Dave Ellis – Founder of Ellis Marketing on the Connected Insurance Podcast presented by Agency Revolution

Facebook magic! How to get a steady stream of hot leads with Facebook… Now that the rules have changed for everyone!

Dave Ellis is one of the Top Facebook Advertising Experts in the nation. You’ll soon see why, as he unravels the mysteries of how huge internet marketers make millions – starting with one simple (but perfect!) Facebook ad.

If you’re an agency principal who knows you’re responsible for revenue, and you want to make certain your agency has the most effective, high volume marketing engine possible… then you need to listen to this discussion.

If you’re an agency marketer who wants to deliver real results, and not just more clever postings about ‘auto safety’ or your ‘super-fun’ Halloween party… then you need to listen to this discussion.

Dave takes time from his jammed client calendar to reveal:

  • Why (and how) your Facebook ad must be part of a ‘system’ – not just a one-shot ad. (Dave tears apart his 4-part system to show how you can ‘engineer’ the right emotions to get the best prospects—and only the best ones—to move through your funnel!)
  • One little surprise tweak that Dave used to get a 400%(!) bump to his advertising results.
  • The big changes in the social advertising platforms you must know about: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram – and where they fit into your marketing plan.

Don’t let your agency get stuck making the marketing moves of yesterday. Listen to this conversation with one of the online advertising industry’s most respected experts today and get ideas you’ll put into practice tomorrow!

What are other agents & brokers doing to thrive? What are the biggest trends affecting the retail insurance agent & broker? What are the most important strategies and tactics you need to grow faster? Find out here in the Connected Insurance Podcast, where Michael Jans discusses the biggest issues affecting the independent insurance agent and broker with the industries leading figures. 

One More Thing! What do you think? How will you and your peers use this to grow your agency or brokerage? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, subscribe to get updates delivered to you, and *please share this if you found it informative.


 Michael Jans: Dave Ellis, thank you so much for joining us. How are you?

 Dave Ellis: I’m doing great, Michael. How are you doing?

Michael: Well, I’m doing fine. You know me well enough that I’m just generally happy with the way things are going these days.

Dave: Yes, absolutely.

Michael: I appreciate you asking. We are going to talk about what’s working, what’s not in Facebook advertising. I think we’re going to talk about why agents should be paying very close attention to this, but also I want us to be, and I know you will be very discriminating about when it should be used and where it should be used and how it should be used, but also when it should not be used, and how it should not be misused. This is one of the practical tacticals, and so we’re going to dive into, I think to some extent, stuff that people can do on Tuesday, right?

Dave: Absolutely.

Michael: I can actually get the stuff done, or they can learn enough that they know that this is a tactic that they want to insert at some point in their marketing map, hopefully in the next, well, very short period of time. All right, so let’s dive into it.

Dave, first of all, thumbnail sketch, how did you get to where you are as literally one of the nation’s leading experts in Facebook advertising?

Dave: I started off just doing marketing for myself. I never thought that I wanted to become some type of an expert for other people. I started off with my own businesses and I had to drive traffic to those businesses, but I had to learn lead generation and eventually I had to learn paid ads and I had to do print ads and all different types. But I found that my actual skill set was much greater when it came to doing the advertising and the marketing, much more than running the business itself. So, I stepped back and I started doing marketing for others and it made me even better at what I was doing and I started being able to work with some of the greatest people in the industry, like yourself.

Michael: Okay. [laughs] Clearly, after psyching up, I suppose we should make full disclosure, which is, Dave is my guy, so when Michael Jans wants to add more clients into his marketing funnel and leads into the funnel, Dave is the guy that I turn to. He’s my technology support team. And so, yes, full disclosure, I want everybody to be aware of the fact that we have a relationship.

Dave: Absolutely.

Michael: I am grateful that you made that switch. I know that you have areas of expertise and technology that go beyond Facebook advertising, but that’s the topic that I want to focus on today. Let’s kind of– the way that I would like to approach this, Dave, is to go big picture and then down into the actual, what’s working, what’s not. But let’s kind of start with the very big picture on Facebook.

Facebook has been in the news a lot for many, many months, and a lot of the news is an unfavorable. It’s not uncommon that, on my news feed, I’ll see a picture of Zuckerberg, and it’s sometimes, here’s a picture of Mark Zuckerberg walking into a Senate hearing or something like that, look at the glum, look on his face.

Frankly, this morning, I think I saw headlines, maybe it’s from the current administration, that a tech, the large tech companies, Facebook, Amazon, as I recall, Google were the three that were mentioned. I don’t know if maybe Tim Cook is out of the Doghouse at Apple, I don’t know, but that they may all be facing anti-trust action. There’s a lot going on in that social world. What do you think is– give us the big snapshot of what’s happening in the world of Facebook these days?

Dave: That’s a great question. It’s a great place to start. What’s happening is that Facebook, when they first got into the game, they needed to compete with Google who had 90%, really, of the entire audience. Some people would do some ads on the side with banners here and there on news sites, but the majority of all marketing was Google until Facebook came around.

Now, when Facebook came out, they thought where Google went wrong, was that Google was targeting based off of key keywords, and instead they wanted to target by personality because it was social network, which allowed much better targeting because you were able to get into the psychology of your customer. Where that went wrong is that they started breaking down people’s psychology so well based on different types of groups and interests and things that they would like and places they’d spend their time, that other people were able to get access to that information and start running things that they don’t need to be doing.

Michael: When you say other people got access to that information, I think you’re saying surreptitiously that they hacked into the system, right?

Dave: Right, exactly.

Michael: Because the quality, the granular quality, and nature of the data that they have is rather mind-blowing, right?

Dave: It is, it’s very mind-blowing. That’s correct.

Michael: In some ways, maybe they did exactly the right thing, from an advertiser or marketer’s perspective, by making that possible, making possible what was not previously possible. But where they went wrong was where the security gate was a little bit low. Where are we now with that?

Dave: What they’re doing is they’re trying to take down some of the pieces without ruining the marketing platform that made Facebook what it is today, and that made so many businesses so much money.

Michael: Naturally, they’re trying to raise the security gate. Make that a little-

Dave: That’s right.

Michael: Are you saying that they’re also eliminating some of the, kind of that granular-

Dave: Yes.

Micahel: Okay. All right. Where are we now? What does that mean to today’s advertiser and marketer?

Dave: Well, it means that you need to have a higher understanding of your targeted market than you did before. Facebook marketing was made so simple in the beginning that many people could just jump on and start their own ad and start picking audiences that just sounded familiar. You can say, I know people like my within the insurance industry, I know the people that are going to like me who likes my type of personality and the way that we do things that are really going to accentuate our sales and our growth because we’re working on these relationships long term. Somebody that likes that is also going to like the same movies I like, and they’re going to like the same places that I like to hang out because it’s within this town or this area. You’re able to start picking your demographic based off of those very broad audiences, and even though you wouldn’t see amazing conversion rates, you would see conversions because you’re right, you could fish for people in that pond.

Michael: Right. Okay. So now, what’s up now?

Dave: What now what they’ve done is reduced those major areas, so now people specific targeting that they already had set up which was based off of likes, interests, different pages, those things are disappearing where you can’t target based off of very broad groups that were easier audiences. So now you have to create your own custom audience by bringing that pond to your page or your business. And then filtering it and fine-tuning it down to where you find your customers, and then re-targeting based off of that broad audience.

Michael: Got it. All right. I want to make sure that we’re dealing with that. I don’t know that I’m ready to dive into the what to do about it situation, but I’m making a note right now. Well, it seems to me, okay, that’s it. But before we do that, I have to dive into some of this kind of bigger trends issues because I want to see where you think this part of the industry, digital advertising is going.

You made references to, for example, Facebook versus Google, okay?

Dave: Yes.

Michael: So now, a marketer is sitting in their seat thinking, all right, I want to load up my funnel with good quality leads. And of course, there are a lot of ways to do that. I do not want to imply that social media is the only place that you can go get folks, but let’s say somebody has some clarity about their core strategy and has some clarity about their online strategy, and now they’re looking at, okay, within the online world, I want to get clarity on my social strategy, and now we’re actually chunking it down one more time. I want to get clarity on my social advertising strategy, which is what we’re mostly focusing on here. So now, there are a lot of choices that a marketer has to make, and I want you to be transparent. I know you’ve got your areas of expertise.

But now somebody has to say, well, I know that I can do. I can advertise on Facebook, I can advertise on the Google platform. I can advertise in Instagram. I can advertise on or through LinkedIn. Where do you want me to stop? Reasonably I’ll stop at the big four.

How does, or how do you think a marketer or an insurance agent, in this case, makes a decision about platform selection?

Dave: The platform selection comes down, in my opinion, to where you want to begin your process with the customer. Where are they in the process of shopping for insurance? For example, on Google, if you go on to Google tab, place your ad, you’re going to most likely use a link ad, something that’s going for text, you’re going for a specific keyword. You would say, best insurance agent in San Francisco, or something like that. That’s a direct content piece.


Michael: Okay. Can I now take responsibility for that exact quote, I think?

Dave: Yes, exactly. [laughs]

Michael: All right. I might have other counsel, but this is for the sake of discussion, just continue.

Dave: Exactly. You would pay an astronomical amount to be able to have that keyword, right?

Michael: Right. Okay.


Michael: But I sold a personal ad policy for $200, okay.


Dave: Yes, but the quote alone was $200.

Michael: I know.


Dave: But its lifetime value, right? Anyways. Google really specializes in allowing you to focus on where they are in their buying cycle. If somebody is searching for something with very specific intent, you can target to that person, but you’re going to pay a lot because everybody else is also searching for that person with that intent. The competition makes it to where only if you do deep research can you be exponentially profitable. The other option would be then to go towards one of the other social media outlets.

Michael: Okay. Before we move on, kindly just, because we’re not going to spend a lot of time on Google advertising, give us the bottom line on when that’s useful.

Dave: It’s a very expensive, but it’s very useful if you know a very particular niche. If you’re looking arborists in Colorado, [laughs] you know that you can target those very specific that type of a business and what they are looking for. If you specialize in that, you can do that really well with Google.

Michael: General insurance advertising on Google, bad. Niche advertising, okay. Micro niche advertising, good. Right?

Dave: Right, exactly.

Michael: I don’t want to get into a long conversation about this now, but also the nature of what you’re driving to and how high up the funnel you want to go are strategic-

Dave: Exactly.

Michael: – decisions that an agent needs to make. Maybe we’ll get into that later, but I know I will in the future podcast. Now, boom, we look at other platforms like LinkedIn or Instagram.

Dave: LinkedIn helps you target business individuals. If people are in, again, kind of like Arborist, you would be able to look for that very particular niche on LinkedIn. It allows you to say, rather than saying I work with Arborist who specifically need lots of insurance for their employees because they get hard all the time, otherwise, I’m just going to look for Arborist in general. LinkedIn allows you to target Arborist in general based on the career field and things that they do within that industry.

Michael: Got it. Okay. Now, quick question. Before you move on, question. Facebook will allow you to do that as well, right?

Dave: Yes, but people don’t tend to utilize Facebook to talk about their jobs, they tend to hide more of their work stuff on the Facebook platform, at least the casual users. The casual users are usually what you’re looking for when you’re targeting market.

Michael: They might put in their profile, they might identify as an Arborist?

Dave: Yes, absolutely.

Michael: Got it, all right. Whereas on LinkedIn, they most certainly will identify as an Arborist.

Dave: They most certainly will do it. Exactly.

Michael: Okay, got it. Now, my recruiter is sitting there, I know we haven’t jumped off Instagram yet, my recruiter is sitting there saying, “Well, which one do I do? I’ve heard LinkedIn advertising is more expensive”, bla bla bla. What’s your best answer to that person?

Dave: It depends on a kind of like how you just touched on it. It’s where in the marketing funnel they’re currently trying to feel the lead. If it’s at the top of the funnel and they need very broad leads, then they shouldn’t use LinkedIn, because LinkedIn isn’t going to be as good for a very lead. But if you want to drive that traffic directly to a sales page, rather than getting e-mail address through opting in, then you would use LinkedIn, because you know exactly what their industry is, and what they do, and how they feel at work and the types of emotions that you can give them to able to have effective sales copy without having to do lead generation ahead of time.

Michael: Got it. All right. Instagram.

Dave: Instagram is where all the younger people are. Basically, Instagram is the new happening social media outlet. [crosstalk]

Michael: When you say younger, what do you think the current research which is if it’s a week old, it’s probably too old.

Dave: Yes.


Michael: What do you think the current research is saying or defining as younger in this case?

Dave: It’s certainly above millennial and younger, we would say 40’s and younger.

Michael: Gen X, maybe, and millennial.

Dave: Exactly, yes.

Michael: Very short story here. My audience may or may not have noticed, I used to be fairly active on at least on some social platforms, Twitter, LinkedIn. Then when we went into the negotiates for the sales of agency revolution, frankly, I was looking for things not to do, right? [laughs]

Frankly, for me, social was easy. It’s like I was so busy, and then after the sale, it’s just there’s a lot that you do, you take a breath, you kind of reassess what’s going on. I was not active on social for basically a year and a half. Starting to sneak back in so people might say, “Hey, it’s about time Michael Jans, the big marketer’s on social media”. We all have sort of different approaches to this in mind, mine is lifestyle first. [laughs] Now, you and I, we know that approaching the launch of a new program, its fun to get back. Here is what I’ve noticed, is that the Instagram audience is, yes, younger, but not all so. A lot of the agents who I’m connecting or reconnecting with on Instagram, these guys, they’re not 40 dude, they’re way over 40.

Dave: For sure.

Michael: They do tend, however, they tend to be sort of the self-aware conscious of marketing as a critical skill. They’re probably maybe a little more the early adopters of that as a platform, right?

Dave: Absolutely. Yes. I totally will agree with you. I see that on Instagram.

Michael: They’re probably straddling Facebook and Instagram, and maybe some other stuff. On the other hand, for example, every single millennial insurance agent that I’ve interviewed in the last year and a half, they’re all heavy Instagram users.

Dave: Right, exactly.

Michael: The Instagram platform, good for the audience that it’s there, and in my observation is that it seems to be maturing as an advertising platform?

Dave: It is, it’s very quickly maturing, and its catching up to Facebook. The only difference is that they also targeting aspects, then it allows you to do more in highly targeted ad, whereas Instagram is still developing more communal type activities, to then allow people to participate which then allows people to target better.

Michael: Right on. Okay, got it. All right. Now, let’s go back to Facebook, all right.


Dave: Facebook is like the king right now. It allows you to target everything, even though they’re removing so many aspects every week, which kind of scares some people. I know that I’ve heard a lot of stories of people losing their entire Facebook campaigns right now. They were doing a really, really amazing and then now with the latest changes, there’s nothing.

Michael: Ouch, okay.

Dave: There’s a reason for that.

Michael: Yes, all right. What’s the reason?

Dave: That reason is because they didn’t do highly specified targeting in the beginning to allow themselves the opportunity to then have their own niche market. What they did is they went for mass traffic, because they wanted volume. That is the first major fault that I would say most new Facebook people who go into Facebook for advertising, they make. They think everybody is my targeted customer, or there’s a huge option of this available target, targeting traffic, right?

Michael: Yes.

Dave: Every time somebody comes to your page or even likes you, or comments on your page, that’s going to start defining your customer audience. You really don’t want old traffic, you want your customers always, just who that is.

Michael: This is really often where I start at the very, very beginning in working with individual clients, is identification of a perfect client. I think to some extent what you’re saying– We always say this, is that any lack of clarity about the identification of the perfect client leads to some confusion. I think you’re saying, in the Facebook world, even more so.

Dave: Yes, absolutely.

Micahel: Let’s not get into the details of how to create the profile of the perfect client. Once you do that, what do you do in Facebook?

Dave: The easiest way to get somebody involved in social media right now, is to have some type of a giveaway, a competition, driving force, something. People are still, when they are on social media, they are looking for something to do. They are looking for a time killer, and something that would eventually be profitable for them-

Michael: So that they don’t have to work, so that they’re not working. Can we exemplify this? Outside the insurance industry, without naming names, can you kind of pick a client or a composite client, and walk through the first part of the campaign that gets them to what you’ve just described, that sort of concept.

Dave: Outside of the insurance?

Michael: Yes. I’m assuming that you don’t know other clients in the insurance industry, at least not yet. Give us an example of how that has worked for a client of yours?

Dave: What we would do is we would have a giveaway, and we would choose something that is impactful for our targeted market. If your targeted market spends a lot of time on their phone, then maybe giving away a new higher-end phone would be an option. If they are short on money, then giving away a visa gift card would be a better option.

Once you identify exactly who your target is and what it is that would incentivize them quickly, to think of something I go, “I’m going to stop what I’m doing. Let me jump over and do that.” We would start the contest with them seeing the ad on Facebook, and it would allow them to begin the contest by liking the page, liking the ad, which then gives them a point. They are allowed to earn so many points per day, week and month before the contest ends, and the person with the greatest amount of points gets the prize.

Michael: You as the marketer, then you get a dashboard and you can observe how your contest is going?

Dave: That’s correct.

Michael: Who wins? Is it the person with the most points?

Dave: Yes. The person with the most points. You have to set out a point structure that also works with your lead generation method. One point, for example, could be downloading your latest PDF booklet on arborists in Colorado. Or it could be that they need to watch your video on YouTube. Either way, you could say this type of lead generation method, you’ll get a point and you just put a tracking pixel on each one of those methods. so that then the dashboard is then updated and you’re able to see the contest.

Michael: Interesting. If you do this well, then you’re getting people to consume more and more of your content.

Dave: Which builds trust. Exactly.

Michael: Yes, builds trust.

Dave: Much higher conversion rate.

Michael: Yes, all right. Got it. Basically, the contest generates leads, right?

Dave: That’s right.

Michael: Then the rest is up to the marketer.

Dave: That’s right. Once you’ve generated the leads, you’re generating the type of leads, specifically that you’re wanting. Then you’re able to cross-target based on the opt-in methods that they chose. For example, let’s say you do have a YouTube video and an opt-in book. Maybe they just go to the video and they don’t go to the book.

You could have a separate email feed for those individuals, allowing you to get better conversion, or re-targeting pixels, to send a new ad to those people. You would get better conversion, because you already know the medium of their choice.

Michael: You obviously can get very sophisticated, and again, granular with Facebook advertising. You saw my YouTube ad, boom, you get a point, and then maybe the next day, “Hey. If you want to earn another point, download this book on eight things that every successful arborist does.”

Dave: That’s right. The best thing that you can ever add into a contest, is making sure to give points every time someone shares the content. Because that’s what allows it to grow and even become viable.

Michael: Yes, okay. All right. Got it. I don’t know if you’ll actually use an example. Conceivably somebody, if they had a little time out there and invested some resource into advertising, they could build a list fairly quickly.

Dave: Yes.

Michael: Is this what you see a lot of marketers turn to, when they want to expand the size of their list?

Dave: Yes.

Michael: This is it?

Dave: Yes, absolutely. This is usually, especially if you do broad targeting within niches. My second little secret that I’m willing to give away, is that you can target audiences on Facebook based off of the interest. If you specifically picked interests that are alike within an industry, you will have a greater chance of having further applications within that industry be very successful. Let me give you an example.

If on Facebook you have an ad where– Let me get the perfect example here. What it is, is it allows you to target, for example, let’s say magazines. You could say, people that like this particular type of magazine or all of the magazines within my insurance industry, that could be where my clients are, because they like to read magazines. You could also target people based off of what other pages they go to or insurance agencies that they previously will win, et cetera.

Michael: Interesting. For example, again, the arborist. I know I bit arborist to death and I don’t need to do that. It’s just one of my clients is a big arborist agent. If they’re an arborist and they also, for example, have liked arborist national magazine. Do you bring that into the ad? How do you use that information? Are you just using it because you’ve noticed the people who read arborist national magazine convert better? How do you do that? What do you do with that?

Dave: Even though you’re doing one contest, most people would think of that being one ad. Really what you should do is probably make at least 10 and as many as 13 or 14 of the exact same contest, but change who you’re targeting. Because that will show you the participation level of that audience. If magazine people tend to share more and are more involved and they download your eBook, you know that that’s where your audience is most likely to be. They’re more likely to sign up to your webinar or buy your products, or so on and so forth, schedule consolations.

Michael: Do you include copy about that interest in the ad? Do you say, ‘for readers of arborist national magazine’?

Dave: You can. Sometimes it works with split testing and sometimes it backfires. You have to be careful with that.

Michael: Talk to us about the split testing capabilities of Facebook, and maybe define what that is for some of the audience.

Dave: Split testing is when you put two different options against the same audience, to see in the beginning for the first 10% usually of whether it’s an email or a Facebook ad. That first 10% is going to be defined by how many people open it, watch it, interact with it, which one of the ads is going to be the very best to allow you to get the best rates from when you finally do publish that ad. It’s like pre-testing the waters to make sure that you get the best option.

Michael: A little historical anecdote here. Back in the pre-online days, you could pay some publications to do this. Typically, this is a one way that a lot of marketers did. The Wall Street Journal was broken up and into five regions in the United States. The smallest region, I happen to live in, was the South West region, was the smallest, but it was big enough to run a test. There still be tens of thousands of Wall Street Journals being published. Every other one was here is ad A, here is ad B. Here is ad A, here is ad B. That was back in the old days. That’s how split testing was done in trade publications or in print publications.

Harder to do a trade publication, usually you didn’t have the capacity to do that. Direct mail of course were– If you could control your direct mail, then all the big marketers would do split testing on direct mail. Now it’s really relatively easy. Those split testing, sometimes– Let’s say publisher’s clearing house. They’re still a big mailer, but they were huge before, right?

And apparently, they were like split testing 17 different things. They basically would mail the country, right? There’s like 200 million pieces of mail going out. Well, if you are doing that, let’s split test a few things. They were like split testing 17 things, and lots of versions of the headline, lots of versions of the offer, lots of versions of the color or whatever, all that kind of jazz. And then they would take that.

Sometimes, in those splits, maybe they’d get– Here’s how we got a 3% bump here or 1% bump here. You start compounding that. Here’s an extra 1%, here’s an extra 3%, here’s the 7%, here’s a 0.5%. You start compounding that stuff, and you end up with a very, very profitable marketing. The conclusion of that strategy is very profitable, right?

Dave: Absolutely.

Michael: However, in the real world, those little conversions, differences in conversion tend to happen in very mature organizations that have already tested the heck out of everything. A lot of cases, I’m sure you would be curious what your most extreme example was, but we’ll often see a doubling or a tripling of response with split test changes that surprise you.

Dave: Absolutely.

Michael: It’s like, really? It’s like am getting the 300% better response because I changed two or three words or something like that.

Dave: Oh yes. My favorite actually was I added an emoji. I had a 400% increase by adding a little size emoji next to it. [laughs]

Michael: I missed that. What was the increase?

Dave: 400%.

Michael: Okay, got it. All right.

Dave: It was a flag emoji, that’s my favorite. I was so shocked when I saw that. I didn’t even understand. I had to double check the numbers.

Michael: All right. Okay. Then, unless it is flag emojis from now on.

Dave: [laughs]

Michael: Yes. Obviously, this is the stuff that really, really matters. All right, other than– so like that’s the process. I think you’ve defined a good process. Running a contest, having multiple options for Split testing, driving people into your funnel, which unfortunately a lot of agents don’t have, and then– Well, you and I know we’re going to crack the code on that for the industry. I’m trying to like come up to step number three, and then using that for look-alike profiling. Right?

Dave: Exactly.

Michael: Okay. What are you discovering? What are the big mistakes that you see, I would say, amateurs tend to make in Facebook advertising in the ad itself?

Dave: That’s a really good question.

Michael: Well, I mean maybe– Well, you probably don’t see the ads very often. If an ad’s not successful, [laughs] it’s in nobody’s interest, including Facebook, including the advertiser to continue it, right?

Dave: Yes.

Michael: You probably have some template, something to do, like there’s imagery, there’s appropriate headlines, there’s the body copy and so on and so forth. What do you have to think about when you create a good Facebook ad?

Dave: The first step usually is to check out what’s already successful. Build off of the backs of others who have already done a lot of testing, so that you don’t have to start off with a scratch. In order to do that, you need some type of a program like add Prexity or ad beats or one of those ones online that give the shopping network of all of the ads that are produced through Instagram or Facebook.

Michael: Wow. Now I’m curious about– tell us a little bit about these platforms. It seems that they’re incredibly useful. Are they expensive and are there free versions?

Dave: They are slightly expensive. I believe that they are around a couple of hundred dollars a month usually, but you don’t have to keep them ongoing. It’s something that you can have for a couple of months while you’re originally testing and getting your ideas, but it allows you to search based off of industries or even based off of domain names if you want to find a very particular competitor.

Michael: What does my competitor do? Okay. I’m going to ask you to name this category of software and then give us a couple of examples. You mentioned a couple; I just didn’t catch them.

Dave: Sure, so, it’s ads spy. That’s really what they call it. It is spying on your competitor’s ad. And then add plexity. A-D-P-L-E-X-I-T-Y, ad plexity.

Michael: Ad plexity.

Dave: Yes.

Michael: Okay.

Dave: That’s a really good one. They have mobile as well as desktop version, things like that that you can see the ads. Not all of them do. That’s probably my favorite. I would purchase, probably just go with that one. There are others as well, but it’s the best.

Michael: People can look at it. It’s easy to find competitors, so-

Dave: it’s always easy to find competitors.

Michael: All right, got it. Typically, if we took all of like these are the best of the best, these are best converting ads, right?

Dave: Right.

Michael: What do you think the common characteristics are of those on Facebook?

Dave: The best converting ads are almost always video. Even if its a short clip, it is almost always video.

Michael: Okay.

Dave: The next part is-

Michael: I’m sorry, I’m going to interrupt you. I apologize to the audience. I’m an interrupter, but it’s only because I want to get the answer to the question that’s useful to the audience. Sorry.

Dave: [laughs] Okay.

Michael: Now, trust me. If I get dinged in social media, it’s usually, “Why can’t Michael let the guy finish his thought?” I apologize for that. Hold your thought. I want to zero in the video. It seems to me there are a couple of ways to go with it. It could be like in this case, and in the case of Michael, could be a video of Michael or it could be a video of something, not Michael. Which direction do you go there?

Dave: It depends on what you’re selling. If Michael is the thing being sold then, Michael should be in the video. Whereas if you have an agency, it might be more beneficial to have your best salesperson be in the video rather than the owner of the agency most likely the encounter.

Michael: But a live real human being has traction. Okay.

Dave: Yes. Real human being has traction.

Michael: And the video, remind me of the current Facebook platform. It auto plays, right?

Dave: Yes. You select what you want when you choose the ad. It can make autoplay, it can loop, or it can just play a little snippet before making you click the play button to choose to play longer.

Michael: Do you have a recommendation or a favorite among those options?

Dave: I choose autoplay?

Michael: Yes. It would seem why not.

Dave: Right. If people don’t like it, they’ll just stop the autoplay.

Michael: Remind me now, is it autoplay video only or how did they get the audio?

Dave: It is video only for autoplay.

Michael: Okay, got it. And then if they want to hear the audio, they click?

Dave: They have to actually hit the play button.

Michael: They hit the play button. Got It. All right.

Dave: The trick here is, and this goes across for YouTube as well in general. When you’re doing video marketing, always get every video captioned.

Michael: Okay.

Dave: Yes. That way people can read it even with the sound off and auto plays will generate a lot more return.

Michael: All right. What else is, besides talking about whatever.

Dave: Besides the video, people doing two sorts of posts, they believe that the graphic where the video or the picture are going to be the main thing getting people to click. When in fact the copy, what is written still has a major impact because it depends on whether people are auditory, visual or kinesthetic, whether that’s the type of medium that they’re looking for. And so a lot of people will just write a sentence, as information, or two sentences. Whereas I’ve seen ads that have done more than seven figures that were eight paragraphs.

Michael: Okay.

Dave: Huge amounts of texts that did really, really well. It just depends on your audience and how much information they already have, and then where you can take them to with that ad. Some people like to watch videos, some people like to read, and it’s very good to do both.

Michael: All right. I want to clarify one thing for the audience. There are right two places where a copy can go, in the imagery of the ad itself, right? I mean, like you said, captions, right?

Dave: Right.

Michael: And you can have a headline or whatever. Right? You can have a copy there, and then in the what you would call the post below it.

Dave: Yes.

Michael: Okay.

Dave: As well as the headline above the image.

Michael: And the headline?

Dave: You need to choose your headline.

Michael: Okay. So you’ve actually three options for copy?

Dave: Yes.

Michael: Okay. Obviously, we can’t give a copywriting course here, but you need good copy. Right?

Dave: Exactly.

Michael: Any copy that really delivers something. Okay. I have– Before I move on, anything else there in terms of do’s and don’ts for quality Facebook advertising? This is a good list.

Dave: Yes.

Michael: Okay.

Dave: It’s good. Images would be something to pay attention to. Don’t just send an image of yourself standing by your agency as your image. You need to derive a motion with your image. If people make another mistake, it would just be using too generic of images. Think about it. If you’re not going to use the video, then your image needs to say a lot.

Michael: Okay. All right. I have another strategic question about advertising on Facebook. I’m looking for the right words to express this one, and I’m looking for the right words that makes sense to my audience. The question I’m getting at is location in funnel. The knee jerk reaction for an agent who wants to sell insurance, “I want clients who want to buy insurance,” and so the knee jerk reaction might be, “Yes, get me a guy who wants the insurance that I want to sell him right now.” That’s pretty bottom of the funnel stuff.

Dave: That is very bottom of the funnel.

Michael: Or top of the funnel, I have a niche. I nurture that niche, let’s say they’re arborists.

Dave: It’s okay.

Michael: I realize that on any given day, the likelihood that an arborist is thinking, “I need to find an insurance agent,” is really very, very low. On the other hand, on any given day, the likelihood that an arborist cares about his business and might be willing to click on eight things that every successful arborist does which makes no reference to insurance whatsoever, is high.

Dave: Very high. Exactly.

Michael: But it is top of the funnel, and unless, in this case, the agent marketer has a funnel of content that allows somebody to eat their way down into the funnel to the point where they say, “I really do trust this person. I really like this person. I realized that they sell insurance, but they really seem to get me, boom. When the time is right, they reach out with a click or a phone call.

Dave: Absolutely.

Michael: Generally speaking, and now that being said, I realize that there might be people who are like, “I want that product now,” like “Yes, because,” I’ll think of a dumb example let’s say, “Because I’m a camper.” Now, let’s say the camping season is starting to roll around, yes, maybe I really do want that a sleeping bag or a tent. It might go much more quickly to product, but in certain industries my argument is ours, where we have a low desire product.

There’re products that are high desire products like my next car, my next house, my next sleeping bag, my next Mercedes, sprinter van, whatever it is, “I want it,” but there are some low desire products like insurance. People don’t generally get juiced about insurance, then the relationship cultivation it strikes me is extremely important, and understanding how to get people into the top of the funnel and then understanding how to move people through the funnel strikes me as it really, is life or death in this kind of advertising.

Dave: You’re absolutely right. [crosstalk]

Michael: Okay. I Got it. All right. I suppose that was not a question. It was a lecture. I apologize for that. One or two last questions. Looking forward into the to the Facebook advertising world and the social advertising world, what do you see as the trends or forces that people will probably need to pay attention to will be affected by in the next few months or a year or two?

Dave: Well, Instagram is definitely gaining momentum, and when do targeting on Facebook, it does not include targeting on Instagram, even though you can use the same platform Facebook ads tool to then use your ads on Instagram.

Michael: Okay, good point. A lot of people probably didn’t know that. Obviously, it’s one company. The Facebook advertising platform gives you an option to go ahead and use the same, virtually the same ad?

Dave: Yes.

Michael: Okay.

Dave: You need to redesign it because of the platform. Facebook has different image dimensions that look good for them rather than Instagram. But, that’s just a simple part of it.

Michael: Okay. Other trends?

Dave: What you need to pay attention to is that with Instagram becoming the major force, you’re going to need tagging set up with your Instagram account, so that you can build up your audience on Instagram, even though it’s not the main niche now, it is moving in the direction that if you don’t set it up now, and if they don’t add in deeper targeting aspects which they want to, but they haven’t yet, you will be mostly out of luck in targeting in the future. To save yourself from that, make sure that you’re keeping track of your Facebook targeting while maintaining the Instagram at the same time, not sending ads to Instagram, but instead utilizing Facebook, your contest your, post to drive the same people that are engaging with you on Facebook to engage with you on Instagram.

Michael: Got it. Very good. One or two last questions. One, I’m going to give you a chance to get on the soapbox and say something to the insurance industry, and I realize you’re not an insurance professional, you’re marketing and technology professional, but you’ve gotten to know the industry a little bit through me. If you could deliver a message to the insure-preneurs of this world, what would you say? I know I’m putting you on the spot.

Dave: [crosstalk]

Michael: It doesn’t have to be right. Just go for it.

Dave: In order to keep up with what’s changing in the industry, you’re going to have to have a funnel of some kind. You need to start implementing multiple pages. Websites are not like they were in the 2000s or even 2010, as things started really changing. You need to have something that has a function on every page. The about page still drives you towards something. There you have some type of an opt in method, because what this is, is all of the traffic generation that you can do with social ads, or even Google ads, it’s still need to work in tandem with your funnel. If you don’t have a funnel in place, you’re most likely going to be burning money on that.

Michael: Looking at the future, your prediction, and I’m not disagreeing with you as every serious marketer/insurance agent or insurer-prenuer everyone needs a funnel.

Dave: That’s right.

Michael: Got it. Dave, if somebody wanted to reach out to you, and perhaps wanted to get your assistance with your Facebook marketing campaign, what’s the best way that they can do that?

Dave: They can reach me at my website which is ellis.marketing, not .com, just .marketing. Then otherwise I do all of my work through Upwork because I like to freelance and work with other awesome people online as well. You can find me on Upwork by creating any type of a job that you’re looking for with this Facebook marketing or creating the funnel, and you could talk to me one on one. We can schedule a consultation through there and figure out what’s the best route for you would be.

Michael: Got it. All right, my friend, and folks should know that’s how you and I met, was on Upwork.

Dave: Absolutely.

Michael: It’s a really good platform. Dave, thank you so much for sharing. I appreciate. I know you’re busy. I appreciate you taking time out of your schedule on what is a really, really important topic.

Dave: Thank you. I had a lot of fun. It was a really great time.

Michael: All right, thanks.

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