CXL Institute Growth Marketing Minidegree review Part 10

8 min readNov 16, 2020


Understanding FB ADs

By Curt Maly for CXL

Having spent sometime on FB ads, I thought that this training might be a refresher of sorts and also provide some aha moments (kind of 60:40) however, this provided a complete aha experience (kind of 10:90).

This week was filled with festivities and though I wasn’t able to celebrate Diwali with firecrackers, Curt’s training module certainly made a lot of sparkles in my brain.

We started off by understanding the customer journey from a marketers perspective and then moving on to the B.E.L.T method.

Curt’s explained the link between Eugene Schwartz Triangle and the funnel audience structure. Right from the unaware stage we need to focus on building a relationship, a rapport and then pushing the customer down the funnel rather than across. As we move down the funnel the communication should focus on the product and price understanding as our relationship is strengthened and the lead is warm.

  1. TOFU: Top of Funnel market which is our cold audience
  2. MOFU: Middle of Funnel market which is our warm audience
  3. BOFU: Bottom of funnel market which is our hot audience
By Curt Maly for CXL

This was then linked to understanding the B.E.L.T method that equates to:

  1. Belief: Help the audience believe that there is a need for the product or solution.
  2. Engage: Help the audience understand why your offer is best positioned to solve that problem or provide that solution.
  3. Lead: Help the audience to the next step by leading them to your solution or providing them with something valuable in exchange of their information.
  4. Transact: Help the audience do business with you through offers and retargeting.

We then dwelled into each of them to understand some key points, as mentioned below:

  1. Belief:
    a. Create content pieces that addresses the TOFU audience
    b. Aim to raise awareness of the problem
    c. It also acts as a filtering process if the content is created intelligently
    d. Run reach, video view, brand awareness and post engagement campaigns.
  2. Engage:
    a. Warmest market that helps the Lead and Transact stages
    b. Aim to strengthen the brand solution
    c. Look for educating and entertaining the audience (edutainment)
    d. Some of the best content pieces can be the 15 sec FB video
    e. Use Reach, video-views, landing page views and engagement as ad types
  3. Lead:
    a. When the warmest market starts exchanging information
    b. This market is warmed through the Belief and Engage section so is completely problem and brand aware
    c. Stay product/service focussed
    d. Help users engage with the brand and enter the sales funnel
    e. Use website traffic/conversions, video views, clicks to website, lead ads as ad types
  4. Transact
    a. Serve strong calls to action at this stage
    b. Masterful retargeting strategy that will drive sales to those who have not yet purchased your solution
    c. Some of the ad types that can be used here is conversion ads, DPA, video views, image ads and stories, clicks to website.

Curt then went on to explain how to build the campaigns and the most interesting point I came across was to start building the funnel not at top of the funnel but at the bottom of funnel. The reason was also very logical.

Once we look at BOF we can understand what content the visitors are seeing and we should set everything up so that once the traffic falls then we have everything set up. So set up ads for people when they trickle down bottom of the funnel through testimonials, video views, landing page click or a conversion ad for a very small amount.

Middle of the funnel is where we target hot45, hot leads in the last 45 days. This can cover anything that the audience has interacted with in the last 45 days. This is like a digital newspaper and we want to talk about a lot of different topics through multiple content pieces and ad types.

Don’t leave any money on the table.

Exclude the hot45 from your retargeting and look to train the pixel to target fresh audience. We are going to create those core audiences, and we’re going to create lookalike audiences. The belief budget can be really small and has to set a baseline before cranking the offer up.

$1/day ads is not about spending low but about forcing the algorithm to be laser targeted and show the ad to the right person at the right time.

We then looked at some of the ad formats:

  1. Image: We recommend using images of your product or brand.
  2. Video: Adding movement to your ads can make them more eye-catching in News Feed.
  3. Slideshow: Slideshow ads combine multiple images or videos, text and sound. You can use between 3 to 10 images or a single video in a slideshow ad.
  4. Carousel: Carousel ads allow you to showcase up to 10 images or videos within a single ad, each with its own link.
  5. Collection: The collection format includes an Instant Experience and makes it easier for people to discover, browse and purchase products and services from their phone in a visual and immersive way.
  6. Instant Experience: This is a fullscreen experience that opens after someone clicks your ad on a mobile device. Create an Instant Experience to visually highlight your brand or products and services.

Some of the content inspiration that we can look at:

  1. Page transparency in Facebook (never knew about this)
  2. Buzzsumo
  3. Google alerts
  4. Google image search

What are the best content and posting strategies

  1. Posting 4 times daily (set a cadence) at 6am, 11am, 4pm, 8pm
  2. 10x4x1–10 fun/interesting posts that are relevant to your audience, 4 more informative posts, and then 1 strong call to action post.
  3. 10x10x4–10 FAQ’s, 10 SAQ’s, 4 WAN’s (Why Act Now)

This part especially created an aha moment on the blocks that can be created.

I also was able to revamp my thought process around video. I learnt that it is not about creating a perfect content type and spending money on it and then optimising it and stopping it and restarting it, it is about qualifying the ads with a video content at the start and then using the content piece.

We can ”re-target” video views after a % of watch time and this proves to be so laser focussed.

Recorded Video Length Suggestions

  1. 15 sec — Quick video to take action for simple next steps
  2. 30 sec — 01:30 — Cold/Warm Market
  3. 01:30–05:00+ — Warm Market to build rapport or move to next step in the conversion process

Curt also explained about the recorded video strategies and a basic outline for video creation revolving around the most amazing structure I have ever heard. There were some more key suggestions made by him to use video in ads:

  1. Create 2 Videos (5–7 Minutes Each) at the Cold market stage to qualify the traffic and include the CTA to opt in in the video.
  2. Create 2 Videos (15–30 Seconds Each) at the Thank you optin video suggestion and include CTA to Next Step in the Funnel
  3. Create 2 Videos (60 seconds — 120 seconds) at the Sales page (before checkout) stage and include CTA to join now or buy now

Curt completely changed my point of view when it came to using video in FB ads and also using FB live. It was earlier used as something that can only help the brand engage with the audience at the very top of the funnel but with Curt I understood that it can further be used at every stage and warm the audience up. Some of the reasons why FB live is important:

  1. Increased Visibility
  2. Increased Engagement
  3. Easy To Shoot so takes less effort and time
  4. Easiest way to provide Customer Support

Video posts have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts

Curt then explained some key points to take care of when going live and also gave a handy explanation of how to structure the content in a live setting. Apart from the laser targeted content ideas I go to learn so much about the role FB live can play in retargeting and setting a belief system in the target audience.

By Curt Maly for CXL

The Golden AD strategy:

It basically uses a content piece to set a baseline for driving relevance scores up, push ad costs down, & establish a predictable & scalable ad model. It says that there are so many relevant and targeted audiences that can be created which can in turn help us to collect all that money left on the table.

Curt states that rather than creating multiple ads and testing which ad yields the best result, use the FREE organic approach to first test posts and then backing them up with some budget and then serving them to the middle of the funnel audience. This post turned ad can then also be used as a proven narrative at the top of the funnel too.

Golden Ads strategy by Curt Maly

We then moved onto understanding the FB pixel

Why do we need it?

  1. Track the activity of your website visitors and those who came from a Facebook ad or an Instagram ad.
  2. Measure the results of the ad
  3. Build retargeting audiences
  4. Feed the algo

What is FB pixel?

FB Pixel is a line of code that is unique to your ad account and can be placed on the website. One the website visitor completes a desired action the FB pixel gets triggered.

I understood that FB pixel can be used in refining the targeting to a level where the users can be drilled down completely and retargeted with so much relevant ads.

We then looked at the multiple audience type in FB:

  1. Core Audience: Used at top of the funnel and setting that belief system
  2. Custom Audience: Used at middle of the funnel and setting that digital newspaper
  3. Lookalike audience: The most powerful of them all and can be really used to drive bottom of the funnel and also fuel middle of the funnel audience

Curt suggested to set a foundation — 4 Cold Audiences. Split test everything with those 4 cold audiences. He mentioned that the foundation is critical for future Lookalike Audiences.

Curt also dwelled upon some more interesting concepts:

  1. Breakdown effect: The effect when FB collects all the low hanging fruit at low cost but then the cost increases and this can broken down by refreshing the audiences rather than stopping the campaign.
  2. Hot28/7: This is the hottest audience in the last 28 days which reflects the middle of the funnel. The hot7 reflects the hottest audience that have interacted with the brand in the last 7 days.
  3. Power of 5: The five different areas where FB automation plays a key role:
    a. Auto advanced matching
    b. Account simplification
    c. Campaign budget optimization (my personal fav)
    d. Automatic placements
    e. Dynamic Ads


I think this course really opened my eyes to the possibility of FB ads. The hot45/28/7 and understanding the automation was key in this course and I thoroughly enjoyed this.

If this makes you interested in growth marketing and you wish to learn more, I can definitely recommend CXL Institutes’s Growth Marketing Minidegree or any of their other courses.




Startup Growth | Business Development and Sales | Creative thinker