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Ad Gab: The Digital Ad Funnel; Part 1

December 09, 2020

Ad Gab: The Digital Ad Funnel; Part 1
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Welcome to part I of Ad Gab's digital ad funnel process.

In this bonus episode, host Ryan Alford and Ad Gab co-host Josh Hill, talk about the beginning stages of reaching a new audience. This is the "Hello!" NOT the first date!

Listen to Part II here.

If you enjoyed this bonus episode, share it on Instagram and tag us @the.rad.cast | Do you want to hear more from our host? - Give him a follow @ryanalford on Instagram. | The Radcast is a product of @radical_results | #theradcast


Ryan Alford [00:00:23] Hey, guys, what's up? Welcome to the latest edition of the Radcast. This is our Ad Gab episode. Josh, good to have you here, as always. 

Josh Hill: Good to be back.

Ryan Alford [00:00:39] Hey, you're a good gabber about ads. I will give you that. We've been gabbing about ads all day, actually, for clients and otherwise. A pretty cool topic today is that we like to drill down. The point of these ad gabs is to drill down into some specifics. A lot of times on the Rad Cast between guests and even some of the things we talk about, I feel like it's 50,000 feet a little bit. So we're really drilling down today. And today we're going to talk about marketing and sales, the old school way as a purchase funnel as part of the purchase cycle. The kids who came along made it really complicated with the cycle. Pretend there's a reverse triangle. And at the top of the funnel, you have awareness and then you have consideration and then you have intent. And then you have purchased. Hey, I remembered all those. I didn't even have that on the screen. So it's pretty amazing. I've been doing this a long time. So, again, you have to think about your relationship with prospects and customers through that purchase funnel and needing to push them through that passage. And today we want to talk about the top of the funnel and using digital media to get as many people prospecting into that funnel. 

Josh Hill [00:02:02] Yeah, these are the words strictly talking about reaching those people who are probably not familiar with their brand at all, or maybe they've just heard of your name but don't know what you do. 

Ryan Alford [00:02:12] Exactly. And I think we work with a lot of clients... It's easy to assume digital media has been wonderful and terrible at the same time in the assumption that for whatever reason, we've thrown out all their understanding of marketing and branding and all that with digital media, we assumed they see my ad in my brand one time and they're making a purchase. And as much as that can happen, there's impulse buying in digital media. What really has to happen is you have to start that relationship and you have to start prospecting to get the right people aware of your brand. 

Josh Hill [00:02:50] You're establishing that relationship there. You're not like you don't just hug random people off the street. You might say, hi, I'm so-and-so. Nice to meet you. 

Ryan Alford [00:03:00] You warm it up with a handshake, so just slow down a little bit. You go over for the kiss in a couple of weeks. This is a relationship like I get to first base here before we can hit a home run. Oh, yeah. Not to get sexual connotations here, but I think people get it the way. I think they get it when they hear something like that. And it starts to go, “OK, I understand now that my expectations are unrealistic that Joe Smith is not going to buy my pre workout supplement when he knows nothing about me. He has no perspective with me. None of his friends use me. And I've got to build that relationship through content and engagement.” And so let's talk about some of the specifics for prospecting and targeting based on these notions. 

Josh Hill [00:03:51] So when you're setting up a prospecting ad or campaign, I typically would target people who probably would have interest, people who are in a reasonable location compared to you. Like if you're at a restaurant or a store, like keep it maybe like five miles away, don't target people in the next state over. But this is and I would also exclude people who are already familiar with the brand. That way we are making sure that this is the first interaction with people in creative ways. Again, this is the introduction. You're saying all you have to do is say, like what your brand name is and kind of on a broad level what you do. Maybe you can slip in a few a couple like a key pillar of what you do. Like I'm so-and-so. We're a restaurant like this. I am software sales. Like I do this thing like. Kind of leave the nitty gritty like what you do for that customer, don't get into specific things until a retargeting ad, you can save that for later. You want to have them get familiar and then let your website, let your retargeting ads do the work of the details .The only point of this is to make that introduction, start the familiarity and then start them on that journey. 

Ryan Alford [00:05:33] And really start that engagement and clicking because that's the key to it. To continue that relationship, assuming you've hit the right audience, you've got an interest level. You want them to click and make that one engagement go on your website, go to your landing page, whatever that engagement ends up being, that call to action. So that then we can retarget them later based on the interesting things and the activity they might take on the website? 

Josh Hill [00:06:02] Yeah, and that's the key practical thing that we go after, will either go for a click or oftentimes if it's running a video awareness campaign, we're going for a person who's watched kind of getting the most of the message in their to the the person watching it, the viewer, I guess. 

Ryan Alford [00:06:19] And that's the way you're drilling down. So you've got this large audience and you've done your best with your targeting. But to nuance it better, to save your budget, you look at some of those soft metrics of percentage of video watched, time on ad, click throughs, all of those so that then you're drilling further and further into getting a true prospect. 

Josh Hill [00:06:44] And then there's like research, there's other things like social engagement, all that. But the same like you're not creating and you with a bottom funnel kind of conversion ad, you're also you don't need to be measuring it that way. And that's kind of where those soft metrics come in. 

Ryan Alford [00:07:03] What do you think and I know you mentioned a few of these, but how do we make them more effective overall for a prospecting? I know you just mentioned some of them, but maybe, dig a little deeper there. 

Josh Hill [00:07:16] I think there's some key things you want to hit on. You definitely want to capture the attention. I know that's a broad statement, but like, either have your, if you have a flagship product, have that on the screen right away, have your brand right away, your logo or like immediately jump into what you do. Any of those options because like, I see. A lot where it's like you're it kind of takes a minute to get into what it is like, you should be able to glance at it and start to know.

Ryan Alford [00:07:52] It's so fleeting. I mean, you've got, we’lluse Facebook, I mean, you're going down the Facebook feed. You've got all these other distractions on page because usually weather, if it's in feed or right, whatever that is, depending on the ad placement you've got a million of the things that you've got they say three seconds. I don't know if you have three seconds. That's like one that's too long. So you got the attention span that we all have, which is diminishing combined with just the crowded nature of a lot of these mediums, even if it's a web programmatic ad and scrolling on ESPN dot com or whatever it is again, a lot of other content going. Think of it back in the old school days of newspapers, you got a lot of other stuff going on and you've got a little ad there. So how do you, how do you get people to stop? 

Josh Hill [00:08:40] And that's where a lot of the design and the branding comes in. You want to have it where it's either like a bright color or something intriguing happening on the screen or a compelling headline. And then that's kind of where you get that opportunity to show some of your brand personality in a broad sense, like, are you luxury, are you funny or are you that? I don't think you have to think too hard about it at all. It's just kind of, hey, where this company and that's how we are. 

Ryan Alford [00:09:09] Exactly, and I think, getting that value in there in a hurry, not necessarily an offer necessarily, but again, this has been my quote of the week and a lot of the contract imposed ‘wiifm’ baby. What's in it for me exactly? Get to it in a hurry because I need to know or I'm moving on. 

Josh Hill [00:09:29] But I think a lot of people. I mean, there's just so much noise out there, it is easy to get lost in the noise, get lost in the sauce, you want to stand out, have some spice. 

Ryan Alford [00:09:39] So pitfalls and biggest mistakes to avoid?

Josh Hill [00:09:44] Easy ones right off the bat. I see a lot of prospecting video ads, especially on Instagram, and it's a five second fade in from black, has the logo; then you hear a voice coming in and it's the person's back story. Like, I don't care. Yeah, I'm not sitting around. If I see a video and it's fading in from something, I'm gone. I'm not waiting around for it. I've got Memes to see. I'm on a timeline here, 

Ryan Alford [00:10:13] But this is not a dramatic movie that you sat down and chose personally. Like my fade from black slow music, 

Josh Hill [00:10:20] Keep your life story videos for like you're and keep that for your website on your about page. Like, that's interesting. I do. When I see that I might sell me, but not not on the introduction. We've all met those people who you shake their hand and then they're telling you where they grew up, what they do on a daily basis and stuff. And it's like we got to slow down here. I think another issue I see is. Going to brought on location to where they're prospecting and like maybe they're like, oh, you might be interested, but like I get ads for coffee shops across the country or pizza shops in New York City. 

Ryan Alford [00:10:57] They've got no e-commerce store that makes no sense whatsoever. And even then, it's probably not the best choice of location targeting. 

Josh Hill [00:11:04] Yes, so be realistic with who you're going after. You want to think about it. Yeah. You should be going more broad with your prospecting, but be reasonable of who you're wanting to feed into your bottom funnel. And then lastly, you want to create a good experience is kind of the bottom line here. A lot of times I'll see a great ad and then I click on it. And then the website has nothing to do with it. And then there's no more information on the website. And it's kind of like I get lost. And then other times people try to do too much in the ad. And so once I do click on the website, I was like, well, I already figured out everything I need to know from the ad. Like, all you're trying to do is get them to go down the funnel. And sometimes, like I said before, let your other tools do the work. You probably spent a lot of time on your website, like let the people go at their own pace and go through all those pages and stuff.

Ryan Alford [00:12:06] People are going to still serve. And unless, you're running pay per click where the intent is like low down at the bottom of the funnel because they've gone, “I need a car today” I guess, is the search term. The reality is, if you've done the proper targeting that they're interested, but they just might not be in the market today no matter what you're selling. And so knowing that you want to help start the process and then there's also serve tools on your website and otherwise. And then you retargeted to keep reminding them and you build that digital relationship with them where they're learning more about you, they're learning more about the product. And we're playing with some broad process here because depending on what it is we're talking about a T-shirt versus selling linoleum in your house or something like a few different things. And I think ultimately this rings true, whether it's in-store or e-commerce - either way, it's one other channel, one other impression for how you're building and starting that customer relationship. 

Josh Hill [00:13:10] And that's where all the different pieces come in. It's like the prospecting is what's bringing them there. There's other ads, there's blogs, reviews, other things that will keep them moving down that funnel. But you want to create that good first impression with your prospecting ad. 

Ryan Alford [00:13:27] And I love it. So good topic today. Josh? Appreciate you coming on. Yeah, of course. So, hey, guys, top of the funnel. Think about your prospecting. Think about starting a relationship. Don't think about hitting a home run at first. Certainly it might happen. I'd almost say it's more likely to happen if you don't swing the bat too hard. And anyway, we hope you enjoyed this episode of Ad Gab. You can follow along on all the social channels. And I know Riley is putting those up, our producer of the show, and we appreciate everyone listening. And we'll see you next time. 

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