

Derek Rogers 8:20
Yeah, well, for many of our clients, we run paid and social, and web. So gives us a bit of an advantage to be able to try a lot of different things. And one of the things that we tried was using messenger conversions on ads, specifically within the Facebook/Instagram ecosystem, and really started working well. So we started trying to figure out how to really get the audiences right for the Facebook Messenger conversion ads. And what we kind of landed on was this idea of feeding the existing customer database into Facebook and creating a lookalike audience based on that existing customer database. And then using a combination of Google paid with landing pages that we can create on the existing website along with the Facebook pixel on the site to create additional audiences for the Facebook Messenger group, along with the conversions from the Google paid campaign as well. So it became a pretty robust tool that basically continues to evolve. Because as the Google paid works, those audiences keep getting refreshed with new people that are interested in Facebook’s using their algorithm to create that look alike audience based on those people that are responding on Google. So yeah, it’s a pretty cool program. And it feels like Facebook’s given kind of some preferential treatment to keeping people on platform and people seem to really respond well. You get Facebook Messenger ads, and basically what we did was we trained some folks internal to the companies that we work with, they respond to kind of right there on platform we have some automated responses that we build, different clients have different needs, but it works really well. And we’ve seen a lot of success with it.

Adam Vazquez 10:08
So just to back up to the beginning of it, you kind of talked about building the custom audiences. That’s what you use the existing database, along with the Google ads for right when you say pixel, like, you’re taking those people who either already have done business with you, or who respond to an ad, you’re driving them to a landing page that has a pixel and maybe describe what a pixel is real quick.

Derek Rogers 10:30
When you create a landing page, you can add the Facebook pixel, or the back end of the site, which will basically capture that data. And you can target that person when they buy ads, or you can use that person to create audiences create look alike audiences based on that person. So you might not want to target that person, specifically, if they’ve already responded to your ad, you might want to target them with something else. But one of the things that we do a lot with a couple of our clients specifically is create look alike audiences based on the people that responded to those because there are just all sorts of data on folks.

Adam Vazquez 11:06
So the pixel is just the code on that landing page that identifies I came to this page, I engage with it. And so Facebook captures that you then create other look alike audiences. But then what you actually target, or how you advertise to them is through these messenger-specific ads, that’s a different ad type, right than what probably most people are familiar with.

Derek Rogers 11:28
Yeah, it’s specifically the conversion, the ad is messenger. So that’s what Facebook promotes. When you click on the conversion, you’re going right into messenger here. And for the people that are comfortable using messenger, they really like it. I mean, they seem to really like it. And we can have our team trained out within that company to respond quickly. You can also create auto responses and things like that. So you might get through three or four questions from that particular person that responded to that ad with auto responses before somebody comes in and starts responding manually.

Adam Vazquez 12:05
I’ll give an example because whenever I hear that, I think of like, how would I ever think of what they’re going to ask me in order to respond to that? Like, how do you develop those auto-responses? Or what’s an example of something that works for that?

Derek Rogers 12:18
Just a real-life example would be if you’re trying to hire people, when somebody responds to the ad, in Facebook Messenger, there can be like, pre-written questions that you have in there that they can click on. If it’s an ad for employment, for instance, then one of the questions could be how do I apply? Okay? And if they click that, how do I apply, you could just respond, you could have a free written response that would actually send them back to the link on your site to apply for the job or whatever, for pushing people directly through based on the other responses.

Adam Vazquez 12:50
So they sort of self-select. It’s not just one thing at the front, where you have to guess what they might say they self-select of the options you give them?

Derek Rogers 12:58
Yeah, you can write through three different options that you might think they would be most likely to ask.

Adam Vazquez 13:03
And then when they get to the end of that, do they eventually have to fill out a form? Or how do they get in contact with an actual human being at the end of that funnel?

Derek Rogers 13:12
They’re in contact with an actual human being the entire time on that phone at any point that the human can jump in and start chatting directly with the person, the auto-responses can be helpful. If you’re wanting to drop somebody to a link on your website to do something very specific, then that works well. What we kind of encouraged a lot of our clients to do is get in there with the real game and as quickly as possible and start communicating with them.

Adam Vazquez 13:37
So how does that scale? If you’re running ads? Does that mean you have to have a person available 24 hours? Or how have you seen that scale? Because like the recruiting client, for instance, they’ve had a lot of volume through this, right?

Derek Rogers 13:50
Yeah, they’ve got people that was one kind of the point because it’s combat important revenge, but you can craft the auto-responses in such a way where people will understand that you might be responding tomorrow morning, evade a hammer or something like well, that’s just a decision the company would have to make, we generally help kind of craft that and make our suggestions. But at the end of the day, you’re trying to get a conversion, you’re trying to get somebody to talk to you about what it is, whatever it is, you’re smelling, or whatever it is you’re trying to get him to do. And we found it to be super effective way to start that dialogue.

Adam Vazquez 14:24
I think it’s cool because it takes the entire Internet. Technically the entire internet is your oyster is your target in some ways. I mean, and it boils it down to a one-to-one conversation. There’s almost no other ad type that allows you to do that so quickly. Someone could go from never having heard of you before at all. And someone they know maybe interacts with an ad and now they get caught up in the net and Facebook and you’re doing a messenger ad with them, so it’s pretty cool.

Carlton you jump in here, too. But when it comes to best practices for these ads, if someone was going to try to go make these ads, what have you guys found that is helpful or that has worked more than others. I’m taking, like creative types, imagery, graphical elements, anything like that that has worked specifically for the messenger ads.

Carlton Riffel 15:12
To some degree, you know that if you put a certain offer or you make a certain claim that people are going to be more likely to have a question that follows it. So that’s a way that you can play into that logic: trying to maybe leave a little bit of the details out of the ad so that people will then see the call to action and respond to it that way. So you say 20% of the leads that look through our software, and buying. And so it’s just basically making a claim, and then some of the questions that can be in that autoresponder can support that.

Adam Vazquez 15:48
And what about visually, Derek. Is there any— I remember we toyed around with different formats initially. That was months ago. I’m sure you’ve honed that a little bit.

Derek Rogers 15:58
And one of the things that we’re seeing a lot of just simplicity seems to really work. It’s almost the more simple the ad is, and the more flat the design is, it seems to convert better. That’s what we’ve been kind of just rolling with for quite a few of our clients that we’re doing this for it obviously would change potentially, depending on the industry and the client and what it is they’re selling. But we tried 25 different ads before we landed on what really was working, and then we just kind of like kept going with it. We AB tested, we did so many things. We did carousel, we did video, we did everything. At the end of the day, we found kind of what works for each of these clients, and then we would keep tweaking it. And then as you continue to do it, you’ve got more data, you can see exactly what your cost for messenger conversion is and how that’s changing week over week. And we basically look at it on a seven-day kind of rolling average, we see what that across for cost per acquisition is and we can kind of make little tweaks and see what moves the needle and things like that. So yeah, it’s a good program.

Adam Vazquez 17:06
So when you say flat you mean this image ad types versus like carousel or video?

Carlton Riffel 17:12
Yeah, I was gonna say it’s a lot of it comes down to the fact that a lot of people are viewing these on their phones or a window that has a lot of other things going on, like left sidebar, right sidebar. So by the time you have an image that’s got a lot of detail to it or has a lot of depth to it, it might be a cool-looking thing but unless that person saw it full screen, it wouldn’t get the message across in a split second. So by like simplifying it and having vector art that’s maybe has a few components to it in just large—whether it’s colorful, or large text or large symbol of some sort—that comes across better than having a really complex scene where something’s going on in it.

Adam Vazquez 17:55
Yeah. So I know we do this for one of our clients that’s in the kind of in the home services business. And it’s been massively profitable. I think we, we earned back a year’s worth of investment over their first month with the amount that they were able to earn. You’re also doing it when it comes to recruiting people for a truck company, you have to say who if you don’t want to, but how can you give some idea of numbers like how many people you’ve been able to recruit or somebody I just want to give people an idea of scale of how this could work?

Derek Rogers 18:25
Yeah, I want to say 100-150 messenger conversions a week for this one particular campaign, which obviously, you’ve got to figure out the sweet spot in terms of what you’re willing to spend and stuff like that to get those but the leads are just incredible, you’re responding and they’re ready to talk. You don’t have to try to get them on the phone or see if they’ll respond to an email or whatever they’re there. On the other end. We’ve spent a lot of times building up internal Vokes that to handle and we’re like we’re adding somebody new, the company is adding somebody new to handle these leads. And we’re these folks are basically dedicated to this campaign. We got two full-time people now that are going to be dedicated to this campaign just responding today. So yeah, it’s been super, super successful. Vic, the big thing about that it’s a long-term success of it, the Google plays into it really well, because you’re not going to have so much creativity because you’re keeping that audience refreshed by using the pixel on the landing page and updating the audience based on who’s responding to the Google ad. Because if all you did was just target the look alike audience of the customer list. That might get stale a minute. You can expand those lookalike audiences and things like that. There are a bunch of different things you can do. But I think the way that we’ve organized this when using the combination of Google and Facebook seemed to work really, really well.

Adam Vazquez 19:46
Yeah, so something to check out. If you’re a business owner, if you’re a marketer, the line that Derek just said they had to hire someone new to handle all the leads that I think that’s the biggest thing we hear from people like, yeah, we do all this marketing stuff, and then we don’t see the leads who leads are good. The leads, I’m trying to remember that Glengarry Glen Ross. I think it has some profanity in it, but that problem can be solved if that’s one of your problems through trying something like this. So if you’re interested in it for the next, let’s say for the first two people that we really can’t do a ton of these because it is a little bit labor intensive. So if you’re interested in it reach out. And we’ll probably add two more of these clients. Over the next little while here. If you’re listening to this in a couple of years, this has probably taken off into its own massive business and you’re too late. So get on this as soon as you can. Derek, thanks for joining us and sharing all that with us.

Before we go each week, we share the tweet of the week. Carlton, I know you’ll be shocked to hear that we are doing that again this week. This was your idea to do this every week. Can you kick us off? Because I don’t even have Twitter open. Derek feel free to queue up a tweet of the week if you’ve got one. It’s just something we that we’ve learned from or was helpful.

Carlton Riffel 20:56
I’ll go real slow, Derek. Just in the theme of Facebook ads and the ad model. This person is a czar Ashad eight Facebook ad ideas proven to work. So this might fall a little bit in that dark pattern thing we’re talking about the other week, but the first one is us versus them. Before and after press release screenshot, problem agitation and solution. And he specifically put UGC next to that. So user-generated content would be a good fit for that. The founder stories, three reasons why TikTok made me buy it. I guess that works for Facebook. Then last one is single image ad that makes the problem pop. It’s actually a good idea just for content in general as well. But we’ll link that in the show notes. And you can actually scroll through the comments because there were some good comments about other ideas and other tactics as well.

Adam Vazquez 21:54
Yeah, that’s a good framework. Derek, do you have one?

Derek Rogers 21:57
Yeah. This is definitely content, too. Tomorrow Sports. TMRWsports. Tomorrow sports is here, a company founded by Claire WhatsApp, Rory McIlroy, it’d be building new a whole new golf, they probably could live and happen in the offseason.

Carlton Riffel 22:15
Is that funded by China? Is that what I heard?

Derek Rogers 22:18
It’s funded by my guy, Tiger Woods. So it’ll be interesting. from a content perspective, it’ll be interesting to see how that plays because I don’t know what it’s gonna be. There are not a whole lot of details about it, but I’m sure it’ll be pretty integrated. So you gotta check out, get some brand new Twitter handle, tomorrowsports.com.

Adam Vazquez 22:40
I just was texting Derek. We actually know the people running Tomorrow’s marketing. It’s our friends and colleagues over at Sasha Group and Mickey Cloud SVP over there was sending me some of the details. I don’t know what this is going to be. I don’t know if it’s going to be successful. But I know Tiger Woods is going to be hitting bombs in stadiums around the country. And so I’m 100% in I’m so in on tomorrow sports. I’m super excited for that. That’s a good one. Mine is similarly sports related. It’s from Ben Wilson. And the tweet is simple. It just says camp MFM was very fun. This is I do want to call out 2% Sean Perry, Sam Parr, Ben Wilson Ligang for straight-up stealing my idea. Because this is something that Tony Miller and I hatched it was a brain baby of ours. Did you guys see what they did? So jealous of this Airbnb out some houses, got a chef got to play at Duke and then played a tournament for the 24 people who were there. And I guess they talked about business too. I didn’t have that part in my model, which is why it wasn’t probably successful. But I want to do the same thing. And that is that public knowledge is not only acknowledged, but in the pictures. Ben is holding up a number one and the other team didn’t look as happy so it looks like maybe I’ve heard Ben is good. So it’s probably his team.

Derek Rogers 24:02
Because that last picture looked like just two gates.

Adam Vazquez 24:06
Yeah, yeah.

Derek Rogers 24:07
It was bigger than that and then was what he started up got on the other team.

Adam Vazquez 24:10
Yeah, he was only actually and he’s looking wasted in this photo. Sweaty startup guy was on Mr. Beast’s team, and let me just say this, too: I stand by my initial thing there’s just no way a herd team doesn’t smoke these cats. These guys are very successful in the business world just can’t see this. First of all, everybody’s like under there’s like two people over six-foot so I just don’t see that. Playing well for them. But anyway, that’s my tweet of the week. I think it’s awesome. They did that. I want to do something similar. Hit me up. If you’re in for the Content Is for Closers camp, coming to a college near you. That will inevitably be running. Cool. Well, Derek, appreciate you coming on. We will be back next week. Until then, we’ll catch you next time.