In this episode, we sit down with former Facebooker Andrew Tonetti.
Andrea now runs his own marketing agency helping clients all over the world achieve great results with social media, and in this interview, we dig into how he is doing this including topics such as:
And so much more.
👉 To learn more about Andrea, search “Andrea Tonetti” on Facebook or LinkedIn
👉 If you’d like to explore any further training, then feel free to check out our range of free courses here: https://www.impactunltd.com/training
Ben Donovan 0:02
Awesome. Well, welcome to the show today, guys. I've got my friend here with me, Andrea. And Andrea is a former Facebook employee. And he's here to give us some golden nuggets around the world of Facebook advertising. Thanks for coming on the show today, Andrea.
Andrea Tonetti 0:17
Thanks for having me, man. Nice to see you.
Ben Donovan 0:19
No worries, no worries. I always like to ask an introductory question just to you know, break the ice a little bit and introduce you to the audience. So my question for you today, Andrea is - if you could go, if you could time travel right to anytime in the future or the past, where would you go and why?
Andrea Tonetti 0:39
That's a good question. Well, on a more personal level, probably travel in the past to enjoy again, some really nice moments and expecting the past. I will not say that I will change something to be honest because I'm pretty happy with the development I'm having right now in the situation where I am right now. And I want to say, you know, I like to live in the moment. I like to live in the present and to feel that the present is where we are shaping the future, basically. So I'm not too curious to see in advance like what's going to happen. But I like to build the now. But yes, for sure. I would like to get back to some really happy moments in the past and just, you know, experience them again, but do the same things, Indiana.
Ben Donovan 1:27
Good, awesome, man. So I love it. It's great. Good stuff. All right. Well, tell us a little bit about your origin story and how you got started in the world of Facebook. I'd love to know how what it's like working for Facebook briefly. And you know, how you got the job there and then how you've then transitioned into what you're doing now.
Andrea Tonetti 1:47
Sure, I think a pretty long journey, I would say because I started University studying foreign languages and intercultural mediation, so I had more, let's say linguistical and informational approach to my studies, let's say, and I've been traveling a lot. Let's say that in the first years of university, I didn't care about marketing at all, I wanted just to travel, I want to just to experience things, living life, learning languages and meeting people. And this is what I do pretty much for my first two years of university. Then I decided to move to Lisbon to have a master's degree in International Relations, and when it was in this moment, I was looking for a job basically. I was searching for opportunities and one day, a multinational company called me telling me Hey, you know what, we got a Facebook who has an office in our facility, so we would like you to join him for an interview. And I was like, "Okay, cool." So long story short, I did one-month training for Facebook. And after the first month of training, there was a test, that's where all the trainees had to attempt In the end of the test, I was hired.
And I spent one year in the office working while I was studying for my servicing time. And it was pretty, pretty cool. Meaning that it opened my eyes on this word of the digital marketing and of the advertising online, in general, which I didn't know much about before. But I deep dive into that so much, meaning that every day that there was training, and I've been really liking because there were a lot of trainings made by the Facebook guys who are actually working on the product, and so they're really, really like really important interior stuff over there. I was super curious and super into, into all this. Working with Facebook has been cool. It was a big company. It was really structured, there were lots of processes in place. So you didn't have that much let's say, the margin of you know, deciding on what you can do and what you want to do. But you have pretty much to follow the scripts, then you're mostly working with the other guy there seem to tell you markets and we were doing basically customer support and marketing support, meaning support on the products, support on the marketing; getting directions about, okay, how to improve your performances, how to improve the budget your spending. So it was pretty much this thing for the whole year. After a while, I started to not like that much anymore how this tractor was in the company. And I saw an opportunity for doing something for myself, which also leads me to a big self-improvement path because of course, I was learning a lot, but I knew that I also had a lot to learn in front of me a lot of experience to make also so I decided to just quit and to open my own freelancing business. Since then I've been freelancing, and I'm working with a small team and we are helping Facebook advertisers, mostly eCommerce owners and online course creators to spend the money effectively on Facebook advertising. Mostly we're creating the strategy, we are creating the structure for the campaign and we are trying to give up the most complete insights and to deliver the best results for our clients. Yeah, I think this is an overview, more or less.
Ben Donovan 5:17
Now that's really good. Yeah, it's really helpful. I think there's a lot we can talk about from what you said there. You know, it's fascinating to see someone come from that world of Facebook into, you know, freelancing and I know now from our discussions before that you're managing You know, a lot of advertising spend so there's some definitely some a lot of knowledge that we can dig into from you today. Before we move into some stuff for the audience. I'm curious, this is probably just for me, but I'm curious if you ever saw any crazy stuff of Facebook because the Facebook algorithm and marketing, the AI is just unbelievable. It's you know, getting crazier and crazier. Was there anything at any time you just saw and you thought, "Oh my goodness. This is insane".
Andrea Tonetti 6:03
Well. Where do we start? Yes. To be honest, I've been experiencing some pretty crazy situations. Let's say that one of the things we take an interest to the audience the most is that sometimes Facebook has some pretty strict policies, the advertising point of view, meaning that you cannot talk about certain topics, you cannot advertise certain products. And so when you advertise something that is not policy compliant, Facebook will normally just shut down your ad or shut down your account. Sometimes it happened that Facebook didn't shut down anything. But there were some hidden tags, let's say that we could see from our internal tools that were basically showing us: "Okay, these advertisers, we don't like him. He's not doing nice stuff therefore, his performances will be cut, the ads will under deliver. But you cannot tell this to the advertiser, because we don't know. So we were doing this to the advertisers and the guys were saying, these were like marketing guys, people who run a lot of ads. And they were seeing something that was not nor this advertising. They were running at the moment. And so they were telling me so what is happening? Because we see these results is not possible. It's not possible that my ads perform so badly. And we could not say anything. I mean, we were asked to not talk about these things, simply because they didn't want to just expose a lot of internal things, internal procedures that they have. And that's probably not something that wouldn't make advertisers happy especially if they are advertising for some product that Facebook doesn't like. So yeah, this was one of the situations in which we had a little bit to work and defend ourselves and just find other ways to explain. We're not turning up nice. Yeah, and then there were a lot of people, we came in touch with a lot of people who took it a little bit way too seriously, meaning people who got their accounts disapproved. And so, therefore, they just threatened us to come and fly to our place and burn down the whole building. I mean, we had some pretty bad situations. Most of the people actually went down, we got on the phone with them, they were actually just apologizing and say, "No, I didn't mean that". But that environment like, you know, you're exposed to human nature many times because people, basically when they speak to a chapter, they think also that, you know, it's not a human person behind this, the reason, which is not true. Yeah, there's a lot of stuff. But these I think are first memories.
Ben Donovan 8:46
It's fascinating to imagine what it's like in the inner worlds, and so it's good to hear. So yeah, I mean, one of the questions I think would be good to talk about a bit later on is you talked about ad accounts getting shut down. It'd be good to talk about you know, ways to protect an ad account. But they start out on that journey then of advertising because a lot of the listeners of this podcast viewer on YouTube or listeners on Apple podcasts, wherever you're listening would be brand owners or want to be brand owners - physical product brands in the eCommerce world. And as you mentioned, Andrea, one of your specialties. One of your focuses is Facebook marketing for eCommerce brands. Obviously, Facebook marketing for eCommerce brands is different from other industries. Can you talk to us a little bit about how brand owners can be successful with Facebook advertising? Because I see a lot of people starting it, then getting frustrated, some people saying "Oh, it doesn't work" or giving up too easily. Can you give us some thoughts about how eCommerce or brand owners can really be successful with Facebook marketing?
Andrea Tonetti 10:00
Sometimes, people complain and people are angry because of the not effectiveness of Facebook advertising. One of the main reasons, the main reasons are two. First of all is that many brand owners don't really know their audiences and what this mean, the first thing that you should do when you want to craft an advertising campaign, whatever it is - on Facebook, on Google, on billboards, whatever, you should know what you're speaking, who you're speaking to, let's say. You know, what are the pain points of the people that you're talking to? What do these people like? How, what is the tone of voice of these people? Which type of content do they like to see? Do they like to watch videos? Do they like to engage with images? Do they like to navigate to a landing page like knowing all these kinds of things? This is because you need to craft some really specific content that is going to tick the person that is looking at your ad. Because, of course, if you spend a lot of money in advertising, but in the end, only 1 out of 10 content that you create is really clicking with the audience, because you're using a different tone of voice because you're talking a language that they don't really understand, because you're creating content that is too fancy or not fancy at all, for this type of person that you're talking about, these will not be effective. This will not be a remarkable experience for the user. And we'll see that, especially on social media, especially on Facebook, when, when you're sending out an ad, you have literally just a fraction of a second, maybe one, two seconds of time in order to make the person understand what you're talking about. And let have the person engage with your content. And this is really a short period of time in order to do to make sure that your advertising is effective, you should create an experience that is really remarkable. And the very first step is to understand who you're talking to, in order to craft the content that is really effective for this person.
The other reason why I see many people giving up is that they're not patient enough and we're not patient enough, I mean or they don't have a budget. Because it's a fact that costs are going up, especially if you're advertising in North America, but also in Europe, the cost of the delivery, the CPMs on Facebook, they are going up. Therefore, in order to reach a certain amount of people before, one year ago, you needed to spend $10. Now, maybe you need to spend 15, 20. So first of all, you need a certain amount of budget if you want to have proper testing done on the portion of the audience that is your ideal audience. And then you're not enough patient probably because people don't take decisions most of the time like this, meaning the decision-making process, it can last days, it can last weeks, it can last months, depending on the product that you're trying to sell. Normally there were some studies that I was reading that are saying that customers, consumers in order to make a decision of purchase, they have to engage with brands or they have to at least see the name of your brand. from age 12 times, so if you send out a campaign that you know, hits a lot of people, but if all the people just one time you just want content, you cannot really expect a lot of results out of that, right? I think it makes sense.
Andrea Tonetti 13:13
Therefore, the patience, in this case, comes in place by crafting a strategy that has an objective to keep all the users that are in all the steps on your of your funnel, meaning starting from thinking about the very top of the funnel, meaning people who don't know who you are and that you want to start to engage with them - crafting a content that is appropriate that for the first time, it will be catchy, and they will make them engage. Then thinking about the middle of your funnel, meaning people who know who you are, but they are not that close to the purchase decision, meaning they're not really close to the purchase moment. So you have to think about these middle of the funnel, which is a really important part, like if it was a conversation, you know. Like if you're hanging with the person you want to date like they say that they want to date a girl, you know. From the moment in which I need her until the moment in which I'm going to ask her to get married, there is a lot in between, right? There are like dates, there is like going out together, walking to the park, talking about things. This is the name of the file. This is the content that you want to send out in order to explain why your product is nice, which products your problem sold, what other people think about the product, what the science, think about the product, why your product is better than other parts around like all this type of content that people need to see over and over, probably, 5, 10, 20 times before actually they're even close to make a decision. And then, of course, you want to think about the structure meaning bottom level of your funnel, meaning these people who already got exposed to all this type of content, who are already probably really close to the decision of purchase but they just need to be pushed a little bit. So you want maybe to send out a special offer, special discounts or simply telling them, "Hey guys, there is this product that is gonna, this offer is gonna expire in one week, or this product is going to go out of stock in one or three delivery just until the end of the month". You send out some ads to reward people who already know who you are, and I already know all the features of your products, and you're just, you know, take them by the hand and just bring them to the checkout process. So all this structure is something that is possible to create in literally, if not a long time. But it takes a lot of time in order to be effective, simply because all just need time to think to consider and to take action. Many people don't understand this. Many many brand owners don't understand really the time that is required in order to have a person from the first approach, the first touch point with your brand until the purchase. It can be even long especially If you're selling a higher ticket product, it can be really long. Therefore, you must be ready to invest them in Facebook advertising strategy, investing contents, and be aware that these returns could also not come back immediately after 30 days, 45 days could be a little bit longer marathon. So yes, these are some of the main tips based on what I normally see around in business owners, especially startups, especially people who have their own idea, maybe they have their own supply, their own new product. They want to send it out to the market, but they're expecting too much into a short time. This is one you'll see really often.
Ben Donovan 16:40
Yeah, yeah. No, it's really, really helpful. I think everything you're saying so aligns with the struggles I see people having in terms of understanding that, you know, a customer avatar who they're trying to speak to, I think is absolutely crucial, calling that interest out or that particular specific type of personality in advertising. so crucial patience. You're absolutely right. I think that's where I see so many people give up way too soon because they're not patient. And I think people see sometimes they and to link it to the third point you're making about the funnel, you know, the levels, I think people just run ads at the top of the funnel, and it doesn't make the money straight away and they're like, it doesn't work. You know, it is Facebook advertising is a bunch of rubbish, but they don't realize that you know, the fortunes in the follow-up. And there's so much more to mop up there. It's actually a big part of we've got like a free training course around Facebook or social media advertising cause social ad startup and it's on our website, and we, you know, one of the big things we go through and that is actually understanding - top, middle, and bottom of the funnel and that customer journey, because it's one of the fundamental things to be successful in advertising, right. And so I'm glad you brought that up. And I'd love to dig into that sort of the levels, you know, the warmness of the audience a little bit just in the rest of the time we've got together because initially, it's a big understanding for people that are running brands to get their head around. But how would you target people for an eCommerce brand on those different levels? So obviously, your top of the funnel is your cold traffic, people that don't know about you, middle and bottom - how do you differentiate between those two? Whether it be where they visited what they viewed? Can you talk to us a little bit about the structure of those campaigns?
Andrea Tonetti 18:26
Yeah. Right. This is a really crucial thing to understand when you're running advertising for your eCommerce. And the cool thing about digital advertising in general, not only Facebook, but also Google and other platforms is that you can really, you can leverage the engagement that you get on your online assets, and then create really specific custom audiences to target in order to differentiate your final steps - meaning that for example of before like top, middle and bottom-funnel. A top funnel would be your cold traffic, provides you some interest and the demographics based target. So for example, let's say that you want to target people in the US who are between 35 and 55 years old, men who are interested in football, basketball and running, for example because you're selling some sport. You can do that simply because Facebook provides you with a full list of interests. Facebook knows from the behavior that you have online, the content that you consume, the pages that you navigate to, what your interests are, which is which can be a little bit creepy if you don't know that, but essentially how it is is.
So they are, you know, these interests to a specific demographic. And if you select this targeting for your ads, your ads will be shown to people who are interested in these specific things. Then, the real objective of the top of the funnel is to have people engage with your app, meaning you want people either to watch a video, either to like your posts, comment on your post, to create a discussion, either to visit your website, either to visit your website and perform some advanced action, meaning maybe downloading a free PDF, adding to the cart certain products, viewing certain products, all these types of actions are possible to be. They can become customers meaning at the middle level of the funnel, you can go and tell to Facebook, "Facebook, I want an audience only of people who watched this specific video or only of people who visited my website, only of people who added to the cart these specific products. You can create all these different segments of the audience. And this is super important because according to the type of action that the user performs. One crucial thing is that you can address specific content to these people. For example, if people watched a video that was an explanatory video of my product, I can take an audience of people who watch only that video and send them another video. Maybe an advanced and more insightful video on this product again, or I might send it to people who viewed a certain product, and ad that showcases the specific features of the product in more detail. So this is super important. And this is a really crucial step of building the message that you are going to send over and over to the same audience who are already engaged with you.
And then yeah, for the very bottom of the funnel, we follow the same process meaning we always look at the engagement that our ads and our websites, receive them, ask them and we try to target the really bottom level, meaning the people who are really close to the purchase decision. So who added the product to the cart, people who downloaded certain freebie on the website, people who engage with quizzes on our website, all the behaviors that show "Okay, this person is really interested in that. So let's try to send them the offer". And this mostly works like, if you look at some of the tests that we ran, one of the most amazing things is that if you take the same in the audience are the same size maybe but of people who added the product to the cart and of people who, just liked the poster, the conversion rate of the first audience is way higher than the second one is simply because the add to cart action is it shows any intention and interest that is way higher than liking a post. Right? So really important. segmentation, what we call the segmentation of the audience.
Ben Donovan 22:31
Yeah, definitely. Would you say about the different levels of success at different levels of that, would you have any stats and I haven't asked you this before. So no worries if you know, this is a bit unprepared and you don't know the answer. But in terms of a rough estimate, in terms of top, middle, and bottom of funnel, how much revenue would come from each of those levels?
Andrea Tonetti 22:54
Well, it depends. Again, it depends on the type of product that you have mostly and from the price of the product. Let's say that on an average, that's the average rule of thumb, what you aim for is to have a conversion rate from the very top of the funnel meaning from the first engagement to the purchase around 1-2%. This is usually like a sweet spot in which most of the brands are profitable if you consider the cost of advertising and the revenue that comes in from the purchase. Then about how profitable each of these are, it really depends. Let's say that a rough estimate, for some companies that we are currently running, I would say that 70-80% of the revenue is coming from the middle and bottom of the funnel, while only a 20% from the top of the funnel, especially the bottom of the funnel if you have a lot of people engaging with your ads so your Facebook Pixel tracking code is got a lot of data if you have a lot of data to play with. Let's say, the bottom of the funnel alone can count for the 50% easily 40-50% also because you have to think that you have any commerce in the bottom of the funnel, we include also people who already purchased, therefore, are sensitive to upsells and cross-sells. So also these people, which normally I mean not normally but a lot of brands owners normally forgets because many people think, okay, you purchase my bike, no, actually the people who purchase that very important asset is your product is something that is a consumable or something that people can purchase in multiple times. Therefore, if you work really fine in the long term, this segment of people who already purchased can bring in a lot more revenue. So really, really important and absolutely do not forget.
Ben Donovan 24:46
It's a powerful illustration of making sure people don't leave those middle and bottom-funnel sections out because otherwise there's just so much money left on the table. So talk to us about lower-priced products. What can people do if they're selling eCommerce products for 20, $30? How can they be successful with Facebook advertising? You mentioned it's easy at the high ticket to be able to, you know, run it profitably. But what are some things that brand owners can do at that lower level of pricing?
Andrea Tonetti 25:15
Well, it's not any easier with a lower ticket product. It's simply that lower ticket products if you need to know my lower ticket products have a smaller profit margin; therefore, you need to invest a little bit more upfront in order to be able to run a successful campaign maybe say in the first month of expenses until some cash goes back from the purchases. But yeah, let's say that from the lower ticket products, what they suggest normally is to try to think about your funnel and think about possible upsells and cross-sells as much as you can because if you have an order ticket product, the most important metric to care about is the average order value. Meaning that you want people to purchase more than one product every time that they complete your funnel. Meaning, if you look at if you think, for example, at Amazon, or at many of the stores that you see, for example, on Shopify. All of these, once you're close to the checkout, and you already show that you want to burn something, they will try to sell you also something that is correlated. For example, today, I was trying to buy a blender. And before the checkout, these guys tried to tell me all the flavors and some other features, or other things that can go like below the blender or how to call them but all things related that purchased them all the cart value would have doubled. And the point is that not many people will buy your upsells but some will and consider that even if 20-30% of your purchase deserves like buy maybe two products instead of one or buy some related products. You have a cross-sell plugin maybe in a place that can show similar products when somebody is in the checkout, these will, will totally increase your profit margin. So if your cost per purchase with Facebook advertising, let's say $10 and your product is 10-$20, the margin on the revenue span would be $10 if the person purchases one product, but if you have some cross-sells or upsells in place, your margin can improve a lot.
Ben Donovan 27:31
Definitely a great key for all brand owners to really work on those cross-sells upsells and what you said, their average order value that's such a crucial metric for brand owners to you know, keep working hard increasing that. It's really good. We're just looking at wrapping up in a minute, Andrea. But I really appreciate everything you've brought today and some great knowledge there for people to go away and explore more of. For those that are just beginning out as we bring things to a close you know as yeah for people that are just starting out, can you give us like a bit of parting advice, your best bit of advice for beginners with Facebook advertising to help them get started and not just stop but be successful over the long term?
Andrea Tonetti 28:13
Well, for somebody who is just getting started, my best piece of advice would be to start thinking about your product and your USP - unique selling proposition first of all before even thinking about advertising. Because Facebook advertising is a powerful tool, but it works only if your product is good and if people want the product. So the first priority must be the research of their product and research the market analysis, basically, if people want the product and which person want the product. So start to really, really understand deeply these two things and developing a problem is good. Once you do that, and once you to know that there is proof that people want this and that your audience is that...so you start slow, meaning that if you have zero knowledge of Facebook advertising, definitely try to hire somebody who can do it. Or if you have zero knowledge, but you're willing to learn, start taking some courses, there are some really good courses online. For example, there is a Facebook blueprint, which is a frequent course from be provided by Facebook itself. It's in English, and it's totally free. And it gives a lot of insights for beginners. So if you have the time to do that, just go through that. And then join Facebook communities. There are a lot of communities online, such as Facebook ad buyers, Facebook ad rockstars like really if you type on Facebook ads that you find a bunch of Facebook groups where people just share for free like strategies, blueprints, like a lot of really interesting things. And this is the easy way to start by looking at what people who had success with this did. Yeah, but mostly if you're starting to think about spending badges like high budgets Just let's say one to K per month, even more, I would definitely suggest getting somebody who knows how the platform work also, because learning until this point can be really time-consuming. Yeah. And therefore you don't leave money on the table in the end. So this is the suggestion.
Ben Donovan 30:17
Yeah, that's the thing, isn't it? It becomes a point where it's the time you know, it's not just the money, but it's the time that it saves you because, yeah, I've been studying this thing for years now. And it's, you know, and spent a lot of money on different you know, things to get that training, get that knowledge, and it is a massive, massive topic. So leaning into that expert knowledge is definitely, definitely advisable. Andrea, tell us a little bit about your, you know, your agency and where people can find you if they did want to connect with you.
Andrea Tonetti 30:44
Yeah, of course, if you want to have a talk like we normally work with eCommerce users, so I will be happy to just have a quick talk and just provide some tips. Normally, we don't really work with startups but we try to manage like higher budgets for companies that are already established. But I am active in many communities and I'm actively masterminding and I'm really happy to provide some tips and help wherever I can. You can just look up for me on Facebook, Andrea Tonetti. Or yes, you can send me just a message on Facebook, on Linkedin. Find me, and we'll be happy to have a talk with you.
Ben Donovan 31:25
Great. Well, no, I appreciate you making that offer. I'm sure there'll be a few people that'll take you up on it and then you know, look to network a bit more and learn some more from you after this. So yeah, that we really appreciate you coming on the show today. Andre, you've dropped some great knowledge bombs and really helped a lot of people I'm sure so thank you.
Andrea Tonetti 31:41
Sure. Happy to share, happy to talk with you.
Ben Donovan 31:49
Awesome. Thanks so much.