Listen to our exclusive interview with Travis Chambers:
Travis Chambers knows viral videos. He was inadvertently launched into the social video marketing world with one — a short video of him and his wife “being dumb” (his words, not mine!) that he produced while still in college. It ended up paying for their student loans, a car, and led to a job at Crispin Porter Bogusky, a premier ad agency he’d had his sights on.
As the in-house viral video expert at Crispin Porter Bogusky, he worked on some pretty sweet ads like the one for Turkish Airlines that featured Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi. It got 150 million views and 30 million shares — amazing.
And then it hit him: an early midlife crisis. After having a baby, a devastating medical diagnosis for his dad, and being let go from his position as Social Media Director at 20th Century Fox — a position he admits he wasn’t equipped or prepared for — Travis found himself searching for that next step.
Sound Advice From Someone Who’s Been There
He decided to follow some sage advice he heard in a podcast by author and entrepreneur James Altucher: If you’ve got nothing, you’ve got no ideas, just start with a service. He and his wife decided to give themselves three months to start their own marketing business. They lived off their savings for that time and landed their first client at the very end of those three months.
I think if I had tried to raise capital or launch some really big idea, I think I would have been in for a really rude awakening.
And just like that, Chamber Media was born. There has definitely been a learning curve. Travis’ company does a lot of video marketing and ad buying so he’s had to transition from knowing how to do to knowing how to teach. Nevertheless, things are going quite well for the five-year-old company. In the last year and a half, they’ve grown from six to 20 people, they’ve tripled the revenue of four multimillion dollar D2C companies, and they’ve driven $300 million in tracked revenue and garnered 400 million views across Facebook and Google channels.
In 2018, Travis made the Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
Social Media Advertising is Evolving
There was a time, Travis recounts, in the early 2000s, that free press was a thing. You had people getting millions of views for free because, as a result of numerous social platforms popping up and more users than good creators, pretty much anybody was happy to create content at no charge.
During his time at Crispin Porter Bogusky, 20 to 50 percent of all their views were earned media they essentially got for free as a result of seeding techniques that resulted in free reach. This type of free advertising simply doesn’t happen anymore, Travis explains, unless you are in the “elite top one percent of the one percent.” You simply can’t get free reach if you’re a brand or advertiser.
And so what we have basically accepted in the last few years is you’ve got to pay to play.
Advertising — effective advertising — is not free. The goal is no longer landing some free publicity; the goal is effective ad buying and creating content that sells. This, Travis clarifies, has nothing to do with how much earned free media your business secures.
It is possible, however, to garner some free virality if your ad is unique or at the top of a trend. But Travis warns that this is not optimal since it’s not something you can control or plan for. He adds that if someone wants to charge you so they can get your brand some virality, to consider it a red flag. A more effective option would be to hire someone to do a paid element that includes a very predictable, methodical, and replicable campaign with an activation on the side that will hopefully get some viral reach.
The Seven Foundational Ads
For the last year, Chambers Media has looked very closely at all the video ads they’ve ever made. They’ve categorized hundreds of ads and put them in a library. They named each category of ad and attached their effectiveness and looked at which type of ad got the most performance. What they found was that there were about seven different categories of ads that got really good performance on Facebook. More importantly, they found that all but one variety of these ads — anchor videos — were not that expensive to make.
Here’s a summary of those ads so you can get started on deciding which one is best suited for your business:
1. Anchor Video
- One to four minutes long
- Has a spokesperson
- Chatty and funny
- Large production, expensive so not realistic for 70% to 80% of brands
2. Product Demo
- Highlights product features
- Explains value points for consumer
- Can include unboxing or showing how product works
3. Social Proof
- Endorsement or approval from past product users
- Includes quotes from influencers, testimonials, user-generated content blogs, press reviews, or Amazon customer reviews
4. Closer Ads
- Ads that retarget and overcome people’s objections
- Generally address three to four objections
- Can be in the form of a selfie video
- Good for addressing and overcoming high checkout cart bounce rates
5. Case Studies
- Good for explaining claims or studies that demonstrate effectiveness
- Can be simple like a visualization of showing that the product works
- More brand-heavy
- Helps the consumer imagine what the product feels like or how their lives will be like with the product
- Often includes beautiful models and a musical montage
- A simple video of the product being unpackaged
- Illustrates how the product is packaged and how it arrives to the consumer
For more information, you can check out www.chamber.media or find Travis Chambers on LinkedIn.
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Transcription of Interview (Transcribed by Otter.ca; there may be errors.)
This is the Change Creator Podcast.
Adam Force 0:11
What’s going on everybody? Welcome back to the Change Creator Podcast show. This is your host, Adam Force. If you missed the last episode, it was with Susan Meier. We talked about electrifying your brand strategy. She had lots of good inputs and insights and some great experience to share. So if you missed it, go back; you’ll get some good nuggets out of that. In this episode, we’re going to be talking with Travis Chambers. He is the founder of Chamber Media. And he was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30, which is pretty cool. And right now, I think they have a team of about 30 people. The agency tripled the revenue of four multimillion dollar direct to consumer companies. And they’ve driven $300 million in tracked revenue and garnered 400 million views across Facebook and Google channels.
Pretty cool, man. I mean, these guys have definitely done something right and they have some really great video expertise. He’s been a keynote speaker at the Google growth summit, VidCon, and other things like that. Also, I think the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and he was featured in Inc., and Entrepreneur and all that kind of stuff. So this guy’s been around, he’s done a lot of good stuff. And he’s got a lot of great experience. So we’re gonna have a really good conversation about marketing and video and all that good stuff — something that we all need today as we’re pushing our businesses to the next level. We’re trying to connect with people; we’re trying to build trust. How do we do it? How do we cut through the noise? So hang tight, we’re going to have that conversation with Travis in just a minute. If you guys haven’t stopped by changecreator.com a while, swing by. We’d love to see you. Lots of fresh content coming out over there.
We have a new resource we’re putting out there very soon. So keep your eyes peeled. You’ll get updates on our Facebook channel. So if you’re not following us on Facebook, make sure you’re following us there and you can join our group. The Profitable Digital Impact Entrepreneur, when you want to get serious about scaling your business and making it profitable. It’s one thing to have a passion. It’s another thing to go from hobby to business, right? So, check us out over there, guys when you’re ready, and we’d love to see you. Outside of that, I think we’re ready to rock and roll. One thing I will mention: I was super inspired last week. I’m in a mastermind with my co founder, Amy. And I went to California — Redondo Beach — for this small summit. It was just 40 of us that are in this mastermind. And it’s, you know, a program that you’re part of, and it’s a paid program, right?
You pay in, and you pay a lot of money. And you’re part of these masterminds, and the idea is to elevate what you’re doing right? And I will tell you, I’ve been to a lot of conferences, I spoken at conferences, all that stuff, and they’re great. But when you’re in a paid program, and you’re in a community of like-minded people who are doing what you’re doing, I cannot believe the power of that conference. So you know, moving forward, this is a focus and I’m just putting it out there because as you guys are thinking about What conferences do I go to? Where should I spend my time? Getting involved in these communities and really hooking up with these guys that can elevate you. I mean, it makes a massive difference. I had a stellar time; the networking was incredible. And you just feel like you’re pushing yourself to the next level just from that community. Right. So anyway, just throwing that out there because I was super inspired and appreciative of everybody that I connected with out in California. Let’s jump into this conversation with Travis and talk about video, talk about marketing, and how we can sell more. Alright?
Okay, show me the heat.
Adam Force 3:40
Hey, Travis, welcome to the Change Creator Podcast show. How you doing today, man?
Travis Chambers 3:44
I’m doing good, man. And I’m just doing so much better now that I’m talking to you.
Adam Force 3:49
That’s very nice. I appreciate you being here. It looks like you’ve had a lot of exciting stuff going on. So we’re going to dig into it and see what you’ve got in your brain that we can get from you to steal your secrets. So, tell us a little bit about just you know, what’s the latest and greatest in Travis’s world today? What are you pumped about? What’s going on?
Travis Chambers 4:10
Well, you know, in the last year and a half, we grew our business from six to 20. And we just went through all these new experiences on scaling. And so it’s been really exciting to like see our business grow and then instill the new learnings and things I have to learn in order to master all that and learn how to teach. You know what I mean? We do a lot of video marketing and ad buying and so I’ve had to transition from knowing how to do to knowing how to teach which has been more difficult than I thought.
Adam Force 4:43
Yeah, I know that feeling. So just give me a little bit of history on how you kind of got started with Chamber Media and why you started. I just want to get that little bit of background.
Travis Chambers 4:57
Yeah, so, I was in college. I was always very entrepreneurial. I had an MMA fight promotion that I put on. Three thousand people showed up. Ran a painting company which didn’t make any money. But eventually got really interested in video. And me and my wife put out a video actually, of just us being dumb and it went mega viral. We were on Tosh.0, Good Morning America, truTV. We made like 40 grand on this video and paid off our student loans and bought a car and… . Anyways, that led to a job in L.A., funny enough, at Crispin Porter Bogusky, which is one of the better, more premier ad agencies that I had dreamed of going to all through college but everyone said it was impossible to get in there. And they happened to reach out to license or video for Kraft Mac & Cheese and I said, “Well, how about a job?” and they gave me one!
So I become the in-house…all of a sudden, I become the in-house viral video expert and a year later, Turkish Airlines says, “We want to make the most viral ad of all time.” They pointed at me and sure enough, we pulled it off. We got 150 million views, 30 million shares. We had Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi in the commercial. And I [unintelligible] 20th Century Fox as the Social Media Director. I royally royally sucked at that job. I was just way out of my depth; thought I was way smarter than I was. Anyways, I [unintelligible]…well, they let me go after three months. I started…had a baby. Dad got Parkinson’s, had a early midlife crisis, started Chamber Media. And first year we did you know, half a million revenue and things just kind of kept slowly, slowly growing and that’s pretty much been it for the last five years.
Adam Force 6:48
Wow. Sounds like a pretty interesting ride. So I’m curious, you know, when you get your…when you got Chamber Media started, you mentioned you got 500,000 for the first year, which is not a bad start considering most people are in the negatives after year one. Now, did you have a client roster that you went after? Like what was the secret sauce to getting started there?
Travis Chambers 7:13
Yeah, so I had read The 4-Hour Workweek and I right away thought this book is unrealistic. It’s…but the principle here is it changed the way I started thinking, right? I never believed I could do a four-hour workweek. I still don’t believe that’s possible. I think that’s for really rich people or hippies, maybe that, you know… . Anyways, I read that and I read The $100 Startup and I never honestly after college never had dawned on me that I would ever be able to start a company. I just…I was gonna climb the ladder like my dad did. I read The $100 Startup and then all of a sudden I realized, Oh, I could just sell my time. I can just charge for my skills. I don’t…I didn’t know any….I didn’t have any great ideas to start a company. I didn’t have any capital. I didn’t know anybody, really, in that space at all. I just wasn’t connected in any way. I had no real prospects for clients.
And so I just said, I’m just going to tell the world that I’m available, and I put it out there on LinkedIn, and just my wife and I said, Well, let’s give it three months. That’s how much money we’ve got saved. And if we get a client in that time, then we’ll keep going. And I think it was literally the very end of that three months, when we were starting to use our credit cards for personal expenses when we got our first client. And it happened to be a $60,000 client — happened to be my friend’s uncle, of all things. And then I think once everyone on LinkedIn saw that I was really actually doing this thing, then projects just kind of started to trickle in, and that was it. And the insight there was I think if I had tried to raise capital or launch some really big idea, I think I would have been in for a really rude awakening. And so I think just selling…starting with the service, which is advice I got from James Altucher on a blog post he had. He said, Hey, if you’ve got nothing, you got no ideas, you got nothing, just start with a service. So that’s what I did.
Adam Force 9:30
Yeah, so what were you offering? Just like a video service at the time for video marketing?
Travis Chambers 9:37
Yeah, so what I started out offering was ad buying — ad buying, SEO, and influencer integration. So people would give us a budget. We did a budget with Acura, we did a budget with Polaroid. And they would give us you know…Iceland airlines…they would give us like $10,000, $20,000, $30,000, $40,000. And we would go get them a bunch of influencers for a campaign. And then we had a few, you know, ad buying clients as well. It was about eight months in that we started doing video production. And it just so happened that I pitched Nordic track on this big viral idea. They gave us 180 grand to pull it off. We got 12 influencers involved. We set up 50 treadmills in a giant barn. And we did the world’s largest treadmill dance and I produced this $180,000 film shoot and I had never produced anything in my life. And I just, you know, hired a director, hired a producer to help me and it blew up! America’s Got Talent took this treadmill dance on primetime and NordicTrack got 5 million free primetime views. And it got, you know, it got…I can’t remember how many million — eight or nine million views and it drove four or five million in trackable sales. And that was it. That was like the birth of doing like this, you know, big production video thing with social ads.
Adam Force 11:04
That’s pretty sweet man. So what was the hook to get you in the Forbes 30 Under 30?
Travis Chambers 11:11
So I pretty much bamboozled Forbes 30 Under 30. I have a friend Cameron Manwaring, who actually helped me on the Nordic Track thing, and he helped…he was one of our vendors on the Kobe versus Messi thing. He really helped my success. Anyways, he gave me this….he’s like a master of viral [unintelligible]. And he gave me this tip that I used for Forbes to get onto the Forbes list. And I actually posted on my LinkedIn about it, too, exactly. It’s called How I Faked My Way On the Forbes List. And so what I did is I basically just asked all of the biggest name influencers and actors I had ever worked with to retweet my nomination. So I had Laura Clary, who was a big Facebook influencer. She’d been in one of our films. We hit it off — good friends. So she nominated me. And then just all these people just retweeted it. And so what happened was it caught the attention of the editors, and they actually looked into my stuff. And that was enough social proof to get on the list.
Adam Force 12:24
That’s pretty cool, man. I like that story.
Travis Chambers 12:27
And what’s funny is, I told the same strategy, actually to a friend of mine, Jaan [unintelligible]. He works at Instagram, and by all means, he is so much more qualified, incredible to be on that list, right? I think he would have gotten on that listen, no matter what. But he utilized the same strategy and I just happened to be the guy he asked to retweet — to do the nomination. And sure enough, he made the list. So I’d say if you got some credentials, take a crack at it.
Adam Force 12:58
That’s pretty funny. Amazing. So alright, so you know, time goes by, you guys are building up Chamber Media. What is some of the…How long have you guys been in business now?
Travis Chambers 13:09
I think we’re about five and a half years now.
Adam Force 13:11
Okay, so five and a half years. You got some traction here, obviously. And I’m curious during this time, how have you seen the social media advertising environment evolving?
Travis Chambers 13:25
Yeah. So man, it’s so interesting. It’s so fascinating. I feel like something happened with social media that has never happened before and may never happen again, with advertising. And what happened was, all these social platforms popped up. And they were really hungry to get content and to get creators on those platforms and publishers. So what happened was, there were more users than there were good creators. And it doesn’t make sense that anyone would create content for free. But people did it. Right? It was this new era of make stuff for free, and you’ll get other opportunities from it. And so what you had basically for seven, eight years, is you had people getting millions and millions of impressions and views for free. That’s never happened before. Thirty, forty years ago, if you wanted to reach anybody, you had to pay a newspaper, pay a magazine, a radio station, a TV station. There was no such thing as free media.
And then what happened in the early thousands before social media took off is agencies like Crispin Porter Bogusky — that agency I was at; they actually were the best at it in the world. They were named Ad Age’s top agency of the decade — they started writing creative to the press headline. And so rather than How do we sell? How do we convince people? They said, Well, how do we get the press headlines? So they started getting free press. This was a new thing that hadn’t been done. They invented this process. And so they started getting tons of free press, right? And this was during the breakdown of journalism. Journalism went from mostly credible to absolutely not credible, crony capitalist journalism — paid off. This is when blogs were taking off. They were trying to stay relevant. Journalists were making less and less; publishers were making less and less. Newspapers were dying.
Anyways, that’s where it started and where it ended up was with social media, you can get free reach. Now, my whole point to this is that’s ended. You can’t get free reach anymore unless you are in a elite, elite, elite top 1% of the 1% of the 1%. You are not going to get free reach, especially if you’re a brand or an advertiser. And so what we have basically accepted in the last few years is you’ve got to pay to play. You know, we were doing viral videos, we were viral seeding You know, 20 to 50% of all of our views would be earned media where we basically got them for free. We did all these seeding techniques, and we got these influencers and these press features and we were just getting free reach. Now, we’ve totally ended that; era that’s over. And now it’s all about how good you are at adbuying and making content that sells and it has nothing to do with how much earned media free reach you’re going to get. And by now, I think most people understand that.
Adam Force 16:28
I think so. I mean, you see it more and more especially as these social media platforms have evolved. It’s a lot more pay to play, obviously. I do still see organic on areas like Facebook if you know how to build that up like that momentum. But you’re right, I mean, there was a wild wild west period, for sure. But I mean, is it fair to say though, I mean, if you have something that is, I guess, you know, unique and eye catching, or it’s really a top of a trend, you don’t think that there’d be an earned media cycle?
Travis Chambers 17:05
It’s possible. It’s absolutely possible, right? It happens all the time. But it is not something you can control or plan for.
Adam Force 17:17
Okay. Right. So it’s just to strategically have a process that like these other guys did. That’s, that’s dead.
Travis Chambers 17:24
Yeah, it’s almost like if somebody is telling you to pay them so that they can get you some virality. It’s like, red flag; go a different direction. But if they’re saying, Hey, we’re going to do this paid element, right? We’re going to do this very predictable, methodical, replicable thing. But we’re going to do this activation on the side and hopefully that will get some viral reach, then that’s a good sign. But I mean, I try to think of like, what are the viral campaigns from the last year, you know? Peloton. Peloton went viral? Right?
Adam Force 18:01
Travis Chambers 18:02
For that for that horrible commercial that they did.
Adam Force 18:05
The last thing that I remember going viral is the squatty potty from the Harmon brothers.
Travis Chambers 18:11
Yeah. And you know what? That was one of the last viral campaigns. If you called him right now and said, Hey, hey, guys, how many truly organic viral hits have you had since squatty potty? They would say, Well, I think they posted about it. They’d say one or two. Yeah, we’ve had one or two, you know, and even then, I think squatty went viral for a month or two, and then the paid media kicked in. Yeah, so that was like one of the very last and that was actually when they launched that was around the same time that we launched the Nordic Track video.
Adam Force 18:44
Travis Chambers 18:46
Yeah. And we kind of got into this game around the same time and the Nordic Track video was one of our only real viral organic hits, too. After that it was usually 80/90% paid after that, so, but yeah, I mean, you try to think right, you try to think of like, I mean, can you think of any other viral brand campaigns in the last year?
Adam Force 19:10
Nothing is standing out to me so yeah, it is definitely a lot more scarce. If they’re out there, I just didn’t catch them.
Travis Chambers 19:20
Yeah, I mean, you think back right, when you think back to like old, the last viral stuff you saw it was like, Old Spice: What your man could smell like, Dollar Shave Club.
Adam Force 19:31
Dollar Shave Club. Oh, yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Travis Chambers 19:32
[Unintelligible] semi truck split with Van Damme. You know, but if you think that those were all like six, seven years ago.
Adam Force 19:41
It’s true. You know who does pretty good is Jay Shetty. I did interview him and spoke to him and stuff and his videos, some of them are, you know, 20-30 million views. I don’t know if he’s putting money into that or not, but…
Travis Chambers 19:54
I don’t think he is. I think…I think they’re like I said, I think there’s a space for the mega mega elite. And these influencers like Jay Shetty, they break through and what happens is they get whitelisted as creators. If Jay Shetty was a brand, it would never happen. So someone at Facebook — an engineer or an influencer or manager — has manually gone in and said Jay Shetty is a premium content influencer. He brings us 10s of millions of people a month. We’re going to open the algorithm to him. They do the same thing for Laura Clery who is a big Facebook influencer. She completely disregarded YouTube. She ignored every platform and she went all in on Facebook for a whole year and a half before Facebook even really monetized at all for creators.
Adam Force 20:52
Yeah, that’s interesting. So you know, I you know, you look at a platform like Facebook and you have your groups, your pages and then your personal profiles and you know, we always look at it as the whole ecosystem works together, but it sounds like there’s a lot of value in really putting a serious effort into your personal profile on outside of just the business page.
Travis Chambers 21:12
Yeah, yeah, that’s true, you know, but I don’t know that many personal Facebook pages I get insane reach. I think Facebook kind of like meters and throttles people. I honestly think that their engineers have figured out the exact number of likes that people the average Joe needs to get to feel like he should keep posting there. But but not so much that you know, that it’s…because it’s really competitive. It’s really saturated, you know. But for every Jay Shetty man, for every Jay Shetty, there’s 1000 creators who have all but disappeared, who have all but just gotten squashed. You know?
Adam Force 21:57
Yeah, yeah. Well, tell me a little bit about your process. I mean, you’re in the media world.
Travis Chambers 22:05
So you know where I met Jay Shetty? I was next to his urinal in the Seattle airport. And we, and I was sitting there and I was, we were both, you know, going taking a number one and I looked over and I was like, hey, Jay, got any inspirational thoughts for me?
Adam Force 22:24
You did not!
Travis Chambers 22:24
I did that, seriously. And he started cracking up. We were both mid-stream. And he’s just like, this guy just asked me so some life hacks while we’re going pee.
Adam Force 22:36
Yeah, don’t piss into the wind. That’s pretty funny. He’s a cool guy, man. I had a chat with him, too. And he’s super laid back and he’s smart, smart.
Travis Chambers 22:49
Hey, I was gonna ask you, do you know what ever happened to that Nicole Arbour thing? Did you hear about that?
Adam Force 22:54
Yeah, I didn’t follow it too closely. So I don’t know the outcomes of that.
Travis Chambers 22:59
Nicole…we cast Nicole in a commercial and I gotta say it’s the most negative comment feedback we’ve ever gotten on an ad that we had to pull it.
Adam Force 23:12
Travis Chambers 23:13
Yeah, yeah, just some things that she had put out — fat shaming stuff. So when she came out with that thing about Jay Shetty, like, you know, if you gotta tear someone else down to build your brand…You know, like, come on.
Adam Force 23:29
I saw that and I was like, I was like, total BS. Like, someone’s trying to take Jay like, you know, defame him and say all these things. And I was like, Hell no. I sat and talked to this guy for like, an hour. And he was like, the most genuine guy, dude. Like he’s not out there trying to like play games with people.
Travis Chambers 23:45
You know what I like about Jay is that he didn’t respond to it. I actually went and looked to see what his response would be. And I think he had the foresight and the wisdom to just not respond to it. I think anyon else, myself included, they would have freaked out about it. And they would have responded to it [unintelligible] more attention. I would take a lot of restraint and wisdom to just say, I’m just going to just not even address it.
Adam Force 24:14
Yeah, I mean, you’re anxious to defend yourself. Someone’s out there trying to drag your name through the mud. I you know, of course, that’s your knee jerk reaction, right? I mean, even Tony Robbins got up and was defending himself against BuzzFeed trying to knock him down.
Travis Chambers 24:28
Oh, I didn’t know about that.
Adam Force 24:29
Oh, my God, BuzzFeed went after him like crazy. And so Tony Robbins — saying all kinds of like slanderous things about how he was, you know, it’s always about guys like sexually assaulting women and all this stuff. And so they went after this like a very groundless claims and all this stuff, and he had all these people who are like, that’s totally not true. And he came out with videos saying like, you know, just speaking from his heart about, like, what’s going on and how BuzzFeed is — why they’re doing this and all this stuff.
Travis Chambers 24:58
Adam Force 24:59
Yeah, that was crazy.
Travis Chambers 25:00
Yeah, yeah, it’s almost like some of those things…you know, I’m a PR major and Public Relations 101 is that you always respond to everything. You have a response because you know, what happens a lot is people don’t respond to stuff and it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger and bigger. But when it’s totally just unfounded, the best thing is to just do nothing, you know? It’s the hardest thing to do.
Adam Force 25:26
It seems like it worked for Jay. I think it just you know, that’s news and media — just over time, it just fizzles out and people…the next big thing comes around and that’s it.
Travis Chambers 25:35
Yeah, I mean, everyone’s forgotten about it. And it probably just made him bigger anyways. I mean, look at Logan Paul, right? He, you know, he had what you would think was a career ending move and come to find out he made a few mil off of it from all the exposure.
Adam Force 25:51
Thanks, everybody. Hey, if you’re smart, you capitalize on these things.
Travis Chambers 25:58
Adam Force 26:01
Yeah, so you never know. So listen, I just want to get a little bit more of your thoughts on some of the you know…for people listening here you know, we’re all trying to find traffic, get exposure, figure out how to, you know figure out…you know, reach our specific audience and you know at Change Creator we talk a lot about storytelling and connecting with people that way and using that throughout your digital ecosystem and stuff. So you have a big focus on videos, and I’m curious, just based on how things have evolved, like, what are some of the steps that you take and the way you think and approach your marketing now?
Travis Chambers 26:38
Yeah, so this is something really interesting. Okay, so we’ve been making really large video productions for a long time. And you know, obviously, when you have a big ad spend and a really big production, it makes it easier to succeed. So what we spent the last year doing is we took every single video ad that we have ever made and ran — and weve’ve managed about $55 million in ad spend over the last few years — and we took those hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of ad creatives and we put them all into a library. We called it the brain. And what we did is we categorized all these ads. We gave them all names. So there’s like six or seven types of product demonstrations. There’s six or seven different types of testimonials. So we named all of these ads, and then we attach their performance — how these ads performed, and we categorized everything into this library. And then we conducted this big research study to just find out which, what kind of ad creative gets the most performance. And we ended up with something that was really amazing.
We did find that there’s about seven different categories that ads can fall into that get really good performance on Facebook. And what we found is most of them are not expensive to make. So naturally one of those — and we call them the seven foundational ads. And one of those was what we call an anchor video. And an anchor videos a Dollar Shave Club video. It’s one to four minutes, it’s a spokesperson, it’s really catchy, it’s funny, you know, it’s expensive, it’s large production, all that stuff. That’s just not realistic for I’d say 70-80% of brands out there or causes or social good companies, right. Most people don’t have $40,000, $50,000, $60,000 to spend on a production. But the other six assets can all be made on an iPhone, basically in your home or in your office. And the other assets were product demos, which just highlights the product features and you know, the value points of consumer. This can be like, this can be you unboxing.
Or this, this can be just showing how the product works. Then the other one is social proof, which is — you may weave in quotes from influencers, testimonials, user generated content blogs, press reviews, what your review rating is on Amazon or whatever. The other one is closer ads. So, these are typically like retargeting ads that overcome people’s objections. So you write down three or four objections. And you can make literally like a selfie video, saying like, Hey, if you’re concerned about price, if you’re concerned about whatever, you know, whatever it is, and you can actually retarget those people based on who goes to the checkout cart and doesn’t buy. You put a pixel there. And those bounce to carts can get targeted. Case studies: So this is like, if you have any type of study or any type of claims, or even if it’s just like a visualization of showing that this thing works — lifestyle, lifestyle is more of the brand-heavy, this is what you can be like, this is what this feels like.
A lot of times it’s like really beautiful models with like music montage type stuff. And then unboxing. Unboxing; just showing the product being opened and how it’s delivered and how it shows up. So those are the categories: spokesperson, anchor, product demo, social proof, closer ads, case study, lifestyle, and unboxing. And what we’ve basically concluded is if a brand makes all of these types of ads, and then tests them, they’ll very quickly be able to figure out what message works. And then you’ll be able to double down, you know? You’ll be able to double down on these assets. And so that’s what I would share for anyone who’s wanting to get people to take action. Whether that’s a social good company — we’re working with a company right now, a social good company called 8 Billion Trees that they — have you heard of those guys?
Adam Force 31:31
Travis Chambers 31:32
Adam Force 31:33
Travis Chambers 31:34
Adam Force 31:35
I don’t know where but I have heard it.
Travis Chambers 31:38
Yeah. So we’re doing an anchor video with them right now. And we’re going to create all these ads for them. And we’re trying to get people to buy bracelets to fund the planting of trees. And so the takeaway here is exactly how a brand would act is how a social good company can act. Because ultimately, you got to get people to take action. You got to get them convinced and converted.
Adam Force 32:00
Yeah. And have they tested that? Have people been excited about doing the product for a tree?
Travis Chambers 32:07
We haven’t launched yet. We just started working with them a few weeks ago. So we’re in the pre production script writing phase right now. So if you have any good ideas, you know… .
Adam Force 32:16
No, but I know that, you know, they had the other group, 4ocean or something like that. And they for every pound of trash they take out of the ocean…they take a pound of trash out of the ocean for every bracelet that they sell.
Travis Chambers 32:31
Oh, cool. I’ll have to check them out. What are they called?
Adam Force 32:34
The number four ocean, 4ocean. Couple of surfer dudes, you know, started doing this trash pickup and then they started making these bracelets and started selling them and it became a big freakin deal. And now they sell other things like shirts and stuff.
Travis Chambers 32:47
Oh, cool. I gotta study them.
Adam Force 32:49
Yeah, so that’s pretty cool. It sounds I mean, listen, I love those…the way you categorize the videos and you know, obviously people will just have to work on the different kind of content they put in there and make it kind of quick. Like we’ve done a lot of videos on our side. And we noticed, you know, you really got to speak in the right terms for your audience specifically. And we noticed, like certain things that fall in line with their worldviews and things like that. Wow, they just catch on so much more compared to other videos that just die early. You know, so it makes a huge difference.
Travis Chambers 33:25
Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It’s like the new virality now is conversion. It’s like, if you see an ad out there that’s running on Facebook, and it’s got a few hundred thousand views or a few million views, odds are that it’s really a profitable ad. And I love it, because I prefer it. Because virality is difficult. You spend a lot of money and get nothing. With ads, you’ve got the most powerful targeting platform in the history of mankind, you know? Not only can you target people based on their self identified interests, but with Facebook, they have pulled all this third party data for rewards cards, where people shop, Nielsen data of what TV shows people watch, credit card data on where you’ve traveled. I mean, it’s really creepy. And yes, obviously everyone’s really concerned about the ethics of it.
But at the same time, I feel like the silver lining of the evil Facebook, you know, brand right now is how many entrepreneurs have been minted because of them that never would have had a chance, myself included. For everything bad people say Facebook’s done, they have allowed…they have done…they basically democratized startups. Anyone can start a company now because anybody can reach their customer. I mean, look at us: Chamber Media, right? You would never think you can run ads to get someone to spend $100,000 on a video production. That just seems impossible, but we started doing it four or five months ago, and every $6,000 in ad spend, we get a few hundred grand of work. That’s just like, that is just crazy that you can reach people that are even like, you know, in that position. It’s just wild.
Adam Force 35:22
Yeah, I mean, it pays off to have a high ticket product. I mean, you know, when we started, we were sitting here doing magazine subscriptions for 50 bucks, which means your marketing spend kind of sucks. And now we have a $2,000 program and it makes all the difference because you have much more flexibility with your marketing budgets.
Travis Chambers 35:39
Yeah. And it’s like that never would have been possible with print or radio or TV.
Adam Force 35:44
No, no, I mean, I always liked Facebook. We’ve gone all in on Facebook this year, or actually last year and are now this year too. And, you know, other platforms, yeah, we kind of been just putting to the side. I think Facebook just has the most powerful ecosystem and we’ve kind of started to figure out some of the ways to build up organics and all that stuff. But there, you’re right, the advertising technology that they have is bar none the best.
Travis Chambers 36:09
You know, another interesting thing we’ve seen is Google and YouTube are a big opportunity. And what we noticed, the more we spend on Facebook, on all of our accounts, the more successful Google and YouTube become. And so Google and YouTube actually usually end up being 20 to 30% of our overall ad spend because people get interrupted by Facebook, and they get introduced to it, but then they go and do research, they go search, or they go watch YouTube videos around that certain topic or need that they have.
Yeah, and then boom, there you are. So that works in tandem well, too, and I’m really excited. I feel like YouTube and Facebook have had kind of like the oligopoly. But it’s further democratizing into Pinterest and Snapchat and TikTok. I’m the most excited about Pinterest and TikTok. I think, I don’t know if you’ve been on TikTok. I thought it was the dumbest thing a year ago. And now I feel like it is the best social platform. And I spend the most time on it because I feel like it’s enabled more people who would never be creative to be creative.
Adam Force 37:22
It’s true. I did, I made an account on TikTok because I was like, all right, this time, I’m getting in on the ground floor. And I just haven’t stuck with it too well. I don’t know about you.
Travis Chambers 37:35
I mean, I’m just dabbling in it, you know, but I think it is going to be huge. And it’s owned by the Chinese company… Oh, shoot, are they called? I can’t remember. But they’ve got bottomless funding.
Adam Force 37:49
But that’s the thing and so I don’t know if they opened up advertising yet, but you know, there’s gonna be a point where this is going to be like, you can get a shit ton of you know, attention for a very low cost like the wild wild west will happen on TikTok but then just like Facebook, it’ll go away.
Travis Chambers 38:07
Yeah, it will. Yeah, I think I give it like a year. I mean, I’ve thrown up a couple videos on TikTok to get like 4000 views and I’m just like, what the heck?
Adam Force 38:19
That’s awesome. All right, I got to dabble in that. I did sign up; I gotta make it happen here. I just you know, I have…I don’t have any attention span to get on all these different platforms. It drives me crazy.
Travis Chambers 38:30
Oh, I know. It’s just like you could spend so much time and effort and just get nowhere. That’s why I love ads, man. I love ads. You dial in your creative and your assets. And you just let it run and the lookalikes build and get bigger and it just…the Facebook AI does all the work for you and you just sit back and just make money. You know, we have a client — Transparent Labs — he is the coolest story I’ve ever heard of. So it was him and a partner. He hired us to do this big campaign. He had done 2 million in the past and just off of affiliates and some organic search. So we launched, right? And all of a sudden…we take him to 12 million a year just on basically on autopilot. He has no employees. He sources through a 3PL. So his 3PL, you know, his manufacturer, supplier and shipper, they front all of his inventory costs for him, because it’s so steady. They take care of his customer service. He literally does nothing. He does two or three email blasts a month. That’s literally all he does. He sends us a check. And the ads run and it’s our easiest account that we run and then you know, he just got acquired for like 10 mil. And it’s just like, that is the power of ads. How do you…how do you do 24 million in two years with no employees?
Adam Force 39:56
What is his business?
Travis Chambers 39:59
It’s pre workout supplements. It’s like the most competitive, impossibly saturated market. And for two years, two and a half years in a row been averaging five to one return on ad spend — six figure ad spend a month.
Adam Force 40:13
That’s the thing, like, you got to be like, like you said, you gotta be willing to pay to play. I mean, you can’t go in and be I’m gonna spend 100 bucks on a Facebook ad. And if I don’t get any results, it’s not working. Like you got to be willing to test and do like, collect data for several thousand dollars before you can really even start scaling anything.
Travis Chambers 40:31
Yeah, we’ve seen the same thing. Like, you gotta have four or five grand saved, otherwise, it’s just like you’re not feeding the artificial intelligence enough data to work.
Adam Force 40:46
No. And you know, even guys like Russell say the same thing. He’s like, you know, when he gets a new funnel, he’s got to put five grand into it just to get the data to iterate and optimize it before he really scales it you know, and we’ve learned that the hard way, too, because we would do, like, 1000 here, 1000 there, rather than really putting like four or five into something that’s like iterated over time. And that’s the way it goes. It works out, though.
Travis Chambers 41:13
Yeah, you know, I’ll tell you a trick. This is really shady, okay? There is a, I can’t remember what it’s called. Is it called LeadForce? I can’t remember. There’s a tool that — and this is not going to last — there’s a there’s a tool where you can pull user IDs from any Facebook group you want and then target them with ads.
Adam Force 41:34
Interesting. Yeah, I…why do I feel like I’ve heard that?
Travis Chambers 41:35
So you know, like, Facebook groups are probably the most niche targeted properties on the web anywhere, right?
Adam Force 41:45
Yeah, I agree.
Travis Chambers 41:46
And you can target…and that’s what we’re doing with Chamber, our own ads, and holy crap, it’s like stealing candy from a baby. It’s a ridiculous.
Adam Force 41:56
Interesting. LeadForce. I’ll check it out.
Travis Chambers 41:58
I think it’s I want to say It’s lead… Let me look, I gotta make sure that I’m not speaking out of…I want to say it is…
Adam Force 42:09
LeadForce Solutions Digital Marketing. I don’t think that’s it.
Travis Chambers 42:12
No, I don’t think that’s it. Oh, shoot. I don’t know what it is.
Adam Force 42:17
Just search for hacking Facebook groups.
Travis Chambers 42:22
Let me…dang it. I wish I knew what it was to say it on here on this episode, but…
Adam Force 42:28
Alright, well, we can always put it in the show notes if you can come up with it.
Travis Chambers 42:31
Adam Force 42:33
Yeah, I don’t see anything. Anyway. All right. I took a look here but I’m not seeing anything obvious come up. But it would be interesting. Group leads, group leads?
Travis Chambers 42:44
No, it is…ok, ok. Ok. LeadEnforce.
Adam Force 42:53
Like the AND, lead and force,
Travis Chambers 42:56
LeadEnforce. E-N-F-O-R-C-E. LeadEnforce.
Adam Force 43:01
Oh, like one word. I got you. Oh yeah, there it is.
Travis Chambers 43:04
And the other one we’re looking into now is Mailbiz. Anyways, I don’t know how black hat this is. It’s total sorcery. But holy crap, man, it’s, I’m gonna, we’re going to do a couple extra million in revenue this year because of this.
Adam Force 43:22
That’s interesting. Well, maybe I’ll start a different Facebook ad account so I don’t get shut down.
Travis Chambers 43:27
I know, right? But it’s like weird, though, ’cause it’s like completely separate. So you’re like, pulling these user IDs out of this, this tool, and then you’re manually putting them to your account. So it’s pretty, I mean, it’s pretty aboveboard in that regard. Pretty much zero risk, but…
Adam Force 43:45
Jump in on something before it goes away.
Travis Chambers 43:47
It’s not gonna last but I mean, but it’s like, dang, you pull user IDs on a few super targeted groups, and you run some good spend behind that, your lookalikes just became unlimited and literally, like, perfect.
Adam Force 44:04
I love that. Awesome. Listen, hey, listen, let me give you…why don’t you give a shout out? Where can people find you, learn more, maybe they want to work with you. All that kind of good stuff.
Travis Chambers 44:13
Yeah, if you want to work with us go to www.chamber.media and hit us up on the contact form. If you want to follow any of my content or thought leadership stuff, just Travis Chambers on LinkedIn — hit the Follow button. I post three or four times a week there.
Adam Force 44:28
And you can follow Travis on TikTok; he’s all over that.
Travis Chambers 44:31
Yeah, I’ve got four posts on TikTok. What is it? Everyone on TikTok says, Don’t let this flop. That’s the thing: Don’t let it flop.
Adam Force 44:42
All right, Travis, man appreciate your time. All the good stuff you’re doing and we’ll catch up with you later.
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Transcribed by https://otter.ai