Kenny Soto https://kennysoto.com Digital Marketer | Strategic Advisor | Writer Mon, 09 Nov 2020 09:49:50 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.51/hhh.8c2.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/cropped-KS-Logo-Circle-Cropped-1-32x32.png Kenny Soto https://kennysoto.com 32 32 84625554 I’ve Been Running Facebook Ads For Four Years—These Two Discoveries Changed Everything https://kennysoto.com/2020/11/facebook-ads-four-years-two-discoveries-changed-everything/ Mon, 09 Nov 2020 09:48:32 +0000 https://kennysoto.com/?p=2343 I thought I knew the best practices for Facebook advertising, but I was wrong I’ve been managing Facebook advertising campaigns since 2016 and a lot has changed over the years. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to Facebook advertising is keeping up with all of these changes. Yet, one thing I’ve noticed in […]

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I thought I knew the best practices for Facebook advertising, but I was wrong

I’ve been managing Facebook advertising campaigns since 2016 and a lot has changed over the years. One of the biggest challenges when it comes to Facebook advertising is keeping up with all of these changes. Yet, one thing I’ve noticed in the past couple of weeks thanks to my new job is that I have been doing everything wrong this whole time! I’m glad I discovered the faults in my approach thanks to being exposed to marketers who are ten times smarter than I am but, what really startled me (and excites me now) is the fact that the new approach to Facebook advertising that I’ve adopted is easier to manage and produces better results.

The following two discoveries I’ve recently encountered are essential to running successful Facebook advertising campaigns and I want to share these two things with you in the event that you want to consider a new approach to your Facebook campaigns or if you want reassurance that your campaigns are being managed in the right way.

Use the “Power 5”

I discovered the “Power 5” when doing research for my new job at Prospect Bacon, trying to find new ways to approach my client’s ad campaigns. I noticed that almost all of the campaigns that we were running were using a specific set of tactics that I was familiar with but, I never saw used in combination with each other. These five tactics when used consistently help any media buyer scale a campaign over time with the least amount of effort and with easy organization (organization of campaigns tends to be an underlying issue amongst many of my previous clients).

The “Power 5” media buying framework shown below includes 5 tactics that are readily accessible by any business that has an ads account. These tactics don’t require extra spend on your part and can be added to new and existing campaigns today!

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The main focus when using the “Power 5” is account simplification. Dynamic ads are used to help you find the best combination of creative assets for each specific user you are targeting in an audience so that you don’t have to organize +10 different ads within an ad set and parse through multiple data sets to get a winning ad. Letting the algorithm do its job and having it choose the best creative assets always provides better results over time than if did it yourself.

Automatic placements is another tactic mentioned in the “Power 5.” This tactic is something that I’ve championed already and I was glad to see that Facebook includes it in its set of best tactics. Instead of assuming that users will only interact with ads within a feed or within Stories, have the algorithm determine the best placement for each specific user. I’ve found that when using automatic placements, a lot of traffic is actually produced from the audience network and from right column ads too!

Campaign budget optimization is something that I am still doing more research on but, like the other tactics mentioned above, it can be turned on at the click of a button. Instead of trying to spend your campaign budget evenly across all audiences within a campaign, CBO decides which is the best possible audience to allocate your budget to after the campaign finishes the “learning phase.” Using CBO assures that you are spending your money on the right people.

Auto advanced matching leverages both your Facebook pixel and customer data you’ve collected to help make your attribution more accurate. This tactic is the least used among the “Power 5” as it is often difficult to find it within your business settings: you can find it specifically within the events manager of your pixel. This tactic is essential for e-commerce businesses specifically, as these types of businesses are usually running multiple campaigns to multiple landing pages at any given time.

Lastly, account simplification is a tactic that isn’t necessarily something that you click on and it automatically turns on but, instead it is a recommended format for managing your campaign structure. The main focus of this tactic is to launch the smallest amount of ad sets within a campaign as possible. You will want to do this because once you launch 3 or more ad sets there is a high chance that there is audience overlap, which always leads to wasted ad spend. Overlapping audiences leads to your ad sets competing with each other in the same auction—which is something you’d like to avoid at all costs.

If you’re unfamiliar with any of the tactics mentioned in the “Power 5” and you’d like more in-depth explanations of each, I recommend watching this keynote speech by Molly Pittman, who I think explains the “Power 5” perfectly. Again, these tactics may change, there may be new ones added, removed, etc. but, the most important thing to remember is the simplification of campaign management is the focus of the “Power 5.” And with simplification as the theme of this blog post, here is another tactic that isn’t mentioned in the “Power 5” that I believe should be included.

Investing in a “seasoned pixel”

The second discovery I made this year was learning the power a seasoned pixel can provide a media buyer. In most cases, a business that does Facebook ads will (and should) be leveraging the Facebook pixel, even if they aren’t doing e-commerce. The Facebook pixel can help with several things: retargeting, campaign attribution, and most importantly—optimizing conversion campaigns for specific desired events. The third part is the one that I want to dive into a little more.

A lot of media buyers and small business owners will launch conversion objective campaigns but, the setup is usually incorrect. You see a conversion event usually isn’t optimized unless users generate 15-25 of those conversions per week. So you want to first start off with website traffic campaigns to help generate those conversions over a long period of time (about 4-5 months) before spending any money on conversion campaigns.

This approach is extremely useful because once you have about 1,000 or more captured conversions from the pixel, you can create conversion campaigns with audiences that are “open” rather than highly specific. These open audiences, which usually have only specific age ranges and location indicated, will be leveraging the information captured by the pixel to target users who are most likely going to do the desired conversion event (that event being “Add To Cart,” “Lead,” “Purchase,” etc.).

Leveraging a seasoned pixel and “Power 5” has significantly increased the performance of my ad campaigns across all of the clients that I am managing and it has also made the process of setting up and managing campaigns more fun (which I think is the main benefit).

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Can Freelancing be a Full Time Career? Surviving Year 1 of Freelancing in 2020 https://kennysoto.com/2020/11/can-freelancing-be-a-full-time-career-2020/ Fri, 06 Nov 2020 14:32:31 +0000 https://kennysoto.com/?p=2338 We Got Lucky This year has been difficult for many of us. Of the long list of challenges we have all experienced, the main one that comes to my mind is battling unemployment. Knowing all too well the mental burdens that come from not knowing where I am going to pay my bills the following […]

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We Got Lucky

This year has been difficult for many of us. Of the long list of challenges we have all experienced, the main one that comes to my mind is battling unemployment. Knowing all too well the mental burdens that come from not knowing where I am going to pay my bills the following month, I am truly grateful to say that I have gone throughout the entirety of 2020 without having to worry about money for the first time.

To preface this blog post, I want to say that there were two things that were in my favor this year:

  1. I am making a living getting paid in USD while living in countries like Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, and South Africa;
  2. I am sharing my expenses with my fiancé.

In January, my fiancé and I decided to travel the world and live as digital nomads. Due to COVID-19, our journey was cut short and we’ve been living in South Africa since March. To make ends meet, we’ve scoured the internet to look for remote work, most of it coming in the form of freelance projects.

Copywriting, media buying, consulting, Youtube marketing, project management, website design, and email marketing are part of a growing list of services that we’ve both had to learn this year. I had the advantage of already having 4 years of experience as a digital marketer working at agencies like VaynerMedia, but my fiancé has shown that she is also a quick learner and we often share insights we are learning from each of our clients to help each other out.

Of all of the things we’ve learned from both our successful and unsuccessful projects, the most important lesson would have to be sharing what we are learning in real-time. With that being said, here are some lessons we’ve shared with each other that I think would help you in your search for work during the last weeks of 2020 and in the beginning of 2021:

Skills > Roles

My fiancé has started to think about how her career will look in 20 years. She says that you have to think about your end goal and then reverse-engineer it.

It’s okay to have odd-jobs, one-off projects, and random gigs to help you prepare for your future dream job. People will often judge you for having random projects but, a great way to become great at one thing is to think laterally.

Instead of specializing in a particular area, which is what we are taught to do in college, become a generalist instead and work on gathering as many skills as possible. Even if you have a specific role in mind for your career in the future, don’t think that you have to obtain that job role now, in 2021, or even in this decade. Catalog what skills are necessary for the job, remember that those skills will change over time, and think about what adjacent or related roles could you apply for that could help you get to your dream job later on in the future.

Create Content To Create An Ideal First Impression

Every single person who has ever applied for an actual “job-job” has submitted their resume so that they can be considered. So what makes you think that you will stand out if all you do is submit your resume—just like everyone else? Instead, consider what type of content you can add to your resume to create a bigger story. Obviously, the end goal should be to make yourself more interesting but, start off with writing/recording/talking about things that genuinely interest you.

Employers today want to know that you have the skills necessary to help grow their businesses on day one of the job, your content can potentially help demonstrate those marketing skills. The way I started was by creating content around the interesting aspects of work I was doing at the moment. I started doing this back in 2015 and now whenever you Google search “Kenny Soto”, you will encounter a growing library of content that helps create a designed first impression—before ever interacting with me.

Our plan for 2021 is to continue to stay employed, to enjoy what we do, and to document the process in the hopes that we can help at least one other person find meaningful work. I personally suspect that 2021 will be harder than 2020 but, let’s leave that for another blog post in the future.

In the meantime, check out some of my other articles to get more insights into digital marketing and job searching tips. Thanks for reading and hope this post helped you out!

 


Image Credit: Unsplash

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Some Thoughts On Successfully Selling Your Personal Brand https://kennysoto.com/2020/10/successfully-selling-your-personal-brand/ Thu, 29 Oct 2020 08:36:59 +0000 https://kennysoto.com/?p=2335 The only way to avoid the unemployment line—stay competitive As 2021 comes quickly and the job market becomes more uncertain over time, we all must define, improve, and polish our personal brands for the new competitive marketplace. I use the term “marketplace” because I consider us to be sellers first—job candidates second. We are entering […]

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The only way to avoid the unemployment line—stay competitive

As 2021 comes quickly and the job market becomes more uncertain over time, we all must define, improve, and polish our personal brands for the new competitive marketplace. I use the term “marketplace” because I consider us to be sellers first—job candidates second.

We are entering a time when we are not only going to compete with people in our local area for jobs, we are going to compete with the entire world and some of us are already doing that.

The perfect example of this the challenge graphic designers have to break out and get clients when business owners are hiring people on UpWork and Fiverr, and some business owners are even using Canva to fulfill their design needs. Not only are designers in direct competition with freelance platforms—but they are also in direct competition with tools that make certain tasks easier for potential clients to do things on thier own.

So if you were in this situation, what would you need in your arsenal to stand out?

The main tool that you would need to leverage (if you haven’t done so already) is a personal brand. This doesn’t mean that you are just sprucing up your resume and work portfolio, you have to also consider the type of media and content you can create to highlight your skills and services. This means doing the extra work to start a blog, a podcast, or a YouTube channel. The extra work seems like it is unnecessary because in most cases your competition isn’t doing this yet but, that is exactly the reason why you need to start creating content to stand out.

If you need more motivation to get started think about this: you are in direct competition with freelance platforms, other job candidates that are creating content, and potentially, artificial intelligence tools that will change the way you work in the future. We can’t account for all of the changes that will happen in the future but, we can at least try to stand out more by expanding the story we tell to hiring managers.


Image credit: Unsplash

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Starting A Podcast Is A Great Idea https://kennysoto.com/2020/10/starting-a-podcast/ Thu, 15 Oct 2020 08:20:11 +0000 https://kennysoto.com/?p=2329 Imagine if you can ask your favorite experts any question? I’ve been recently looking for the best and most customized solution to a problem I’ve always wanted to solve: how can get I a unique education from the internet? I discovered that one easy way to do this, with the least amount of overhead possible, […]

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Imagine if you can ask your favorite experts any question?

I’ve been recently looking for the best and most customized solution to a problem I’ve always wanted to solve: how can get I a unique education from the internet?

I discovered that one easy way to do this, with the least amount of overhead possible, is by starting an interview show. After mulling over whether or not I wanted my interview show to be based in a video or an audio format, I decided to go with audio mainly because of how much more relaxed doing a podcast is compared to a video show.

In a recent interview with Matt Lebris, who has his own podcast, he told me that it’s surprisingly easy to reach out to anyone you want on the internet. The answer to anything is automatically no if you don’t ask. With that in mind, I created a list of 200 digital marketers from all over the world and have begun reaching out to all of them with the hopes that they would be on my podcast. This side-project has proven to be extremely valuable and a great use of my time so far!

I love the idea of having my own podcast because the worst-case scenario of me doing this is that I don’t get a response from potential guests and I just continue my outreach elsewhere. The best-case scenario is:

  1. I get to ask marketing experts anything I want to learn,
  2. I create unique content that can then be shared with their fans and hopefully my own,
  3. I can help at least one other person who may have the same questions that I’m asking.

Also, doing a podcast is exciting and fun. I’ve been blogging for five years and have always enjoyed writing about marketing but, I think I may have found a new side-project to fall in love with.

Starting a podcast has certainly been the best decision I’ve made for my career this year.

Image Credit: Unsplash

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Training To Stay Competitive In Digital Marketing https://kennysoto.com/2020/10/training-to-stay-competitive-in-digital-marketing/ Mon, 05 Oct 2020 08:50:15 +0000 https://kennysoto.com/?p=2324 The job market is only going to get more competitive over time, how will you adapt? As remote work becomes adopted by big companies and not just startups, we have to begin to consider how this will affect our careers. Even in the event that you don’t see yourself working remotely if you had the […]

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The job market is only going to get more competitive over time, how will you adapt?

As remote work becomes adopted by big companies and not just startups, we have to begin to consider how this will affect our careers. Even in the event that you don’t see yourself working remotely if you had the ability to choose, that doesn’t mean that you aren’t in direct competition with other remote workers.

When working in small or mid-sized teams, remote work contractors are a viable solution to solving problems and executing small projects. These remote work contractors can sometimes find themselves in the position where they can work with a team indefinitely, due to their demonstrable ability to execute on tasks and because of where they may be placed globally—their salaries may be lower than the average full-time employee.

Taking this into consideration, your position may be up for grabs if you could be replaced by 2-3 other people who represent half the cost of wage. If replacing you can be justified, you will be replaced. To stay competitive, especially in digital marketing, we have to consider the full-stack approach. Instead of remaining a specialist, or aiming to become one, perhaps it is better to focus on becoming a generalist first. 

What new skills are you learning to stay ahead of the curve? What new skills are you learning to remain flexible and pivot if your services are no longer needed? These are questions we need to ask ourselves now, in preparation for more a competitive future.

Image credit: Unsplash

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