Welcome to episode #75 of The PPC Show, where we interview the best and brightest in paid marketing. This week we’re joined by Ferdinand Götzen, the Head of Growth at Recruitee.
In this episode, Ferdinand talks about the importance of ad copy and content in online advertising.
Stay tuned as he covers:
- The most important elements of ad copy
- Images versus the copy
- Content marketing for different stages of the funnel
- Changing ad copy across networks and customer journey
Listen to the Episode
My name is Ferdinand Goetzen and I sepcialize in Growth. I first ventured into the digital sphere almost a decade ago and have been helping companies grow ever since. The world is rapidly changing and with the emergence of new sophisticated technologies, in particular those driven by AI, it has become more challenging but also more exciting than ever to grow a business.
I am currently living in Amsterdam, working as Head of Growth @Recruitee, a SaaS company and one of the fastest growing startups in the Netherlands.
I am also the co-founder of the new-gen media outlet Pynx Media and currently blog about traveling the world at Wireless Vagabond.
For more information about me, feel free to check out my LinkedIn Profile.
Show Notes and Transcript
JD Prater: Ferdinand, welcome to the show.
Ferdinand Götzen: Hi. Thanks for having me.
JD Prater: Excited to have you on to talk to us about the importance of Ad Copy and content in online advertising. Always a relevant topic for the PPC Show.
Before we jump into it give us a quick overview of who you are and where you’re working.
Ferdinand Götzen: My name’s Ferdinand Gotzen. I’m the Head of Growth at Recruitee. We’re one of the fastest growing SaaS startups in the Netherlands. We’ve been around for a couple of years. What we do is we have an all-in-one recruitment platform. It’s a software that allows you to manage your entire recruitment and hiring process from the moment before you try to find your candidates, from sourcing your candidates all the way to making the final hire. You can organize your pipeline.
The simplest way to put it is probably to say that it’s similar to CARM, but for recruitment. But we do try to think of ourselves as something much bigger than that. We try to think of ourselves as an all-in-one solution, something that really gives recruiters superpowers, that allows recruiters to do what previously they couldn’t have done alone, in the same sense as many marketing automation technologies have performed in the field of marketing.
That’s what we do.
JD Prater: Nice. That’s a fun space to be in. A quick plug for anyone listening, we are currently hiring a product marketing manager. If you’re listening, and you’re interested, let me know. Maybe I’ll have to use Recruitee to figure it out.
Ferdinand Götzen: I would strongly recommend it, of course. No bias.
JD Prater: No bias.
All right, man. Let’s shift gears here and talk about some Ad Copy and some content. Kick it off here. Whenever you’re thinking about Ad Copy, what is the most important elements that you look at?
What Are the Most Important Elements of Ad Copy?
Ferdinand Götzen: The most important element is probably sounding natural. I know that there is so much out there in terms of the technicalities and the best practices, the tricks, for writing great copy. I always say that the one problem with best practices is that if everybody uses the same best practices, everybody sounds the same.
You and probably everyone listening has heard or read so many value propositions with, “skyrocket this,” and “hyper-target” and “hyper-boost this,” these buzzwords that after a while don’t mean anything. I think that’s directly tied to the fact that people often underestimate how important copy can be.
There’s a great quote. I can’t remember whom it’s by. It boils down to “Picture’s attract, but it’s copy that sells.” When you’re talking about your brand, when you’re talking about your marketing, it’s very important to… Everything that’s visual, everything that’s creative, needs to really attract people. Attract people’s attention.
When you open a website, or if you look at an ad, the first thing you look at is always the imagery, the visual, the creative. One second later, after the first few milliseconds, you go straight to the copy. You start reading the headline, or whatever copy is most prominent. I think it’s incredibly important. It’s really important to have a voice, to have a specific style, to have consistency in the type of words that you use, but most importantly to, in a way, write as you speak. “The Ways Principle,” as people like to call it. Just to sound natural. I think that’s the most important thing.
JD Prater: Nice. I really like that one. I think it’s simple and some of the ways told me as well within that part of natural and you hit on that same voice was, you should be able to look at an ad and know exactly who that brand is. Right?
Ferdinand Götzen: Yeah.
JD Prater: Assuming that you have the brand that people can then easily recognize.
Within that, too, let’s break it down to maybe some things that you think about on Facebook. Then maybe we can also talk about some search copy as well with the ETAs, with two headlines and thinking about longer Ad Copy there. Which one do you wanna start with? You wanna start search with AdWords being or you wanna start with maybe Facebook?
Ferdinand Götzen: Yeah, we can start with Facebook, fine by me.
JD Prater: Alright, let’s do it. Within Facebook, you were talking about using the images. How do you think about structuring your ads whenever you’re … how much time do you put into the image versus the copy? What are some of your favorite AdTypes that you like to use?
How Much Time Do You Put into the Image Versus the Copy?
Ferdinand Götzen: The way that we usually look at it is, the ad is kind of like a person. Imagine if an ad was a person, then the best practices of all that, that’s what forms the skeleton. Then the meats and the muscles and the skin and all that. That’s really when you polish it, you make it look great. I think that’s really important for both copy and creative. We played around, so at the end of the day, you really need to test everything. We get most of our learnings from ab testing. That’s how we find what really works. But we always do have some principles that we try to follow and content guidelines. When it comes to the format, we usually go quite traditional.
We’re now also trying out the Messenger Ads, as well. We set up a Chatbot on our Facebook page’s Messenger and now, we’re creating ads that send people straight to the Chatbot, rather than sending them to the website because we find that there’s still this innovative cool thing type of Chatbot. People still find it pretty new and exciting. Sometimes the answers we get on these Chatbot are scary and weird but it’s something that really … there are a lot of formats to play around with. What we found is that almost the basic, traditional ads on the timeline, those tend to be the ones that form the best. When it comes to formatting it, we put quite a lot of effort into the images sometimes. It depends a little bit on what we’re promoting.
We try not to promote our website directly through ads because we found that, as a B2B SaaS company and the recruitment space, which is not necessarily always the most tech-savvy space, you often have a lot of touchpoints between the end-user or the person who, the decision maker, when it comes to purchasing the subscription. We have a lot of touchpoints between when they first see us and when they actually decide to purchase the subscription.
So, what we see quite often, is that by the time someones’ purchased or subscribed, we see that they’ve had 130 plus touchpoints, sometimes. Which means, they’ve seen an ad here and they’ve seen a blog post there, then they came onto our website. At the end of the day, that makes attribution very difficult, but it also means that you have to look at your ads a little bit differently. So, we very often promote our content queue ads, which also changes the structure of those ads, considerably. We try to make sure that everything’s clean, that it’s very digestible. But we place more and more importance on the creative, as well, because I really believe in this idea that you need to attract their attention with the imagery and then you need to close the deal. Get the click with the copy.
JD Prater: Nice. We can talk about that, too. Let’s talk about using content. I think a lot of people within performance marketers, especially here in the US, they’ve been so used to direct respond, like buy now, buy now. I would say, over the last maybe year to two years, we’re seeing a lot more advertisers use content and go to content. Talk to me about how you structure your funnel and you think about all of those all of those 130 touchpoints.
Structuring the Funnel Across 130 Touchpoints
Ferdinand Götzen: Yeah. At the end of the day, because there’s so many touchpoints, 130 is an extreme case, of course. Although, it really depends on the type of user. There are some users where, on average, it is 100-plus, then there’s some users where it’s less. But it’s very rare that somebody sees an ad, comes to the website, and purchases, simply because you need to always think about what’s happening on the other side. What’s happening on the user’s end?
If you think about the user, they’re on Facebook, they see an ad, they clicked it. Let’s say this is a recruiter, for example, which would be a good target person for our product. Even if they are immediately sold on it, they’re immediately interested, they want to sign up, purchase a subscription. They still have to often check with whoever is the decision maker in that company.
At the very least, they need to check with the finance people or the CFO, whether the budget is there to use this tool. As a result, there are a lot of touchpoints, and using content is gonna be really essential to making sure that those touchpoints are as valuable as possible.
To not go on too long of tangents, the way that we basically try to do it, is to think about the process or the thought process, that the user goes through. What are the different stages that a user goes through in deciding whether or not to buy something. Often it’s a pain, pain gets triggered, or the pain is really there, but it’s gets retriggered by something they see. Then they alterative solutions for that pain, those could be competitors that provide the same solution, but it could also be completely different types of solutions, different types of products to solve that problem. For example, it could go with Recruitee, it could also go with spreadsheets. There’s a lot of different options. Once they’ve actually decided on which solution is best, you need to convince them that your version of that solution is the best version of the solution. The more social proof you can put into that, the more professional proof, the more trust you can instill in your product, the better.
We think about this process that user goes through, we really try to emulate that when we’re running our ads, when we’re running retargeting campaigns. When we’re creating email lists, we really try to segment users based on what their priorities are, what they’re interested in because on the one hand, it’s more effective for us because it means that we have more relevant touchpoints, so maybe the user won’t need a hundred touchpoints, if everything they read is really relevant and they’re becoming educated within the market. On the other hand, it just creates a lot of value for the user. So, even if they decide to go with something else, then two years down the line, if they’re still part of your network and still reading your content or reading your newsletters, there’s a very good chance they might consider switching to you or working closer with you in some other way.
JD Prater: Cool. I really like that. Within your content, when you guys are creating it, maybe mapping it out, are you guys thinking about funnel pieces? You’re thinking, “Man, this is a top-level paying point. Maybe this next article is really gonna drive people to that next step and lower funnel content.” Whatever it may be within the recruiting space. Sorry. Is that how you’re thinking about your content strategy?
How Are You Thinking About Your Content Strategy?
Ferdinand Götzen: On the one hand, yes. We have a lot of content, so that’s really important. We have this really beautiful giant sheet with every piece of content we’ve ever put out, every single piece of content that we have come across that has been put out that mentions or references us in some way or another. We know anything that’s written that has the word, ‘Recruitee’ in it, not only are we aware of it, but we’ve categorized it according to where in the funnel it’s most appropriate, according to what pain points it address, what angles it addresses.
In that flow from pain, solution, proof, action, there are a lot of other steps, of course. Different segments have different customer journeys, but we have actually categorized that and segmented it to quite a large extent. That’s to do with the fact that our head of content can bust out a huge amount of quality content in a very short period of time. So, we always have a lot of content and we have a very big overview of what should we write about next? We’ve talked a lot about data protection and data security in the GDPR within our product. Maybe we should talk about UX a little more. Maybe we should talk about our customer support a little more.
I think it’s really important to have that clear flow and a really good idea. What content do I have and how do I best use it? When we are creating ad strategies, sometimes these are really big overarching strategies that we developed for two months. Sometimes it’s a smaller experiment. Very often, it’s a two week experiment, where we’re testing something new. We have a very good idea of what content’s gonna be most suitable.
Even though we have this overview, we still do A/B tests, we still figure out works best and see what people respond to most.
JD Prater: Nice. Cool. Within using that content, using those ad strategies, are you guys doing a lot of retargeting, based off that. It seems like you guys have a really good understanding of what content is higher in the funnel versus mid-funnel. Are you just building audiences based off five different blog posts and then showing them this blog post, as an example? I’m trying to figure out how you guys think about your funnel. It’s kinda cool.
Content Marketing for Different Stages of the Funnel
Ferdinand Götzen: We do something there. I try to keep some of the technicalities of how we do things a little bit secret, even though, generally, I believe that you can share anything with anyone. Every business is so different, even competitors. I do try to keep some things that we’re still testing that haven’t been proven, yet, on the down low. Generally speaking, yes. We really try to segment our users and we try to see how can we effectively give the user more of what they’ve already shown they’re interested in.
At the same, that’s always the big challenge. On the one hand, you wanna say, “This is a flow of users who care about this, so I’m gonna give them, I don’t know, it might be data security, so you’re gonna target that.” But then you might have a flow of users, maybe those users also care about something else. So, the real art in it is finding out how to make older users get all the touchpoints that are most relevant to them and not just one segment that might be relevant.
This might sound a little bit like gibberish, but it makes sense in my head. You need to make sure that everyone;s getting everything they want to be getting and that’s a very big challenge. That’s very complicated.
JD Prater: Gotcha, cool. Let’s switch gears and think about your search advertising. Whenever we think about copy and content within our online advertising, are you guys also running ads to content in search or is that when you guys think about actually running them to your website?
Running Ads to Content
Ferdinand Götzen: We do both. When it comes to search, we do a bit of both. We have a lot of different ads, a lot of them campaigns, and there’s huge differences geographically. For example, we see huge differences that different countries respond completely differently to whether you’re trying to get people to your website or whether you’re trying to get people to your blog, for example.
We’re seeing huge differences geographically speaking. As a result, we have a lot of different campaigns that we’re constantly tweaking. We really do try to optimize the copy for every single one.
One of the things that’s really important there, is that we are a B2B company, which means that we have significant sales process. What we try to do, what I think is incredibly important, it’s something that we’ve been working on, especially lately, is creating consistency in the messaging. So that when somebody sees an ad or whether somebody sees a blog post and then they’re talking to the sales guy on the phone, that they’re hearing similar things. I think there is a lot of value in the subconscious connections that we create. It might seem that, on the surface, it doesn’t really matter if we’re using the same words as somebody else, further down the funnel, but it does at the end of the day.
I think that when users hear the same words, when they hear consistency, it also instills trust, it instills a certain brand identity. This is also true of tone and style, so we try to keep that consistent and optimize it, per geographic segment, as well.
JD Prater: That’s pretty cool. I like that idea as well. I think I’ve seen that even with here at AdStage. Thumbs up to that. We’re currently trying to educate our sales team and then working with our CS team so we’re all saying the same things. This goes even to … you were talking Chatbox and LiveChat maybe on your website to where all of this is saying the same things. We’re all moving in the same direction. Whenever you’re thinking about your Ad Copy … we’ll get pretty technical here. How do think about the two headlines and the description? Do you place more weight on those two headlines versus the description? How do you play around and test with that?
Writing ETAs – Headlines vs Descriptions
Ferdinand Götzen: We have a certain amount of considerations, so that’s the thing. When you’re creating copy, on the one hand you wanna do what sounds really good, so I started off more with casual writing, creative writing, more journalistic style writing a really, really long time ago. I really enjoy writing something that sounds good, that flows well. At the same time, you need to do what converts, and at the same time, you need to do what is best for Google’s algorithms. When you have AdWords, there’s what we call, ‘the trifecta’ of this keyword, trifecta, which is that the keywords in your ad group need to be reflected in the ad itself. It also needs to be reflected on the landing page. You need to make sure that … you cannot have one ad group for every keyword, so you’re obviously gonna have some ad groups that have a variety of keywords, which all revolve around the same core keyword, but the long tail is gonna change.
Somehow you need to make that fit into the ad. We’re always those three things and we need to make sure that it sounds good, that it’s unique, that it converts, and at the same time, that it’s positive and works with the algorithms.
That’s something that I always struggle with because, when you’re doing extended text ads, you see that you got your headline and then I write a beautiful headline in English. Everything’s great; I’m very happy with it. Then I have to do it with German, then I’m halfway through the first word and I’ve used up my 30 characters because German has way more letters than any other language out there. A good example would be, I need to write, “Applicant Tracking System” or I can write, “ATS” but then in German, I have write the which is twice as long and I can’t even say anything else.
Those are the really specific challenges that we try to tackle, but I think this trifecta is incredibly important. Your landing page also reflects the keywords that you’ve chosen and the keywords that are inside the Ad Copy, itself. It’s something that, if you talk to anyone who works at Google, who’s part of the Google AdWords team there, they’re gonna tell you this is almost the most basic thing. If you get a hygiene report from Google, this is the most basic thing, is that these keywords need to be mirrored into these three elements. It’s something that 90% of companies are doing right.
JD Prater: I can definitely feel your pain there. I like the German example. When you’re thinking about that … we talked about using those keywords in the text ads and we talking about our keyword group. Let’s shift into the actually landing pages. I think this is becoming a big one now. Especially as we AdWords really promoting AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages. Is that something you guys are experimenting with, is AMP? Then the second part of that is, do you guys create a lot of landing pages, especially for campaigns?
Creating Landing Pages and AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
Ferdinand Götzen: Yeah. We’ve been working a lot with AdWords, especially in the last couple of months. We’ve been really about … we did a whole overhaul of the whole strategy because, to give the good example before, I started working at Recruitee, the Head of Marketing had more of a performance marketing approach. I’ve had more of a growth approach, thinking about the full funnel, thinking about the whole customer journey. Rather than thinking of Google ads as an end, it’s just one piece of this really complex puzzle. It’s just one link in the chain. We’ve been working a lot on overhauling our whole strategy.
With AMP, we’ve already started looking into it, we’ve already planned out a bunch of ideas. We’ve thought about how we’re going to implement this most effectively, but it’s something that we just haven’t gotten around to, just yet, because we’re in the process of changing everything around, how we’ve organized our ads, the campaigns that we’re running, the copy, everything we’ve just completely overhauled in the last few months. That’s something that’s still waiting.
I can’t remember what the second question was?
JD Prater: The second one was really creating specific landing pages for specific campaigns. Are you guys driving people to the generalized landing pages?
Ferdinand Götzen: Yeah, okay. Now I remember. The landing pages, we’re trying to build a landing page for every ad group. That’s our final goal, which is that every ad group has its own landing page. At the moment, we’ve done it on a campaign by campaign basis. But we want to do it also for every ad group because, what we’ve done is, we started working with Instapage. I’m a really big fan of Instapage. I love their internal AB test function because I have some friends who are serious data scientists and they work with all the big tools and they work data at a very, very high level. Even they say that for very simple AB tests, Instapage really does the trick, and it’s one way that … I also have to think about, we have a web app where the website and the application are integrated together. How do I create a system where everyone in my team, everyone in the marketing dept can actually make changes and test and do AB tests. Instapage has turned out to be one of the easiest ways for everyone to do those tests.
When you’re talking about a small landing page for a very specific ad group, it doesn’t matter how badly you screw it up, it’s not going to have a huge impact on your overall AdWords performance. We try to encourage as much experimentation. That’s what we’re in the process of doing. We’re trying to build one landing page for every single ad group, so that we can really nail this trifecta idea. That the keywords should reflect in the landing page, the ad, and the ad group itself.
JD Prater: Wow. That sounds intense. That’s amazing that you guys have gone that far. I have no doubt that, with that type of intensity and type of effort, I’m sure that quality scores are going up. When you think about the trifectas or maybe ad costs are coming down or it’s a better user experience for someone click on the ads. Kudos to you guys for that one. That’s not an easy task.
Ferdinand Götzen: Yeah, thanks. We’re not quite done with it yet, so we can’t really pat ourselves on the back. To be honest, when you’re working with something like Instapage, you can just duplicate your pages. You just change the copy around a little bit. It is a lot of work. It’s a lot of tedious nitty-gritty stuff, but it’s not as much work as it sounds because you just duplicate, then you do some tests on your call landing pages. You figure out what works more or less. You come up with a few variations, a few variants, and then you just duplicate and you just adjust the keywords to optimize it.
JD Prater: Gotcha. Well, it’s still a big undertaking. I still think it’s pretty cool. Something else I wanna talk to you about was, you had talked about creating stickiness and nurturing leads that come through these paid-ad channels. How do you think about stickiness and nurturing leads?
Stickiness and Nurturing Leads Through Paid Networks
Ferdinand Götzen: Well, there’s stickiness in terms of product. I was actually talking to a colleague today. Think of a product like, LastPass or Dashlane, which, if you use it right, you have one master password. Dashlane is a test deciding all your passwords for everything. That’s serious stickiness because you cannot get rid of it afterwards. It’s so incredibly hard to then switch from that to something else. That’s really a product concept. The idea that, even if a user were to be dissatisfied with an aspect or a feature of your product, the effort of switching to another product, would be just too much. Too different to switch that to something else.
This could be because it’s incredibly sticky, it could be because the product is incredibly good. That stickiness concept is really important. I tried to do that in marketing, and everything that we do related to growth because driving someone to your website is great, retargeting them is great. But you need to think long-term. You don’t know where your users currently are. This is really the big difference between B2C and B2B. I think that working in B2B SaaS, especially the non-enterprise B2B SaaS is like a baptism of fire. Attribution is incredibly complicated. Thinking about the user journey could be incredibly complicated.
I always try to think about, who is the end-user and what are they currently going through because maybe they really love your product. They saw your website. They saw the copy. They saw the ad. They are a hundred percent sold. They know that they want to use your product, but they’re currently using another product and the subscription doesn’t end for another two months. They’re not willing to pay double for two months, so you need to be there in two months time when they’re ready.
That’s something that everyone needs to think about. Especially when you have a longer process. We know that it takes, sometimes, up to two months to close some deals. So, we need to know … or three months, I promise, it really depends on the type of deal. We know that it’s not that they see us one day and they buy us the next day. It’s not a simple B2C free product that you can download or anything like that. So, we need to think about how do we make sure they stick around? How do we make sure that they are aware of us in the long-term?
That’s why we create content. That’s why we do retargeting. That’s why we have hyper-segmented email lists to make that everyone’s getting as much value as possible. That’s why we try to create as much value all the time as possible. That’s why we also try to use remarketing in our Google ads because it’s actually something I’ve noticed is that a lot of companies don’t do that. They don’t upload remarketing lists to Google ads. It’s a great way to reduce your costs and just tie down people who’ve already had touch with you in the past.
JD Prater: Yeah. Let’s break that out. We’re talking about uploading audiences in there. Are you talking display retargeting as well as RLSAs? You’re saying you’re just not seeing a whole lot of that?
RLSAs and Audience Lists
Ferdinand Götzen: We’re doing both, but when I work with other companies … I had a friend of mine who actually reached out to me and said, “Could I help out with Google ads?” And she asked me, “What is the most important thing about doing Google ads right?” I said, “The most important thing is to realize you have an account manager and you should use them.” They will tell you the basics, which so many people skip.
I used to teach growth. I used to do consultancy. I used to see what a lot of other companies are doing. From B2C, it doesn’t matter so much because you can get away with doing more basic things in the B2C environment. In the B2B environment, it’s very, very difficult. It’s very difficult to do just the basics and still be getting good results.
I just see that a lot of companies are not uploading customer lists. They’re not uploading remarketing lists, either for display or RSLA. It seems quite basic once you’re doing it a lot, but we tend to forget. That’s the thing, that people who are really in a field or in a subject, they tend to forget that most people don’t think that way and most people don’t do it.
JD Prater: Nice. Whenever you’re talking and you were thinking about the importance of Ad Copy, and we’re talking about uploading these email lists, how do you think about changing that Ad Copy? So, if you’re looking at this list that’s coming through and they’re on an RLSA, they come in, they search, they hit your keyword, how are changing that ad?
Ad Copy for RLSAs
Ferdinand Götzen: The way we change it is, it really depends on the list that we’re uploading, but I think the most important thing is to just reiterate this consistency. You know what these people have already seen or you need to, at least, assume that a good amount of these people have already seen some of the stuff that you put out there. So you need to make sure that whatever you’re putting out there is a natural Followone from what they’ve seen before. The more we segment the lists, the easier that is to do because then we can really, not just talk about actual words that we use in our copy, we can also think about what are the angles, we should play, what URLs and landing pages should we send them to? How do we optimize those landing pages for that exact group?
But if you don’t have the type of segmentation, of course, you have to do it at a more basic level. You need to think about, okay, how do we make sure that we’re not repeating ourselves, for example. I used to put very little value on rotating ads and that’s a lesson I had to learn the hard way because then people were saying, “I’m seeing your ads all the time and they never change and they’re super boring and I’m boring of seeing them on my Facebook timeline or on Google.”
Then you just think about, okay, maybe I should make two or three versions and rotate them once I’ve optimized. It’s important to keep it fresh. It’s important to keep it relevant. It’s important to have consistency.
JD Prater: Nice. I think I definitely would agree with all of those points. Whenever you touched on this with Facebook, I think Facebook has really pushed us to update our ads a lot. When you think about ad fatigue and you think about people seeing your ad all the time. Are you also doing the same things, like uploading these lists, hyper-segmentation, then showing those ads based off of that? I guess what I’m trying to say, are Facebook and AdWords more or less mirrored within our funnel approach and Ad Copy approach?
Writing Ads for Facebook and AdWords
Ferdinand Götzen: Yeah. To be there both part of the same machine that we’re trying to build. So, we’re trying to build this semi-automated huge monster of a funnel. It’s actually more of a combination of many little funnels. Facebook and Google ads really work in parallel. They really work in parallel.
JD Prater: Gotcha. I wanted to touch on maybe some of your favorite tools. You mentioned Instapage, what are some other tools that you like whenever you’re thinking around Ad Copy content, Facebook, AdWords, lay them on me.
Favorite Tools for PPC
Ferdinand Götzen: One tool tested out that was quite fun, we started using it then we stopped using for a while. We’re thinking about using it again. It’s a tool that, I think in the states it’s called, ‘Easy-Leads.’ It’s called, ‘Zenbid’ here in Europe because they operate under a different name. It’s similar to another one called, Albert.ai’ and it does automated bidding. AI driven automated bidding. It looked up all your past data, all your live data, then it runs it through machine learning algorithms. It predicts or predictive algorithms and it essentially predicts where you are best placed to place your bets or to place your bids. It bids for you automatically. That’s a pretty cool tool. It works really for colleagues of mine or friends of mine who work in eCommerce. They’ve seen really, really nice results.
In our field, we’ve seen that it works sometimes, but for us it’s really complicated because, this is my issue with performance marketing because I don’t think of ads as a thing in itself. It’s a part of a wider thing. I know I’m using the word ‘thing’ a lot. I’m at a lack of words. When I’m thinking about ads, I’m also thinking about what’s happening down the line, so it’s very easy for me look at US leads, for example. I’ll look at US leads and the cost of click will be lower, the click-through rate will be higher. It’s great. You wanna celebrate, your Google ads are doing great, the US campaigns are doing fantastically. But then I hear my sales guy or a sales colleague say, “Oh, yeah, by the way, we have a hundred competitors in the states, so it costs us 10 times more in opportunity costs to talk to a US lead, than it does Dutch lead, for example, because we’re based in the Netherlands because they’ve all heard of us.”
I constantly have to take all these things into account. It’s really important to think about ads as one part of a wider thing. I went a little bit off track, I have a tendency to do that. To get back to the tools, I think that for that reason, ZenBid wasn’t great because these automated bidding things, they would then start bidding often on things that made sense for the click-throughs, for the conversions. We would see and increase in the conversions to sign up, for example.
We often see ads that performed really well with converting sign-up to a free trial but they then don’t convert to paid customers afterwards. So, you always need to keep a view on the whole funnel. When it comes to actually copy, I use a lot of little tools. We use Hemingway a little bit for test copy. Grammarly is super important, especially if you live … I live in the Netherlands and I think there’s a higher percentage of fluent English-speakers here than in the states, but still, English is not the native language, so Grammarly is always a nice tool to have. Make sure that everyone is always on the same page.
One thing that I think is really valuable is UsabilityHub. They purchased or they acquired this tool called, “Five-second Test.” It’s really great for testing landing pages. It essentially shows a selection of users your page, your ad, or whatever it is your trying to put out there for five seconds. Then you can ask them basic questions. The idea behind it is that, when somebody sees your ad for the first time, just for five seconds, they need to at least understand some basic things. For example, what does this product do? What is the unique selling point of this product?
Usability hub is great. Instapage is great. I like all the little things, like Hemingway and Grammarly and this kind of stuff. I have all these templates that we built and all these spreadsheets and lists and keywords to use, keywords not to use, and this kind of stuff. When it comes to tooling, I can probably say a lot more about other related toolings, so things like, analytics and this kind of stuff. But for ads in particular, that’s mainly the stuff that we’ve been playing around with.
JD Prater: Gotcha. Cool, man. I got two more questions for you. Next one is, looking at 2018, and you’re really focused on growth, what are some things that you’re really excited about for 2018?
Growth Initiatives for 2018
Ferdinand Götzen: I’m really excited about video. We hired a video and design creator for our team. He’s staring tomorrow. We already set everything up so that there’s not even gonna be an onboarding date. He’s gonna get straight into thinking about what kind of videos we can make. We’re very excited about it. I think that’s really gonna make a big difference. I know that Facebook is now retiring the whole, content, reach and boost for Facebook Live videos, but still I think video is gonna play an incredibly important part. That’s gonna be really essential to our strategy, for display advertising, as well as for Facebook ads. I think everything’s gonna revolve around video.
Honestly, I think last year was the year for video, but we’re still in the hot spot, now, so, I think in the next couple of years. I think in the next couple of years, we’re gonna see every company start using it a lot more. That would be one thing I’m most excited about.
JD Prater: Yeah, it seems like 2018 is the year of implementing video. Yeah. I agree with you there.
Ferdinand Götzen: Exactly, exactly. We’re talking about it, 2018 is actually doing it.
JD Prater: Yeah. I’m with you there. Alright, man. Last one here. Give us your best pro tip. What’s something that you wanna leave the audience with?
Ferdinand Götzen: I think the best pro tip, is use your Google AdWords account manager. Call them up, talk to them. They want you to do well because they want you to spend more on your Google ads. Especially if you’re not super experience, which, in performance marketing it is very rare, but in the field of growth, it happens more and more because you have these people who are all rounders and they have very different kinds of expertise. Use your Google account manger. It can be incredibly helpful. They can be bring incredible value.
Then the only other thing I would say is, don’t think about ads as just one thing in itself. Think of it as part of your entire strategy, what place does it play, and think about making sure that everything you say is consistent, that you have your own style because branding is not just what you see, it’s also what you read. Three things.
JD Prater: Nice. Nice. Alright, man. Ferdinand, thanks again for coming on the PPC Show. Where can listeners find you online?
Ferdinand Götzen: People can find me, I write a blog, it’s blog.ferndindandgotzen.com. Gotzen’s spelled G-O-T-Z-E-N, depending on where you’re from, .com. I’m easy to find on LinkedIn. I’m always happy to answer questions, so if anyone wants, they can find me on LinkedIn, they can find me on the Recruitee.com website. I think Recruitee.com is a good place to go just to see what we’re doing. I always recommend to people, better to watch what I’m doing, rather than listen to what I’m saying, which might not be so smart because I write a blog and I want people to read it, but still. Recruitee.com. Find me on LinkedIn, find me. I’m everywhere on the internet. It’s easy to find.
JD Prater: Alright. I’ll make sure to include all of those links in the notes, so if you guys wanna reach out Ferdinand, please go look into those show notes. Again, Ferdinand, thank you so much for coming on and talking to us about the importance of Ad Copy and online advertising. It was really fun to hear how you think about the funnel, how you think paid acquisition within Recruitee. So, thanks again.
Ferdinand Götzen: Thanks a lot for having me. It was great.