Ever wonder who’s behind your stellar ad campaign? Or how what they do to get those stellar results (ie how they deliver those quality – cost effective – leads consistently?)
Today we’ve got a special guest interview for our blog post, Tanner Stolte, our fantastic ads project manager. The bonafide Ads Whisperer.
He sets up and runs the ads campaigns for our clients and for LinkedSelling. He knows the in’s and out’s, what to look for, what to optimize and when, and how to deliver high quality leads.
Before we start the conversation with Tanner though, a word about social media ads as part of a real lead generation strategy…
Ads of course are a fantastic way to get quality leads in the pipeline consistently – when done right! It’s also important to remember that ad traffic is just that: traffic. Without a proven strategy and a back-end follow-up strategy to support it, not only will an ad campaign fall flat, the company will run through its ad spend budget like a bull through a red cape. That’s why the LinkedSelling team uses a multi-channel approach.
Our services deliver interested prospects who book calls. We do that through creating stellar content, we run the ads, and even create and execute a funnel on the back-end to capture those leads who didn’t connect right away. But that’s not all… for companies in a position to scale, we couple ad campaigns with outreach campaigns and optimize LinkedIn marketing, email, and even phone calling for lead generation.
With that in mind, we’ve asked Tanner a few questions about how he approaches his work, what his day looks like, how he makes sure the ads campaigns are on target, how he stays motivated, and how he helps clients meet their goals.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning when you sit down?
I sip coffee and go down the line of my bookmarks bar to load up my email, calendar, task manager, client roster, and Facebook & LinkedIn dashboards.
From there I clean my inbox, plan and prioritize my day. For example, we have a new client we’ll be meeting with later for an onboarding meeting, so I’ll prepare for that. From there, I’ll comb through each of my accounts and see how the numbers look or if there have been any positive/negative changes since the last round of optimizations. Based on what I see, I add additional tasks to my to-do’s list.
Once I have the lay of the land I go to work on optimizing current client campaigns for performance using the best practices we have developed over the years.
For example, we have one client, WebMetrixGroup, who we’ve been running Facebook campaigns for. By utilizing our Social Selling System, we set up a Facebook advertising campaign after conducting industry research, zeroing in on the perfect audience, and developing messaging that would resonate with individuals in the dental industry.
For their campaign, after the interested person clicked on the advertisement, they would be sent to a landing page where they would be prompted to submit their information to be considered for this article.
Afterwards, they would be sent to a scheduling page where they would be prompted to schedule a verification call to ensure that they were a real practice. They would later be sent a series of reminder emails to help reiterate the time and date of their verification call.
So then, once my accounts that have running (active) ads are in a good place for the day, I start building out full funnels for new clients with everything from ads, landing pages, consult pitch pages, automated email sequences, and everything in between. Sprinkle in some meetings, Slack messages, lunch, conversations with co-workers, and that’s the typical make up of my day-to-day.
You said you had a new client as well you’ll meet with today, what’s your process for onboarding and setting up campaigns?
First, an onboarding meeting will be where you’ll get a chance to meet the people who will be working on your campaign and we’ll get the chance to meet you and your team! We will get together to talk about your business, your target audience, overall expectations, previous lead generation efforts, and goals for the campaign.
From there the account manager will send you a follow-up email shortly after your Onboarding Call. This email outlines any additional items that you should send to us, the steps you’ll need to take to grant access to accounts, and any content or materials that you’ve used previously that could be helpful during your campaign.
After an onboarding call with our client, we get started! This is always an exciting time for me.
Where do you start with a new campaign. Give us Week 1, for example.
We always start with research and strategy. Our team will dig in on existing content our clients may have, look at the competitive landscape to see how we can differentiate our campaign from others, and define who our target prospect is and what they really care about. This helps us dial in our messaging and makes the ads more cost effective when we can connect with the right people quickly.
Once that is dialed in, we’ll mock up copy and creative to match and build everything into the clients’ systems. We prefer to build all our materials in the clients ads accounts, CRMs, and data management systems so the client owns everything. It keeps things simple and our clients love the transparency it offers.
Sounds like you spend a lot of time in the set-up phase building up the framework?
It’s extremely important to do the research on who the client wants to get in front of and make sure that the content, the messaging, and the creative are on point. It provides the basic building blocks of any campaign. Otherwise, the campaign will fall flat right out of the gate. Taking time on the set-up phase gives us the best possible chance to see success out of the gate. From there we optimize going forward.
Walk us through what happens after the set-up phase… Week 2.
Once the framework is built out we’ll get together with the client, and actually this afternoon, we have Strategy Presentation with another new client. So what we’ll do today is we’ll walk through our recommended strategy and the materials for the campaign. We’ll be working with you to make sure all of the pieces are integrated within your current systems so leads will come in seamlessly to your inbox.
After the Strategy Presentation, we’ll send all the materials for review and after any edits are made, we will conduct several tests to ensure each piece is connected and working properly. and do a full walk through of the campaign from start to finish and gather any feedback or edits. After any last details have been buttoned up, we launch! That whole process from onboarding call > research > build > review > and launching the ads takes about 1 month.
What’s your process for managing and optimizing campaigns on a daily basis?
We check the numbers on our account daily and look for trends.
For example, for another client, Arria, after we set up and launched their campaigns, the ongoing management includes going through each step of the ads campaign, this time on LinkedIn, to test new copy, imaging, targeting, etc. The beauty comes when, as we dial in the campaign more and more, not only is the client getting more leads, but it’s also more cost effective.
So for Arria’s case, we used the same type of 3-step ad campaign. We focus on targeting
prospects who would likely be interested in Arria’s complex data translation software. Using 4 different ad copy sets that pitched a video, 2 different PDFs, a webinar, and sending
a sponsored InMail message, the prospects were sent to a lead form where they entered
their information. That’s step 2.
They were then redirected to a page where they could instantly view or download the piece of content they requested. That’s step 3. From there the multi-channel follow-up kicks in on the backend…
Our SDR team proceeds to call anyone who opted in for any of the options with the ultimate goal of scheduling a demo and the prospect gets a series of emails.
You make it sound easy! How do you know what to optimize?
We follow a checklist, and with experience, I know what markers to look for based on ad spend and the response we get from the ads. Overall though, both Facebook and LinkedIn can be a bit like the stock market. One day your costs are up, the next your costs could be down.
So it is important to try and take a longer lens on the data when you can, and gather averages to make good decisions. If we start to see trends developing in a positive direction we can then look to scale that campaign.
If we see a campaign needs attention, we’ll make the edits needed to get it back on track and reassess the results after a few days to see if our edits had a positive effect.
Any tips for people looking to get better results from their ad campaigns?
I’d say to have realistic expectations.
One thing I’d have to ding our digital marketing industry for is prompting “rapid success” way too much. The not-so-dirty truth is that 7 times out of 10 you need to launch a campaign, gather data, edit, relaunch, gather data, rinse -and-repeat until you have a winner.
Occasionally you catch lightning in a bottle right out the gate, but working the process and having a strong grasp of marketing fundamentals is what creates winning campaigns over time. If it’s your first time to market with a new offer, it can take 30-90 days to get things moving the right direction and create a robust, recession proof, campaign that’s going to fuel your business growth for the next 3-5 years.
If you’re looking to go after whales, you’re not going to have closed deals on the table after 2 weeks and $1k in ad spend.
As a side note, tell us a little about you. What’s a lunch that keeps you going? Do you listen to music as you work?
If I’m packing lunch, it’s deer meat lasagna and plain seltzer. That’s my desert island food. If I’m going out you’ll find me with a Black bean burger and a strong stout.
My music tastes are fairly eclectic from Classic rock to EDM to Funk. I think there is good music in every genre. You just have to find it. I listen to music most when pulling number’s or doing a build so I can get into a flow. When it’s time to really rack my brain and solve a problem, I prefer silence.
Who do you talk to/consult with when you have questions about the campaign?
I lean on my team when I need a second set of eyes. Sometimes you’re just too close to a project and having a fresh perspective can uncover that next move that’s going to break the camping wide open.
How often do you speak with the client?
We do bi-weekly or once a month calls depending on the campaign. We are always available via email, but we use those calls to get a bit deeper into results, data, next steps, and checking in on the overall pace of the campaign.
How do you help the client meet their goals? What makes a good ad manager?
During our onboarding calls we talk about long term goals and work the numbers backwards to determine costs and performance baselines along with what success looks like. Once we have the end goal defined, we can work to it as we ramp up and refine their campaign over the next few months. I think this is where a campaign manager really earns their keep. We are not just cogs in a wheel collecting a check. A good campaign manager should:
- Have a firm grasp of marketing fundamentals that drive results
- Be able to read data and let it guide their next steps
- Trust their gut when it comes to the hard calls like pivoting strategy
- Actively show that they give a shit about that end goal and are hustling to make it happen.
- Act as a consultant and provide real feedback and direction to their client.
If a campaign manager is bringing all that to the table, it no longer becomes a question of IF we will meet the goal, but rather WHEN.
If you’d like to see how our ads management team works within a multi-channel outbound lead generation framework, check out our case studies here, or if you’re actively searching for solutions to scale your lead gen and see real company growth, let’s chat! Our Director of Client Strategy can recommend the right approach for your company, industry, budget, and timeframe – no obligation. Just click below to schedule.