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In this week’s episode, Travis and Stewart interview the Queen of Facebook, Mari Smith, at Unbounce‘s CTAConf. Mari divulges what really works and what doesn’t when it comes to using Facebook for your business.

We also discuss two big funding rounds for two very different data analytics tools, and we dig into what Walmart is doing with AI and CCTV cameras.

Spoiler alert: Walmart shoppers aren’t going to be happy about it, and neither are we.



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By listening to this episode of VB Engage, you will hear:

  • Welcome to VB Engage episode 63! [0:10]
  • Today’s interview is with Mari Smith, the Queen of Facebook! [01:30]
  • Walmart got a patent to scan the faces of customers to gauge their emotions while shopping. [02:15]
  • Travis mentioned that he isn’t normally happy when he is in a Walmart. [02:30]
  • Kind of creepy, Walmart. [03:10]
  • AI in retail can be used in very innovative and helpful ways. This it NOT one of them! [03:30]
  • Are you going to start getting coupons for Kleenex if they determine that you’re perpetually sad? [05:30]
  • Next up, there is some big news in analytics and data. [06:10]
  • Stewart references the Mobile Analytics Landscape. (700+) [07:00]
  • Amplitude raises $30 million in a series C round this week. [07:30]
  • Parse.ly raises $6.8 million in a series B round. [08:20]
  • Travis busts out in song referencing Silicon Scarborough Fair. [08:45]
  • Parse.ly is picking up some great clients. If you’re a publisher, check it out. [09:45]
  • Joel Comm and Travis have created a new cryptocurrency podcast called The Bad Crypto Podcast, and Travis bursts into song there occasionally, as well. Stewart apologizes for that. [10:35]
  • This week, Mari Smith joins us to chat about Facebook! [12:00]
  • Stewart gets annoyed with how startups try to leverage Facebook audience as their main strategy. [12:30]
  • Mari says, “Bigger isn’t better. Reach and engagement are important, but it’s much better to have a highly focused, laser-targeted community of people who are your ideal prospects.” [12:45]
  • Video and mobile should also be a focus for your business on Facebook. [13:10]
  • According to Mari, 90 percent of Facebook use is happening on mobile. [13:20]
  • 40 percent of Facebook’s audience have never accessed Facebook.com on a desktop computer before, especially in developing countries. [13:40]
  • Digital streaming video is shaping up to be an important space for Facebook, as it targets Amazon Prime, Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and Apple TV for video eyeballs. [13:50]
  • Create well-lit video with good audio that is entertaining and has value. [14:30]
  • Binge-watching of video is quite common. Facebook wants more of that. [15:00]
  • Facebook is maxing out on advertising right now — too many ads trying to be placed, not enough space. [16:05]
  • What is Facebook doing for independent creators? [16:40]
  • The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Chewbacca Mom have really driven usage of video on Facebook. [17:20]
  • Facebook is discouraging freebooting copyright stuff and especially banning certain music. [17:45]
  • Facebook is now allowing creators to make shows with live video and is sharing ad revenue with them. [19:20]
  • There is some problem with acceptance of mid-roll ads. Users seems to be closing out of apps when those ads pop up. [20:35]
  • You need 300 active viewers to get paid with the new Facebook Live ad platform. [22:00]
  • The user experience is diminished with ads. [22:30]
  • Facebook has rolled out an ad unit that places products and services under a video. Mari shares some of the case studies. [24:40]
  • Mari also shares some of her favorite types of Facebook ads, like lead ads, carousel ads, and canvas ads. [25:00]
  • In partnership with Shopify, there is a test happening where you can go live and have products placed underneath your video. [25:45]
  • There could be some cool things happening in the B2B space with those tools. [26:15]
  • Facebook has also created a new video tab on its apps, and ads for groups will be coming soon. [26:50]
  • Travis’s digital agency, CCP.Digital, does a lot of social advertising, and Mari shares some tricks to make your Facebook ads better. [27:40]
  • Mari shares a ninja trick with the Pages Manager app to add a call-to-action on the ad. [28:25]
  • Connect with Mari online @MariSmith on Twitter or on her website, MariSmith.com

Next week, on episode 65, we continue our Unbounce CTA Conference interviews, with Mr. UnMarketing, Scott Stratten! We discuss why most marketing sucks.

If you missed last week’s episode, we interviewed Rand Fishkin — one of the world’s leading SEO authorities — on the future of the future of the industry and what is going to happen next.

As always, thanks for tuning in to VB Engage.

If you enjoy the show… please give it a quick rating or review it on your favorite podcast platform. Just search for VB Engage and make magic happen.


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