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Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Facebook

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Step-by-Step Guide to Advertising on Facebook

Facebook marketing has become a staple for social media marketers over the last few years, and the credit goes to its massive user base. With over 3.06 billion users worldwide, 89% of businesses run Facebook ads as their primary advertising method.

But, running your Facebook ads is a tough nut to crack.

With soaring competition and dynamic algorithms, your ad strategy might end in a black hole, draining your budget altogether.

Running your Facebook Ads needs a well-devised strategy, constant market research, A/B testing and some crucial metrics to map its success.

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Download Now: Free Facebook Advertising Checklist

In this guide, we’ve laid down the step-by-step process of running Facebook ad campaigns. And to make it even better, we put together a checklist to help you keep all of your campaign details straight.

With this resource in hand, you can build the right ad for the right audience on this expansive platform.

In this blog, we’ll cover the following:

Why advertise on Facebook?

With nearly 1.9 billion users every day, Facebook offers a unique opportunity for marketers to augment their organic efforts through advertising campaigns.

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Compared to the post boost, Facebook Ads have a higher CTR (click-through rates), lower CPM (Cost per 1k impressions), lower CPC (Cost-per-click), and better reach. It also makes sense to run Facebook ads in 2024 when your target audience is worth 2.249 billion.

If you’re still on the fence, these reasons might convince you:

  • Build brand awareness. Facebook ads are displayed impulsively while scrolling the feed, whereas Google ads only appear when a user heads over to the search engine. Also, the graphics in Facebook ads garner more clicks and higher awareness from the customers through emotional marketing.
  • Reach wide target customers. Facebook has vast user data, with audience segmentation elements like interests, behaviors, income, spoken languages, and education. Advertisers can leverage these metrics to target a specific set of customers without wasting their budget.
  • Gain powerful insights. Ad performance tracking is recorded and available in real time. You can use these metrics to understand what’s working and how to improve your advertising strategy for future campaigns.

I’ve even got some real numbers to prove my point here.

However, the fortune of your Facebook ads starts with the basics. In my experience, most businesses end up messing with the ads because of the incorrect ad manager setup or a weak foundation.

The trouble is, with both time and money on the line, there’s not much room for oversight.

To help fine-tune your system, let’s first start with an overview of Facebook Ads Manager and its significant features.

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Facebook Ads Manager

Before starting with your first ad campaign, you’ll need to set up your Facebook Ads Manager account. It is a sophisticated dashboard that provides users with an overview of all their campaigns.

Over the last few years, the Ads Manager has added various features for the advertisers – complicating the interface.

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For quick navigation, the Ads Manager has three campaign structures:

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    • Campaigns. This is the first part of your campaign structure. The campaign gives an objective of your ad. You can choose what you want from your ad: Awareness, Traffic generation, Sales, App promotions, leads, or engagement.
  • Ad sets. This defines your targeting strategy – the audience to which you want to display your ads. You can have multiple ad sets per campaign and different budgets for each.
  • Ads. This is the final step in your ad creation. You can create multiple ads per ad set. Try and test with various ad formats and different ad placements.
  • Automated ads. This section is only available if you’ve created Automated Ads. This offering is best fit for beginners and those looking for a simple way to gain exposure. The trade-off: You lose the precision you may achieve manually. This section will list all your Automated Ads and a summary of recent results.

So, now you know the power of Facebook ads manager. Now, let’s explore how to actually run ads. I’ll demonstrate the steps below.

1. Create an account with Facebook Ads Manager.

To use the Facebook Ads Manager, I need a Facebook Business Page (learn how to set one up here). This is because I can’t run ads through personal profiles.

If I were managing someone else’s ads, I would need an admin, editor, or advertiser access to set up ad campaigns.

The next step is setting up my payment. This payment method is used by the Meta business account to charge me for active ads.

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Once set up, the Ads Manager becomes the control center for your Facebook ads.

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I can also navigate to the Ads Manager through my Facebook page account. On the left panel of the page, click on Ad Center and scroll down to find a link to Ad Manager.

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2. Start creating an ad through Facebook Ads Manager.

Once I log into the Ads Manager, I can see a performance dashboard where all of your campaigns, ad sets, and ads will be listed, including the results they’ve driven for my Facebook page.

Unless I’ve already created an ad for my Facebook page, this dashboard will be empty.

To create a new campaign, ad set, or ad through the Facebook Ads Manager, tab over to the type of ad I want to create. Click the green “Create” button to the far left of these ad types, as shown below.

3. Choose buying type.

Meta gives users two choices for buying type: Auction and Reservation.

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Auctions offer more efficiency, flexibility, and choice for campaign objectives. I can set a daily or a lifetime. Ads can be placed on Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. Advantage campaigns are available.

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Reservation offers less flexibility but lets you plan your campaigns in advance with more predictable results. Ads can be placed on Facebook and Instagram. Reservation also offers frequency control.

To get a better understanding and clear difference between the two, read their help guide.

4. Choose an objective.

Facebook Ads Manager, like many social media advertising networks, is designed with my campaign objective in mind. Before getting started, Ads Manager will prompt me to choose an objective for my campaign.

There are six different objectives to choose from. The list has been cut down from 11 objectives to only six:

By choosing one of these objectives, I’m giving Facebook a better idea of what I’d like to do so they can present me with the best-suited ad options. As shown in the screenshot above, Facebook’s ad options include:

    • Awareness. This is great for raising awareness for your brand and boosting customer reach, video views, or store location awareness.
  • Traffic, for directing traffic to the website, Instagram page, a specific landing page, or even Whatsapp.
  • Engagement. This is great for higher engagement on posts, websites, or any link that you share. Increases the likelihood of receiving messages and conversions.
  • Focusing on leads. That includes any action that you want customers to do, like filling out the form, purchasing, booking a meeting, and so on…
  • Sales. This objective is for people who are likely to make purchases through a catalog, calls, Messenger, Instagram, or websites/apps.
  • App promotions. This is targeted for app installs or compelling audiences to make in-app purchases.

I’d say, setting a campaign objective can decide the fortune of your ads. Choosing the wrong objective will leave your ad unidirectional – giving poor results.

Laia Quintana, marketing head of TeamUp, considers this step a game-changer. She says, “The objective-based approach of Ads Manager allows us to focus on what truly matters — getting more app installs.

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By selecting ‘App Installs’ as their campaign objective, TeamUp was able to leverage Facebook’s powerful ad algorithm to reach potential customers. “This not only optimizes our ad spend but also increases the efficiency of our marketing efforts,” Quintana says.

Featured Tool: Facebook Advertising Checklist

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Don’t forget to download the Facebook Ads Checklist and save it for Facebook ad campaign best practices.

5. Name your campaign.

Next, I name my ad campaign so it resonates with my business and goals. For instance, you can name your campaign “XYZ Traffic,” with the brand name being XYZ and the objective being the traffic.

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6. Choose your Special Ad category.

Facebook introduced a special ad category that limits the audiences for certain ad types to protect them from discrimination. Though these may limit the audience reach, I’d say it’s a good approach to prevent age and gender-based discrimination.

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The following categories are included under the special ad category:

  • Credit.
  • Employment.
  • Housing.
  • Social issues.

Selecting these categories ensures that your ads remain compliant with Facebook’s advertising discriminatory policies.

7. Choose A/B Split testing.

Performing the A/B test for my ads can help me choose the right version of your ad. I can experiment with different images, variations of texts, ad placements, and CTAs to maximize my ad performance and save my budget.

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I can toggle on or off your AB test option to enable split testing.

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8. Set performance goals.

After I have created a campaign, the next step is to create a specific ad set, which estimates my audience reach based on demographics and geographical location.

For each type of campaign objective (refer to step #3), there are a few sets of performance goals – which actions advertisers want their audience to perform.

This campaign objective, for example, I chose, aims at driving traffic. The conversion location displays the location where I want to drive my ad traffic. (Website, Mobile app, calls, or Instagram profile).

If my goal is to drive traffic to my website or to the messenger, the Ads manager gives various selections for performance goals — from maximizing the number of clicks to maximizing the number of conversions and more.

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On the right side, I get an estimate of your audience reach with the current selection of performance goals and audience filters.

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9. Choose your budget and schedule.

The ad budget represents the maximum amount of money that I’ll spend on the campaign. I can set either a daily or a lifetime budget for my ad campaign.

Facebook allows me to set either a daily budget or a lifetime budget. Here’s how they differ from each other.

  • Daily budget. If I want your ad set to run continuously throughout the day, this is the option I would want. Using a daily budget means that Facebook will pace my spending per day. Keep in mind that the minimum daily budget for an ad set is $1.00 and must be at least 2x your CPC.
  • Lifetime budget. If I were looking to run my ad for a specified length of time, I would select the lifetime budget. This means Facebook will pace my spend over the period I set for the ad to run.
  1. Choose your audience.

My next step is to configure my target audience. I can do this for each ad set that belongs to the same campaign. Setting up my target audience can adjust the reach of my ad and slash my ad spends to a large extent.

This tweet says it all:

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Facebook has limited the target audience filters to three specifics: location, gender, and language.

If I need a more specific audience type, Facebook uses the new Meta Advantage+ audience feature to broaden the audience. With this feature, Meta uses AI to create a specific audience based on the specific information or insights from Pixels.

I can even switch to an old custom audience settings in the ad creation settings. Meta also predicts and compares the better targeting option for your ad campaigns.

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If you are just starting, I recommend you experiment with several different targeting options until you reach an audience that fits just right.

Also, if you’re wavering between choosing a specific audience over a broad one, consider your objective. Let’s say, for the objective of driving traffic, you’ll probably want to focus on the type of people you know will be interested in your offering.

However, if you’re looking to build brand awareness or promote a widely appealing offer, feel free to focus on a more general audience.

Once I find a group that responds well to my ads, Facebook allows me to save these audiences from being used again later — so I may not need to repeat this step once I’ve been running Facebook ads for a while.

11. Choose your ad placement.

Besides my target audience, my ad budget may also be affected by the ad placement. Different ad placements may have different conversion rates, and different objectives may have different ad placements.

Like their target audience, Facebook has an AI-powered Advantage+ placement to maximize your ad reach. Meta’s AI system will automatically place ads across multiple places based on where they’ll perform the best.

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For experienced advertisers, you can decide on the ad placements by choosing the manual placement. This will give you various filters to set to streamline ad placement such as the devices, platforms (like Instagram, Facebook & Messenger), placement types and content type exclusions.

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Here are the several ad placement locations:

  • Feeds.
  • Stories and reels.
  • Reels overlay.
  • In-stream.
  • Search results.
  • Messages.
  • Apps and overlay.

12. Ad set up.

Now that I have created a campaign and the ad sets, it’s time to set up my ads. Here, the first step is to set up my meta account. I can choose whether I want to connect my Facebook account with Instagram.

By doing so, I can display these ads on my Instagram feed or story.

I can choose an existing post or create a new ad using the ad setup option. Additionally, Facebook has a new creative mockup feature where advertisers can create a mockup of ads to test which type of ad suits their audience’s needs.

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13. Choose ad format.

This ad option is broken down into two formats: Links and Carousels. Essentially, this means that I can either display a single-image ad (Links) or a multi-image ad (Carousel) with three to five scrolling images at no additional cost.

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A Links ad will be displayed like this.

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A Carousel ad will be displayed like this.

Step by Step Guide to Advertising on Facebook

Once I decide between the two, I need to upload my creative assets. It’s important to note that for each type of ad, Facebook requires users to adhere to certain design criteria.

For single-image ads, Facebook asks that users adhere to the following design recommendations:

  • Text: 125 characters.
  • Ad headline: 25 characters.
  • Image ratio: 1.91:1.
  • Image resolution (including CTA): 1080 x 1080 pixels.

For multi-image ads — also known as Carousel Ads — Facebook provides the following design recommendations:

  • Recommended image size: 1080 x 1080 pixels.
  • Image ratio: 1:1.
  • Text: 125 characters.
  • Headline: 40 characters.
  • Link description: 20 characters.

Remember that these are the ad options for the “Traffic” objective.

If I selected “boost your posts,” I would be presented with different ad options like the Page Post Engagement: Photo ad. This ad has a unique set of design recommendations.

Once I select an ad type, the Ads Manager will prompt me to identify how I’d like to display my ad. The options they provide are as follows: Desktop News Feed, Mobile News Feed, and Desktop Right Column.

Here’s how each ad would appear.

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Desktop News Feed

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Mobile News Feed

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Desktop Right Column

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Be aware if your ad isn’t associated with a Facebook page, you’ll only be able to run Desktop Right Column ads.

14. Create your ad.

The final step is to create my ad with a graphic and descriptive text. Once I choose to upload the media files, I can either use the existing ones in my Facebook library or upload them from my computer or mobile device.

Here’s what else my Facebook ad includes:

  • Primary text. You can add up to 5 primary texts to use on your different ad placements. Display your product savings and offers here.
  • Headline. This appears below the visual and is meant to grab the audience’s attention.
  • Description. The appearance of descriptions may vary based on ad placements. Add the text here to give a detailed description of your ad copy.
  • Call-to-action. Choose what action you want your audience to perform.

15. Monitor your ad’s performance metrics.

Once my ads are running, I have to keep an eye on how they’re doing. To see their results, I need to look in two places: the Facebook Ads Manager and my marketing software.

There are over 350 different metrics and terms in Ads Manager and chances are that you might get bogged down in this massive pool of data.

According to Facebook, here are some of the key metrics to look for (and their definitions):

  • Performance, which can be customized further to include metrics like results, reach, frequency, and impressions.
  • Engagement, which can be customized further to include metrics like Page likes, Page engagement, and post engagement.
  • Videos, which can be customized further to include metrics like video views and the average percentage of video viewed.
  • Website, which can be customized further to include metrics like website actions (all), checkouts, payment details, purchases, and adds to cart.
  • Apps, which can be further customized to include metrics like app installs, app engagement, credit spends, mobile app actions, and cost per app engagement.
  • Events, which can be further customized to include metrics like event responses and cost per event response.
  • Clicks, which can be further customized to include metrics like clicks, unique clicks, CTR (click-through rate), and CPC (cost per click).
  • Settings, which can be further customized to include metrics like start date, end date, ad set name, ad ID, delivery, bid, and objective.

16. Report on Facebook ad performance.

I can receive custom reports via email as well. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Navigate to “Analyze and Report” through the upper main menu.
  2. Choose “Ads Reporting.”
  3. Select “Create Custom Report.”
  4. Select and open a saved report.
  5. Choose “Save As” next to the save icon. Give your report a name and check “Schedule Email.”
  6. Follow the prompts to edit and confirm your reporting preferences.

While there are certainly a lot of details to keep straight when planning a paid Facebook ad, it’s important that you don’t lose sight of the big picture. Reporting on clicks and conversions from Facebook is important.

However, if you’re using URLs with specific UTM codes, you have an opportunity to measure your ads’ full-funnel effectiveness using your marketing software.

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Tracking URLs will help your marketing software keep track of how many leads, or better yet, how many customers you’ve gained from your advertising efforts. This information is useful in determining the ROI of this source and can also be used to inform your overall Facebook marketing strategy.

If you’re a HubSpot customer using our ads tool, this process is already taken care of for you. You can also create unique tracking codes for your Facebook campaign by navigating to the “Tracking URL Builder” on the Reports homepage.

All you’ll need to do is plug in the URL, attach a campaign, and choose the source you want the URL to be attributed to in your Sources Report.

Once your ad launches and you start getting conversions on your website, you’ll be able to easily track how many visits, contacts, and customers you’re generating.

How to Create Facebook Ads

To create a Facebook ad that drives measurable results, follow these tips.

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1. Define your target audience and create ads for them.

While creating ads, it’s tempting to make your messaging vague enough to resonate with everyone. But if you want your Facebook ads to be effective, tailor them to a specific audience.

Before you start creating images/videos and writing ad copy, figure out who is most likely to become paying customers. These are the people you should try to persuade with your ads.

Ryan Robinson, CEO of Right Blogger, accentuates the importance of the target audience.

Robinson says, “In my experience, it’s often beneficial to start with a slightly broader audience initially and then slowly refine it based on performance data. This allows you to gather insights about who is truly engaging with your ads before narrowing down too much.”

He gives a convincing example of leveraging the defined target audience mixed with various ad placements for one of his clients specializing in eco-friendly products: “We defined their target audience as environmentally conscious urban dwellers aged 25-45, and created visually appealing carousel ads showcasing the client’s products.”

From there, the team tested different ad placements and copy variations, until they found the sweet spot. Robinson says this boosted the Facebook ad campaign’s website traffic by 23% and online sales by 13% compared to our previous campaigns.

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“The continuous optimization based on performance data helped us refine our targeting and creative approach, leading to a better return on ad spend and improved brand awareness among our ideal customers,” Robinson says.

That said, continuous optimization is the key to success in your ad campaigns.

To take things up a notch, use Facebook’s advanced targeting feature to add (or remove) people who follow certain apps, events, or pages. This may take a bit of time, but you’ll increase the ROI of your ad campaigns.

Although Kylie Haack is a real estate company that sells properties, this ad is targeted specifically toward people who want to appraise their homes — not people who want to buy.

2. Write a catchy but clear headline.

Your headline is usually the first thing people will see on your Facebook ad. If it doesn’t catch people’s attention, it will reflect negatively on your click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate.

With headlines, don’t try to shove your offer down people’s throats. Instead, be clear and conversational, and try to communicate your product’s benefits, if possible.

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In this ad, HubSpot is urging people who need help with Facebook or Instagram marketing to check out their free guide on the topic. Their headline for this ad is: Maximize Lead Generation.

This simple, but powerful, headline summarizes the benefits people would get if they read and apply what’s in the free guide.

Pro Tip: To improve your headlines and get better results, run split tests (more on that below). These tests can help you determine the messaging that gets people to convert.

3. Don’t use text-heavy graphics.

According to Facebook, images with less than 20% of text perform better. So try not to design graphics with too much text on them.

Text-heavy graphics can distract a prospect from your message, so it’s best to let the graphics speak for themselves. For example, the ad below has too much text.

Image Source

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To prevent this from happening, you can use a longer ad caption. But if you must use text on your image, try using a smaller font and fewer words to reduce the proportion of text to image.

4. Use simple and easy-to-understand language.

Ad copywriting is not an avenue to channel your inner Victorian author. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Insta-famous poet or you’ve won a Pulitzer — using verbose language in your Facebook ads will confuse your prospects.

When writing ad copy, the main goal is to make it easy for anyone to understand. When a prospect sees your ad, they should instantly know:

  • What your offer is.
  • How it will benefit them.
  • What to do next.

That’s why I love this Mailchimp ad, which helps people with online stores automate their marketing.

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The copy in this ad is simple and to the point: “Automate your marketing with Customer Journey Builder and watch your orders grow.” Then, Mailchimp gives a simplified visualization of what the automation process looks like.

This helps prospects understand exactly how the Customer Journey Builder feature can take things off their plate and help them grow their business.

5. Use social proof in your ads.

When a prospect sees your Facebook ad — especially if it’s the first time — they may not trust your brand or offer immediately. And that’s okay.

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It’s your job to convince them that you’re the real deal. A great way to do this is to use social proof in your ads.

Social proof comes in many forms — reactions, comments, shares, testimonials, and reviews. Featuring these in your ads shows prospects that other people have worked with your brand and purchased your offer without any regrets. Once they see this, they may be convinced to be your customer, too.

Before Adobe acquired the company, Figma was really good at using social proof in their Facebook ads.

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In the ad above, the product design lead at Onfido, Steve Denis, walks people through how Onfido uses Figma to organize and scale its design systems. The message is simple: If other companies trust Figma to meet their design needs, you can, too.

6. Match your Facebook ad to your landing page.

When you run ads on Facebook, you’re essentially telling your audience that if they click your ad, they’ll get exactly what you’re offering on the page your ad leads to.

There’s no quicker way to lose the trust of your audience and increase your bounce rates than to send people to a landing page that has absolutely nothing to do with the offer they were interested in.

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When designing your ad and landing page, ensure that the offer promised in the ad is the same as the one on the landing page. You should also include common elements, such as colors, fonts, and images, that will make it easy for people to recognize your offer and convert.

Here’s a great example of ad-landing-page sync.

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Here, Yoga International is advertising their free breathwork classes that can help people “unwind tension and improve self-healing.” The ad and the landing page it leads to share several design elements.

That includes brand colors, image choices, and fonts. These common elements help prospects feel like the landing page is an extension of the Facebook ad, rather than a new offer entirely.

7. Have a direct call-to-action in your ad.

The perfect Facebook ad should have a clear action the prospect should take.

Some ads are designed to spread awareness about a brand. Other ads lead users to installs, ebook downloads, or sales.

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Ideally, ads do both. But to be on the safe side — and to get results that move the needle toward business growth — be clear on exactly what you want your prospects to do after they see the ad.

Calls to action like “Sign up,” “Follow,” “Download,” “Install the App,” and “Shop Now” clearly communicate the desired course of action to a prospect. Without a good CTA, people would see your ad, but they’ll have no idea what to do next.

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In this ad, Dermalogica, a skincare company, advertises a power trio of three products. Plus, the bundle is less than half of the original prices of the individual products.

The ad is straightforward. It says what the product is, what the discount is, and the perk (free shipping) you get if you buy the product.

The “Shop Now” call-to-action is direct. This indicates that Dermalogica’s goal is for people to click the link and buy the product package.

8. Run A/B tests.

The only way you can improve your Facebook ads is to run split tests on everything — from the headline to ad copy to visuals and CTAs. Sometimes, an ad might not perform well because the copy isn’t convincing enough or the visuals aren’t eye-catching.

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To know for sure, create different variations of the same ad — changing one thing at a time — and publish them. Let them run. Then, check to see which version(s) gets the most likes, comments, shares, and conversions.

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In the instance above, Canva ran A/B tests on the ad creatives. In both ads, the ad copy is exactly the same, but the visual assets are not — one’s an image, and the other is a video.

Although the ad copy is the same, the change in visuals can spell a huge difference in the ROI from both ads.

Using Facebook Ads Manager for Your Next Campaign

Now that you know how to set up an ad, it’s time to create one of your own so you can spread brand awareness on Facebook, generate traffic, and gather leads from your ideal prospects on the platform.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.New call-to-action

 

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MARKETING

2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business: Part 2

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2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business: Part 2

2 Ways to Take Back the Power in Your Business

Before we dive into the second way to assume power in your business, let’s revisit Part 1. 

Who informs your marketing strategy? 

YOU, with your carefully curated strategy informed by data and deep knowledge of your brand and audience? Or any of the 3 Cs below? 

  • Competitors: Their advertising and digital presence and seemingly never-ending budgets consume the landscape.
  • Colleagues: Their tried-and-true proven tactics or lessons learned.
  • Customers: Their calls, requests, and ideas. 

Considering any of the above is not bad, in fact, it can be very wise! However, listening quickly becomes devastating if it lends to their running our business or marketing department. 

It’s time we move from defense to offense, sitting in the driver’s seat rather than allowing any of the 3 Cs to control. 

It is one thing to learn from and entirely another to be controlled by. 

In Part 1, we explored how knowing what we want is critical to regaining power.

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1) Knowing what you want protects the bottom line.

2) Knowing what you want protects you from the 3 Cs. 

3) Knowing what you want protects you from running on auto-pilot.

You can read Part 1 here; in the meantime, let’s dive in! 

How to Regain Control of Your Business: Knowing Who You Are

Vertical alignment is a favorite concept of mine, coined over the last two years throughout my personal journey of knowing self. 

Consider the diagram below.

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Vertical alignment is the state of internal being centered with who you are at your core. 

Horizontal alignment is the state of external doing engaged with the world around you.

In a state of vertical alignment, your business operates from its core center, predicated on its mission, values, and brand. It is authentic and confident and cuts through the noise because it is entirely unique from every competitor in the market. 

From this vertical alignment, your business is positioned for horizontal alignment to fulfill the integrity of its intended services, instituted processes, and promised results. 

A strong brand is not only differentiated in the market by its vertical alignment but delivers consistently and reliably in terms of its products, offerings, and services and also in terms of the customer experience by its horizontal alignment. 

Let’s examine what knowing who you are looks like in application, as well as some habits to implement with your team to strengthen vertical alignment. 

1) Knowing who You are Protects You from Horizontal Voices. 

The strength of “Who We Are” predicates the ability to maintain vertical alignment when something threatens your stability. When a colleague proposes a tactic that is not aligned with your values. When the customer comes calling with ideas that will knock you off course as bandwidth is limited or the budget is tight. 

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I was on a call with a gal from my Mastermind when I mentioned a retreat I am excited to launch in the coming months. 

I shared that I was considering its positioning, given its curriculum is rooted in emotional intelligence (EQ) to inform personal brand development. The retreat serves C-Suite, but as EQ is not a common conversation among this audience, I was considering the best positioning. 

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She advised, “Sell them solely on the business aspects, and then sneak attack with the EQ when they’re at the retreat!” 

At first blush, it sounds reasonable. After all, there’s a reason why the phrase, “Sell the people what they want, give them what they need,” is popular.

Horizontal advice and counsel can produce a wealth of knowledge. However, we must always approach the horizontal landscape – the external – powered by vertical alignment – centered internally with the core of who we are. 

Upon considering my values of who I am and the vision of what I want for this event, I realized the lack of transparency is not in alignment with my values nor setting the right expectations for the experience.

Sure, maybe I would get more sales; however, my bottom line — what I want — is not just sales. I want transformation on an emotional level. I want C-Suite execs to leave powered from a place of emotional intelligence to decrease decisions made out of alignment with who they are or executing tactics rooted in guilt, not vision. 

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Ultimately, one of my core values is authenticity, and I must make business decisions accordingly. 

2) Knowing who You are Protects You from Reactivity.

Operating from vertical alignment maintains focus on the bottom line and the strategy to achieve it. From this position, you are protected from reacting to the horizontal pressures of the 3 Cs: Competitors, Colleagues, and Customers. 

This does not mean you do not adjust tactics or learn. 

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However, your approach to adjustments is proactive direction, not reactive deviations. To do this, consider the following questions:

First: How does their (any one of the 3 Cs) tactic measure against my proven track record of success?

If your colleague promotes adding newsletters to your strategy, lean in and ask, “Why?” 

  • What are their outcomes? 
  • What metrics are they tracking for success? 
  • What is their bottom line against yours? 
  • How do newsletters fit into their strategy and stage(s) of the customer journey? 

Always consider your historical track record of success first and foremost. 

Have you tried newsletters in the past? Is their audience different from yours? Why are newsletters good for them when they did not prove profitable for you? 

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Operate with your head up and your eyes open. 

Maintain focus on your bottom line and ask questions. Revisit your data, and don’t just take their word for it. 

2. Am I allocating time in my schedule?

I had coffee with the former CEO of Jiffy Lube, who built the empire that it is today. 

He could not emphasize more how critical it is to allocate time for thinking. Just being — not doing — and thinking about your business or department. 

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Especially for senior leaders or business owners, but even still for junior staff. 

The time and space to be fosters creative thinking, new ideas, and energy. Some of my best campaigns are conjured on a walk or in the shower. 

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Kasim Aslam, founder of the world’s #1 Google Ads agency and a dear friend of mine, is a machine when it comes to hacks and habits. He encouraged me to take an audit of my calendar over the last 30 days to assess how I spend time. 

“Create three buckets,” he said. “Organize them by the following:

  • Tasks that Generate Revenue
  • Tasks that Cost Me Money
  • Tasks that Didn’t Earn Anything”

He and I chatted after I completed this exercise, and I added one to the list: Tasks that are Life-Giving. 

Friends — if we are running empty, exhausted, or emotionally depleted, our creative and strategic wherewithal will be significantly diminished. We are holistic creatures and, therefore, must nurture our mind, body, soul, and spirit to maintain optimum capacity for impact. 

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I shared this hack with a friend of mine. Not only did she identify meetings that were costing her money and thus needed to be eliminated, but she also identified that particular meetings could actually turn revenue-generating! She spent a good amount of time each month facilitating introductions; now, she is adding Strategic Partnerships to her suite of services. 


ACTION: Analyze your calendar’s last 30-60 days against the list above. 

Include what is life-giving! 

How are you spending your time? What is the data showing you? Are you on the path to achieving what you want and living in alignment with who you want to be?

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Share with your team or business partner for the purpose of accountability, and implement practical changes accordingly. 


Finally, remember: If you will not protect your time, no one else will. 

3) Knowing who You are Protects You from Lack. 

“What are you proud of?” someone asked me last year. 

“Nothing!” I reply too quickly. “I know I’m not living up to my potential or operating in the full capacity I could be.” 

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They looked at me in shock. “You need to read The Gap And The Gain.”

I silently rolled my eyes.

I already knew the premise of the book, or I thought I did. I mused: My vision is so big, and I have so much to accomplish. The thought of solely focusing on “my wins” sounded like an excuse to abdicate personal responsibility. 

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But I acquiesced. 

The premise of this book is to measure one’s self from where they started and the success from that place to where they are today — the gains — rather than from where they hope to get and the seemingly never-ending distance — the gap.

Ultimately, Dr. Benjamin Hardy and Dan Sullivan encourage changing perspectives to assign success, considering the starting point rather than the destination.

The book opens with the following story:

Dan Jensen was an Olympic speed skater, notably the fastest in the world. But in each game spanning a decade, Jansen could not catch a break. “Flukes” — even tragedy with the death of his sister in the early morning of the 1988 Olympics — continued to disrupt the prediction of him being favored as the winner. 

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The 1994 Olympics were the last of his career. He had one more shot.

Preceding his last Olympics in 1994, Jansen adjusted his mindset. He focused on every single person who invested in him, leading to this moment. He considered just how very lucky he was to even participate in the first place. He thought about his love for the sport itself, all of which led to an overwhelming realization of just how much he had gained throughout his life.

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He raced the 1994 Olympic games differently, as his mindset powering every stride was one of confidence and gratitude — predicated on the gains rather than the gap in his life. 

This race secured him his first and only gold medal and broke a world record, simultaneously proving one of the most emotional wins in Olympic history. 

Friends, knowing who we are on the personal and professional level, can protect us from those voices of shame or guilt that creep in. 


PERSONAL ACTION: Create two columns. On one side, create a list of where you were when you started your business or your position at your company. Include skills and networks and even feelings about where you were in life. On the other side, outline where you are today. 

Look at how far you’ve come. 

COMPANY ACTION: Implement a quarterly meeting to review the past three months. Where did you start? Where are you now? 

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Celebrate the gain!

Only from this place of gain mindset, can you create goals for the next quarter predicated on where you are today.


Ultimately, my hope for you is that you deliver exceptional and memorable experiences laced with empathy toward the customer (horizontally aligned) yet powered by the authenticity of the brand (vertically aligned). 

Aligning vertically maintains our focus on the bottom line and powers horizontal fulfillment. 

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Granted, there will be strategic times and seasons for adjustment; however, these changes are to be made on the heels of consulting who we are as a brand — not in reaction to the horizontal landscape of what is the latest and greatest in the industry. 

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In Conclusion…

Taking back control of your business and marketing strategies requires a conscious effort to resist external pressures and realign with what you want and who you are.

Final thoughts as we wrap up: 

First, identify the root issue(s).

Consider which of the 3 Cs holds the most power: be it competition, colleagues, or customers.

Second, align vertically.

Vertical alignment facilitates individuality in the market and ensures you — and I — stand out and shine while serving our customers well. 

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Third, keep the bottom line in view.

Implement a routine that keeps you and your team focused on what matters most, and then create the cascading strategy necessary to accomplish it. 

Fourth, maintain your mindsets.

Who You Are includes values for the internal culture. Guide your team in acknowledging the progress made along the way and embracing the gains to operate from a position of strength and confidence.

Fifth, maintain humility.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of humility and being open to what others are doing. However, horizontal alignment must come after vertical alignment. Otherwise, we will be at the mercy of the whims and fads of everyone around us. Humility allows us to be open to external inputs and vertically aligned at the same time.

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Buckle up, friends! It’s time to take back the wheel and drive our businesses forward. 

The power lies with you and me.


Disruptive Design Raising the Bar of Content Marketing with Graphic

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MARKETING

Roundel Media Studio: What to Expect From Target’s New Self-Service Platform

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Commerce


By Tinuiti Team

Roundel™ Media Studio (RMS) has arrived, revolutionizing Target’s advertising game. This self-service platform offers seamless activation, management, and analysis of Target Product Ads, with more solutions on the horizon.

Powered by first-party data from both in-store and online shoppers, RMS provides new audience insights. Coupled with Target’s new loyalty program, Circle 360, advertisers gain precision targeting like never before.

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But Target isn’t stopping there. With the rollout of a paid membership program on April 7th, bundling Target Circle, the Circle Card, and Shipt delivery, Target is elevating its media and membership offerings to rival the likes of Walmart and Amazon.

Curious to learn more? We sat down with our experts at Tinuiti to dive deeper into the potential implications of this platform for brands and advertisers alike.

What is Roundel Media Studio?

Roundel™ Media Studio is an integrated platform that consolidates various solutions and tools offered by Roundel™. At its core, it kicks off with our sponsored product ads, known as Target Product Ads by Roundel™.

example of target roundel ad
Example of Target Product Ads by Roundel™
Image Source: Target.com

This comprehensive platform grants access to the complete range of Target Product Ad placements, featuring tailored slots like “More to Consider” and “Frequently Bought Together” to enhance relevance and personalization.

Moreover, Roundel™ Media Studio operates without any DSP or access fees for Target Product Ads, ensuring that your media budget is optimized to deliver greater efficiency, more clicks, and ultimately, increased sales.

“One of the larger benefits of the transition is that advertisers have an opportunity to capitalize on the additional dollars saved by switching to RMS. Without the 20% fee, brands can re-invest those funds to scale campaigns or optimize budgets, all without having to allocate more funds which drives better results. Roundel™ is putting more control in the hands of advertisers by introducing this new self-service platform.”

– Averie Lynch, Specialist, Strategic Services at Tinuiti

To summarize, key benefits of using RMS include:

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  • No Access or DSP Fees
  • All Target Product Ads Inventory
  • 1st Price Auction with Existing Floor Prices
  • Closed Loop Sales & Attribution
  • Billing via Criteo Insertion Order
  • Access Using Partners Online

How to access Roundel Media Studio 

According to Target, there’s 3 steps to access Roundel™ Media Studio:

Step 1. Check that you have a Partners Online (POL) account for access. Don’t have one? Reach out to your POL admin to get set up with an account (reach out if you need help locating your organization’s admin). 

Step 2. Once you have gotten access to POL, reach out to your Roundel representative who will grant you access to the platform. 

Step 3. Users can access Roundel™ Media Studio in 2 ways:

Roundel Media Studio Best Practices

Target offers a variety of tips on how to best leverage their latest offering to drive performance. 

Let’s take a look at the latest best practices for strategies such as maximizing efficiency or driving sales revenue. 

Recommended bidding tactics for maximizing efficiency:

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  • Set your line-item optimizer to Revenue for the highest return on ad spend (ROAS) or to Conversions for the lowest Cost per Order (CPO).
  • Since the Revenue and Conversions optimizers modulate the CPC you enter to maximize performance, it is useful to set a CPC cap to make sure that your bid will not exceed the maximum amount you wish to pay. The CPC cap should always remain at least 30% above the bid you enter to allow the engine to optimize effectively.
  • Set your bids competitively to balance scale and performance (ROAS or CPO) targets.
  • Optimize bids with respect to your CPO targets: lower CPCs slightly to increase efficiency, or raise them to increase scale

Recommended bidding tactics for maximizing sales revenue:

  • Set the line-item optimizer to Revenue.
  • Set bids to maximize scale and competitiveness while staying above KPI thresholds. Since the Revenue optimizer modulates the CPC you enter to maximize performance, it is useful to set a CPC cap to make sure that your bid will not exceed the maximum amount you wish to pay.
  • Adjust your bids progressively and preferably at the product level: filter the top products by Spend and then slightly reduce any bids that have a ROAS below your threshold.
  • In general, slightly lower CPC to increase efficiency or raise CPC to increase win rates and therefore increase sell-through.

Takeaways & Next Steps

This is just the start for RMS. In the future, Tinuiti will continue its partnership with Roundel to refine features and introduce additional ad types and functionalities.

When exploring any new advertising opportunity, the best results are typically realized when partnering with a performance marketing agency that understands the unique landscape. Our team boasts years of hands-on experience advertising in new and established marketplaces, including Amazon, Walmart, and Target. Working directly with Roundel, we ensure our clients’ ads harness the full functionality and features Target has to offer, with results-oriented scalability baked in.

Ready to learn more about how we can help your brand? Reach out to us today!

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Unlocking the Power of AI Transcription for Enhanced Content Marketing Strategies

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Unlocking the Power of AI Transcription for Enhanced Content Marketing Strategies

Have you noticed how artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly integrating into, well, everything? Then it won’t surprise you to hear that it’s also infiltrated content marketing.

How can AI enhance your content marketing? Through AI transcription.

Want to learn how?

Why AI Transcription is Revolutionary

AI transcription is transforming the way we access and interact with information. Here’s how it’s changing the game:

Rapid Content Transformation

Imagine turning a one-hour podcast or webinar into a comprehensive text document in minutes.

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AI transcription allows for quick conversion of long-form audio and video content, making it a breeze to repurpose these materials into articles, blogs, or reports.

This means you’re spending a lot less time working on making your content as accessible as possible—the AI is doing it for you—and more time on simply creating new content.

Inclusivity and Accessibility

By providing a text version of audio and video content, AI transcription breaks down barriers for people with hearing impairments. This widens your audience.

It also aids non-native speakers in understanding the content better by allowing them to read along, improving comprehension and engagement.

Content Amplification

With AI transcription, a single piece of content can be repurposed into a multitude of formats.

For example, a transcribed interview can be used to create an in-depth blog post, several engaging social media posts, and even quotes for infographics. This not only amplifies your content’s reach but also maximizes the return on investment for every piece of content created.

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SEO Benefits

Transcripts can be a goldmine for SEO. They are rich in keywords spoken naturally during conversations. Including these transcripts on your website or blog can significantly improve your search engine ranking by providing more content for search engines to index.

Real-Time Engagement

With real-time transcription services, audiences can follow along with live events, like conferences or webinars, through captions. This enhances the interactive experience and viewers don’t miss out on important information.

AI transcription is revolutionary because it democratizes content, making it accessible and usable in a variety of formats. It caters to a global audience, and multiplies the impact of the original content, all while improving SEO and user engagement.

Integrating AI Successfully

To truly tap into the power of AI transcription, you need a game plan. It starts with picking the right AI transcription service—one that’s not only accurate but also savvy with the lingo of your field.

Here’s how you can integrate AI transcription into your workflow like a pro:

Record Quality Content

The clearer your audio or video recording, the better your transcription will be. Invest in good recording equipment, minimize background noise, and ensure speakers articulate clearly. Think of it as laying the groundwork for flawless transcription.

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Transcribe with AI

Once you have your high-quality recording, it’s time to let the AI work its magic. Upload your file to AI technology like Clipto and let it transform your spoken words into written text. This step is where the tech shines, turning hours of audio into text in minutes.

Edit and Polish

AI is smart, but it’s not perfect. Review the transcript for any errors or awkward phrasings. Adjust any text you need to. This editing process ensures the final product is not only accurate but also engaging and readable.

Incorporate into Your Strategy

Now that you have your polished transcript, use it to upgrade your marketing materials. Transcripts can be repurposed into blog posts, social media content, eBooks, or even used to enhance video and podcast SEO by providing searchable text.

AI transcription is  a dynamic tool that can extend your capabilities. By treating AI as a collaborative partner, you can enhance your content marketing efforts, making your message clearer, more accessible, and far-reaching. Integrating AI transcription allows you to engage with your audience on multiple levels.

Spicing Up Your Content with AI Transcription

Let’s get real—AI transcription is more than just a fancy way of turning chatter into text. It’s a secret weapon in your content marketing arsenal.

Boosting Quality and Nailing Relevance

Think about it: when you transcribe your audio and video goodies, you’re capturing every little detail and nuance that might have slipped by unnoticed. Here’s the scoop:

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  • Accuracy is Key: With AI, you can nail the exactness of your content, catching the subtle hints and expressions that give it flavor.
  • SEO Magic: Those transcripts are like SEO gold, stuffed with keywords that naturally pop up in conversation, giving your site’s visibility a hearty push.

And the cherry on top? AI transcription can sort out the big themes in your content, keeping your marketing vibe consistent and spot-on across all platforms.

Digging into Data

Now, here comes the detective work. AI transcription lays out all the juicy data about what your audience loves (and doesn’t). With this goldmine of info, you can:

  • Analyze Engagement: Spot the hotspots in your videos or podcasts where people hang on every word—and where they hit the fast-forward button. This insight is like a roadmap to your audience’s heart.
  • Strategize with Confidence: Armed with data, you can tweak your topics, amp up engagement, and keep your audience coming back for more.

So, by turning your spoken content into text, you’re not just filling up space. You’re diving deep into the analytics pool for a smarter, more data-driven approach to content marketing. It’s about getting down to the nitty-gritty of what your audience really likes, making every word you publish count.

Bottom Line

It’s clear that AI transcription is not just a fleeting trend but a robust ally in the realm of content marketing. Equipped with tools to make your message not only heard but felt across the globe.

From crafting precision-packed text that search engines adore to unveiling layers of audience insights waiting to be explored, AI transcription is your go-to for making every piece of content count.

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