Have you ever spent a fortune on a Facebook advertising campaign?
It’s easily done.
Facebook is probably one of the most sophisticated advert delivery platforms around – maybe even the most sophisticated platform around (and don’t forget, it’s not just Facebook, it’s Instagram, WhatsApp and Messenger too).
But that sophistication can bring you huge rewards, or massive costs.
Jumping in and naively chucking a load of cash at some boosted posts is not going to help you. Instead, you need to have a strategy for your campaign.
This image shows a small snapshot of a set of campaigns that I’m running for myself (the results are from a few hours in one day).
It shows the “Four Ts” – the four things you have to be doing if you want any chance of getting Facebook adverts to work for you.
Never “boost a post”. Never just pick an audience for your advert off the back of an envelope.
More than anything else, choosing your target audience for your advert is the key to success.
Facebook hoovers up a ton of personal and intimate data about you and everyone you know all the time. So let’s use that to good effect – you can build audiences of people and then show your adverts only to them.
So you need to know:
- Where do they live?
- How old are they?
- What brands do they like?
- What interests do they have?
- What car, phone or clothes do they want?
- What sports do they follow?
You need to know all this stuff, or you’re just throwing your money away.
There are four components to a Facebook ad – and one of them is nothing to do with Facebook. You need to have an image or video to catch people’s eyes. If they look at that, then they will probably take the time to read the headline. If they read the headline, they might read the text (the copy). And if they read the text, they might click the ad and end up on your landing page.
All four of these need to be in alignment. But more importantly – because we are dealing with human beings here – you cannot be sure exactly what is going to work.
So when you start a new campaign, you need to be prepared to throw a load of money at testing. A phase where you try out different combinations of images, headlines, copy and landing pages, to see what gets the engagement, what gets you results.
This testing process is useless if you can’t measure the results you are getting. If you look back at my screenshot earlier, you can see that I have a number of stages that are being tracked – in effect I have built a marketing funnel. At each stage, I know how many people have arrived there – and just as importantly, I know how much I have spent to get them there.
The final column on that screenshot is “arrived on sales call questionnaire”. This is the last piece of my marketing funnel and means that someone has actually booked a call with me – which is a result. And in this case, it has cost me £3.55 to get that call.
People grow tired of adverts. Eventually, you will have shown your ad, several times, to your audience. So you need to shake it up, you need to change things around. Sometimes, this is as easy as switching the images you are using. Sometimes, you might need to change the audience definition.
Facebook uses machine learning to pick out good candidates to show your ad to. As they respond, it learns who to show it to next. Sometimes, it gets “stuck” and can’t figure out good candidates to show the advert to – and you’ll notice your statistics plummeting. If that happens, you’ll need to rebuild your audience so Facebook can reset who it’s targeting.
The final thing, with a Facebook campaign is never, ever point your adverts at your website. It might sound funny, but your headline, your advert, has hooked them in on a particular promise – you can fix the problem that was bugging them at that moment in time. If you send them to your website – it’s not really going to fix things for them.
Instead, you need to send them to a dedicated landing page which focusses purely on that one problem and gives them the solution – either as a free download (in exchange for an email address) or a webinar or other type of training. You have just spent money to grab their attention – don’t waste it by failing to give your audience what they want.
In effect, you are building a marketing funnel – you grab their attention and then lead them through your funnel on a defined, controlled, journey that eventually leads them to buy from you.
So that’s the Four Ts of Facebook advertising.
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- This screenshot shows the stats for half of a single day – so it has cost me £3.55 so far that day to get that call booking. Over the lifetime of this campaign, each sales call has actually ended up costing me about £100. But I wouldn’t know that if I weren’t tracking my figures. ↩
- and this can take time – the potential customer needs to learn who you are and has to believe you can help them and trust building can’t be rushed ↩