Will Scott will be speaking on Facebook Ads at Engage 2018, which will take place March 8th, 2018 in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click here.

1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.

We help businesses successfully market online. More and more I do that, personally, by working to develop our team, coaching, teaching and speaking.

I built my first website in 1994. I was very fortunate to return to school from the Marines at a time when the Internet was just becoming a thing – before it took over the world.

One of my Architecture School faculty members, Javier Navarro, was very interested in the idea of the internet. Javier expressed his fascination in a reference to “space”. As in Cyberspace.

Architects are all about “space”. So any time we can use it as a metaphor we get excited. 🙂

So, with Javier’s prompting, and my own self-study, I approached, then Dean of The School of Architecture, Donald Gatzke, with the idea that the school needed a website. He was kind enough to introduce me to another faculty member, who would ultimately become Vice President of Information Systems at Tulane, Jed Diem, who taught me how to code HTML and use the university’s Unix cluster to publish the site.

I was technical and am still pretty technically literate. Search Influence still has more technical chops than most agencies our size with a strong ability to manage technical SEO, site audits and a lot more.

And with that, over time our clients have trusted us to expand our repertoire to become a sole source for all their online marketing needs — and yes, we’ve even bought some radio and TV ads.

2) How can a small business make a big impact with Facebook Ads?

Whether Facebook, email or even postcards, it is more critical than ever for a small business to grow their list. There’s a well-worn cliché that it’s 7 times easier to sell to an existing customer than a new one. As such, loyalty and retention (re-purchase) need to be a big part of any marketing effort.

As far as Facebook ads go, we always try to take advantage of a few core ideas:
Target as narrowly as you can to identify your best audience
Faces – especially happy customers – sell stuff, use real people in ads
If you do have an existing list, whether email or SMS, load it into the Facebook ads manager and make a Custom audience
Then, create a “look-alike” audience – Facebook can identify attributes of your current list and find more users like them
And then, collect email addresses of your Facebook targets by running a contest or a lead ad

Facebook continues to add features to the platform. Most recently they added the ability to explicitly target actions you might want to see happen like website clicks, purchases and even lead capture. Given the constant change to Facebook’s view of their business it’s critical to not put all one’s eggs in a single basket and it’s therefore critical to invite those users back to your place so you can fully capture them as an opportunity.

Never forget that the most important question to answer regardless of the medium is “what’s in it for me?”. Your customers don’t care about your shiny new widget unless they can see how it makes their lives better.

3) At what point does it make sense for a business to quit self-management of Facebook ads and hire a company such as yours?

As soon as they actually want results 🙂 Just kidding.

Some activities are easier than others. It’s easy to boost posts and get exposure. It’s pretty easy to grow fans.

It’s also easy to waste a lot of money if you don’t have a plan.

We like to start from goals and work our way down to tactics. Another “like” does nothing explicitly for the bottom line. You may, however, feel like you need a sufficient number of page-likes to look like a legitimate business.

As a business owner or manager, you probably know your audience and what will resonate. Where professional help becomes valuable is when you either run out of capability or time to execute a campaign professionally.

We love collaborative clients. in order to be successful with digital marketing, you need to understand the business economics (this is where we need the most input from clients), have the creative chops to put together an effective strategy and the technical chops to make it happen (through the platforms and technology).

It’s rare to find a business owner or manager who can successfully do all three. Heck, at agencies we even have specialized departments working on each of those pieces because they require different skill sets.

That’s how we win for clients.

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