Dave Rotheroe generated half a million dollars by mailing people grilled cheese sandwiches in the post. He's now the founder and CEO of Grip Advertising, and today he talks to us about how to build your list with viral ads.
We talk about how to be creative, how to split test, and how to make ads that will go viral. You really want to find out what Dave has to say... honestly!
SOME EPISODE HIGHLIGHTS:
(3:00) Did Dave really tour the world as a punk rock violinist? (And how awesome is that?!)
(4:40) Dave's secret sauce to advertising (yes, he cracked by mailing cheese sandwiches!)
(6:46) Ads and creativity (and where people get it a bit wrong).
(8:52) How to go about being more creative in your ads.
(11:34) The imprtance of split testing in your ads (and how to do it).
(13:45) How to go about starting a list building ads campaign.
(15:48) The 3 different angles you need when creating your ads.
(17:34) How to sell free lead magnets through ads.
(19:13) How to sell paid lead magnets through ads.
(21:36) Subject line of the week with Dave Rotheroe.
What's the secret sauce to viral ads?When Dave started a grilled sandwich subscription box, it went globally viral within a week. But Dave knew that virality moves on, just like trends. So he figured the only way to make his business sustainable was to start running ads behind it.
But the key thing is... Dave used ads to amplify what was already working - something that had already gone viral on its own accord. And, in his own words, he became obsessed with trying to figure out how stuff goes viral and what makes people share and then applying it to various fields and industries through the awesome work he does.
Is creativity important in ads?Creativity is one of those things that's really hard to teach, Dave says. Talking about strategies and best practices is much easier. But at the core of it all, you want to create ads that people want to watch and engage with. Having ads that are built around a funnel - that are targeted specifically to a cold audience and take them through to the consideration phase - is awesome. But if you can come up with a piece of creative ad that strikes a chord with your ideal customer base, then you can see improvements of 10-20x - much more than you could ever achieve with strategies and best practices.
So here are some principles that Dave uses when coming up with ads. And we've seen this in action when we started working with Dave - his work massively elevated our campaigns!
The principle Dave swears by is to use metaphors to describe what you do and to use characters that people know. This helps you create a bridge between what you do (and something that your audience isn't potentially familiar with) and what they know.
So the idea is to create a Trojan Horse where your product is woven throughout a storyline that people can watch. This way it doesn't feel like an ad. It's something people watch, and they feel entertained and endeared by you. And while you're presenting them with a really entertaining ad, you're actually teaching them about who you are and what you do.
How cool is that?! Dave's an actual genius!
Split testing your adsSo now that you know how to create ads that people want to see in their social media feed, let's talk about split testing. An interesting fact Dave shared is that according to Facebook, 1% of the most successful 1% advertisers on the platform split test their creatives 11 times more than the average advertiser. That's a lot!
For example, Dave did some split testing on one of our ads. He used the same video with exactly the same copy, but with different thumbnails. And he found that one outperformed the others by 3x! In other words, the ads were identical (except for the thumbnail), but one was 3 times more profitable and got a higher click-through rate than the others!
This shows that you have to find the traction po