Jun '23 (edited) in Business & Strategy
1 thing ad agencies won't tell you having spent over $1m on ads
Paid ads are not the silver bullet that almost every marketer spruiks to business owners, though there is definitely a place for them in your marketing stack.
Over the past 10 years I have invested well over $500,000 on ads and before that I spent thousands a week before digital really kicked off.
I say most agencies because people like has one of the best agencies on the planet, we have worked together for a while. He is one of the few that will tell you how it is, I have complete trust in his team and him. If you are in any of Cole Gordon's programs, you will know Aaron from running his ads calls.
The main lesson is that if you want to grow a highly engaged, loyal audience who know like and trust you - there is really only one way.
Produce organic content and build your audience. When that works then you use ads to amplify your message and drive conversions faster, at much less cost to a warm audience.
That may take 1-2 years and for many people that is too far in the future so they don't invest. Yes there are methods of getting there faster, they require a complete commitment to a platform, you have to be a weapon at creating content and responding to it.
It also depends on your aim - ie how quick do you want a business to support you financially, what are your short, medium and long terms goals. Everyone is different.
Yes. There are plenty of insta famous marketers who say their account got up up very quickly, maybe in the old days though it is harder now, possibly with the exception of Tik Tok, or they had serious assets behind them. Ie large podcasts, books etc. They will not tell you this unless you do some digging. Why? Because otherwise they have nothing to sell.
One thing I can pretty much guarantee is that they put in a huge amount of time to get there.
If you want to take a deep dive listen to how Mr Beast built his platform, spending thousands of hours with his friends pouring over thumbnails and videos trying to identify virality. You can learn from him.
If you are bumbling away on your own you may stumble upon an audience and message though you cannot repeat so it is not a great strategy.
The core questions you need to ask before you start are:
Who am I serving (your avatar)
What is my method of engaging with them (your channel/s)
Unless your business is purely a passion play that may well change as well as your audience responds to your message.
Be truthful and be genuine.
As the great Eugene Schwartz said in Breakthrough Advertising, a book I highly recommend, you cannot copy someone else's strategy. What he means is that someone else's playbook will be different for you even if you have exactly the same product / service / customer/
The lessons I learned are:
  1. Don't over think or over engineer.
  2. Talk from your soul.
  3. If you have a new offer with no organic content then be prepared to spend significant ad dollars and invest time for testing. Expect a minimum of 3 cycles of 2 week testing, even if your offer is dialled in.
  4. You can test cheaper on fb than YT. YT is better for scaling.
  5. Pick the channels where your audience hangs out.
  6. I prefer YT for organic as it is a consumption platform ie people go to learn or be entertained. That content will last as long as YT does and it is searchable.
  7. You can run small daily budgets $10 or less to organic content on YT and use in feed ads, allow comments. You can even run $1-3 pd to every piece of YT content you have, warming up your audience. Reason being is you should expect 1-2c views. At 2c views and $1 pd you get 15,000 views per year per video. Then you have a warm audience to send more direct ads to.
Of course you could be the outlier that has scaled very quickly and cheaply though I bet you have a strategy behind that and if you do, please share.
I have rarely met 2 marketers with the same knowledge or strategy so be prepared to be frustrated, and be prepared that you will need to learn a lot yourself. In fact you should learn so much you master ads yourself then your ad spend, choice of landing a great marketer and ability to be profitable will all exponentially increase.
This will be the topic of this week's Q&A.
If you want to know more ping me a DM.
I recorded this video with Aaron a couple of years ago on my podcast though it still rings true.
Leave a comment and let me know your experience / challenges with paid and organic content.
Ed Andrew
1 thing ad agencies won't tell you having spent over $1m on ads
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