Beyond Influential Podcast Episode #38

Demystifying Paid Social Advertising with Akvile DeFazio

July 18, 2018
Akvile DeFazio brittany krystle beyond influential

This week my guest is Akvile DeFazio, President of AKvertise, Inc., and an expert in the realm of paid social advertising. Whether it’s Facebook and Instagram ads to Linkedin, Twitter and Pinterest, she has seen what is working in all types of campaigns from brand awareness to conversions.


Being skilled at social advertising or having someone who is skilled working with you can genuinely change the fate of your company.


When I was on Team Garyvee, I had experience running ads for Gary, but the space is really incredibly nuanced. And I think it’s important to talk to people who really love to live, eat, and breathe this space. Akvile is one of those people.


Just like with my work in the personal branding space, much of paid social advertising has to do with the actual individual business goals and then executing on a strategy with specific targeting, copy, and content. I tried to cover as many bases as possible to get information that applies to B2b, B2C, physical and digital products.


On this episode we talk:
  • -Facebook & Instagram advertising – what you need to know to get started!
  • -LinkedIn Ads – who are they best for?
  • -Pinterest Ads – why you should be thinking about these
  • -Best practices, budgets & your paid social questions answered!


[00:01:04] Intro to Akvile Akville DeFazio (Before our interview I sourced some questions from my Instagram and LinkedIn, but if you do have more questions for Akville, please feel free to leave them in a review on iTunes or reply with your question to my weekly email list that you can sign up for at, and I’ll get a Round 2 on the books.)

[00:02:59] Welcome to the show, Akville.

[00:03:06] Can you give me a little background on you and how you got into the paid media space?

[00:04:14] When did you start doing the paid media side? How did you actually get into that? Because, I was telling you right before we started, very few women I’ve known have gotten into that space and even fewer people are truly experts in it. So how did you fall into that?

[00:05:16] When did you realize that you actually had a real handle on the paid media side that you decided to start your own business?

[00:06:51] So what services do you actually offer?

[00:07:19] Can you explain to people who don’t know what the difference is between paid search and paid social?

[00:07:38] Do you think most people and businesses need to be doing both?

[00:08:14] Just out of curiosity, for a paid search budget (we’ll talk about other budgets), how much is a paid search budget for an individual?

[00:08:56] If you are looking for somebody and you’re a small, medium business, or whoever, and you’re looking for somebody good to do your paid search work for you, what would be the type of thing that you should look for?

[00:10:08] I know you work with small and medium businesses but I’m sure you work with a variety of clients that do a variety of things. Can you tell me a little bit about who you currently work with?

[00:11:00] What types of companies and products and services have you generally seen the best results with, or does it really not matter?

[00:11:33] Just for people to get a little bit of a sense, because I know it depends on the company you’re working with, how big are budgets for a small and medium business, ballpark?

[00:12:36] And it’s tough probably for a lot of people, and I understand this in my space, to figure out the amount of money they should put into ads versus the amount of money they should pump into content. How do you work with agencies when you’re figuring that stuff out?

[00:13:20] Say you’re an entrepreneur and you want to start running your own ads. At what point do you actually go and find someone to do it, and how much should they be taking of the spend? I know you guys don’t do it for free. And I know certain agencies take, for instance, 10 percent of the spend.

[00:14:43] So a client comes to you. Can you walk me through the process of how you usually work with a client?

[00:15:07] After you talk about goals, how hard is it to figure out which platforms they should be on? Is it pretty obvious right away to you at this point?

[00:15:50] Let’s start talking about Facebook because I know Facebook is the biggest machine. Do you still prefer video ads for Facebook? Is that still the king of advertising online?

[00:16:56] How do you tell people to think about their Facebook advertising when it comes to actually creating the video? Do you do a storyboard with them, or how does that work?

[00:17:58] What are the most common mistakes you see when people are trying to run Facebook ads and it’s not working?

[00:18:45] For people who have no context, can you talk a little bit about campaign types and maybe different types of images like Carousel Ads versus other types of Facebook ads?

[00:21:11] Can you do Instagram story ads?

[00:21:16] Have you seen a lot of success with those?

[00:21:32] How many ad variations should you be testing out at one time?

[00:22:15] How do you measure the ROI of brand awareness?

[00:23:01] Talking about targeting, I know Facebook has has tons of options for targeting. Can you run through some of the things that people can target?

[00:24:47] Has Cambridge Analytica changed the option to build lookalike audiences or upload CSVs at all?

[00:25:02] Is the 20 percent text rule still applicable for Facebook ads?

[00:25:25] I’m sure it depends on the campaign, but for people who haven’t run ads before who are playing around and testing it out, what should they be looking at to note if it’s successful? Some people may not even know what a CPM is.

[00:27:11] Do you have clients that are advertising on Facebook that don’t have a big Facebook audience, and is that just as effective?

[00:27:49] What do you tell people about boosting a post versus trying to go in and use ad manager?

[00:28:33] For Facebook versus Instagram ads, is what’s usually effective on Facebook just as effective on instagram or do you change up the creative and the copy?

[00:29:35] Do you personally use ads to acquire new clients?

[00:30:04] How different is a B2B versus B2C ad, or an e-comm ad versus if you have a digital product or service?

[00:31:52] Is there a certain age group that you would not recommend using Facebook for? Because, let’s say you have a bikini line, and that’s for people in their early 20s or even younger, do Facebook ads work for that group?

[00:32:48] Have you noticed a difference in success with an Instagram video versus an Instagram static image with  longer copy?

[00:33:35] This is a targeting question- do you want your audience to be larger for people to reach them, or do you want it to be as small as possible? I know it probably completely depends on the product, but I’ve heard different stances.

[00:34:31] I want to talk about some of the other platforms. How well do Twitter ads perform, and what kind of brands and services should be utilizing Twitter?

[00:35:08] What about Pinterest? I keep hearing about Pinterest. And I’ve been paying a lot more attention to it and I think it probably sells well for e-comm. But I actually don’t know how much an ad costs or what the benefits are versus using a Facebook?

[00:36:23] Are all of these different platforms’ ad products all really different to actually go in and use? Do you have to learn specific sets of skills for each of them?

[00:37:09] How do you think about the creative on Pinterest versus the creative on Facebook if you’re promoting the same — stick with the bikinis — same bikini?

[00:37:30] I have to talk about LinkedIn. I’ve been spending a ton of time on LinkedIn pumping out a ton of content. And I know a lot of new creators are coming to the platform. I also know that LinkedIn is now doing video ads– Is that something you recommend? When I was still doing ad type of stuff at Vainer, it was expensive. Is it getting cheaper now, is it an easier platform?

[00:40:29] What about Pinterest– how’s their targeting?

[00:41:00] Going back to Facebook ads, I know that you can have options for mobile, you can have options for desktop, and I think there are other variations or things to uncheck when you’re going through the ads manager, are most people watching on mobile, are most people watching on desktop, is a completely age dependent? What are some things people should be looking out for?

[00:42:05] Are there any campaign types in Facebook that you feel people shouldn’t even bother trying to run?

[00:42:24] When it comes to Facebook video, if you don’t hire an agency, what are some of the best practices across the board if I want to start running one right after this call?

[00:43:23] What do you think of services like AdEspresso? Are there any kind of services for people who can’t afford you?

[00:44:43] I’ll definitely be bringing that back up because I think it’s going to be a resource that my audience is really excited about.

[00:44:52] I’ve heard you mention some apps before that you like to use or tell other people to use when it comes to doing it on the cheap. Do you have a few recommendations you can talk about you still like?

[00:46:10] Do you have any examples of brands or people who you think are really doing the ad thing right? Because that’s always the next question after ‘how to do it’, people are want an example. What does good copy look like, or who’s making an excellent video that’s also accessible?

[00:47:16] Have you been doing ads that run on Facebook Messenger?

[00:48:30] So you’d recommend that for both the e-commerce side and for the personal brand side?

[00:48:54] Have you noticed at all, since you’ve been in the business a while, a drop in conversions or requiring more money to actually get people to convert because of the fact that we’re conscious that it’s an ad, or do people not care if the ad’s compelling?

[00:49:35] I want to talk a little bit about your team. How is your business constructed? You have a remote team, right?

[00:50:17] Do they actually run the ads or are you still involved in running the actual ads?

[00:50:36] How complicated is it to teach people how to run these ads?

[00:51:14] What’s the least amount of money to play with to see if something is working or not? If you’re boosting a post and you can spare $20, will that actually give you the results that you’d want to see to know if that’s actually working?

[00:52:14] Are there any resources that you look at daily?

[00:52:56] What do you think the secret to influence is?

[00:53:25] I really appreciate your time. Where can people find out more about you and your agency?

To connect with Akvile DeFazio:



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*FREEBIE: For those who don’t know, I’ve been hot on building brand on LinkedIn for pretty much every industry. If you haven’t been on LinkedIn in a while or if you just haven’t updated your profile, I created a free checklist to make sure you’re up to date and answering the right questions with your LinkedIn bio. So you can get it at

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