Ultimate Guide To Paid Advertising: How we boosted our ad engagement by 50% and you can too!
A few months ago we had started to hit a wall with our paid advertising here at Kajabi.
Our costs were going up.
Our reach was going down.
Maybe you can relate?
Paid advertising is a challenging and dynamic field.
We tried a whole bunch of different things and nothing seemed to be working.
Then we decided to test out a brand new STORY- based style of ad, and the results were explosive!
And just like that, we got more than a 50% boost in ad engagement!
Our engagement more than doubled, our cost per acquisition dropped and our ads started working again!
If you’re struggling with paid advertising on Facebook, Google or any other platform this post is for you.
In this article, we are going to go through everything you need to know about paid advertising for your business and teach you a brand-new strategy that is giving us explosive results here at Kajabi.
If you’re killing yourself to get affordable leads, turn those clicks into sales, or scale your business you are in the right place!
This article is for you if you are looking to boost ad engagement, lower your costs, and most importantly make more sales with paid advertising!
This article has something for everyone!
It’s perfect for beginners who are just starting out with online advertising or more advanced ad buyers who are looking to grow and scale their business!
Ultimately, this article is for you if you are sick and tired of spending money on ads only to see limited or even no real results!
To make it easier to read and put into action, we have broken this article up into 7 sections.
In section number one we are going to introduce you to paid advertising online, and explain why it’s so important for growing and scaling your business.
Section number two is going to be devoted to paid advertising terms and metrics. If you’ve ever wondered what CPA, CPM, or any other metric is, this section will teach you all about the most important metrics you need to know. And give you a list of the 45 most important terms for online advertising.
In section number three, we’re going to go through the differences between advertising on Facebook, Google Adwords, and on Bing. the three dominant platforms for paid advertising online.
Section number four will be on various types of ads. Don’t know a display ad from a promoted post? Don’t worry, after this section, you’ll be an expert on over 20 different types of ads and how to use them in your business.
In section number five, we’ll walk you through our story-based ads test that resulted in 50% more engagement! This is going to really help sky-rocket the success of your ad strategy!
Section number 6 is on how to implement story-based ads in your business. In this section, we’ll give you a step by step process for creating and implementing the story-based ad strategy we introduce in section 5 that led to a 50% boost in engagement.
And finally, in section number 7 we’ll recap everything you learned and give you your big takeaways!
Ready to get started!
Table of Contents:
- Section 1: What is paid advertising and why is it important?
- Section 2: What paid advertising metrics are important?
- Section 3: FB vs GA understanding the differences in platforms
- Section 4: Types of Ads
- Section 5: The Story-Based ads test
- Section 6: How to use this in your business
- Section 7: Re-cap
Section # 1: What is Paid Advertising and why is it important?
People use a lot of different terms to describe paid advertising online.
Some people call it search engine marketing, others call it paid channel marketing, or paid platform marketing, others call it pay per click or PPC.
Whatever you call it, the goal of paid advertising online is to pay to “drive” web traffic or visitors to your website, landing pages or sales offers.
Why is paid advertising important for your business?
There are 4 major reasons that paid advertising is important for your business.
First, paid advertising allows you to make sales and “buy” customers.
If you have a $197 product and you can get a customer through pay per click ads for $50 you make $147 of profit every time someone clicks on an ad and buys your product!
You’ll make that trade all day, and twice on Sundays!
By figuring out your cost per acquisition(CPA) or how much it costs you in advertising to actually get someone to buy, you figure out how much you can spend on advertising while still remaining profitable.
*Don’t worry if you’re a little confused by all the acronyms in section # 2 we’re going to give you a definitive list of all the metrics, and what they mean!
Paid advertising also allows you to scale your business.
If you can “buy” customers for $50 and be profitable then you can grow your business rather quickly by pumping $500, $1000, even $5000 a day into paid advertising knowing that you will get a new $197 customer for every $50 you spend!
If you get new customers for $50 and you spend $5000 you should get 100 customers and your return on ad spend (ROAS) would be $9,700.
This allows you to grow and scale your business fast!
The third reason to use paid advertising in your business is that paid advertising allows you to generate leads for a reasonably low cost.
By driving paid traffic to your lead magnets or opt-in forms you can grow your email list of prospective customers and then nurture them into buyers with email marketing.
Finally paid advertising helps you to get your business known.
Your paid ads online act as profile builders for an audience that might be totally unaware of you.
A recent study by Google showed that "search ads lift top-of-mind awareness by an average 6.6 percentage points.”
Even if your audience doesn’t click on your ads, just seeing them enough puts you “top of mind” when they have a problem that you can fix.
But don’t just take our word for it, let’s look at some of the most interesting statistics on paid advertising in 2019.
Statistics on paid advertising in 2019:
- 86% of all US consumers use the internet to search for products they are interested in.
- According to the latest data available, more than 7 million advertisers spent $10.1 billion on paid advertising in 2017.
- Website visitors who clicked through an online ad are 50% MORE likely to purchase than those visitors who find your website through an organic search!
- Almost 50% (46%) of all internet users are not able to tell the difference between a paid ad and an organic result.
- 46% of all search clicks go to the Top 3 paid advertising results.
- The highest-spending Industries for paid advertising in the past few years were retail, education, publishing, and travel.
- Home improvement, consumables and automotive have spent the least on paid advertising over the last 2 years.
- A report by Formstack, claims that Paid advertising is one of the three highest generators of on-page conversion.
- 65% of all clicks made by high purchasing intent users go to paid advertising.
- It’s not just online research, over 40% of smartphone users report using their smartphone to comparison shop inside brick and mortar retailers like Walmart and Target.
- Over 75% of people who search for something with a “Near me” or “Nearby” search end up visiting a store within one business day.
- The two largest publishers of online advertising are Google with 37.2 % of ALL online paid advertising and Facebook with 19.7% of all online ads.
Take-away: Paid advertising is important for making sales, growing your business, generating leads and expanding your profile. If you are not currently using paid advertising in your business, you are leaving money and potential customers on the table!
Section 2: What Paid Advertising metrics and terms are important?
What are Paid Advertising metrics?
Paid Advertising Metrics are measurements of how your ads are performing.
Metrics help you understand how well your ads are performing.
Some examples of metrics you’ll learn about in this section include:
- Cost per click (CPC)
- Cost per impression (CPM)
- Cost per lead (CPL)
- Cost per Conversions (CPA)
- And more
What are Paid Advertising terms?
Paid advertising terms are phrases and industry-specific words that are frequently used in the paid advertising community.
Some examples of paid advertising terms you need to know include:
- Ad Rank
- Ad position
- And more!
Now that you understand the difference between metrics and terms let’s get into
The Top 45 PPC Metrics and Terms You Need To Know To Master Paid Advertising:
- Keyword. Keywords are terms, topics, and phrases that your potential customers type into search engines like Google and Bing.
- Clickthrough Rate (CTR). Your clickthrough rate or CTR is the rate at which people who view your ad actually click on it.
- Conversion. A conversion occurs when your visitor clicks on your ad and then takes the desired action. Some common actions include filling out forms, opting in or purchasing products.
- Cost per acquisition bidding (CPA). With CPA bidding you are paying for your ads based on conversions. For example, you might pay $3 every time someone clicks on your ad and fills out your lead acquisition form.
- Cost-Per-Click (CPC). CPC bidding means you are paying for your ads based on how many clicks you get. You can see how much clicks cost across different industries in this wordstream post.
- Cost-Per-Lead (CPL). CPL is a bidding method where you pay for your ads based on how many leads you get. For example, if you paid $7.50 per lead acquired.
- Cost-Per-Phone Call (CPP). CPP is the bidding method by which you pay for your ads based on how many phone calls you receive. CPP can be a great option for businesses that make sales on the phone.
- Cost-Per-Thousand (CPM). CPM is the bidding method where you pay a certain price for every 1,000, 10,000, or 1 million impressions.
- Cost-Per-View (CPV) – Used with TrueView video campaigns, CPV charges you for ads based on how many times your video clip is viewed.
- Call Extensions. Call extensions let you add your phone number to an ad to get more phone calls to your business.
- Callout Extension. A callout extension allows you to expand your add to include an offer or specific promotion.
- Price extensions. Price extensions let you expand your ad to include up to 8 prices or offers of specific products. This is a great option for businesses that sell physical products or deliverables.
- Promotion Extension. Promotion extensions expand your ad to let you promote specific offers you have. Promotion extensions should be used to promote your best-converting offer.
- Seller Rating Extension. A seller rating extension which when activated will display your business’ rating in stars or % format from Google approved sources. Make sure that you know your feedback is positive before you turn on this extension or negative feedback will be displayed with your ads.
- Sitelinks Extensions. Sitelinks are extensions which allow you to include links to other parts of your website such as a community, or your about page. Use these extensions when you have a lot of traffic looking for specific parts of your website to make them easier to find and improve your user experience.
- Display/Content Network. A curated collection of websites, videos, and apps where your ads can be placed. Google calls its network the Display Network. Bing’s network is called the Content Network
- Bidding types. There is more than one way to pay for your online ads. These ways are referred to as bidding types. The 3 most common ways to bid are by impression (CPM), Conversions (CPA) and Clicks (CPC). You should make a point to experiment with each type of bid in your business.
- Audiences. Audiences are the people you are trying to reach. Google and Facebook have different levels of granularity in their targeting but you can define your audience by things like income, occupation, and location.
- Ad Delivery. Ad delivery allows you to control what time your ads are displayed and how quickly Google uses your daily budget.
- Daily Budget. Your daily budget is the maximum amount you are willing to spend per day on your ads.
- Remarketing. Remarketing is the process by which you deliver ads to people who have already visited your website or landing page.
- Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA). RLSA is a feature that target your search ads to people who have already visited your site leading to higher conversion rates!
- Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) The amount of money you can expect to earn after you subtract the cost of your ads.
- Ad rank. Ad Rank is a value used by Google to determine which position your ads show up in. Your ad rank is determined by your quality score and bid.
- Adwords Campaign Experiment (ACE). Campaign experiments allow you to test elements of your ads like headlines, copy and offers against your existing ads.
- Avg Cost per click (CPC). The average amount that you pay when someone clicks on their link. Regardless of whether they buy or not.
- Bid. A bid is how much you agree to pay for a click, conversion or 1,000 impressions.
- Bounce rate. The bounce rate is the rate at which people leave your site or landing page without going to a second page.
- Broad Match. Broad match is the default matching option for your ads. With broad match enabled, your ads will be displayed on ANY search term that includes your keyword.
- Broad match modifier (BMM). Broad match modifier allows you to include variants of your matches like misspellings, abbreviations, and even synonyms. Be careful when using the broad match modifier that you don’t make your searches too broad.
- Exact Match. Exact match is the type of matching where your ads will only show up when the search terms are entered in the correct order.
- Campaign. Campaigns are specific sets of ad groups which include keywords, bids, and your actual ads. You can run unlimited campaigns on all ad platforms.
- Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI). DKI is a feature which allows you to customize your ads to include keywords.
- Frequency Capping. With frequency capping, you make sure that people only see your ad a certain number of times.
- Impressions. The amount of people who your ads are displayed for.
- Impression share. Impression share is the number of impressions you received compared to the number of impressions you were eligible to receive. Your impression share is based on a variety of factors from quality score to targeting.
- Longtail keyword. Long Tail keywords are search phrases which are 2 words or more. Long Tail keywords are great targets for creating comprehensive content like our Ultimate Guide Series.
- Manual Bidding. A bidding option where you select how much you pay per bid manually.
- Smart Bidding. Smart bidding is the automatic bidding option where Google’s algorithm decides on your bids and placements automatically. Be careful when using smart bidding as often times the algorithm doesn’t fully understand your business or customers outside of their keywords.
- Negative keywords. Negative keywords are keywords you do not want your ads to show up in searches for. For example, if you had a dating product on stopping your divorce and fixing your relationship, you might make “Divorce lawyer” or “Divorce forms” negative keywords.
- Quality Score. Your quality score is a partially opaque algorithm used to determine your ad's position and rank.
- Text ad. The most common type of ad. A text ad is text only, no video or pictures.
- Image ad. An ad which uses a static image plus text.
- Trueview video. Trueview video ads are Google Adwords version of video ads which can be displayed in-stream, in-search or in the display.
- View-through conversion. A measurement of how many people saw your ad didn’t click but ended up buying from you or taking another conversion action within 30 days!
Take-Away: Paid advertising has its own set of metrics by which ads are measured as well as terms by which it is discussed. Make sure to familiarize yourself with all 45 terms and metrics before moving on to the next section. And if you ever forget what a term or metric means refer back to this section.
Section 3: FB vs GA vs Bing understanding the differences in platforms.
Are you confused about whether you should advertise on Facebook or Google Adwords?
Not to mention Bing (BA)
Every day there’s another article touting Facebook ads (FBA) or Google Adwords (GA) as the new gold rush.
If you’ve ever done any research into online business, you’re no doubt being shown ads by people like Tai Lopez, Sam Ovens, and others touting the latest breakthrough in online advertising or business building.
But how do you know who to trust?
In this section, we’re going to lay out everything you need to know about Facebook ads, Google Adwords and Bing ads so that you can make an informed choice.
The truth is that there is no one size fits all answer about what platform you should advertise on.
Every business is different and as you’ll see in our breakdowns certain types of businesses like coaches do better on Facebook, while other types of businesses do better on Google Adwords.
And we’ll even explain why everyone should be using Bing: Hint it’s because it’s still markedly cheaper than the other two and has a comparable reach.
Let’s get started by taking a look at the pros and cons of Facebook Ads.
Facebook first rolled out Facebook ads way back in 2007. Since then FB ads have grown to become the 2nd biggest online advertising platform, as well as one of the top sources of revenue for Facebook.
Here are some other statistics on Facebook Ads:
- 26% of all users in this survey who clicked on ads reported making purchases!
- 93% of social media advertisers use Facebook.
- Cost per ad rose 18% in Q2 of 2018 while impressions rose 21%.
- Internet users spend one-third of their time online across social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
- Google and Facebook Ads are the two largest advertisers on the Internet. Google represents 37.2% of the entire digital advertising market, while Facebook is responsible for 19.6% of all online ads.
Setting up FB ads:
To set up Facebook ads you will need a Facebook business page and a credit card.
Once you have your business page set up you will be able to set up Facebook Ads Manager.
From ads manager you will select “Create a new campaign” and you will be directed through the process of selecting an ad type (Which we will discuss in section 4), a marketing objective, and will allow you to upload your marketing assets like images and videos.
Finally, you will select a daily budget and time period you want your ads to run for!
Now you’re ready to start advertising on Facebook ads!
The Pros and Cons of Facebook Ads:
- Granular Targeting. The first major positive for Facebook is the level of granular targeting it gives you when selecting an audience. You can target audiences based on demographics, interests, and behaviors. So if for example, you had a product for new Moms you could target Mothers on FBA who recently announced baby showers! This level of granular reach is not available on GA or BA.
- Reach. 1.59 billion people log in to Facebook daily as of July 2019. While organic reach has been diminished a little there is still no doubt that Facebook allows you to reach a huge amount of people fairly inexpensively.
- Advertising options. Another bright spot for FBA is that it gives you a wide variety of options for your ads. You can create carousel ads, single images, collections, videos, boost posts and even send ads through Facebook messenger. As you’ll see in section 4.
- Competition. As you can see from your Facebook feed, the competition on FBA is pretty fierce. Especially in the coaching, business building space.
- Shady Reporting. Facebook’s ad reporting has had a shocking number of misrepresentations that always seem to favor the Facebook balance sheet. Most notably when FB overestimated video views by up to 79%. Additionally Ads expert Justin Brooke has discussed moving a majority of his ads to GA from FBA because in his targeting for customers in their between 25-45 he has seen ads being delivered to teenagers.
- No searcher Intent. The last negative to FBA is that Facebook is a social network not a search network so the people your ads are being displayed to might not have an immediate need for your product or even be in the market for what you sell, like in the case of a person who buys a car and is still being shown ads for car dealerships months later.
Google AdWords started all the way back in 2000 with just 350 advertisers.
Today Google Adwords is the dominant internet advertising platform with more than 30% of all ads shown online being shown through the Google Network.
Google AdWords is a little more complicated than Facebook ads, which can be intimidating for some business owners.
But that won’t be you after you read this section!
Google Adwords Stats:
- On Google alone, there are more than 160 BILLION searches every month.
- Besides just Google, the Google Display network reaches an additional 2 million websites and applications within the Google Adwords system.
- 36% of ALL mobile are local searches use Google. If you have a local business or brick and mortar location, you HAVE to be advertising on Google Adwords!
- For every $ 1 the average business spends on Google Adwords, the average return is $3.60.This is one of the highest returns on spend in the entire advertising industry.
- Visitors who find your site through a Google Adwords ad are about 50% more likely to purchase than web visitors who found your website through an organic search.
- Google has a lot of statistics to suggest that even just displaying ads to your target audience can drive up to 80% more brand awareness when compared with businesses that do not run Google Adwords. Obviously you want to take everything Google says about their ads business with a grain of salt but there are clear statistics that demonstrate the effectiveness of Google Adwords for growing brand awareness.
Setting up Google Adwords Ads:
To set up Google Adwords you’ll head over to Ads.google.com
From there you will be prompted to set up your Google Ads account.
And taken to an overview page.
From the overview page, you will click on campaigns, followed by creating a new campaign.
After you create a new campaign, you will be asked what the goal of your campaign is and what your goal for the campaign is.
You can choose from a variety of options from making sales to getting website traffic.
You’ll then be asked to select a campaign type from options like search, display, and video.
Then you’ll be asked to select how you want to reach your campaign goals.
Next, you will be taken to your campaign settings page to name your campaign and make your selections and pick your audience.
As you can see from the targeting images your options for targeting are much more limited here than they are on FBA.
After you make your campaign suggestions you will be taken to name and set up your ad groups.
Then you will write your ads, and upload your creative assets like images and videos.
And finally, you will confirm your ads and set up payment!
Now that you know how to set up your GA ads let’s look at the pros and cons of Google Adwords!
Pros and cons of Google Adwords:
- Top of the line ad reporting. Google Adwords reporting is the most robust best ad reporting in the industry. Your Adwords ads will be tracked meticulously with almost any metric or report you could imagine.
- Increased ad size with extensions. Since 2016 Google has consistently expanded the ad size adding various extensions to let you give your ad viewer more information. These extensions allow you to add offers, phone numbers and other information to help improve your user experience and boost your quality score.
- Target different stages of buyer journeys. Because Google is a search network the people who view your ads will be searching for solutions to their problems at various parts of the buyer journey. You can set up different ads at the top of your buyer’s journey, in the middle and at the bottom while reaching users in each various phase.
- Strict Approval Processes. GA has very strict approval processes and policies regarding what can and cannot be advertised using GA. Additionally, you cannot use punctuation or symbols in your Google ads making it difficult to write persuasive copy.
- High CPC. Certain industries like Legal ($6.75 per click) and Consumer Services ($6.40 per click) have extremely high costs per click regardless of whether or not the visitor purchases.
- Quality Score. Your ads will be judged not just by your budget but also by your quality score an algorithm which Google does not share publicly which grades your landing pages, relevance, and other factors to determine how often to display your ads.
Bing is Microsoft’s answer to Google Adwords.
Before 2006 Microsoft was happy to use an outside company called Overture to display ads on the Bing network.
But in 2006 Microsoft advertising which later became Bing ads was born.
- Bing ads allow you to reach over 162 million unique searchers, making up around 30% of total search engine share and over 6 billion searches a month.
- Bid prices on Bing are lower than on FBA or GA and have lower competition.
- With more ads displayed at the top of the page, you have a greater chance to have your ads in the top spots!
- While it is a small sample size, one advertiser found his bounce rate was over 8% lower on Bing ads than on the same ads in Google Adwords.
Setting up Bing ads:
In order to set up Bing ads you must first create an account on ads.microsoft.com.
Though if you already use Microsoft office products like word you may already have an account.
Once your account is set up you will be asked if you want to import your campaigns from Google Adwords or create a new campaign.
This is a SUPER helpful feature because it will allow you to start with your GA audiences, ad groups etc instead of creating them from scratch.
Bing’s ad creation tool is VERY simple to use.
It might even be the easiest ad creator of the three.
You’ll select your campaign settings, location, keywords, and audience and set your budget all on one page.
Once your ad is created you are ready to go live!
It’s that simple!
Pros and Cons of Bing:
- Import Your GA Campaigns! The number one benefit of Bing ads is that you can import your campaigns making it super easy and fast to run the same campaigns you run on GA on Bing!
- More Granular Targeting Than GA. Bing ads give you increased targeting options for more granular targeting than Google Adwords gives you. Though they still are not as granular as FBA.
- Higher Engagement Rates. Bing ads tend to get higher engagement rates. A study by The Search Engine People found that clicks on Bing in the automotive industry got 10-56% more engagement on Bing, while CPC was 32% lower!
- Less traffic. There’s no way around it, Bing’s audience is MUCH smaller than both Google Adwords and Facebook ads.
- Tracking. While Bing does offer good tracking and analytics it lags behind Google Analytics. You will probably need to install Google Analytics on your website even if you mostly use Bing ads.
- No negative keyword feature. Unlike Google Adwords, Bing does not allow you to set negative keywords to make sure that your ads don’t show up in searches that don’t contain the right intent or context.
Take-away: Each of the three main advertising platforms online has pros and cons. You need to do some research and make an informed decision before starting any paid advertising program. If you are just starting out, don’t be afraid to test your ads on all platforms to find the right fit.
Section 4: The 20 Types of Google Adwords, Bing, and Facebook ads.
Now that you know how to set up ads on Google Adwords, Bing and Facebook, let’s get into the different types of ads you can run on each platform.
Google Adwords Ad Types:
- Text ads. Text ads are text only. Text ads can be extended using extensions like the site extension and the phone number extension.
- Responsive ads. Responsive ads automatically adjust the ad based on the placement. A responsive ad could display as a text ad in a certain placement and a video ad in another.
- Image ads. Image ads have text and images.
- App promotion ads. App promotion ads are specifically used to encourage the viewer to download and install an app.
- Video ads. Video ads appear on Youtube and use a video clip along with the ad text. There are two types of video ads on Google Adwords; bumper ads and out-stream ads. Bumper ads are 6-second clips which display before a video and cannot be skipped. Outstream ads are mobile-only ads that play on sites in the Google Display Network.
- Product Shopping ads. Product shopping ads allow you to display ads for products in the same ad. Product shopping ads include image, title, price, and your store or business name.
- Showcase shopping ads. Showcase shopping ads allow you to display many related products in the same ad grouped together. This is helpful for when people are trying to decide where to buy a more generic term like “running shoes.”
- Call-only ads. Call only ads are for businesses that want to drive phone calls with their ads and pay on a cost per call basis. Call-only ads give you Two headlines, your business name and phone number, two descriptions, your display URL and verification URL.
Bing Ad Types:
- Audience ads. The basic bing ad type. Bing’s version of a text ad which is targeted to a more granular based audience.
- App install ads. App install ads are a mobile-only type of ad which focuses on getting the viewer to download and install the app on their mobile phone.
- Dynamic search ads. Are a unique Bing only type ad which create ads for search terms relevant to your website’s content.
- Expanded Text Ads. Expanded text ads are regular text ads which have been expanded by extensions for things like
- Responsive search ads. Responsive search ads are ads which allow you to set 3-15 headlines and 2-4 ad descriptions within a single ad. Bing will then manage the ad so that it displays the optimal headline and description in your ad.
Facebook ad types:
- Video ads. Video ads are ads in the shape of a video which shows up in your viewer’s feed. Video ads can be a great way to reach your audience but remember Facebook has exaggerated views in the past up to 79%.
- Photo ads. Photo ads contain an image, some ad copy and a button or link to whatever you are promoting.
- Slideshow ads. Slideshow ads allow you to use multiple pictures to tell a story, demonstrate your product or show off testimonials from satisfied customers.
- Carousel ads. Carousel ads are similar to slideshow ads except they usually use different images and different products. With carousel ads, you create “cards” and they are displayed sort of like a product catalogue.
- Canvas ads. Canvas ads are mobile ads which seek to create a “full-screen” experience photos, videos, GIFs, text, and CTA buttons.
- Dynamic Product Ads. Dynamic product ads automatically promote your products to people who have previously clicked on your ads or website. These ads are Facebook’s version of re-targeting.
- Lead Form Ads. Lead form ads allow you to collect leads for your business or for specific services like coaching.
Take-away: There are 20 different types of ads you can test on Bing, Google Adwords, and Facebook ads. Be sure to start slow by selecting 1 type of ad on each platform, but test out each of these 20 types of ads to find the right kind for your business.
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Section 5: The Story-Based ads test
Here at Kajabi, we have done a multitude of testing on our ad copy and creative to find the best mix- what we found was shocking!
Story-telling ads outperformed regular ads by almost 50%!
Before we get into the specifics of our story-based ads stats let's look at a few compelling statistics about storytelling:
Stats On storytelling:
- 92% of consumers want brands to make ads feel like stories.
- The brain processes images and 60 X faster than words. That’s 60,000 times faster!
- Messages delivered through stories are up to 22 X more memorable than just facts alone. That’s about 22,000 better!
- Stories engage the viewer's emotions and research has shown 95% of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously using emotion rather than logic.
- 69% of experimentees in this study believed a story version rather than the same set of facts presented without a story.
Now let's get into that test!
First, we created a web page that was all about simplifying your business.
We started with a simple ad similar to what is recommended by many other gurus, namely an exciting and brightly colored image and something simple in the text with a clear call to action.
As you can see this post got almost 0 engagement.
No comments, no shares, nothing to see here.
So we decided to test a new approach.
We shot a video that told a compelling and relatable story matching our target audience and added some spice to the copy.
Our goal was to create that perfect image to compel our audience to watch the video and take action from there.
It did much better- lots of people stayed and watched the story in the video.
However, this ad still wasn’t getting the kind of engagement we knew was possible.
Our click-through rates stayed around 1% and clearly the reactions and comments weren’t coming in as much as we’d like.
So we did something different. We ditched the video and tried running an ad with a simple picture and a story in just the copy itself.
This was the winner.
This ad was simple, just a picture of one of our employees, some headline text, and a great story in our copy.
What we found is that people related to this ad in a different way.
They felt like they WERE Mike from our story, they knew his struggle and they were emotionally connecting to how he overcame it.
This was a breakthrough for us!
Never before had we as a software company been able to really connect to our prospective audience in a way that emotionally moved them to really dive in until this story-based ad.
This ad wasn’t only good for engagement either.
When we told this story we saw amazing things happen for clicks and conversions.
To start with we TRIPLED our click-through rate (CTR).
Our relevance score skyrocketed and our cost per click was less than ½ of what it was for our next best performing ad.
Then we saw the conversions come in.
This ad alone brought in more conversions in the first 30 days than the entire funnel had seen in the 30 days prior!
And the only difference?
Focusing on telling a story.
From here we knew that for Kajabi telling stories in the COPY was the golden ticket to creating dynamite engagement for this campaign.
The emotional connection of the story is what makes the engagement, and ad as a whole, successful.
Takeaway: Stories form emotional connections with the reader and help you create a bond by showing you understand your audience and their problems. Thus increasing your engagement, clicks, and conversions!
Section 6: How to use this in your business
Ok, now that you know exactly what we did at Kajabi and why it worked, let’s jump into some specifics for how you can create your own story based ads.
And if you want to download out “Done for You” Story Based ads template, you can get that here.
There are 5 steps to using story-based ads in your business.
We’ll take a bird’s eye look first and then we’ll get into the process of creating these ads step by step.
5 Steps to Creating Story-Based Ads:
- Find the stories your audience wants to hear. The first step is to do some audience research to figure out what stories your audience wants to hear along their customer journey. This is where avatar building and developing your meta-messages comes in.
- Create Story-Based Videos. The second step is to create a story based videos. These could be testimonials like we do without Heart of a Hero series. Or they could be your personal story of how you became successful.
- Turn Videos into story-based ad pages. Once you have videos, you’re going to turn those story-based ad pages with video clips, story-based text and an opt-in box to join your mailing list and get the full story-based video.
- Start with Re-targeting. Next, you’re going to start with paid advertising by re-targeting those ads on Google Adwords and Facebook ads. With re-targeting you display the ads first to people who have already visited your website or engaged with your content.
- Scale! Finally, you begin to expand your ads out to other “cold” audiences who have not already expressed interests with well-targeted campaigns based on your avatars.
Sound a little complicated?
Don’t worry it’s super easy once we get going.
Let’s start with step 1: finding the stories your audience wants to hear.
Step 1 - Find the Stories Your Audience Wants to Hear.
Hopefully, you already know what stories your audience might respond to.
But if you don’t, we’re going to help you figure it out in this section.
5-steps to finding the stories your audience wants to hear:
- Find Them Online
- Define the Demographics and Psychographics of your audience online.
- What are their problems, goals, and desires?
- What stories solve their problems, moves them towards their goals, and stokes their desire?
- Fit your stories into the Buyer’s Journey.
The first step to finding your audience’s stories is to find your audience online.
Where do they hang out and ENGAGE with people?
Are they in the comment section of a certain blog?
Are they on Twitter?
Are they in a certain forum or facebook group?
Are they members of a paid community?
Do they listen to a certain podcast?
Follow certain gurus?
Use certain technologies?
Make a list of the most ACTIVE blogs, forums, communities, podcasts and social media channels for discussing what you teach.
And spend time there looking for their problems, goals, and desires.
Step 2: Figure out the demographics and psychographics:
Once you’ve found 2-3 places where your audience consistently gathers, it’s time to do a little research and flesh out their demographics and psychographics.
Demographics are things like:
- Relationship status
- Income Bracket
The easiest way to find demographic information is to use social media.
First, find a few other similar businesses in your industry, and see who they follow and interact with.
Forums and blog comment sections are another goldmine for finding out the demographic information of your audience.
Once you have your basic demographics above you’ll want to move on to the psychographics.
Psychographics are people’s attitudes, behaviors, and aspirations.
These are the “Lifestyle Factors.”
How people define themselves as “Preppy” or “Sporty” or “Conservative.”
Some psychographics include:
- Likes on FB
- Purchasing Behavior
- Recent life events like divorce, or having a child
- Personality Types
- Political affiliation
Psychographics are important because they help you flesh out who the person is and what is important to them.
Step # 3: Find your audience’s problems, goals, and desires!
Once you have a list of demographics and psychographics, it’s time to find their problems, goals, and desires!
You’re going to go back to that list you made in step # 1 of where your audience hangs out online, then you’re going to go there and look for posts about their problems, goals, and desires.
You’re looking for the 3-5 MOST common problems your audience is asking online not every single problem anyone has run into.
After you have a really solid list of your audience’s problems, it’s time to figure out what their goals are.
Just like with the problems you’re looking for 3-5 of the most common goals.
Finally, what is it that your audience TRULY desires?
What is it that they are really buying your product or service to achieve.
For example, A single man might join a gym because he has a goal of losing 20 lbs or a problem fitting into his clothes.
But his REAL desire might be to become more attractive to the opposite sex.
Figuring out your audience’s TRUE desire can be the most difficult part of the research process but if you crack it, the results will be EXPLOSIVE!
Step # 4 What Stories Solve your audience’s problems, Move them towards their goals, and Stoke their desires?
Now you know who your audience is and what their top 3-5 problems, goals, and desires are.
In this step, we’re going to find some stories that match those problems, goals, and desires.
There are two types of stories you’re going to use:
- Testimonial stories. With testimonial stories, you’re going to feature people who have used your product or service and showcase how it helped them.
- Personal Stories. With personal stories, you are going to explain how you solved a problem, moved towards a goal or fulfilled a desire in your own life or business.
Testimonial stories are the best kind of story-based ad because they show someone who is similar to your audience who had the same problems, goals, and desires, but overcame them.
With testimonial stories, the most important thing is that your testimonials match your audience’s language, problems, goals, and desires.
For example here at Kajabi one of the biggest problems our users have is that they have to try to stitch or “band-aid” together multiple online systems.
So we created a testimonial story-based ad with two of our heroes Bonnie and Elissa. In this ad, they both talk about how stressful, and expensive having to bandaid all of these systems together was.
This matches the language our audience uses, solves the problem of band-aiding multiple systems together, and stokes the desire of our audience to grow their business!
Cool, now let’s talk about personal stories.
With personal stories you are talking about yourself solving a problem, moving closer to a goal or reaching your desire.
There are a couple of reasons to use a personal story.
The first reason is if you are running a solopreneur or personality-based business.
If you are a speaker, coach, consultant, author or influencer, your personality is your brand.
Personal stories help you bond with your audience.
Marketing guru Gary Vayneurchuck uses personal story based ads expertly!
You can find ads with Gary talking about finding meaning in life, hustling 24/7, or using social media to grow your business.
In these ads, Gary talks about his own personal stories and inspires others to take action.
Solving their problems, moving towards their goals or going after their desires.
The second reason to run personal story based ads is that you don’t yet have success stories.
If your business is just starting out or you are adding a new product or service to your offerings, then using a personal story is a great way to show that what you do works and explain why.
Step # 5: Fitting your stories into your Buyer’s Journey!
This is a crucial step that most course creators NEVER think about.
There are 4 stages of awareness in the buyer’s journey, they are:
Stage 1: Totally unaware. The totally unaware person knows things are BAD but they aren’t sure exactly what the problem is yet.
Stage 2: Problem-Aware. People that are problem aware know what the problem is but they aren’t exactly sure what to do about it.
Stage 3: Solution-Aware. The solution aware person now has an idea of what they are doing wrong and what the solution is,
Stage 4: Niche-Aware. The last stage of awareness is when the person knows about the niche you teach in.
Along your buyer’s journey, different stories will appeal to them.
For example, people in the totally unaware stage might need to see an inspiring personal story of quitting your job and starting a business to make them aware of that possibility.
People in the problem-aware stage want to know WHY they are having this problem.
A person in the problem-aware stage may know he has a weight problem, but he’s not quite sure what to do about or how it happened.
A video explaining how a client gained 30 lbs right after college due to taking a desk job with a sedentary lifestyle will explain why a problem is happening and what the person can do to move towards their goal.
People in the Solution-Aware stage know what the problem is and why it’s happening. They just aren’t sure what to do about it.
Going back to the Kajabi bandaid example, here the person knows they are paying too much and spending too much time band-aiding their system together, but they aren’t sure what to do about it.
Finally, people in the Niche-Aware stage know what their problem is, why they have it and what the potential solutions are but want to know what the differences are between you and your competitors.
A great example of a story based ad for this stage of awareness came from the Burger King “Beyond Meat” campaign. In the campaign Burger King directly targeted people who were looking for meat alternatives with the message that Burger King’s beyond meat burger was the tastiest option.
Action Step: Use the research tips above to find the stories that solve your audience’s problems, move them towards their goals, and stoke their desires throughout the ENTIRE buyer’s journey from totally-unaware through niche aware. You should have at least 4 stories by the end of this process for each stage of awareness.
Step 2 - Create story-based videos
Once you have your 4 stories, it’s time to create story-based videos.
If you’re going to use testimonial videos, this means:
- Scheduling(and probably re-scheduling) interviews with your clients.
- Writing 10-12 questions to help your client tell their story. Be sure to send these questions to your clients before the interview so they get an idea of what you’re going to ask them.
- Recording the video. Ideally, you would do this in person but you can also record using Zoom or Facebook Live.
- Editing the video for various ad formats. If you’re not experienced with video editing but want an easy to use software check out Wevideo. It’s super easy to use and allows you to add graphics, royalty-free music and more.
- Uploading various versions of the Ad to Youtube, Facebook, and Bing.
If you’re going to do a personal story-based video, then you will need to do the following:
- Write a script for the ad. You’ll want to be sure to write various versions for different placements.
- Record the ad. You’ll want to make sure your ad looks professional but not too professional. With personal stories authenticity is key so you can actually record some versions of these ads on your smartphone!
- Editing the video for various ad formats. If you’re not experienced with video editing and don’t have time to learn you can use sites like Fiverr and Upwork to hire video professionals for reasonable rates.
- Upload your video ads to Facebook, Bing, and Youtube.
Ok, so you have video ads, but where do those video ads lead?
To story-based landing pages, which we will talk about now in step # 3!
Step 3 - Turn Your Videos Into Story Based Landing Pages!
Once you have recorded your videos and edited them into ad formats, you want to create a story based landing pages for the people who click through your ads.
A story based landing page is a page which tells your story and has an opt-in box for your visitors to join your email list.
On these landing pages, you’re going to have a few simple elements:
- A Problem, goal or desire based headline: In your headline you want to speak directly to the BIGGEST problem, goal, or desire your audience has.
- A BOLD sub-headline which speaks to another problem, goal or desire.
- A short 60-90 second video clip expanding on the story ad. This clip is like the “Coming Attractions” for your full story video. This clip should be juicy enough to entice the viewer to sign up for your email list to get the full video. Make sure that your video is displayed in the middle of the page and start to play automatically when someone visits!
- A short 300-500 word version of the story. In this short version of the story, you’re going to summarize the story that is being told in your short 60-90 second clip, not the full story in the full version of the video.
- Sign up boxes. There should be two sign up boxes on your story based landing page. The first should be to the right of the video box. The second should be at the bottom of the page after the story.
These pages are SUPER easy to build with drag and drop page building software like Kajabi and Leadpages.
Once you have created a story-based ad page for all of your ads, you are ready to begin running some paid advertising!
And the easiest way to get started with paid advertising is by retargeting your ads to people who have already visited your website.
Step 4 - Start with re-targeting.
Retargeting is a form of paid advertising where your ads are only shown to people who have either already visited your website or joined your mailing list.
Starting with re-targeting is a great strategy because you are showing your ads to people who are already sort of familiar or interested in your business.
There are two basic strategies for retargeting
The first is to optimize your bids so that you increase your spend to show ads to people who have visited your website in the last 30 days. You can also display a different ad to people who have already visited your site, browsed a specific product or abandoned an item in your shopping cart.
The second way to use retargeting is to have your ads show on broader terms for people who have visited your website.
For example, if you have an online sporting goods store you could begin to show ads for terms like “shoes” to people who have already purchased from your store in the last 30 days.
Here’s how to set up retargeting in Google Adwords:
First, you need to create a remarketing list and add what’s called a “remarketing tag” to EVERY PAGE of your website.
A remarketing tag is a piece of code that reminds Google to add every visitor who accepts a cookie on your website to your remarketing list.
*If you’ve ever wondered why some of the websites you go through make you click on an “Allow cookies” button, retargeting ads to you is the reason.
It’s super important to add it to every page of your website especially any pieces of content or landing pages you drive traffic to.
After you install and test the remarketing tag and your audience reaches 1000 cookies you will be able to use retargeting to reach your audience.
Bing uses a very similar system and even allows you to upload previous retargeting campaigns from Google.
Facebook’s retargeting requires you to use a Facebook pixel as well as a catalog and dynamic ads.
or example A single man might join a gym because he has a goal of losing 20 lbs or a problem fitting into his clothes.
Once you’ve got a few weeks of retargeting experience, you’re ready to begin scaling your paid ads to other “colder” audiences.
Step 5 - Scale!
The last step to using story-based ads is to scale your advertising to “colder” audiences.
So far you have only advertised to people who have already visited your website.
Now we’re going to expand your ads to a broader audience based on the research you’ve already done.
There are 2 metrics you need to pay attention to when it comes to scaling your ads.
The first is CPA or cost per acquisition.
This is how much it costs you to buy a customer through paid advertising online.
If you have a $60 product and it costs you $12 to acquire a new customer through your ads your profit is $48 on each purchase(Not counting any other costs you have like manufacturing, overhead etc).
But what if you have a $60 product and your CPA is $65?
You might think that means you have to go back to the drawing board and re-do your entire campaign but that might not be true.
Many businesses including our own Kajabi Hero Brendon Burchard, actually lose money on the first purchase their customers make.
Through what’s called Lifetime Customer Value or LTV.
With LTV you are going to look at how much the average customer spends with you over the first 30, 60, or 90 days after purchase.
If you have multiple products and offers, sell a recurring product or service, or have upsells on your initial offer your Lifetime Customer Value could be higher than your CPA even if your CPA exceeds your first purchase.
For example, if your CPA is $65 for a $60 average sale, but your 90-day LTV is $108 you can pay $65 to acquire a $60 customer and still be profitable within the next 90 days.
Action Step: Figure out your 30,60, and 90-day Lifetime value for your customers.
Once you know your LTV and your CPA it’s very easy to figure out how much you can afford to spend on paid advertising.
As well as how many new customers you can expect each month based on that spend.
Just be sure that if you run a service-based business like coaching or consulting that you can provide amazing service to all of your new customers!
Take-away: The two key metrics for scaling your ads are; CPA and LTV. You can even lose money on the first sale if your lifetime value is high enough.
Section 7: Re-cap: The Ultimate Guide To Paid Advertising:
Wow, that was A LOT of information!
Before we send you out to do battle in the paid advertising arena, let’s quickly recap everything you learned in this post.
In section number one we introduced you to paid advertising online and explained why it’s so important for growing and scaling your business.
Take-away from section 1: Paid advertising is important for making sales, growing your business, generating leads and expanding your profile. If you are not currently using paid advertising in your business, you are leaving money and potential customers on the table!
Section number two was devoted to paid advertising terms and metrics. Your days of being confused by terms or metrics are over as you learned 45 of the most important terms and metrics for paid ads.
Take-Away from section 2: Paid advertising has its own set of metrics by which ads are measured as well as terms by which it is discussed. Make sure to familiarize yourself with all 45 terms and metrics before, and if you ever forget what a term or metric means refer back to this section.
In section number three, we went through the differences between advertising on Facebook, Google Adwords, and on Bing. the three dominant platforms for paid advertising online.
Take-away from section 3: Each of the three main advertising platforms has pros and cons. You need to do some research and make an informed decision before starting any paid advertising program. If you are just starting out, don’t be afraid to test your ads on all platforms to find the right fit.
Section number four was on various types of ads. You learned 20 different types of ads you can use on Google Adwords, Bing ads, and Facebook ads.
Take-away: There are 20 different types of ads you can test on Bing, Google Adwords, and Facebook ads. Be sure to start slow by selecting 1 type of ad on each platform, but test out each of these 20 types of ads to find the right kind for your business.
In section number five, we walked you through our story-based ads test that resulted in 50% more engagement! And explained why this strategy will work for you!
Take-away: Stories form emotional connections with the reader and help you create a bond by showing you understand your audience and their problems. Thus increasing your engagement, clicks, and conversions!
Section number 6 was on how to implement story-based ads in your business. In this section, we gave you a step by step process for creating and implementing the story-based ad strategy we introduced in section 5 that led to a 50% boost in engagement.
Take-away: The two key metrics for scaling your ads are; CPA and LTV. You can even lose money on the first sale if your lifetime value is high enough.
You are now ready to start rocking your business with story-based ads.
Get out there and create engaging ads today!
If you need help with things like creating story-based landing pages, or integrating the opt-in for your email list check out a 14-day FREE trial of Kajabi and see how easy running your business online can be!
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