How to Train Facebook to Know Your Audience

Presented live on Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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Did you know that your Facebook pixel doesn’t just magically know how to find your audience?

Your dedicated Facebook pixel needs time to figure out your audience.

Like, where does your audience hang out online?

And how do they engage with your posts?

The more your Facebook pixel gets to know your audience, the smarter it’ll become…

So when you need to put your Facebook pixel to work on something REALLY important – like a Facebook ads campaign – it’ll know how to deliver…

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to train your facebook pixel to know your audience:

  • Pick a low-cost conversion goal
  • Target broad
  • Run ads virtually untouched for 5-7 days or 50 conversions
  • Create a custom audience

Take a behind the scenes look into why and how we trained our Facebook pixels in preparation for one of Copyhackers’s ad campaigns.


Introduction [00:00]

Joanna Wiebe: The team keeps going, “Hey Jo, let’s do Facebook ads!” And I’m like, convince me that we should. And then they do. And I’m like, damn it.

What to Expect in This Tutorial [00:17]

Joanna Wiebe: This is the thing, I did not know was a thing, but it’s a thing. So, let’s kick it off with where this all came from. So we’re getting ready for Black Friday Cyber Monday, we’ve been getting ready for months.

Changing our offer and things like that and Ange, as usual is like, let’s do Facebook ads. And then I was like, oh, and Erin was like, Okay, if we’re doing it. We’re going to warm up that pixel first. So Erin, what does that even mean?

What Does Training Your Facebook Pixel Mean? [00:47]

Erin Steele: So, pixel, if I were to explain it, is that there’s a little bit of code on your website. So where people end up landing after they see your ads and it gets smarter and smarter, the more data that you feed it.

So with Copyhackers, historically, not doing very much Facebook advertising. There’s that pixel is not necessarily very smart. So basically the idea is we want to feed the pixel. And I should add that this great Facebook experiment is on Black Friday, which is pretty much the craziest time of the year for people to advertise on Facebook, or start advertising on Facebook.

And you can imagine the demand is huge. So, that’s another consideration just sort of getting the ball rolling beside the day. And on Black Friday, two years ago, the entire advertising platform shut down. So this is kind of a thing that we’re dealing with.

Joanna Wiebe: I love how you’re telling me that now. I was completely left out of the discussion. That’s so funny. Okay, so that’s the whole concept and then it’s like, well, how do we actually go forward to do it. But also, let’s get into, like, why we’re going to do this.

So the whole idea here, and this is me, as I understand it. And Ange and Erin are going to fill in all the gaps that I don’t have in my knowledge, a very limited knowledge about this. Just a lot of judgment though.

So before you run ads you want to help Facebook figure out, to whom to show your ad that will let me just let’s get into why that’s going to be useful. Ange, tell us why this is going to help.

Why Should You Train Your Facebook Pixel? [02:04]

  • Train Facebook how to find your audience
  • Create a warm custom audience
  • Opportunity to test creative

Angela Stojanov: Okay so training your fix your Facebook pixel is really important because unless you’re running ads consistently on Facebook the pixel needs training to find where your audience is and how they interact with your posts.

Again, if you don’t consistently run ads and then it’s also if you’re targeting a new audience that you’ve never targeted before, just to see how they interact, because we always make assumptions of what we think will fly with our audience. And sometimes we’re not right about that. So it gives you an opportunity to check that out.

And as well, obviously, when you go into creating your actual ads, where you’re probably putting the bulk of your budget, you’ve got this amazing custom audience created that’s warm because they just recently interacted with your content. So they’re showing an interest and it’s based on whatever conditions you set.

So we kept our conditions really broad and just focused on copywriting as an interest. So it was really broad, but then we got to see how they interacted with our posts. And then as well. It’s an opportunity to test your creative. So we tested three videos they had three headlines and three ad copy variations. So then we got to test those and see which ones came out on top.

And again, we were surprised with the results, I shouldn’t say really surprised, but it was the one that we thought would still the show didn’t. It’s still performed well, but we thought it would outperform the others by so much. So it gives you an opportunity to test the ad creative to see what your audience will respond to.

Erin Steele: Yeah. And I should add too that, that’s kind of the thing with Facebook is you never really know with Facebook, what’s going to resonate with people. So you can go in with hypotheses, which we definitely do.

But yeah, I mean, it keeps you humble in a way because it’s never what you expected, and it’s just data we learn, and we learn, and we learn, and then we can take these learnings and optimize. So it’s a fun experiment. Yeah.

Joanna Wiebe: Yeah, yeah. And what was surprising to me. So, and even warming up the whole idea of warming up the panel when we’re used to everything that we’ve done for Facebook ads before it has been just like, here we have this thing. Look at it, or buy it or whatever, with still smarts behind that, too.

But because we’ve never warmed up a pixel before going into a launch or campaign. I was like, well, what are we even putting in these warm up ads? What are we even calling them? So, can you guys talk to the content because I was, I found my, I was like, confused, like, do we start talking about Black Friday or we warming them up for the offer? What’s the warm up really for?

And I do understand the training your Facebook pixel, but what’s confused me along the way, is are we training it to find the right people for our offer or are we training it to just find the right people for our brand? So can you speak to that at all.

What Content Should You Use in Your Warm-Up Ads? [05:28]

Erin Steele: Yeah, I can speak to that. Basically, in this case we are warming them up to the brand. So the whole kind of beauty about this is that we are creating this custom audience. So I should mention, we are optimizing for video views.

So it’s pretty inexpensive. If we were optimizing for paid conversions, that would cost us a lot of money to learn. So we started broad we’re using copywriting interest, which is like an 8 million person audience around the world. So it’s kind of twofold. The idea is that Facebook takes time to figure out what’s going to resonate with people.

And then second, it’s the messaging. So as far as messaging, we are starting very, very top of funnel, which is giving them something of value. So we’re introducing them to the brand. We’re giving them something that they can relate to that they’re going to kind of have their own little aha moment without pushing the sale.

But we are also. We’ve actually gotten a pretty, pretty good click through rate on there. So we have people clicking through to our homepage and then we made sure to put on the hero of our homepage, a little teaser about Black Friday. So for those people who are inclined to find more information than they are able to see there’s something happening for Black Friday. I don’t know what it is.

And then when we hit them back. So, this custom audience. The whole hypothesis behind it is that when Black Friday rolls around, this custom audience is going to perform, highly outperform our broader copywriting interest, targeting cold.

And then so messaging wise, we’re not going to hit them with that, like, here’s some valuable content. We’re going to hit them with hey look, this is what our offer looks like, you know, a little bit more of what to expect. So we’re kind of pulling them down the funnel because they’re now familiar with Copyhackers as a brand and they’re more receptive to that kind of messaging.

So definitely we definitely still think of the funnel here, starting from the top and pulling them down so messaging is a critical piece of this.

How To Train Your Facebook Pixel [07:36]

  • Pick a low-cost conversion goal
  • Target broad
  • Run ads virtually untouched for 5-7 days or 50 conversions
  • Create a custom audience

Joanna Wiebe: All right, let’s talk about then, exactly how to do this. So if someone’s like, cool. I get why, now how?

Erin Steele: Yeah. So I already brought that up. So starting with a low cost conversion goal. So like I said, we’re doing video views, it doesn’t cost a lot of money. We can get a ton of traffic. So we’re optimizing for people who watch 15 seconds.

And again, our hypothesis there is, that they are engaged enough that they’re interested in the messages that we have for them. So we have this pool of people who we would consider quite engaged. Yeah, so that’s our conversion goal and it doesn’t cost a lot of money to run that for five to seven days, which we’re doing.

Like I said, we’re targeting broad, so we’re doing broad interests – copywriting, so they may or may not be familiar with the Copyhackers brand. Our hypothesis going into this is that they are not.

And then we don’t touch them. So this is an important part. So basically we started running the ads on Thursday, didn’t touch them. And it’s hard. You see different performances between the different ads that we have and we want to maximize that and tweak things, but we just put our hands up. Handcuff them, whatever.

And we watched them, and we actually were able to see performance drastically improve after day two or three. We’re seeing more, almost double the click through rate than when we first started. And the idea behind that is that Facebook is actually smart. Facebook is able to find the people that that are going to be the best people for you.

So, that’s the idea to get it started. And then once that’s done, then we create that custom audience. And I think there’s also some thinking so like warming up the pixel as a whole, aside from just creating a custom audience is that the more data it gets in general, the smarter it becomes.

In this case, we’re really focusing on the custom audience aspect and it’ll be really interesting. We actually start running our ads for Black Friday and seeing how this audience performs. And we think it’s going to perform. Great, so stay tuned for that.

Joanna Wiebe: Yeah, oh, we hope.

Angela Stojanov: We do, fingers crossed. No, speaking to how Erin mentioned that you have to keep hands off and just let it run. So that’s the only way that pixel is going to learn if you keep changing things, it’s starting over again, essentially.

So yeah, it was Friday, I think, Erin that I messaged you and I was like, Oh, there’s one ad isn’t doing what we thought it would. Should we do something she’s like, “No. Hands off!”

Erin Steele: Yeah, Facebook, you’re spending money. So, it is hard to just, you know, not touch things for a day and then this is also when we start our Black Friday advertising. We are starting a full day early because we are going to just let things run for one entire day, a full 24 hours.

I mean, we’re going to look at it, we probably shouldn’t look at it. It’s important to give that time, that hands-off time to let Facebook do what it does best.

Joanna Wiebe: As hard as that is. A low cost. Oh, go ahead.

Erin Steele: Yeah, I was gonna say, I feel like you should definitely not look at it on day one.

Joanna Wiebe: Oh, no. I’m glad that when I go into Facebook now as a business manager, or as manager, whatever it is. I don’t even know which one I’m supposed to go into. And I’m like, that’s probably for the best.

And they can take care of it. Um, but it was a recap picking that low cost conversion goal we’re about to show you just how low cost, we’re talking. Target broad, that’s something that I’m typically afraid of when it comes to an actual ad where we’re trying to get performance, such as sales or driving people to the site, so that the site can convert them.

The untouched thing. Big deal. And then all of this creates a custom audience or in the end you should take what you learn and create a custom audience out of it by manipulating the data more?

Erin Steele: No, this creates a custom audience and actually can create multiple custom audiences, because we now have people clicking through to our homepage. So that’s

one audience, which I mean we’re also retargeting website visitors. But also, this creates a custom audience of people who have viewed our videos for 15 seconds like that is an audience that exists. And now we’re going to re-target them with new, slightly different messaging.

Results of The Warm-Up Ads [11:47]

Joanna Wiebe: Cool. Okay, so then when we see this, cost per through play, is a penny cost per unique link click is 54 cents. It’s pretty, pretty low cost stuff. Because most people are used to hearing like oh, when you do Facebook ads, be ready to spend like $20,000, $60,000, $100,000 on these ads.

And that might be the case for in your campaign, you might throw a lot more money on it. Maybe not that much. I think that can often be inflated, but this was, I think we spent $900 on this whole five, seven day thing and the benefits, based on what the purpose of warming up your pixel should be great. Hopefully, we’ll see that when we actually launch these for Black Friday. What else are we seeing here?

Angela Stojanov: So one thing we were really surprised that is the amount of video plays that played through 100% so that shows a lot of interest from who these ads are being placed in front of.

The cost per unique link click. So that’s people that actually clicked on the link that we provided in there, which took them to our website, which had the hero section dedicated to our Black Friday reminder.

Yeah, and then we can see average video average play time which is really valuable to Mike, our videographer, because when he’s creating new content. He knows, on average, how long people are giving this. So it tells us the length of videos to make going forward.

Erin Steele: I don’t have anything in particular to add to that, but I do think we should also talk about testing the creative aspect of this. So we can’t see this in here, but we were also able to test multiple headlines and multiple ad texts within these three different sort of creative themes. And that is allowing us to learn about what has resonated and then we are recycling that into our actual Black Friday campaign.

Because this headline resonated with the most people and got the most clicks, therefore that’s going to become our image overlay. So we’re actually able to see what was working and then build on that for our actual Black Friday campaign.

And then the other thing I think we should touch on also is cost as well. So cost is quite a bit cheaper. The thing about Black Friday is costs, just go up all across the board. So this is the strategy behind this is sort of a low cost way to create this audience and then ideally our offer is so awesome on Black Friday, we really are going to see a distinctly higher return on ad spend on this particular audience compared to the other ones.

Joanna Wiebe: I love it. Now, confidence, content, PAS is which one one. Which one won? Which one performed faster? Which one was surprising, if any? I already know the answer, but I want to hear.

Angela Stojanov: Content came out on top.

Joanna Wiebe: What does the Content mean?

Angela Stojanov: So we focused on defining the difference between content versus copy. The confidence one, we kept fun and it was just like the problem a lot of copywriters face. So those were the focus of the confidence one. And PAS – problem, agitation, solution, Jo’s favorite

framework. So obviously very much information-based. So it came in content number one, confidence number two, and PAS number three. But they all performed really well. That’s the thing. Yep.

Erin Steele: Exactly. And then this is also interesting because I would also consider all of these to be a fairly decent performance. So we will be recycling versions of these for the actual Black Friday campaign and it will be interesting to see what leads to conversions. So people actually buying Copy School. So this is again another bit of a question mark. We see what people are engaging with, we see what is resonating with people.

And it will be interesting. This is kind of like don’t expect anything, don’t assume anything. Who knows, it could be content is our major high performer on Black Friday. So it’s again, we have data, but we also don’t want to assume this really says anything, particularly because we don’t have a conversion goal and that is an important thing to remember, we’re creating this audience, but you know the real test in a couple days from now.

Joanna Wiebe: Yeah, we do not know if these people are the right people to buy or take us up on Friday’s offer. But at least we have a smarter pixel. Now we can do more, with more confidence, at least. And of course, as always, everything is an experiment. It’d be nice if it wasn’t, but it is okay. Any other thoughts before we take some questions?

Cool. So thanks, Erin. Thanks, Ange. Thanks everyone for attending and your great questions. As you know, we do have this Black Friday thing coming up, so stay tuned for that. And everybody. Enjoy. If you’re in the US, or if you celebrate American Thanksgiving, enjoy it. Have a good one. Stay safe everybody. Thanks. Thanks, guys.

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