Full Funnel Paid Advertising

Featuring HubSpot's Paid Acquisition Team:
Josh Chang, Rex Gelb, and Laura Mittelmann

 
 
  • - Hello and welcome to today's Master Class on supporting your full funnel with paid advertising. We're here with HubSpot Academy, HubSpot's official learning resource and worldwide leader, in inbound marketing and sales education. Head to Hub Academy at HubSpot.com for free certification, and courses, and tools to not only grow your business, but also your entire career. I'm Crystal King, I'm the social media professor for Academy and I'm gonna to be your host today. And I'm joined here by HubSpot's paid acquisition marketers. First off we have Rex Gelb who works on our freemium marketing team. Josh Chang who is focused on our content acquisition team. And Laura Middleman who works on our brand and buzz team. There are three very different use cases here for paid advertising and all at various points of HubSpot's marketing funnel. During the Master Class we're gonna be asking you, the audience to ask us questions, and give us your comments and feedback. And you can do that in the comment box on Facebook. Or if you want to be responding to us on Twitter we will be watching there as well. Just make sure you tag your comments and your Tweets with the hashtag HubSpotMasterClass. So let's get started. We've got a whole bunch of questions. And again make sure you answer, that you ask us all along the way. We'll be watching those. So to get started let's talk a little bit about yourselves and tell me how you got into the world of paid marketing. I can't imagine that you started out in life thinking, oh mom, when I grow up I wanna be a paid marketing, a paid advertiser, a paid marketer. So how did you get into it? Do you wanna start us out?

    - Yeah, so I'll kick this off. I got into it. I kinda stumbled into it to be honest. I knew I wanted to do something in marketing in college. I kinda had a knack for writing, and data. And I thought that marketing was where those two would intersect well. I didn't know what paid advertising was at the time. I just knew, you know, just marketing. So I applied to a bunch of marketing jobs and I ended up getting one at a startup in Boston, and they put me on paid advertising. They were a really paid heavy company. And I dove in and I liked it. So I decided to stick with it.

    - [Crystal] How about you Josh?

    - Yeah, I stumbled into it as well. I don't think a lot of people are yeah, they're not like, hey I wanna do paid advertising. I came from an agency background. Actually working for a number of clients. My last job was at a small local agency running paid search. I started running paid search, and kind of expanded into all things paid. But like Rex, I had a strength in data, numbers and looking at that. With paid, it's very numbers oriented. You have a certain amount of spend. You've got conversions, you've got clicks, you've got all of those metrics that you can look at. And so it was just a really natural fit for me, and I kinda kept going with it.

    - Yeah, same story for me. I studied business in college. I took a couple digital marketing classes and became interested in it. So I, my first job out of college was at a digital marketing agency where, like Josh, I started out in search, and then expanded to display and paid social as well.

    - [Crystal] So Rex tell us a little bit about your role here at HubSpot. I would want each of you to do the same. And the kind of goals you measure yourself against in that role.

    - Yeah, so I'll start out with my role. So my job is CRM portal acquisition. Meaning I'm trying to get people to sign up for the CRM. The way I do that is I buy clicks all over the web. People hopefully are interested. They click on them. They create a portal. If they like it they invite their teammates. Hopefully they start using it for a long time, end up seeing a ton of value out of it. Enough value that they end up becoming a paying customer of ours. In terms of how I measure myself, I think the first thing, it would be helpful to go over the difference between direct response advertising and branding. In paid advertising, and I would argue in advertising in general, there's really two types of campaigns, there's branding and direct response. Direct response is trying to get someone to do something on the page. So doing some sort of action. It could be clicking a button, or watching a video, or downloading, downloading an app, a purchase, whatever. You want them to do something. A brand campaign is more just, you're goin' after eyeballs. It's like a billboard or a TV commercial for the most part. You probably see these from big brands from JetBlue, or Coca Cola, or Doritos. When JetBlue takes out a billboard, it's not that they want you to book a flight right then and there, it's that they want those impressions to be in your mind so that when you do go to book a flight, you have a company that you've heard of, and that you trust and you go with them hopefully.

    - You've got the awareness. You've got the awareness, exactly. So my job is very direct response focused with portal acquisition. We do branding elsewhere. I'll let Laura talk about that. But I'm tryin' to get people to click on a ad, sign up for the CRM and see a ton of value out of it. And that's what I focus on.

    - [Crystal] Excellent. So Laura, why don't you tell us what you are doing.

    - Yeah, so on the flip side of that I'm focusing more on the branding. So the goals that we'd be looking at would be related to brand awareness as well as building the community, mostly on social. Some metrics we look at relate to people being engaged, and interested in the content that we're putting out there. So things like video views, engagement, traffic to the site, and those would all be metrics that we'd be focusing on from a branding standpoint.

    - Yeah, and for me it's, I focus on HubSpot's lead acquisition using paid. With lead acquisition we're focused less on people signing up for the product, more downloading ebook, or signing up for a webinar like this. Using those kinda content resources to generate leads, generate traffic to the site. So I'm focused on that. And then measuring to see if those leads, eventually book a demo with a sales rep, and eventually kinda becoming a paying customer. So I focus more on the lead generation side of the business.

    - So the next question is a little bit dearer to my heart. In the world of social media we're seeing more and more people that are not always getting the reach that they want in organic, with their organic content. And so we're seeing a big shift towards paid advertising strategies in 2018. And I'd love to hear a lot more about you know, why we're seeing that now. What we need to think about in regards to that. Did you wanna start us out with that Rex, Josh?

    - Yeah Josh should take that one.

    - Yeah so this is more in my realm with lead generation. I think with Facebook these days, maybe five, ten years ago you could post an ebook or an offer on Facebook and expect 1,000 people to download it. Nowadays if you do the same thing, maybe 100 will download it. Or only 100 will see it. And in that case you're missing out on those 900 clicks, impressions, views, or whatever. These days I think, depends on the research you read, but the organic reach of a Facebook post is only gonna be about two percent of your followers. The rest of that is all going toward paid advertising now. So it's really become a pay to play model on social media, and on other advertising and SEO channels as well. So with these days, yeah, it's really, you need to close that gap on social media. You can't think of organic social media as a lead acquisition channel. You really need to start using paid advertising. Leveraging it to get more reach for your content, or for your brand, or for your product, or whatever it ends up being. With SEO it's a similar case in terms of, you do a search on Google, you're seeing four ads above the fold, before any organic listings start showing up. With those four ads, it depends on the research again, but 40% of users who do a search are gonna click on a paid ad verses organic. And that's a big chunk of people searching. So it's really important to have a presence. Because all your competitors are definitely gonna have a presence so it's really important for you to be there, get in front of the eyes. And kind of give them the best conversion path to become a lead, become a customer, whatever your goals are.

    - [Crystal] Okay great. So when you think about that. My followup question to you there is, what paid advertising channels are you using? I think a lot of us think about Google AdWords, and they know about Facebook ads as well. But can you give us an idea of maybe some of the different types of paid advertising that are out there and what people should thinking about.

    - Totally. So we spend about 80 to 90% of our budget on Google and Facebook, those are kinda the big players out there. They generate so much revenue just off of ads because they have a good product. They have really good reach. And you kinda need to be there. One of our folks is obviously Google AdWords. That's really important. That's kinda where I got my start in paid. Google is a little bit different from Facebook, or other advertising channels where it's, people are kinda demonstrating intent. They're searching for keywords and you're gonna be bidding on those keywords that you think are relevant to your business. So for HubSpot it might be inbound marketing, or marketing automation that we're looking at. We know people are interested in the software we have to offer. So those are really important because you wanna get your business in front of those. And we don't want our competitors to get in front of those people who are actively interested in the products that we built. So really important for a good presence in search. I think that's kinda where you need to definitely get a start. Make sure you can succeed there. Whereas Facebook, other channels, are kinda more exploratory. You're going for net new people that aren't necessarily raising their hand and being like, hey I'm interested in inbound marketing. But you're kind of, you think that that audience you're targeting might be interested, so you wanna get some content offers, or get your brand in front of them to kind of get into that consideration phase. And then with AdWords we could do a whole nother Master Class on just AdWords. But there's a lot of considerations with how you set up your campaigns, ad groups, match types, bids, conversion tracking, and everything. So there's a lot there that you, it's really important to master that. And there's a whole of that for Facebook as well. That's where we spend the majority of our efforts. But we are obviously testing other channels tryin' to see if there are new areas where we could kind of succeed with paid advertising.

    - [Crystal] Do you guys wanna have any, do you have anything to add to it?

    - Yeah, going off of what Josh was saying about AdWords. He's speaking mostly to the search side. But as far as other channels, there's more you can do with AdWords as well. And those channels can really be pretty powerful to leverage. So that could be GDN, Google's Display Network which would be display ads or text ads on Google's network of sites. Gmail ads is another, so that would be the sponsored ads like at the top of the Gmail inbox, and YouTube as well, so video or banner ads on YouTube. So even within AdWords there's so much more that can be done besides only search advertising.

    - Yeah, the only thing I would add on top is, we're coming at this from a very B to B perspective. Like we're targeting businesses. Maybe there's some people watching that are targeting B to C. And there is a lot more availability for that. And it's not that some of the other channels online like email, native display, it's not like that doesn't work for B to B. It's just Facebook and Google, and I might throw a LinkedIn to that have just really, really

    - Yeah. Powerful targeting from all of their data. Other companies you know, like Taboola, or Outbrain, or Content.Ad, things like that. Those can work really well for B to C. I know some people can get them working well for B to B also, but you're kind of, you tend to be casting a little bit of a broader net with that. But it's certainly worth testing.

    - [Crystal] Yeah, I'm thinking about how do people use Snap and how do people use Pinterest. But definitely more of a B to C play there.

    - Yeah, exactly.

    - [Crystal] Is there one paid channel or tactic that you think the audience might not know about but probably should try?

    - I'll start with that one. I would say using paid for more middle of funnel, and bottom of funnel tactics. So lookalike audiences, or similar audiences, and remarketing are probably widely used. But I think some of the more advanced remarketing and customer list type targeting capabilities can really help to reach your customers, or potential customers wherever they are in their journey. So some examples would be, you know, targeting people who've watched your videos, or been to your site a certain number of times, subscribed to your channel, or liked your Facebook page, things like that that can really help you reach these granular audiences, and know what they're interested in, what they might be looking for in order to help you figure out what messaging would be right for them and continue to push them through that funnel.

    - Yeah, I think one of the things that we're testing here at HubSpot is a lot of account based marketing. Account based marketing is kinda relatively new. And for those of you that don't know, account based marketing is really targeting by company or accounts in this case. So I could go and target a sales force, or a Microsoft. That you basically set your targeting parameters for those companies and they'll target people within those companies. And you can break it down by senior decision makers, people in the marketing departments, sales people, et cetera, et cetera. So that's something we're testing now. A lot of that is less focused on direct lead acquisition. You're not expecting someone putting a display ad and expecting them to come to your website and become a customer immediately. You're kinda putting HubSpot front of mind for these people, that our sales people are like interested in actively talking to, and kind of accelerating that brand to that company through the funnel to kind of get them to convert quicker. So that's something that's really new. We're still doing a time experimentation on, and seeing varying degrees of success on. And another tactic we're really interested about now is Bots and Facebook Messenger. We're doing a ton with that. In terms of using Facebook Messenger as kind of an alternative to sending them to your website or sending them to your landing page, there are lots of applications in terms of, obviously there are applications for customer service, for sales. But in terms of marketing we're doing a ton where we're putting leads, kind of a lead acquisition strategy in front of users, but having them engage with a bot to become a lead rather than to a website and filling out a form, which has kind of been the traditional method. We had some of this, it might be, hey sign up for this webinar, and it pushes you into Facebook Messenger and you start, the Bot talks to you, registers you for it, and then kinda sends you a content as it comes along. So that's been a really cool and effective channel for us. Obviously it's still super new, so there's a lot still to be learned, and a lot still to be built, from kind of a, like how easy is it to build a Bot for a small business or something like that. But there are definitely tools out there. There are other companies that do it. HubSpot's working on a lot of that stuff now. It's kinda cool and we've done a lot, we've seen a lot of success with webinar registrations. And we see much more efficient kinda cost per lead. And it's still very new so not a lot of people are using it. So those impressions and those clicks are actually, probably gonna be cheaper and less competitive than if you're just sending people to a landing page like everybody else is.

    - That's exciting.

    - I'm gonna interrupt some of the questions I have for you with questions that are coming in. And this one's from Tappan. And this is probably the question I bet every single person is asking. Which is the best, which platform is the best platform for paid marketing?

    - I think that really depends on your goals. I think like we said with AdWords, I personally think every company should have at least a small presence on AdWords and test it to see if you can succeed with it. Just because people are actively searching for something that your company is offering. So like if you're a company's offering shoes. You wanna be targeting people that are searching for shoes or a specific type of shoe, athletic shoes, something like that. So you wanna get your brand in front of that. Because one thing, is it's very competitive but these people are actively searching. So you wanna get in front of them. With Facebook, Rex do you wanna talk a little bit about Facebook, it's kinda more your--

    - Yeah sure. So the thing is, yeah, so it definitely depends. I don't think there's an answer to that question. I think it depends on your business and what works for you. I agree AdWords needs to be there. The thing about Facebook is it's an exploratory network. So there's only so much I can do, at least in the short term to get more people typing in free CRM into the search bar. It's pretty steady month over month, the things we can do in the long term. But I can't just increase my budget and scale. On Facebook ads, because it's exploratory, because I'm finding them, I can just increase my budget and scale which is great because it's, it's pretty limitless, just to your budget. The thing about Facebook ads is oftentimes we have found that it generates a lot of demand, and then people come back and Google you, or look for you on search. So if you don't have that presence on search, you're gonna be generating all this demand, and a competitor can swoop in and steal all of that traffic for you. So they really go hand in hand.

    - One of the other questions here is that, it's from Shamir, the days of hiding premium content behind a landing page seems to be a little old school thinking. How do we get people into our funnel without a typical landing page?

    - Yeah, I mean this is something we're thinking about every day. HubSpot's business was kinda built on sending people to a landing page and converting, so it's obviously there's kinda two sides to it. But yeah, one of the things for us is Facebook Messenger. That's something that's worked really well for us so far. Basically eliminating that friction. And you can put a Facebook ad out there and they click, rather than going to a landing page, Messenger just pops up on the side, or you open up Messenger and you start engaging with the brand that way. That's kind of a really exciting way to do it. Obviously, yeah there's a lot of bloggers and technical limitations behind it. But there are companies out there that let you do that pretty easily. So that's one of the things. The other stuff is kinda ABM where it's more, yeah more targeting accounts, and kind of accelerating them through the funnel. That might be like a more of a retargeting type thing where you know these people are actually engaging with you. But I think HubSpot is investing a lot in Facebook Messenger and we're pretty excited about it. So that's something I would recommend to everybody to try.

    - [Crystal] So when it comes to experimentation, I know that we at HubSpot, we love to experiment right. But tell us a little bit about how you go about, what do you think about when it comes to experimentation in the world of paid advertising?

    - Yeah so that's like all of our full time jobs is just like trying to think of an idea to improve a metric in our funnel, and then attacking it. So you know, it might be click through rate, or it might be cost per click, or retention, or something. You wanna attack like a function of what you care about. Which is for most companies is gonna be revenue and customers. The one thing I would say to keep an eye on, is while you're attacking a single function of what you care about, don't forget what you care about. So if you're attacking clicks, and you're trying to get more clicks from an experiment. Don't forget to look further down funnel and see how it impacts down funnel metrics like customers and return on investment. Not all clicks are created equal. Not all users are created equal. You could put up something really quick baity and get a lot of clicks and it's not gonna be qualified clicks 'cause people aren't gonna know what they're getting into. Yeah so, look at your whole funnel. Come up with 10 ideas how to improve every step of the way and then go after them. But don't forget to keep your eye on the prize and look at the whole journey, not just that one function of it.

    - So Cynthia is asking what do you recommend for model on deciding how much budget to spend on paid advertising?

    - Yeah, I think, I mean that's a good question. It really depends on the company. But for us, it's really important for us to look all the way through the funnel. I can generate a cost per lead of $10, but what does that actually mean for HubSpot the business? So we work on, or we're working on a lot of kinda ROI analysis being like, hey we put $100 into AdWords, are we getting $200 back, are we getting $300 back. And so that's a really important point. Obviously you need a lot of data. And you need to be able to report on your funnel kinda all the way through, not just at the top, or not just at the bottom. And being able to link, hey this person clicked on AdWords a month ago but became a customer today. And so being able to have that information is gonna be really important for your budget questions and stuff like that. But in terms of budget, I mean, my recommendation is always to start small. See if you can get that to succeed. Whether it's on AdWords, on Facebook, and what strategies you're using. And then kinda looking at the opportunity to scale. Within AdWords you, like Rex said, you only have a certain amount of search traffic for the keywords you know that work so scale that up until you can. And as you continue seeing success from both like a top of the funnel and an ROI perspective. But then, yeah just continue kinda doing small tests here and there, and if it works scale it up.

    - And I would add onto that as well something that I do occasionally is, when deciding how much budget to put behind something, would be first figuring out what the goal is. So how many leads do we wanna get. Let's say 200, and then backing out from there based on who our audience is, and what that audience size looks like as well as any cost estimates, either from the interfaces, or from past performance, and trying to back out from there based on the information we have and the goals that we have, how much budget would be needed to reach that goal.

    - So we've sort of talked a little bit about some of the aspects of the strategic, you know, tactical pieces of it. But when it comes to how you implement ads into an inbound strategy, I imagine that probably a lot of the audience is thinking about that. So what kind of guardrails do you use in order to stay in front of the right personas, and to keep the buyer's journey in the mind of everybody that's putting these paid ads together?

    - Yeah I think paid ads used to be a little bit associated with out bounding. I remember when I started at HubSpot, you know like maybe three and a half years ago, I told people I was doing paid ads, and like uh, you do the interruptions. And it's like that's what it was, because paid ads, it was all about like, it was like very bothersome. It was like there were a lot of pop ups, and annoying toolbars coming across the top, and like huge full page display ads, and it's just like, get outta here. But you know, it's evolved. And the point of inbound is to like try to hit, try to hit someone with a message at the right place at the right time so you can actually deliver value to them. So you can actually show them something that they might actually be interested in. And paid ads is gotten to that point. At least on some channels like Facebook and Google for sure. Where the targeting is just so powerful. And their AI has gotten so smart, that if you're leveraging these tools correctly. Like you can show people things that they actually wanna see. And that is reflected in the click through rate which has gotten so good over the years. So you know, I don't think it's like bothering someone or doing something outboundy to take out an ad on Google or Facebook at all. I think that actually is a way to deliver value to someone in a way you can do now, that previously you weren't really able to do.

    - Yeah and I think this also goes back to what Josh was saying earlier about the organic reach decreasing across the landscape. And it sort of being necessary now to use paid. And just because you're using paid doesn't mean that you need to be disruptive. So for example, going back to search, somebody is typing in your keywords. That intent is there. You don't need to be disruptive. And same with Facebook, remarketing for example or lead nurturing, they've been to your site, or they've given you their information. So they have indicated to some extent that they're interested in your brand.

    - So Allie is asking us if you nurture paid leads differently than inbound leads that come from SEO?

    - Yeah, I would say in terms of our nurturing strategy and middle of the funnel strategy, yeah definitely. I think you're paid traffic is naturally gonna be a little bit less engaged than someone who found you on SEO, or found you directly, like typing in HubSpot.com or something like that. So that's definitely one consideration. But yeah with paid leads it's like you almost need to nurture them a little bit slower through the funnel, and if they download an ebook maybe give them another ebook that's relevant. They download an SEO ebook first. Maybe give them an SEO checklist or something like that to download later on, and then eventually get the down. But you just kinda have to be aware that with paid it might be a little bit of a longer process because at the end of the day if you found them on Facebook, they're not necessarily looking for you immediately. So that's definitely a consideration. But yeah, so you just need to be a little bit more, I would say you don't need to be but, my recommendation would be to be a little bit more conservative in terms of the lead nurturing. Someone downloads one ebook don't hit them remarketing 10 times a day. You know,

    - yeah. That's just kind of common sense. And so yeah, just trying to be a little bit conservative, but see how much you can track and see. If they come back a day later to HubSpot.com, then you know that that's someone super engaged. They might already be interested. Or they hit your pricing page. They're super engaged. In that case you might wanna nurture them a little bit differently than if they download an ebook and then didn't do anything with you for a week or two.

    - So this question from Elizabeth. It might be interesting to hear maybe a perspective from each of you on this. How do you deal with being a jack of all trades, or master of none in digital marketing? I think this is probably true of a lot of our customers who are small businesses that happen to have, you know they're not just doing marketing but they might be doing other roles within the organization as well. So when you have to be an expert in so much, especially paid advertising which there's. It's becoming such a growing possibility for you know, how you do your marketing. How do you manage that? Laura do you wanna start us out?

    - Yeah, that's a good question. I think most importantly like a team collaboration would come into play. So being able to work with a lot of different teams, and sort of get like a higher level picture has been really helpful. And being able to have your hands in multiple different products and knowing what's going on in different areas you know tying the overall company goals.

    - [Crystal] You don't have much of a team though.

    - That's a good.

    - So prioritizing for sure. Where are you getting the most bang for your buck with your money but also your time. I think like, most people have unlimited things that they can work on. So you know you have to prioritize. The other thing you could do, is at least to get it off the ground, you could outsource it to an agency. You know, if you don't have the time, and you don't have the expertise, bring on an agency for six months. Give 'em a go. See how they do. And if they do really well, you know you could bring it in house. You could scale up wit the agency. Or you know you could start doing it yourself. That's not a bad option.

    - [Crystal] Agencies also give economy of scale too. You can actually sometimes get your pricing lower right?

    - Yeah, I mean they'll definitely charge ya, but I think it's in some cases, I mean in some cases it is definitely worth it. Like there's a reason agency business is so big, and there's so many of them. Because like a lot of people wanna go this route. And 'cause it makes sense too.

    - Yeah, and I think one thing to add is like, rather than being a master of none, which is a great show by the way. I would say be a master of one. Like I got my start in paid search, and got really, really good at paid search. If you can master one paid channel, or master Facebook, like you look at a new channel. At the end of the day the metrics are all pretty similar. Like you're looking for click rate, you're looking for conversion rate, cost per lead. Those are gonna be common across it. At the end of the day just look for this channel, what's my cost per lead gonna be, or what's my cost per conversion gonna be. That kinda simplifies things for you a little bit. And so it's like, brand new channel, yeah you gotta learn like how the platform works if you're self serving. And how to create an ad, and what the specs are and all that, but that's all stuff that you can learn pretty easily. But at the end of the day, just look at your ROI, look at your cost per lead, and find those metrics out of the channel. And if it's getting a really high cost per lead then maybe it's not gonna work. But yeah, at the end of the day, they all have those core metrics that you wanna look at.

    - So this next question, I might not get the name pronounced right so please forgive me. Rusha has asked how is account based marketing done through pay per click?

    - Yeah, I'll take this one. So with account based marketing we work with a company called Terminus. So they're actually an account based marketing vendor that has really powerful targeting technology that you can give them company names, or company domains and they'll go out and based on a lot of different factors be able to identify people that work at that company, or are associated with that company and target them kinda throughout different ad networks. So that's one option that we're currently testing, and currently using. Other options is LinkedIn does have an account based marketing feature that you can input company names, or a list of companies and target those people specifically. So you might input all these companies in a specific industry that you're looking to target and then build ads that are customized to that industry. So if it's like you wanna target manufacturing companies, you're ad might say like, be much more relevant to manufacturing companies. And be super relevant to them. And that kinda increase the exposure of the click through rate and the effectiveness of that. I think on other channels like Facebook there are ways to do it. It's a little bit harder with interest targeting, and it's a little bit less precise. But there are definitely kind of creative ways to get around that.

    - So this one is for Laura. So Tappon wants to know how can we promote or attract people towards brand when it's been newly created. In other words how do we do brand awareness when we are new to the market.

    - Yeah, that's a good question. The measurement from brand awareness I'll talk about a bit more as well. So I'd said we're focusing on, you know, video views and engagements, traffic. I think those are the metrics that should be focused on when you're first starting out. Reach as well, so how many people are you reaching. Are they engaging, are they interested in the content that you're putting out. But then also as you get further into using brand awareness we also wanna be looking to see if those branding campaigns are having an impact on your entire funnel. You know, past views and engagements, and those easy to see metrics. There's also things like, are the people who are looking at our brand campaigns then going to the site and downloading a piece of marketing content, or signing up for a free CRM. So attribution definitely comes into play there. And looking to see if somebody either saw an ad, or clicked on an ad from a branding campaign, and then ended up moving through the funnel, would be sort of that second stage of the branding campaigns.

    - Excellent, Shamir is asking, how long you should run a Facebook ad campaign before you decide to stop it if results are low. And how long does it take for a Facebook campaign to really, or a Facebook ad to really get into gear?

    - Yeah so I think this is a statistical significance question. So it kinda depends on what your metric is. I can't really give you a period of time, or even an amount of budget. Although I would say amount of budget would be closer because you could spend 10 times as much in half the time and get more data that way, but if you just Google statistical significance calculator the first result that pops up, it'll show you like, okay what is it you care about. What's your sample size, it'll give you a confidence interval, we usually try to stick to 80 to 90% confidence. Which means we're getting it right 10 to 20%, we're getting it wrong 10 to 20% of the time. But that's okay because, 80 to 90% of the time we're getting it right, and we'll take those odds. In terms of, I will give you a minimum time frame. I wouldn't run a test for less than a week. If you have an ad, or an audience, or a landing page, or whatever, that's doing really well, and you can see in three days, are you sure it's doing well, or is it just doing well because you ran it on a Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Or does it only work well on Tuesdays? So I would say at least a month, I'm sorry at least a week. But make sure you have enough data.

    - Casey is asking what do you think about the buzz behind, about the idea of killing the PDF. In other words having people give their info to continue reading a landing page that has the content right on it. So I think that you know, like Messenger is probably a piece of that. And there's probably a whole bunch of other switches from the idea of the landing page. We talked a little bit about this earlier.

    - Yeah I think, so this has been some cool testing that HubSpot's been doing, eliminating the PDF, I mean one benefit of having, killing the PDF is that you have that content on site. So you're gonna get organic reach there. And it benefits you because you can add CTAs and link to a different part of your site there. I think the other side of that is yeah, like PDFs do seem a little bit outdated. And gating content behind a form, or in a PDF does seem a little bit outdated. It's kinda what HubSpot built their business on. But yeah, I think there's a lot of different ways to do it outside. Yeah building it on your site is really beneficial for SEO. The key is like still figuring out ways to engage the customer, and how do you create conversion paths from that. It might be putting it behind a form. But it's still on site. Or it might be giving them a certain amount of content, and then giving them additional pieces of content to nurture the down the funnel. It's kinda tryin' to figure out what's the most successful, but also what's the most measurable. And having like a really strong measurement analytics kind of framework for your site, and for all of your campaigns is really important in that sense. But then I'll go back to Facebook Messenger, just 'cause it's really top of mind for me. But we've experimented with like building whole offers or eBooks within Facebook Messenger. So it's like hey, you wanna learn about Bots. Let's teach you in Facebook Messenger or in Slack or anything like that. And it'll kind of walk you through. And it's kind of like a choose your own journey experience--

    - Yeah, those are really, I've done that. So it's very fun.

    - Yeah exactly so yeah, you kinda go through and they're like hey, did you know this, this, and this. It's like answer the question, or maybe it's a quiz or something like that. So really cool ways to educate customers that way while still keeping them engaged with your brand.

    - One thing to add, just a point of clarity. Josh is not recommending you kill all of your lead forms. He's just saying these are some tests that we've been running. We've been reading about some of this hype too. Everything we're saying, we maybe should've given this disclaimer up front. It varies business to business. And we're saying couple of things that have worked well for us, or things that we're testing. That doesn't mean that it's gonna necessarily translate. The only way to figure out what works for you, is to test and learn for your own business. 'Cause your business might be completely different than ours. So you know Bots could work for us, they might not work for you. So whatever you're doing now, you know, keep that as your control. But you know start testing a few of these other things elsewhere. Yeah so, don't do like a blanket sweep. You know, it's risky, and it's an unnecessary risk when it's so easy to just test something now.

    - Thanks Rex, if we didn't clarify that, people would kinda come back and be like, we ruined our marketing campaigns because of Josh.

    - It probably goes without saying, but just in case there was any misunderstanding, I just wanted clarify.

    - Yeah and one thing there, it's like my, our philosophy really is like, you've all your budget, I'd say 79 80% of that goes towards stuff that works. That you know works and has been working. And then we use maybe 10 20% for that kind of testing parameter and to try new things, stuff like that.

    - The good news too is that you don't have to spend a ton of money to do some of these experiments right?

    - Yeah.

    - Yeah I think. Yeah I mean we run experiments at different degrees of scale but you can kinda spread it out over a longer period of time. Or yeah, even just run campaigns for a week for 500 or $1,000 and see what that gets you. Obviously there's a lot of best practices that you would wanna do, and make sure, don't just like create an ad and target the world. 'Cause that's probably not gonna work. I mean it might, but it's probably not gonna work. So there's obviously a lot of best practices behind it. But at the end of the day you don't need too much money to kinda get started with paid. And if it's AdWords, like just hey, you have three keywords that you know are on your site already or you're targeting on SEO, try those out and that's not gonna cost too, too much.

    - And that comes back to the significance that Rex was talking about as well. Like if you would just check back on the tests that you're running and see that you've reached significance with a small budget in, you know, a relatively short amount of time. Then you can end the test if you've reached that significance so that's definitely something that you should be doing if you're testing is checking in periodically and seeing where the test is. And how much more traffic you might need to send there.

    - So Jay is asking us, what's the best way for smaller companies with limited pay per click or AdWord experience to start and compete effectively with larger big budget organizations?

    - I think from an AdWords perspective, there are gonna be keywords that are really competitive. And you can do your research on those like you can go on, I would search Google for them. If you see four ads at the top and three ads at the bottom, those keywords are gonna be expensive. You can put them, Google has a keyword planner. You can input a list of keywords and they'll tell you roughly how much search traffic per month you get. What the CPC's gonna look like. There are other tools out there that can help do similar things. So I would, if you're not willing to pay that much for those keywords, and kinda get a lower position that's gonna be pretty expensive anyway. Try and find some like more targeted keywords, longer tail keywords that are four or five words. Those will probably be a little bit cheaper, less competitive. And if your SEO isn't at the top of the page for those keywords that don't have a lot. Paid is a good way to get your brand up to the top. One of the things is that like paid, with AdWords actually helps supplement your SEO and it definitely kinda gives you a boost in terms of hey, it's gonna take you a month to get to the top of the search page on Google for this search term. Paid is a good way to kinda accelerate that process. Get your brand in front of people before you're able to get that SEO juice going. And then kind of use that and leverage it moving forward. So there are definitely ways to keep it pretty cost effective and obviously, like experimenting with match types on AdWords is gonna be really important. I would caution against just throwing out a broad match keyword there and bidding $10 on it, you're gonna get really random unrelated search terms for your keywords. So just staying on top of it. But like starting small, start with exact matches, expand a phrase math, and then try broad to kinda scale but, if you have like a couple keywords that you are pretty sure will work try those first, and keep it small and then scale.

    - Just a reminder to our audience that we're taking questions live so please go ahead and add your question into the Facebook comments or on Twitter you can also ask us a question, just use the hashtag HubSpotMasterClass. And we're taking those. And if we don't have time to answer your question today we will be looking at those comments and finding ways that we can get you a good answer as well.

    - I have one other request for the audience before you dive in. If anyone has any channels for us, or that we didn't mention that you think would be good for everyone, let's outsource this. You know, and I think everyone out there is always looking for more traffic and new channels. So if there's something that you've been using that we haven't mentioned, put it in the comments. I personally am curious what's new and exciting in that area.

    - I did see one question that we haven't really addressed yet. And you know, I think a lot of B to B companies are curious about LinkedIn. Like what should we be thinking about when it comes to advertising in LinkedIn.

    - Yeah, LinkedIn is interesting, especially for us. Like we thought going into LinkedIn, yeah, tons of B to B, like a lot of people in business. A lot of people you can target really strongly by industry and that kind of stuff. We thought it would be really successful, but one of the things we found is that people on LinkedIn aren't really keen on like getting off of LinkedIn immediately. So if you give them a landing page, they may or may not click it. You're gonna get lower click through rates. We've gotten lower click through rates. Higher cost per conversion for those just because some of the targeting, and some of the traffic on LinkedIn is pretty expensive. I think there are definitely ways to succeed, succeed on it, sorry I can't speak. We found a couple of those in trying to generate leads. And you can do, add basically lead ads. There's a Facebook version of lead ads. LinkedIn does have lead ads now where you can kinda keep them within LinkedIn. And I think LinkedIn, Facebook they're starting to realize that people aren't really interested in getting off the page. And obviously it benefits LinkedIn and Facebook if you stay on them. But we've also seen higher conversion rates for those types of campaigns. And then, yeah, I think just being able to test different types of things like again, allocate a small portion of your budget towards a LinkedIn to see if it works for your business.

    - Yeah, I would add, while LinkedIn is expensive, and it's true it hasn't worked well for us for paid advertising, I know a lot of people that it works really well for. So I would recommend testing it. Especially if you're in a really narrow B to B niche. Because they have such good like job title, and job function targeting. And this is maybe a bit more advanced, but if you're familiar with custom audiences when you upload a list of emails to target, on Facebook B to B emails, maybe you get what, around 20% match rate 'cause most people create their Facebook emails with their personal email address, not their work email address. Facebook isn't able to match it. On LinkedIn, most people create it with their work email. So you're gonna have a lot better success targeting email addresses there.

    - And then I would also add one last thing. With LinkedIn is to really make sure that you're looking at the down funnel data as well. Well with any channel but, with LinkedIn something that I've seen is that the costs could be higher up front, you know higher CPCs, or CPMs, but then down funnel the quality could be better because, especially for B to B when they're in the platform maybe looking for that type of post, so definitely take into account quality even if the costs in the beginning might be higher.

    - Fred is asking Josh, do you think that the design, and look, and feel of ads affects the success of the paid ad campaign?

    - Yeah absolutely. I mean I think with any design or ad, it should kinda line up with what your brand is doing. You want that kind of brand consistency. If you just look at like quality score, relevance score, those types of metrics that Facebook and Google are looking at. They're looking at your ad. Is it relevant to your landing page, which is relevant to your business. So having as much consistency across that experience is gonna be really good for your conversion rates and your metrics, and the performance of that campaign. And just for your kinda brands reputation. If you have a really terrible looking ad on Facebook, people probably aren't gonna click it. And then if you have a really good website experience, you're kinda wasting that opportunity. And so it's really important to have that as consistent as possible as much as you can. Obviously there's a lot of design considerations. But what you can do with the copy, all of that kind of stuff is pretty important. And I don't know if you guys have any thoughts on that as well.

    - Yeah, I mean I can say with 100% confidence the answer to your question is yes. It matters a lot. I have tested personally hundreds and hundreds if not thousands of ad creative at HubSpot. And if you look at the data from each of those. I mean they are vastly, vastly different. And the only thing that is different is like the look, feel, and copy. And I guess the time they ran, but, without question it matters.

    - So I have a question for you actually. So I have a little thing on the side that I do. I write and I have books that I, I need to promote my own book. I have noticed that video advertising is huge in comparison to an image. And it might be the kind of content that I'm trying to share. But I'd be curious in understanding what that looks like when you're thinking about advertising, does video make a difference? You know, especially in Facebook, or you know, channels that aren't YouTube.

    - I'll start with that one. Just from the branding side, we're very heavily invested towards video over image ads. And I think that's you know, partly the landscape changing. Definitely seems like Facebook is favoring video more an more. It takes up more space on your phone, if you can have square or vertical, whereas the image is just landscape. So it takes up more space which is enticing. You can really get people engaged and sticking with the content. So I can see the appeal there. Yeah, I mean I think it's definitely a really valuable tool. I think we'll only see it continue to be in the landscape more and more over the next year.

    - There's a followup question that actually came in that's from Jarrod, what is your experience and thoughts about using YouTube as an advertising channel? So since we're talking about video.

    - You probably know this, just answer that one too.

    - [Crystal] Just keep on going.

    - I've done some YouTube advertising. I definitely see it being effective. Same with how we've been talking about the audiences across all the platforms. You can really make sure that you're reaching a lot of different audiences, whether it's remarketing or a list upload. So again it's just, you know, staying in front of the people who you know could be interested in your brand. I think it's definitely a tactic that can be used and performed well.

    - Yeah and I think just to add onto that for YouTube, definitely be thinking about your YouTube strategy really thoughtfully. Don't just have one video and try and promote it across tons if different stuff. You really need different types of videos on your channel. Like you'll have kind of a general, and this is a scale thing too. If your company's really small I wouldn't recommend doing a ton of YouTube advertising. Unless you're really just trying to get--

    - [Crystal] Is that about the budget?

    - Yeah, it's a budget thing I think. Yeah, I think your budget would be better spent on more direct response channels, or getting in front of people that are really relevant to you. But with a YouTube strategy, if you have the resources, and you have the time, and then you have the money to do some advertising on YouTube, definitely be cognizant of what your videos look like. Like you'll have kinda top tier branding videos that are about your business as a whole. But then you have more instructional videos about something that your business might be an expert on. It's really about building that trust with users and getting that in front of people. So you'll have kinda, yeah you'll have the top line branding, you'll have kinda how to videos, or instructional videos, stuff like that, and then more stuff about like your product and your business. That's kinda like the bottom of your YouTube funnel. Which is all still relatively top of your overall funnel, but it's kind of different stages to that. And knowing what to target for each one of those videos is gonna be important in building your YouTube brand that way.

    - So a final question for each of you. And that would be what is in your mind, the 2018 trend in advertising that our viewers should be thinking about?

    - Yeah, I can start with that. I mentioned account based marketing a little bit. I think that's really big, especially in the B to B space these days. I think there are definitely applications in the B to C space, but, yeah, account based marketing is a really cool and new technology that a lot of businesses out there are seeing really strong success with. So I think that's one big thing that I would recommend everyone try, who it's relevant for. The other thing is really just kinda paid advertising. Like Rex was saying, it's not really interruptive anymore, and don't think of it as interruptive. We think of it as kinda content distribution. People, we know people will probably be interested in HubSpot, there are some people out there who HubSpot would be really good for and who might be interested in an ebook about SEO. So paid is really a way to get to those people, get valuable content to those people. Just because it's advertising doesn't mean it has to be disruptive or it has to be an negative experience for them.

    - [Crystal] It's more about the distribution.

    - Exactly, yeah, and like you're not gonna be able to get tons and tons of traffic to an organic Facebook post anymore. That's just not gonna happen. Even brands that have millions of followers are only gonna get a very small percentage of organic reach. So that's one thing. And yeah, just thinking of it that way rather than disrupting. And when we build ads we think about like how do we get this ad to kinda blend into the feed as much as possible so that we're not ruining their Facebook experience. Facebook and AdWords they don't wanna ruin your experience on these platforms either. That's bad for them. So they reward advertisers that keep their content relevant to the feed and that user's feed. So I think that's super important, just think of it as distribution not interruption.

    - Great, Rex what about you?

    - Yeah I would say, I have two. One is certainly, for social it is video. We touched on this earlier. But I mean Facebook is been open about saying this like on their blog, on Zuckerberg's Facebook feed itself, it's like look, we are like trying to make this shift into video. So if you can figure out a really rock solid video strategy I think that would go a long way. The other thing I think about 2018, and this is maybe a bit more advanced, but analytics and attribution. There are so many awesome tools coming out that can just show you anything you could possibly wanna know about every step in your funnel. We're figuring out a lot of it ourselves. Both for you know, our campaigns and HubSpot in the product, but the technology's getting so good and whether or not you know, people like it or not I think some people are gonna be disappointed by what they see. And some people are excited about what they see. But I think in 2018 more and more people are going to be able to understand exactly what they're getting out of their advertising relative to what they're putting in in ways that we haven't been able to in the past.

    - And Rex took both of the two-- attribution and video I think both are gonna be increasingly important. But I'm most excited for video. I think that there's a lot that can be done and a lot of ways that it could be, that it can expand so yeah, I definitely think we'll see that in 2018.

    - Yeah, I think one thing to add, so I don't know how many of the viewers are actually using HubSpot. But HubSpot's building a lot of capabilities to do a lot of that analytic stuff within HubSpot. And being able to run ads through HubSpot. Lead ads using audiences, that kind of stuff. There's a lot of ways to kind of meld that HubSpot inbound experience with your paid experience. And being able to see, hey this person came from an ad and then use HubSpot to see like what pages they're looking at. What assets they're converting on, what pages. And if they eventually become a customer. So it makes it easy that way. So that's something we do. We use HubSpot for HubSpot. So we use those tools a lot to kinda see people coming into the funnel, and then how they do moving forward.

    - Great well thank you, each of you for joining us today. You have been watching the HubSpot Academy Master Class for supporting your full funnel with paid advertising. Thank you Laura, Rex, and Josh. And I'm Crystal. If you have any additional questions please add them into the comments or Tweet them to us with the hashtag HubSpotMasterClass, and we will be happy to go through those and try to answer those questions for you. And to take advantage of HubSpot Academy certifications go to academy.hubspot.com and check out all sorts of free classes, and possibilities for you to not only build your business, but to grow your career. Thanks for joining us today.
  • Crystal King
    Crystal King
    Social Media Professor
  • Josh Chang
    Josh Chang
    Paid Acquisition Marketing Manager
  • Rex Gelb
    Rex Gelb
    Paid Acquisition Marketing Manager
  • Laura Mittelmann
    Laura Mittelmann
    Paid Acquisition Marketing Manager

Create a free HubSpot Academy account to be the first to know about events like this one.