Digital strategy

What I wish I had known about Facebook ads

Recently, I was talking to one of my one-to-one mentoring clients about Facebook ads, and telling her about how I recently used them to run a client webinar which went on to have 500 sign ups at an ad cost of around £100, and has so far generated over £15k in sales. And I also shared how I use them for my own webinars, which consistently earn more than they cost, so basically enabling me to reach brand new people and build my email list without any financial cost. 

I said to my client: ‘I should put out one of those blog posts called ‘How I generated to 10 million fold return on investment (or whatever) using Facebook ads’. 

And that could have been the title for this blog post!

But I think the lesson I’d actually like to share is far more powerful.

You see, I have myself had a bumpy journey with Facebook ads, and just over a year ago I even ‘invested’ quite a lot of money via a Facebook ads agency and the whole experience left an extremely unpleasant taste in my mouth! But they say all these things bring us to where we are today right…… 

Me at Facebook HQ last month

I see so many people desperate to plunge into Facebook ads to once their websites go live and I understand that urge. I was there too. 

But now I know how to make Facebook ads work, and how to get great returns using them, this is what I wish I’d known and what I’d like you to know too before you plunge in. 

  1. You have to be properly productised, and you need clear offers at different price points. You need your sales funnels and offers properly built out and thought through although you CAN and WILL continue to change and edit both your funnels and your offers.
  2. You main priority is not running ads, but putting the Facebook pixel on your website and doing activities on your website (ie blogging) and on social media (ie posting and sharing). Way way way before your ad campaign, you need to be increasing website traffic and engagement on social media so that you can build custom audiences of people who have visited your website and engaged with your content. I have said that the success we had with the client webinar (which is driving leads to a bricks and mortar business) has resulted from the year’s worth of this activity we did beforehand. You don’t need to wait a year before running Facebook ads, but you do need several month of focus on building custom audiences inside Facebook before you pay any money for ads.
  3. Once you’ve got your custom audiences, you must then create lookalike audiences of these people. You know what, my most successful ad campaigns run only to these custom and lookalike audiences: people who have visited mine or client websites, people who ‘look like’ those people, or people who have engaged with our content on our feeds or people who ‘look like’ those who have engaged. I would not now be running FB ads to ‘cold’ audience who I am targeting through ‘interests’ inside Facebook, such as this person is interested in gardening and likes the X Factor. Too random. You can still narrow down lookalikes by interest but at least you are starting from a more refined point.
  4. Although during my training at Facebook HQ, the focus was very much on FB’s own ad manager inside Facebook, I don’t use it. Hear that? I never schedule ads inside Facebook itself. I use a 3rd party Ad management system called Adespresso, who are an official FB partner. This is a game changer in terms of seeing and understanding how an ad is performing.
  5. Don’t just keep running an ad for the hell of it. There are 3 steps to success: the ad part, the landing page part and the conversion part. Firstly, are people clicking on your ad, if not, stop and change it. If they are clicking on your ad and getting to your leadpage or website, then what. Is that part ‘working’ for you? If they are not converting, then stop. Change the landing page, improve it, optimise it, change the offer, change the words, change the pictures. Don’t keep running ads to a page that isn’t converting just because the ad part seems to be working.

So there you are, not a post about 10 million fold returns on investments, but about the real actual practical things which will make a difference between your Facebook ads being successful and a painful experience that you don’t want to repeat.