In this episode of Nick's Ad Chat, he sits down for an exclusive interview with the Queen of Facebook Marketing, Mari Smith


Here's the breakdown of the interview

[0:43] Most impactful part of a Facebook Ad to test

[1:26] How to improve Facebook Ad performance and reach with social proof

[2:41] Even experts get stumped by Facebook Ads

[4:50] Mari's strategies to keep improving your Ad strategy

[5:23] Mari's thoughts on Lead Ads

For a tutorial on how to set up your own Facebook Lead Ads watch this episode.

And download this guide to Lead Generation if you need help turning your visitors from Facebook into customers.




This blog post is part of Your Definitive Guide to Lead Generation blog series.


Full Transcription

Mari Smith: Can I just say I'm wearing a cape?

Nick McCoy: We caught Mari's attention with our capes, and-

Mari Smith: I love it, yeah.

Nick McCoy:We decided to give her one because she liked them so much.

Hello, everyone. This is Nick coming at you live from HUG 17. I'm sitting here with Mari Smith, the queen of Facebook marketing. I just wanted to sit down with her and ask a couple questions that we didn't get to ask earlier and see what she thinks.

Mari Smith: Awesome. Glad to be here.

Nick McCoy: When you're testing different things like headlines, different images, different texts, what has had the most effect, do you think?

Mari Smith: Image. Always the image.

Nick McCoy: Always the image?

Mari Smith: Well, really, the visual component ... Our eyeballs see the visual part. Notice the visual a nanosecond before they see the topic. But really our brains are taking it in all at once because our eye does go, "Look at that, look at that, look at this." It's holistic. It's the visual elements. It's movement element, the headlines, the call to action, what page is advertising because sometimes is a big long title, and also even the profile picture, who's advertising the brand. And the another element is social- Where if you see a sponsor, it'll say so-and-so and so-and-so, Jim, and Jean, and John, and Trevor-

Nick McCoy: Also like this page.

Mari Smith: Exactly, Exactly. So that's what gives it more social proof so in what you're doing, you might be testing a whole other, more colder audience, so then especially if it's [inaudible 00:01:46], they can pick up into your website and you're testing that against testing an audience that's more social. Or you're doing a dark, unpublished versus my favorite preferred is always to start with an organic [inaudible 00:02:01] post. Give it to one to twenty-four hours, organic reach. Even though I know it's super low right now, you're training your people to be expecting really good educational content, especially a few likes. And then you'll get more, you get more reach.


Nick McCoy: Ah.

Mari Smith: Now, you put that out as an ad, people see "wait, a second, that's got 47 reactions and 25 comments and this."

Nick McCoy: It's kind of like a domino effect. People see that other people have already engaged with it then they're like, well, maybe I should engage with it as well.

Mari Smith: Exactly. Exactly.

Nick McCoy: What's the hardest lesson you learned while doing Facebook ads?

Mari Smith: Even just recently, here we are just February 2nd, Groundhog Day, by the way.

Nick McCoy: That's today?

Mari Smith: Yeah.

Nick McCoy: Same time tomorrow?

Mari Smith: So just that Facebook's released its quarterly report.

And the day before that I had made a video post, not live, but just a video montage with some words across it. I put a picture of Zuck in there. I didn't put an image in there, and long narrative was kind of almost like a narrative. So there was a number of elements. Somehow physically did not take my money. Tried to put five hundred dollars on there in different ways. The first was as manager, video views. It's not showing up. I want to put a link, an action link too. Go to my Ads manager in my phone. Go to my pages app to use the push button even though I don't use the push button that often.

That, to me, is so frustrating. Give me a different ad. I can guess. I can take an educated guess, go well "the narrative was too long" or "I have a picture of Zuckerberg" or maybe somehow the algorithms are like "oh, the text is bigger than 20 percent or whatever.

Nick McCoy: It's kind of more like one of those situations that you never stop learning. As much as you know, it's always a learning process. You're always coming up with something yo didn't know for it and changing your process.

Mari Smith: I study all the time. I actually study all the time. I study other people. Actually, one of my favorite things to do when I'm surfing through my newsfeed is, when I see video posts, I just hit save post. I [inaudible 00:04:32], why am I seeing this? I look and I see this person or "oh, that's interesting, they're targeting so-and-so [inaudible 00:04:43]."

Or I say, "oh, that's okay. This is the demographic." Or it will say that they've added to you to a list of customers that they'd like to reach and I'm like, "dang, you can do that?"

Nick McCoy: Looking at your News Feed fourteen times a day, what is the thing that's catching your attention? I read something the other day that was saying how should you structure the image of your ad.

Mari Smith: Yeah.

Nick McCoy: And you should picture it ... if someone was driving past it at 60 miles an hour, would they know what it means? Would they get the message?

Mari Smith: Yes. Instantly conveyed.

And ideally, not too much stock imagery, right?

It's competing among all your personal posts.

Nick McCoy: And video. I just wanted to hear your thoughts on lead-ads. Where do you think it's going and how you've kind of used it in your own campaigns.

Mari Smith: Yeah. Lead ads is a fairly new ads unit. Facebook is always trying to reduce friction and keeping people inside the app. Cause if you can imagine "circle circle circle, oh, that looks very interesting." And then as the catch line as it came up to this, this ad-unit was "tap, tap, duck."

So you go, "tap, sign up."

Then it will go "oh yeah, that's my tap. That's my e-mail."

"tap" You're done.

Nick McCoy: It pre-populates everything, yeah.

Mari Smith: Then you carry on surfing. Now it's sold by the user experience. Minimal clicks and taps. And some way to do ads because you can gather a whole lot of other information. Lead-ads are good at ultimately. There's some great contrast apps over there. You're allowing to click and log in with your Facebook and then that, you know the person who's posting the content can gather all that data.

Nick McCoy: We've been doing a lot of experimentation between sending people away from Facebook opposed to keeping them on. We've noticed that the cost per-lead, like collecting the lead is just so much like significantly lower, but I think that the challenge actually comes after you capture that lead. Are they actually getting the information that they want? So you set up kind of like an automated e-mail for them to receive that, so that's something that we have to perfect as well for the better.

But yeah, I think that's all we have time for today. Thank you so, so much. I really appreciate it.

Mari Smith: Yeah.

Nick McCoy: I just have to say, you might have seen some of Mari's videos online and she seems really lovely, but I have to say she's even lovelier in person. And I'm not just saying that because she's here. So yeah, thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

Interested in getting more tips for your marketing strategy, especially in regards to lead generation? We've got you covered with 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks, and Ideas. Click here to download this free guide and up your lead gen game!

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Let's chat about how you are using Facebook advertising for your business by leaving a comment below. 

Originally published February 6, 2017, updated August 7, 2018
Tags: social media Social Media Marketing Advertising PPC marketing advice