Your Go-to Guide for Facebook Ads: Five Lessons from BlitzMetrics & Dennis Yu
Learn. Do. Teach.
These three words represent the central theme of BlitzMetrics. I believe they also summarize the missing link in many formal and informal educational programs in higher education and digital marketing space. So many self- or other-claimed experts and gurus selling products and services do NOT practice what they teach.
Not only did I learn a lot about Facebook ads, but also for the first time ever, I truly felt what it meant to learn from someone who has mastered his craft, and who embraces a forever student mindset, practices what he teaches, and goes above and beyond to empower the next generation through teaching, mentoring, and coaching.
These three words — learn, do, and teach — are forever ingrained into my mind.
In this article, I highlight five key takeaway lessons from the workshop. These five lessons have deepened my understanding of Facebook ads and changed my perspective on developing a business.
Please note that all the knowledge, information, wisdom, and credit go to Dennis Yu and the entire BlitzMetrics team. Please click on the embedded hyperlinks throughout this article to dive deeper into BlitzMetrics’s materials.
1. Build Systems & Processes
Are you working on your business or in your business?
My biggest takeaway from the workshop is understanding the importance of creating systems and processes. Dennis reiterated throughout the workshop that successful business owners need to develop systems and processes that allow them to delegate tasks and maximize their strength and talent. Having such a system in place is how Dennis has transformed his business from a one-person show to a thriving agency.
You can also see the six phases on the left side of the following picture.
These six phases can be further divided into the following three categories:
🎯 Set-up that includes plumbing
🎯 Strategy that includes Goal, Content, and Targeting
🎯 Scale that includes amplification and optimization
In the following sections, I will do my best to explain what each phase and category mean. However, my explanation probably won’t do any justice to the depth and breadth covered at the workshop.
The best way to deepen your understanding of their Social Amplification Engine is to check out the workshop yourself.
With that in mind, let’s dive into BlitzMetrics’s Social Amplification Engine.
✅ Set-up: Plumbing. Plumbing refers to setting up the foundation of your business. During the training, one of BlitzMetrics’s team members used an analogy to help me understand plumbing. He shared that without plumbing, it is like throwing a basketball into a nest in the dark. You don’t even know if you are throwing your ball into the right direction. Hence, the probability of you hitting your goal is slim to non-existing. Plumbing is like turning on the light. With the light on, you are a lot more likely to hit your goal.
Plumbing includes simple tasks such as setting up Facebook Ads, Business Manger, and Google Analytics. It also includes more advanced tasks such as setting up Google Tag Manager and Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). At the workshop, we were also coached to download a few essential Chrome extensions such as Ghostery, Facebook Pixel Helper, and Google Tag Assistant.
According to the Social Amplification Engine workbook, plumbing is what can be outsourced.
✅ Strategy: Goals, Content, & Targeting. Strategy is the core of any business. It includes goals, content, and targeting. And this part of your business should not be outsourced or contracted out; instead, it should be owned by you, as suggested during the workshop.
Specifically, goals refer to a brand’s mission, desired outcomes, and relevant metrics. A brand’s mission should be informed by its why.
For example, I believe one of BlitzMetrics’s missions is to create jobs for young adults. Driven by this specific mission, they have content and programs geared towards young adults and college professors. In fact, I am doing their educator-partnership program for my classes, because I believe educators need to be practitioners (my why) and that’s how we can bridge the gap between teaching and practice.
How about you? What is your why? And how is your “why” informing your goals, content creation, and other digital marketing efforts?
In terms of content, please see point three of “Content Creation: Content Calendar + Topic Wheel + Spontaneous Content.”
With respect to targeting, my biggest takeaway is realizing how important it is to (re)target and amplify what is already working, and trust Facebook to help you identity the most relevant audience for your content. I love how BlitzMetrics wrote in their Social Amplification Engine workshop,
Social media, paid or not, is an Amplifier of what’s already working for your business. (p.5)
This amplifying aspect of social media is something I did NOT understand prior to the workshop. For example, for my own weekly Facebook live, I realized how much I had NOT been leveraging and amplifying what’s already working. I boosted several live interviews that were performing well organically. However, I made the mistake of targeting a cold audience every time I boosted an episode.
Facebook ads allow you to create three types of audience including 1️⃣ Custom; 2️⃣ Lookalike; 3️⃣ Saved.
In the past, when I boosted my Facebook interviews that were performing well organically, such as the ones with Mark Schaefer, Brian Fanzo @iSocialFanz, and Julia McCoy, I simply used “Saved Audience” which is by and large a cold audience. In other words, I had never leveraged what has already been working by targeting my “warm audience” to grow my show and audience.
You can see from the yellow-box in the above image (Image one) that when you are creating a “Custom Audience,” Facebook asks you,
How do you want to create this audience?
Facebook specifically tells you that you can leverage this feature to “reach people who have a relationship with your business.” Those people who already have a relationship with your business is considered a “warm audience” and hence a lot easier to move them along the sales funnel:
Awareness ➡️ Engagement ➡️ Conversion
Also, you can see from the green-box highlight in Image One that you can create a “Custom Audience” based on “Engagement.” Engagement refers to people who have already engaged with your content.
Once you select “Engagement,” Facebook will ask you to select the specific category that you want your engagement to be based on. See the image below (Image Two). For me, video makes the most sense because my goal is to grow my existing Facebook live show and invite more people to join me live. Hence, I will need to select video, the green-box highlight.
Once I select video, I will come to the following page (Image Three). On this page, I can select an “Engagement” option based on how many seconds of a video that my audience has viewed, ranging from 3 seconds to people who have watched 95% of my video.
Depending on your specific goals and objectives, you can select your time frame accordingly. For me, I will select the category of people who have viewed at least 10 seconds of my video. Those people are probably more likely to check out my future live shows than the category of 3 seconds. However, if you are doing a live video aiming to sell an expensive membership program, I assume that you will want to retarget people who have watched at least 25% of your video, if not a higher percentage.
✅ Scale: Amplification and Optimization. The last two phases of amplification and optimization are what grow your business to the next level. These two phases are what Dennis Yu referred to as “Delegate, Iterate, and Delete,” and can be contracted out.
As mentioned in the Social Optimization Engine workbook,
Amplify the most important pieces of content that will attract the most relevant people and drive engagement; intensify promotional efforts to the engaged crowd for conversions; place brand content in the news feeds of influencers to incept the media.
I think this last phase of scaling up one’s business is an aspect that many businesses and entrepreneurs fail to pay enough attention to.
🎯 Summary of the six phases. I have to say that understanding these six phases, their relationships to one another, and their impact on the overall business development was the best business lesson that I have received in a long time.
I have come to see how lost I was in the trees without seeing the forest.
2. Standards of Excellence
Facebook ads seems to be one of these topics that every digital marketer is talking about it, yet so few actually know if they are doing it effectively or not. I, to a great extent, fall into this category.
Logan Young did an excellent session on the “Standards of Excellence” to help us evaluate the excellence levels of Facebook videos. Logan shared a few specific criteria that constitute the “Standards of Excellence.” Read below to understand what each criterion means.
✅ Relevance score
When you go to your “Ads Manager” (green box on the top left corner), click on the “Ads” tab (yellow box on the right side of the screen), and you will see “Relevance Score”(green oval on the right side of the screenshot) and a detailed explanation right underneath it (red box).
You can see from the above screenshot that “Relevance Score” is ranked from one to 10, with one being extremely irrelevant (meaning your ad is poorly targeted) to ten being extremely relevant (meaning your ad is being received by the right audience).
Logan Young offered a clear explanation on Relevance Score in an article, and you also check out a course that Logan did on this which only costs $25 (I invested in the course myself).
There are many factors that go into Relevance Score and Facebook is clear about them. The top factor is CTR (click-thru rate), which is a general measure of whether people are interacting with your content. If the CTR is under 1 percent, then there’s a good chance that your targeting is wrong or your content is weak, hence, the name ‘Relevance Score’.
✅ Negative feedback hurt you the most
Below is an example of how one of my Facebook live show performed. I was interviewing Rob Balasabas, Community Manager at Thinkific. We discussed challenges and best practices to create online courses. Take a look at the image below. Notice that I highlighted several boxes. The box I want you to pay attention to is the red box at the bottom of the screenshot. It is called “Negative Feedback.”
The red-box tells you how much “Negative Feedback” that your video has received. This “Negative Feedback” affects your ads’ overall “Relevance Score” and hurts your ads’ performance the most.
Please note that “Negative Feedback” does NOT mean the angry emojis or even hateful comments in the comment section. Instead, it describes the “negative” actions that people take after viewing your ad. These negative actions include
❌ Hide this post
❌ Hide all posts
❌ Report spam
❌ Unlike page
Logan shared that “negative feedback counts for about 100 times the weight positive feedback”.
However, there can be some exceptions. One is that your “negative feedback” won’t affect you as much if your positive feedback is also high. You need to evaluate each video carefully and check out the amount of negative feedback that you receive in reference to the positive one.
✅ Average video watch time, reach, & engagement.
Other factors that affect overall excellence level of your video include average video watch time, reach, and engagement. During the workshop, Logan explained that the average video watch time on Facebook is six seconds.
You can see from the image below that the average watch time for this specific interview with Rob is 36 seconds, which is pretty good. It is a sign that people are interested in this topic and an indicator that I should promote the episode.
In terms of “reach” and “engagement”, I learned at the workshop that if your “video viewers” is 50% of the “people reached”, it means that this post/video is performing well.
Take a look at the image below. For this interview, it has reached 1,682 people and 884 of them viewed video. That’s more than the 50% mark. It is a sign that this post is performing well and should be boosted.
3. Content Creation: Content Calendar + Topic Wheel + Spontaneous Content
As digital marketers, a crucial aspect of the job is creating content. I am a content creator myself. I frequently struggle with identifying topics to talk about on a regular basis. Although I have started taking notes (I use Google Keep) when ideas come to me, I do not have any strategy or system in place to discover topics on a regular basis.
1️⃣ Content Calendar
2️⃣ Topic Wheel
3️⃣ Spontaneous Content
Most of us have heard of content calendars, which refer to content that we plan ahead of time and aligns well with major national or international holidays or company events.
“Topic wheel” and “spontaneous content” are new concepts to me. A Topic Wheel is for
building evergreen content that is triggered by user action– lead magnets, autoresponders, inbound marketing efforts, SaaS/recurring products, and software companies.
It feels like a mind-mapping exercise to me. You identity a central topic and breaks it down into smaller subtopics.
Spontaneous content refers content that is produced based on trending topics and current events. Dennis recommended that this is the easiest place to start given that it doesn’t require any structure in advance.
🎯 One final note that I want to share regarding content creation is leveraging public endorsements. For some reason, it never occurred to me that endorsements were a type of content. However, Dennis made it clear that endorsements especially those from authority figures can add lots of credibility and trust to your band. BlitzMetrics even has a “Content Library” that includes links to all the endorsements that they have received from their customers, fans, and authorities. What a great idea to leverage public endorsement.
4. Invest in your word-of-mouth
With the growing popularity of various automation tools and devices, it seems to be increasingly challenging to connect with a human and to have that human touch.
Within this context, it was so refreshing to hear a digital marketer as successful as Dennis Yu talk about the importance of being human and showing you care.
I particularly love how Dennis mentioned investing in one’s word-of-worth. This was actually the first time I heard of such an expression. It’s so brilliant.
Dennis and Logan shared that every time they visited Facebook office in the past, they spent tons of money out of their own pockets to buy Facebook t-shirts and other swags. They then gave them away to their fans, customers, and community members. Dennis also shared how he took the time to give one of his co-workers a hand-written thank-you note and a bag of chocolate (her favorite candy) when the co-worker was going through a challenging family situation. Those stories somehow stuck with me and have truly touched my heart.
Even at the workshop, I could feel how much they cared about their attendees. For example, they created this nice name tag for every attendee.
Also, on the last day of the workshop, they held a nice graduation ceremony and gave everyone a beautiful certification. See mine below.
These little things helped me realize that on the one hand, digital marketing is as complicated as figuring out the different phases of a sales funnel and creating content for each phase; on the other hand, digital marketing can be as simple as a hand-written thank-you note or a genuine hug or smile to show you care.
Invest in your word-of-mouth.
5. The Learn-Do-Teach BlitzMetrics Model
This workshop was not the first time that I got exposed to Facebook ads. However, it was the first-time that I truly dive into Facebook ads and had someone walk me through the process. Watching someone in action and then practicing doing it yourself is the best way to learn.
During several breakout sessions, the BlitMetrics team members showed me exactly how they did something and then asked me to repeat the process myself. This circles back to what their Learn-Do-Teach model is all about. It is personalized teaching at its best.
As a college professor, I wish all higher education institutions could adopt this effective teaching model.
Teachers need to LEARN first, DO what they teach, and TEACH what they do; and students need to do the same.
This article begin with these three words, “Learn; Do; Teach.” Let’s also end the article with these three words.
I want to embrace the learn-do-teach model. Hence, I wrote this article to share what i have learned from Dennis and BlitzMetrics with you. I hope this article has taught you something useful about Facebook ads and business development. Please make sure that you follow Dennis Yu, Logan Young, and the entire BlitzMetrics team and check out BlitzMetrics’s website and next workshop.
If you enjoyed reading this article, please give it a clap and a share, or even better, leave me a comment below. Thank you.
Ai Addyson-Zhang is a professor, speaker, live streamer, social media expert, and digital learning consultant. She connects the dots between social media and education; and helps educators learn how to leverage social media to transform their teaching and professional careers to have more income and impact. Ai is on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram @AiAddysonZhang. She’s the host of a weekly Facebook live show, Classroom Without Walls — Using Technology to Reimagine Education, on every Wednesday at 5PM, EST.