What Spending $64,000 on Facebook Ads Taught Me
I totally get how frustrating advertising on Facebook can be. The long hours spent setting up adverts only to be disappointed time and time again when just 1-2 out of 40 succeed. Then, having to go straight back to the drawing board and start all over again.
When ads that have been working incredibly well, suddenly undertake a fall from grace that even Lindsay Lohan couldn’t compete with (sorry Lindsay!).
Well, for the 82,000 clicks to my various landing and sales pages, let’s just say there were a few lessons that really jumped out above everything else.
And, to help you ease the frustration of your own Facebook advertising campaigns, today (in a very revealing post) I sum up for you some of the ones that are absolutely ‘essential’ to you generating 6-7 figure revenues from your campaigns.
On the other hand, I also know how profitable it can also be.
LESSON #1: You’re F@#KED From Day One If You Do Not Have a Solid Sales Funnel In Place
I honestly hate to swear, but this is a point that I must make incredibly clear to you to save you from wasting tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue. I’ve seen too many business owners fail spectacularly and put their entire businesses on the line because they made ill-based assumptions around what they ‘think’ will work, rather than actually doing the research to find out ‘what’ actually works.
Every business, whether advertising on Facebook or not, must have a distinct sales funnel that ascends a customer from an entry level product or service, through to others at higher price points. I’ve been incredibly strategic with my Facebook ads in a way that my entry level product is profitable in the very first instance however many do not have this option. Their profit may come from a second, third or even fourth sale from the same customer. This means that there needs to be a follow-up series of emails that promote your other products and services almost immediately after they’ve purchased your entry level product / service. This is when people are still at the height of their buying mode.
I use Infusionsoft to help me automate this entire process. I can’t recommend it highly enough. It is one of the most essential items that you need to support ‘all’ of your marketing efforts in your business, not just your Facebook Advert campaigns. Click here to get a demo of the software and a special offer.
LESSON #2: Don’t Trust The ‘Experts!’
Whilst Facebook training courses are fantastic (and I’ve done most of them) do not take all of what the experts say as gospel. What’s worked for some of the biggest online marketers in fact lost me money when I tried it in my own arena. Yes, try their suggestions, but at the end of the day, the data doesn’t lie. Set-up your conversion pixels so you know precisely which adverts work and with which audiences.
I’ve been told time and time again to set-up campaigns based using the ‘conversion’ option – i.e. Facebook delivers your adverts to those most likely to buy. The problem I’ve found is that in 98% of cases, optimized pay per click almost always outperformed the conversion option. Use the report function within Facebook to track your conversions daily to see which types of ads and bids work best for your business, audience and campaigns.
LESSON #3: Kill Ads After 7 Days, Not Beforehand
This is one of the most interesting things I’ve discovered about Facebook adverts. Just because adverts do not immediately convert within the first few days, it doesn’t mean that they’re not going too (unless you’ve achieved at least a couple of hundreds clicks to your landing page). You see, just like a retail business experiences peak days, so do online businesses. I’ve personally found Tuesday’s are my peak for subscriptions to my 30 Day Business Turnaround Program along with Sundays. Give your campaign at least 7 days to cycle through the buying week and then, and only then turn them off if they’re seriously not working.
If you did drive over 100 clicks to your landing pages and they’re still not converting, it could be due to a poor landing page not the advert or audience itself. This is where you become a true detective to work out what is and what isn’t working. Look at everything from the advert, the audience, the landing page, right through to the order form page. They all impact on final conversion rates.
LESSON #4: Don’t blame Facebook for Your Failures
Whilst there are many questionable elements about Facebook’s platform, it is critical for you to take responsibility for your own results. Facebook’s consulting program is an absolute joke. I’ve been approached by four of their advertising consultants offering their 4 week Facebook Advertisements coaching program, only to have one keep two appointments and the others simply fail to return my calls or follow through on their promises. Don’t waste your time.
Your best education is to test and measure every step of the way for your particular industry, offerings and audience. Create as many advert variations as you possibly can and then cull the ones that don’t work. Try different advertising copy, images and landing pages, and just keep testing until you hit a goldmine. Trust me when I say they do exist.
LESSON #5: Your Results May Dramatically Decline With Little Notice. Yikes!
I log in on a daily basis to check that my Facebook Adverts are still converting. What I have observed is that some ad campaigns have generated over $45,000 in sales for very little spend, and then suddenly then die off, taking with it the profit margin. Why does this happen?
It can happen for various reasons, the first being ‘banner blindness,’ i.e. people becoming oblivious to your promotions simply because they’ve seen it countless times. This is where rotating your ads and using a variety of banners and headlines is absolutely essential to your ongoing success. Setup at least 100 ads on one particular campaign targeting various audiences, using copy variations and then cull it back until you find the champions. I’ve found that my winning ads will get results for at least three months before I need to go back to the drawing board and create another 100 ads to get my 15-20 ads that bring a roaring success.
Time consuming? Absolutely! Worth it? Without a doubt!
FB POWER TIP: To help speed this process up and create hundreds of advert variations within just minutes, I personally use the software platform called QWAYA. It’s absolute gold and SOOOOOO MUCH EASIER than using FB Power Editor.
It’s how I’ve found my winning adverts each time in the past 12 months. You can create various adverts and split test age and more importantly targeting via mobile, newsfeed and desktop – this makes all of the difference between profitable ads and an expensive waste of time. Click here to get started >
You can also ‘rotate’ your adverts! If your clickthrough rates on your adverts have dropped it’s because of ‘banner blindness,’ i.e. they’ve tuned your adverts out because they’ve seen it too many times. It’s not possible to rotate various variations of your advert within the FB Power Editor or Campaign Manager unless you manually turn your ads on and off each day. This allows you to fully automate it so you can get greater longevity from your campaigns and higher profit margins. Check it out here >
LESSON #6: Conversion Pixel Trickery
Facebook gives you the option to place a conversion tracking pixel on the ‘confirmation’ page of the product/service/opt-in. This is where many get it horribly wrong. They place the conversion pixel on the ‘welcome’ page for that product, a page that one customer may visit several times to access updated information, or simply because they didn’t download the product the first time round. This registers as a ‘checkout’ within Facebook reporting, resulting in ‘false’ results that can make you think that an advertisement is converting at a high percentage when in fact it’s not.
Ensure that your ‘conversion pixel’ is placed on the order confirmation page, or, if you offer an immediate up-sell offer, place the pixel on that page. If they go onto purchase your up-sell offer, they’ll be re-directed to that confirmation page instead and they’ll skip the conversion pixel, which means you won’t know which advert worked and which didn’t. I do not fully trust the conversion reporting, I always print off a report for the month and compare how many times it showed a checkout against my actual sales to look for any discrepancies.
LESSON #7: The Winning Mindset
In this post I’ve provided a few stern warnings and very direct instructions as to what to do to maximise your advertising campaigns. In saying this, your results ultimately come down to your attitude to Facebook and your ability to learn. If you are infuriated with Facebook because they keep changing their goal posts then you will be never be able to look past it and use it as a successful marketing avenue for your business.
You see, when you’re deep in your emotions it’s hard to see all of the possibility that is around you: you shouldn’t drive when you’re drunk, post to social media when you’re angry, or create advertising campaigns when you’re frustrated. You’ll miss things, you won’t target the right people, and you won’t test your campaigns with various age groups, genders, locales. You’ll miss all of the critical steps that will mean the difference between success and utter social media annihilation.
Here’s your homework for the week;
To get you started or reorientated in the right direction, here are a few immediate steps to take this week to help you reclaim your focus and drive up your profit margins;
1. Map out / revise your sales funnel: If you don’t have one in place, nor the website software to help you execute it, click here to check out the Infusionsoft demo today it’s the best thing that I ever did for my business; I wish I’d implemented it sooner. Plus, they have awesome online support to help you get started.
2. Print out a report of your existing adverts: Head over to your existing Facebook advertising campaigns and print out a report to assess how much you are paying per click and per conversion. Does it meet your profit margin objective? If not, turn off the adverts that aren’t working. With those that are working, duplicate them using ‘power editor’ and test them on new audiences you haven’t tried before.
3. Check your conversion percentage: With your FB report in one hand (if you’ve had the conversion pixel on for some time) check what your conversion rates have been like, i.e. from clicking on a Facebook advert to actually buying. Things that can quickly boost your conversions and double your sales overnight, are things like, improving your order form page (adding a guarantee / testimonials / bonus offer etc.), targeting your adverts to a ‘lookalike audience’ based on those that have been converting already, changing your landing page headlines (and ensuring they reflect the headline on your Facebook advert itself). Little things here make all of the difference.
Testing, Revising, Culling, Re-Launching
Facebook advertising is all about testing, revising, culling and relaunching, similar to kaizen, the philosophy of continuous improvement. This four step flow is at the essence of your success. Don’t get frustrated with it; just look for the key areas that you can continually improve. This is about longevity, not a quick unsustainable marketing hit.
Reading this post may have been a shock to your system… and exactly what you needed to hear right now to help you achieve your goals. This post has truly gone behind the scenes of some of my top Facebook advertising tips. Print them out and revisit them on a weekly basis. Trust me when I say they work. The lessons I have shared with you today have come from a result of generating over 82,000 clicks and finding out what does and what doesn’t work.
These lessons have the potential to help you generate massively high profit margins on your campaigns. Jump over to Facebook, give them ago and come up with your very own ‘manifesto’ to what works and what doesn’t for your business. Remember, don’t trust the experts; trust what your reports are telling you – this way you’ll always be facing in the right direction.
And, finally…. make your own Facebook Marketing Manifesto
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Enjoy, and good luck!