How to Get 1,000 Facebook Video Views for $4.37

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Facebook Advertising, Social Media Marketing, Video Marketing

Facebook Views 4.37Wowza, we’ve hit new performance levels for Facebook ads for video for one of our clients: $0.004 per video view… that’s 1,000 video views for $4.37… because my wife and co-Facebook advertising expert Lynda Harvey-Carter is a hard workin’ Facebook ad genius…

And yes, this is to U.S. audiences…

How did we do it?

First, we spent time testing the targeting audiences and the creative with page posts and lead gen ads.

So we’ve been learning

  • Which targets work best and which don’t, and
  • What kinds of creative (images, headlines, copy) they respond to and which they don’t.

You have to always be:

  • Understanding your customer better and better and then
  • Creating ads that stimulate their emotions more and more

That means creating 5-10 ads at a time. If you only create one or two ads, you’re doomed. Even if you’re testing just one video, you can:

  • Show it to different targets
  • Write different phrases above that video to pre-frame how they think about that video

Don’t make just one video- make 3 videos or 5 videos. You don’t know which video  is going to be a hit. No matter how smart or experienced they are, even expert marketers often guess wrong.

Let the customers tell you what’s amazing. How? By putting a lot more creative in front of them. You’re not the customer, even if you are, because you’re too close to it. You know too much.

Keep in mind that a “video view” on Facebook is really just 3 seconds.

In this case, we achieved 30-second views for 2.7 cents each, which is super affordable.

But the point is, you’ve got to hook them at the beginning (give them a reason to watch to the end) and don’t make your videos too long.

The next level with video advertising is learning how to get people to stay with the video…

…most people don’t think about videos this way yet, because they assume that everyone will watch the whole video. But analytics tell us that’s just not so.

Go to the analytics for any of your YouTube videos, and look at the retention graphs.

You’ll see something like this:

You lose a ton of people right away, and you lose more continually. Only the hardcore viewers stick… unless you get clever with your structure.

For example:

  1. (0:01 – 0:03) GRAB ATTENTION: How do you get them to watch (and turn on sound)?
  2. (0:04 – 0:10) HOOK/PROMISE/MYSTERY: How do you get them to stay til the end? This doesn’t have to be a promise you’ll give them something, but could be that you’ll tell them something, show them something, or even more subtly, you’ll answer a question that has developed in their head, which you may have asked outright, or you may have caused them to ask in their head- a mystery! Another example of this kind of thing you’ve probably seen is those list posts 10 Whatevers and #3 Changed My Life!
  3. (0:30 – 1:00) The longer your video is, the more you have to think about KEEPING ATTENTION or GRABBING ATTENTION ANEW and
  4. (1:00 – 1:10) REHOOK/RESTATE PROMISE that’s coming before the end of the video or even
  5. (1:11 – 1:30) ADD ANOTHER PROMISE OR MYSTERY for later in the video

Do video ads get clicks and leads and sales? They can, but keep in mind that…

Every Facebook ad has one goal.

  • If you want clickthroughs, use a website click ad.
  • If you want conversions, use a conversion ad.

If you’re not using Ad Manager or Power Editor, you won’t know what I’m talking about. You can’t do this with “boost posts.” If you’re still boosting posts, you’re in Facebook Ad Kindergarten. Time to grow up and use the big kid tools 🙂

That means a robust FB ad account needs multiple campaigns with multiple ad goals. You want to hit your customers with multiple types of ads that each have a different goals. Start there.

That said, if you run enough variations, you will find some post promo ads or video ads that lead to clickthroughs and conversions, but conversions from video ads will usually be more expensive than those from website conversion ads. Often the CPC from post promo ads or video ads is $1-2 or more… and that’s high for Facebook ads. But if you’re using conversion ads, we’ve seen $0.11 leads, $0.54 leads, $2.00 leads… so expect video ads to get you video exposure, nothing more. Anything else is a bonus.

In some cases, a video helps you more on the landing page than in the ad, if you’re thinking about cost per sale. Even then, sometimes images do better than videos. Are you split-testing your landing pages? Don’t assume anything. “Videos will convert better,” is an assumption.

All of this stuff- the strategy, and the how to create and optimize the ads, is in my Facebook Advertising Leads and Sales Course… Get in there so I can teach you everything!

Enjoy and let me know if you have any questions!

35 Facebook Profit Tips UPDATED for 2017

Posted on Posted in Advertising, B2B, Content Marketing, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing, Facebook Posting, Social Media Lead Generation, Social Media Marketing, Social Media ROI, Social Media Strategy

REVIEWED & UPDATED March 28, 2017- None of the previous tips expired in value or relevance. I’ve added a few new bonus tips at the end for 2016.

This post was originally written in June 2015. And some of these tips have been true since I started teaching Facebook marketing in 2011. I wrote this list a few months back for a keynote talk and have kept them up to date.

The tips are divided into 3 groups

  • Overall Facebook Marketing
  • Facebook Posting
  • Facebook Advertising

Note that Facebook marketing is a stepwise, funneled process- so, though not every tip is focused on the last step of the funnel, each tip is trying to increase your results down the funnel.

16 Tips That Apply to All of Facebook Marketing

1. Check out Facebook Audience Insights for your type of customer. This tool is located in the Ad Manager. Learn who your fans, prospects and customers really are. I’ll bet at least one thing surprises you. If you don’t have enough fans to see other likes, choose your biggest competitor, or an interest in your niche instead.

2. Don’t bring up a bad thing unless your offering fixes THAT problem. Or unless your specific audience likes warnings (e.g. bad weather) or being negative. In which case, your bad posts will get a LOT of likes. If they don’t, you don’t have that kind of audience. However, empathizing with your customer can be really powerful. Some of our most powerful case studies come from this.

3. Use happy positive faces that are close-up enough for us to read their expressions. 🙂

4. Avoid bland stock photography. Even if you have to take your own photos, find something authentic. If you do use shutterstock, find something exceptional.

5. Animals work. Even people who hate kids love animals. Yes, you can definitely make an animal relevant to your brand and yes people will love it. Yes, even in B2B. They’re still human beings. Open your mind and try it.

6. Cute works. Kids, animals, Ann Handley, etc.

7. Dogs always win. Pugs and labs are some of people’s favorites. This is the cutest dog on the planet.

8. Try something w/e/i/r/d. At the very least you’ll STAND out. Like that joke about my Grandma. You haven’t heard that? You need to watch my keynote videos.

9. Write content about mistakes people make in your niche- if you want to boost conversions.

10. Be brief, simple and clear. Try Hemingwayapp.

11. Test everything. Test posts, ads, images, cover photos and landing pages. I even split-test my blog post titles.

12. Capitalize on the big winner. Do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Learn from what did and didn’t work, and come up with new ideas that are more like what worked and less like what didn’t.

13. Learn from what your customers like. What they like is in Audience Insights and how they respond to your posts and ads.

14. Keep testing new ideas. Don’t give up. Don’t settle for what’s the best right now.

15. Shorten your funnel. Try to take out a step or two. Make it easier for your customers. It’ll boost your conversions and profits.

16. Think about whether your customers public and private faces are different. Serve the public one with public posts. Try segmented ads, private videos and segmented email lists for the private ones.

8 Facebook Posting Tips

17. Test multiple ways to say the same thing. Try more than one way to express it. Use science to test diverse language.

18. Include links in posts to get website traffic. (But when it comes to ads, this is not the most affordable way to get website traffic- read this).

19. Include a call to action to get them to do something. Like, “Hey, subscribe to my podcast, it’ll make you a better marketer, better business person, and you’ll smell better too!”

20. Track which Facebook posts work and don’t work. Figure out why you think they work or don’t. Develop your theories and test them with your next set of posts. This is one reason not to create a whole month of FB posts at one time. First, it doesn’t give you time to learn from the current month before scheduling new posts, and second you’ll get smarter every week, but your posts will be up to 4 weeks dumber than you are now.

21. Create coaching and cheerleading posts. Motivate people, and echo their values, beliefs and likes.

22. Find famous and motivational quotes.

23. Use universally revered people for images and quotes. Einstein and Maya Angelou are good. Thomas Edison is not.

24. Follow the 6 do’s and 4 dont’s from my Contagious Content ebook.

9 Facebook Advertising Tips

25. Always choose website conversion ads if you can (rather than just clicks to website), and use a conversion pixel. Even if you aren’t going for leads or sales, try putting the conversion code on a deeper valuable page your best visitors would check out.

26. Modify your targeting with behaviors like people who use Facebook payments (tells you with more certainty they have money to spend and/or might be a good ecommerce prospect) or lines of credit or other financial info.

27. Test granular creative to granular targets. Did you find 3-4 main demographic personas from Audience Insights? Are you testing personalized advertising to these personas?

28. Try widening your targeting and making your copy more specific. You can “target” by using the ad text to tell them who should click and who shouldn’t.

29. Test retargeting, custom audiences and lookalike audiences. Sometimes they work. Sometimes they don’t. But they must be tested.

30. Test using the brand name in headlines vs. not. You could also call them out by job title or interest.

31. Test superlatives. Are you or your product the most/best/cheapest/biggest/etc?

32. Test images featuring the product vs. not. You could also show a representation of their dream aspiration, or their current nightmare.

33. Show a preview of a lead magnet- or use an image in the ad that’s also on the landing page. Then they’ll know they’re in the right place when they land.

34. You can do lead gen ads now in two ways- via website conversion ads, or the new “lead ads.” The latter have a few weaknesses right now. #1, they have been more expensive in our tests. #2 You have to remember to log in and download the emails regularly from Facebook, then manually email people. It’s easier to use LeadPages or ClickFunnels tied to Aweber or MailChimp set up with automatic welcome messages or an autoresponder series. I suppose you could weekly download them, upload those to a system like GetResponse that lets you upload emails, have an autoresponder there, but after a week they’re cold. You’d need to download and upload the emails daily. Some companies are working on a solution to this, but right now it’s a mess. We still recommend website conversion ads combined with a landing page split-testing solution like LeadPages, ClickFunnels, Unbounce, etc.

35. One of the biggest problems we see with clients are when they create their own landing page or lead gen process. Custom programming can create problems, inflexibility, or interfere with tracking. If your website can’t split-test, you should use an industry-standard landing page solution like LeadPages, ClickFunnels or Unbounce. They can be customized to fit your brand and often can be made to look like they’re hosted on your main website or a similar one. Branding can be fixed. A lack of split-testing or the inability to track conversions cannot be fixed as easily.

That’s it- start with a few, and add some more of these tips to your practices every week!

How to Get 10x More Traffic From the Same Facebook Ad Spend

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Facebook Advertising, Social Media ROI

I was doing a review of someone’s Facebook ads- I won’t tell you who so they aren’t embarrassed- and I discovered a mistake that really surprised me!

I’ve never taught this particular distinction because it never would have occurred to me to do this particular mistake… probably because Ad Manager has ingrained this into me by way of its work flow… but here it is:

If you want website traffic from Facebook ads, one of the WORST ways to do that is to promote a Facebook page post that has a link in it. <– click to tweet

Know what I mean? You have a Facebook post with a link in it, and you think, “Oh I need to promote this post so they’ll go to my website!”

Well that works horribly.

Why?

Because when you promote a Facebook post, Facebook shows it to people who are most likely to engage with it. Engagement means like, comment, and share. Not website click. <– click to tweet

Website clicks are a whole nother thing! They aren’t showing your post to people who are likely to do that.

When you look at an ad that’s promoting a post, you might see $0.50 per engagement and think that’s good. But if you expand the ad, you may see that most of those interactions are likes, or even photo views. Oh my gosh, I’m paying for photo views? Yep, indirectly.

Here’s an example- in this post I really did want engagement, but you can see that if my goal had been to get website clicks, those are some expensive clicks! That $0.31 per engagement looks good until you realize you paid for 14 people to click on the image and only 2 people clicked the link.

If you want Facebook to show your ad to people who’ll click to go to your website, don’t BOOST or promote a post. <– click to tweet

If you’ve only created ads by clicking BOOST on a post, you won’t even know where to go to create the right kind of ad.

You need to go to Ad Manager. This is the main Facebook ad creation interface.

When you create an ad in the Ad Manager, you immediately have to choose one out of ten different ad objectives.

Facebook uses those objectives to determine who to show your ad to.

  • If you want website traffic,  select “Send people to your website.”
  • If you want leads or sales, install conversion tracking and select “Increase conversions on your website.”

Choosing the right ad objective is one major difference between success and failure with Facebook ads.

Then you create your ad.

Now, the newsfeed part is going to look a lot like the Facebook post you might have promoted, but it will get you website clicks for $0.10-$0.50, whereas the website clicks from boosted posts are going to be $1.00 – $5.00.

MAJOR price difference.

So, get 10 times the number of website clicks by going to the Ad Manager and choosing the right ad objective.

Do it!

Without This, Your Content Marketing Is Worthless

Posted on Posted in Advertising, B2B, Content Marketing, Facebook Advertising, Internet Marketing Strategy

Well, to be more accurate, it should be “Without this, your content is wasted.”

But I’ll tell you why I titled the blog post that way: sometimes, when people are thinking about creating content, they forget a really important part of marketing.

They may not forget about persuading people. Or knowing their audience part. Or utility. Or entertainment.

But they forget about that pesky distribution and visibility thing!

I ask them:

HOW are enough people going to SEE your new content?

Here are some weak responses to that question and why they’re weak responses. Afterwards we’ll talk about how you can do better.

“We email our content out.”

  • So your current email list reaches every prospect you want to see it? You don’t need to reach more prospects?
  • Are you taking into account that only 15-30% of people open emails? And only 2-3% of them click the links? In other words, do you have 40 times as many email subscribers as the number of people you want to go to the website?
  • (Don’t forget that not every website visitor becomes a customer… you’ll need 50-100 people to go to your website to get a new customer. So, you need 2,000 to 4,000 people on your email list for every new customer you want. Depressing!)

If you answered yes to all of those, congrats! Chances are, you didn’t, though. 🙂

[SOURCES: A great source for email marketing benchmark metrics, and another.]

“We post it on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.”

  • So given that all the data shows that most Facebook pages’ posts are seen by only about 10% of fans, and only about 1% of those who see a post click on its link, meaning that only about one out of a thousand fans will click on your link, do you have 1,000 times as many Facebook fans as you want to visit your website?
  • And given that at most at any one time, only about 7% of your Twitter fans will be active when you tweet, and that roughly 1% will click on your link, do you have 1,400 times as many Twitter followers as you want to visit your website? Or even if you tweet that link 14 times a day (which would be excessive for just one link), do you have 100 times as many Twitter fans as you want to go to your website?
  • On LinkedIn, only 13% of LinkedIn users interact with the site daily. People don’t spend a ton of time on LinkedIn, and when they do, it’s usually not looking at their news feed. My estimate is that maybe 1% of your connections might see any of your posts in their news feed, so do you have 10,000 times as many LinkedIn connections as you want to visit to your website?

All you really need to do to be convinced is look at your website analytics and see how little monthly traffic you’re getting from these three sites… and divide that by 100- that’s how many customers you can expect from them per month. Got 1,000? Great, you might get 10 customers from that, if they’re quality prospects.

(There are certainly exceptions to some of my numbers if your website is exceptionally effective and your post are dramatically more effective than average- but to get to those places, you’d need to be an accomplished Internet marketer or already have worked extensively with on.)

[SOURCES: Twitter CTR stats, Twitter CTR stats for huge accounts, an older Twitter CTR anecdote for reference, 3 years ago when 17% of fans saw Facebook page posts, around the same time, Techcruch said 12%, more coverage of declining visibility in 2014, comparison of FB ads and LI ads for post promotion, Pew Research on frequency of social site usage.]

“We have good SEO.”

That sounds A LOT like the lazy and dangerous Build It And They Will Come myth, but let’s inquire further:

  • How quickly are your new blog posts ranking in the top 10 for their keywords? Although you may have great rankings and traffic from older pages and posts, how quickly does that work with new content? Can you afford to wait 3-6 months for that traffic?
  • How are you getting new links from other websites to your new traffic? Twitter is one strategy for this, but again, how many see your tweet and retweet it? Is this enough links to improve your rankings?
  • How big is the keyword search demand for the keywords you’re using in your new blog posts? Keep in mind that you won’t get all of that traffic. If a keyword gets 1,000 searches a month, the #1 organic listing might get 30-55% of the traffic. The ads are usually getting from 1-3% each. The first page altogether gets about 70%. If you get a first page ranking, you can expect an average of 7% of that keyword demand, which would be 70 visits per month. Not 1,000; but 70.

[SOURCES: A great 2014 study of search result CTR by position, another 2014 study, an older 2011 study.]

So… how are enough people going to find your content?

If your findings above aren’t satisfactory, then…

The upshot is, you have to use ads to get the numbers you want, and Facebook ads are the most profitable way.

However, promoting posts can be a danger zone, getting you more engagement than website clicks. When you calculate the cost per click for this method, it can easily be $1-2 per click. You must use the ad manager and choose the website traffic or website conversion ad type, and then you can easily get clicks for less than $1 each.

Also, the website conversion ads do convert better, so they lower your cost per lead and cost per new customer.

So, combine content creation with Facebook ads!

Why B2B Facebook Ads Beat LinkedIn Ads Every Time

Posted on Posted in Advertising, B2B, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing, Internet Marketing Strategy, Lead Gen, Social Media Lead Generation

Some people have it wrong. You- savvy reader- probably already know this, though, right? 🙂

“Facebook doesn’t work for B2B. It’s for B2C,” people say. “Users aren’t on there for work.”

Correct, they are on there to be distracted. “I’m bored,” they say. “Show me something awesome!”

If that awesome thing you show them happens to help with their work, they’ll click on it. That’s what the data tells us about B2B Facebook advertising.

 Why FB works for B2B: FB users want distraction. Show them something awesome that helps their work and they’ll click on it. <– click to tweet

Besides, we live in an era where the line between home and work has blurred.

Here are some of our B2B Facebook advertising case studies over the last 12 months:

  1. An attorney got a case worth $100,000 from Facebook after spending just a few hundred dollars on Facebook advertising.
  2. A cloud hosting company got new business leads from Facebook advertising and a whitepaper for $59 each. The most affordable ads brought in leads at just $29 apiece. The most expensive ones targeted CIO’s and cost $74.08 each.
  3. A new B2B financial industry business discovered their offering wasn’t needed or wanted by the target audience- they discovered this (via extraordinarily low clickthrough rates) with an investment of just a few hundred dollars in Facebook advertising. They saved tens of thousands of dollars by not going further down that dead-end path.
  4. A financial industry event generated 305 registrations at $71.34 each while ads reached 1.5 million people and generated clicks from 18,125 people.
  5. A marketing agency generated new client leads for $29.26 apiece.
  6. An SaaS company used a whitepaper to generate 504 leads and 92 new demo signups for $26 per demo signup. Notable here was that the target was people who worked at Fortune 1000 companies.

Based on our experience above, people do click and opt in for B2B offers while they’re on Facebook.

The 4 advantages that Facebook ads have over AdWords and LinkedIn ads are:

  • Facebook has the largest audience.
    • Google is almost as big, but you can only target people looking for what you have. Facebook lets you target people based on job title, company, etc.
    • LinkedIn is much smaller than the other two.
  • Facebook ads are prominent enough for a lot of people to click.
    • Google also does a good job with this.
    • LinkedIn’s self-serve ads… what’s the last one you remember seeing? Exactly. Unless you spend $10k per month, you can’t use their more prominent “enhanced” ads. So the biggest problem is that your LinkedIn self serve ads don’t get seen and therefore don’t get many clicks.
  • Facebook has the lowest cost per click.
    Facebook clicks are usually below $0.75 and often as low as $0.10.

    • Google ads average over $2.50 per click and can go up to $25.00.
    • LinkedIn ads average over $3.00 per click and often are as high as $6.00.
    • Twitter ads are usually $1.00 – 1.50 each.
  • Facebook ads reward you for trying more ads and targets.
    You can lower Facebook ad costs by 50% or more when you create ads that get higher click through rates.

    • Google ad cost per click doesn’t vary much no matter how you optimizes- less than 10%.
    • LinkedIn ad cost per click doesn’t vary much either.
    • The same is true for Twitter ads.
  • BONUS: Facebook ads can target people by job title, company, seniority, what they majored in at college, net worth, income and nichey jargon. All of these can be used to hit your exact B2B prospect.

So, Facebook ads reach more people, grabs more attention, cost less, and cost a lot less if you work at it.

Now that you know Facebook ads are so effective for B2B, why aren’t you using them for lead gen?

The 4 Requirements for Facebook Marketing Profits

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Facebook Advertising, Facebook Marketing

Not every company profits from Facebook Marketing.

But before you blame Facebook, let’s talk. 🙂

It might be you.

Now hang on. This article is based on our experience of what works and doesn’t work for ourclients.

We’ve managed a ton of Facebook marketing. We’ve worked with companies like Dramamine, Chloraseptic, NBC/Universal, Carl’s Jr., PrideStaff, and Humana. And we’ve helped dozens of infopreneurs and small businesses.

We want every client to get them the biggest possible results for their key metric. When the client can make leads or sales the goal, we push for that. Usually, small businesses are focused on leads and sales because they must profit to stay afloat.

Some clients can’t go after leads or sales. There may be a tracking problem. For example, some Consumer Packaged Goods are sold via multiple retail stores. And the brand doesn’t get access to the retailers’ analytics. So they focus on engagement or traffic to the website.

But Facebook can and does produce profits:

The digital marketing industry is beyond the question of whether Facebook marketing can be profitable.

Whether Facebook marketing is profitable for you, hinges on four primary factors:

  1. PROFIT: Do you have the profit margin and cash flow to advertise? And is #4 below providing you the profit to continue to advertise?
  2. TESTING: If you advertise, do you test enough? Are you testing images, headlines, body copy and targeting? Are you creating at least 10-20 new ads a month?
  3. SHARES: If you don’t advertise, do you have content amazing enough to proliferate itself via shares? This one is hard to rely on. Many companies can get additional reach from shareable content. But it’s rare that a company creates a truly viral marketing campaign, especially if they are budget-starved. More often, someone gets several hundred shares and start calling their content “viral” whether it was truly contagious or not.
  4. CONVERSION: Is your website, squeeze page or shopping cart converting at a high enough rate to deliver you an acceptable cost per action?

To succeed with Facebook Marketing, you must do the best practices. Stick to the core elements. What are they?

Facebook changes a lot. But, I wrote recently, we have not drastically changed our Facebook strategy since 2010, except for shifting away from fans toward email acquisition in 2012.

The people and companies who have had to switch Facebook strategies were not focused on core Facebook elements.

The two core elements of Facebook Marketing have always been the newsfeed and advertising.

This is underscored by how Facebook mobile works: Posts only. No tabs.

If you weren’t doing Facebook advertising by 2013, you were behind. The alarm bell that ads would be required for Facebook, and that organic reach wouldn’t be enough, went out early in 2012. If you didn’t hear it, you weren’t paying attention. Facebook ads are essential.

Some people try to avoid ads. I’ve written why every business can and should spend at least $1 a day on Facebook ads. Avoiding ads on Facebook is the biggest Facebook marketing mistake you can make.

In conclusion, we recommend you:

  • Advertise with Facebook
  • Test A LOT of ideas
  • Optimize landing pages and shopping carts conversions

If you do those three things, you’ll have a very good chance of profiting from Facebook marketing!

5 Secrets that Experienced Startups Often Learn the Hard Way about Facebook Advertising

Posted on Posted in Advertising, E-Commerce, Entrepreneurship, Facebook Advertising, Social Media Lead Generation, Social Media ROI

Nobody wants to learn the hard way.

You want to get customers and prospects. Facebook ads is a very affordable, targeted, powerful way to do that.

But you don’t want to waste your ad budget, right?

Here are 5 things I’ve learned that most start-ups don’t understand before they starting Facebook advertising… 5 things that can waste your money.

#1 Great Ad Performance Requires Testing. And Testing Costs Money

It takes money to test ads to find the profitable ads. You have to spend money to make money.

The simple fact of digital advertising is that there are a lot of ad settings and a ton of ways to write an ad. That’s true whether it’s AdWords or Facebook or whatever.

And only about 5% of the ad ideas you come up with will be profitable. That’s true even for advertising experts with a decade of experience. Research bears that out.

You must write 10-20 ads to find one outstanding ad. And outstanding ads are what we need to win this game.

Here are some of the decisions you have to make, and each variation costs money to test:

  • What image will you use? Positive or negative? People or objects? Problem or solution?
  • What will headline be? Calling out who they are? Asking a question? Making a bold statement?
  • What will the ad copy say? Gosh there are so many things we could say…
  • Who will you target and how? You can often target the same people with several different targeting options. We won’t know which targeting method is cheapest until we test it.

At the beginning of the testing process, we know the least. The more winning ads we find, the smarter our following tests are. But the first month is the worst. As we learn from those ad test results, profitability increases. But that learning process involves spending money on ads.

#2 Successful Companies INVEST in Their First Three Months with Facebook Ads

We’ve managed Facebook ads for dozens of clients- over $2 million spent on ads. They’ve spent anywhere from $33 a day to $1,000 a day; that’s from $1,000 a month to $30,000 a month.

That budget fuels testing and leads to profitability. We often find the first couple weeks is all learning. We start to see promising ads. By the end of month two, we should have some strong ads that reliably get leads or sales. By the end of month three, we’ve reached. Our goal is to cut the initial cost per lead or cost per sale by 50%.

How much does $1,000 spend in a month, for example, get you? Let’s do some math:

  • If you’re looking for leads, hopefully your opt-in page converts at 20%; if your cost per click is $0.50, then a lead is $2.50. If your lead gen page is not very effective and converts at 5%, that lead would cost $10. If the niche is competitive and the cost per click is more like $1.50, then that 5% conversion page makes your leads $30 each. That’s how the math works.We’ve seen lead gen costs as low as 12 cents and as high as $78. It depends on the niche, the competition, and how efficiently the lead gen page converts. That’s why we need to split-test landing pages and find out which one converts best.If you can split-test and take your conversion rate from 10% to 20%, you cut your lead gen cost in half. You double how many leads you can get from the same spend.At the same time, we’re testing ad creative and targeting to multiply that improvement.

    Doing a little math ahead of time helps you have more realistic expectations and be prepared to implement the strategies that work. Going in blind usually results in wasted money and unsatisfactory results.

  • If you’re doing e-commerce, the baseline is a site that converts at at least 1%. Sometimes a new site has problems and only converts at 0.5%. Amazing sites can do 2-4%, but that can take years of evolution to reach.If your cost per click is $0.50, a passable 1% converting ecommerce site has a cost per sale of $50.What is your profit margin? Is it more than that?Some products will kill your business, because their profit margin is too low for digital advertising.If your cost per click is $1 and you have a conversion problem and only get 0.5%, then each sale costs $200.

We’ve seen e-commerce cost per sales of $5 to $500. Again, it varies with the niche, competition, and your website’s conversion efficiency.

This is just the math of pay-per-click profitability.

#3 WHY Would People Want to Buy What You’re Selling? 

This is the most basic lesson of marketing.

And it’s critical to ask if no one ever has bought what you’re selling yet. Or if no one has ever bought it online.

If you have no marketing experience, 99% of the things you think are awesome about what you’re selling are likely features, not benefits:

  • Plush seats.
  • Moon roof.
  • 24-hour customer service.

Those are features.

The customer says, “Who cares? Why should I care? What’s in it for me?” So, yeah, really, you have to spell out what the benefit is to them.

  • Plush seats? “Experience luxury driving.” That’s a benefit. And, bonus: we get them to imagine having it, which makes them more likely to buy. But let’s be honest… plush seat luxury is only appealing to people who love 1984 IROC-Z Camaros. Look at this fine specimen:
  • Moon roof? Great for werewolves. Ability to look up when you should be looking at the road. Just kidding. “Your passenger can look out your moon roof and (s)he will be impressed. With YOU.” That’s a benefit that makes them visualize the experience of the solution. By the way, your 1985 Camaro is awesome. IROC you say? Yes, U really do ROC.
  • 24-hour customer service? “We’re there to help you fix it when everything goes wrong at 3:00AM. We’ll save the day, any time of day. If you have a huge everything-grinds-to-a-halt problem, you won’t have to wait. We’ll fix it now. Relax, you can rely on us.”  That’s a benefit that makes them visualize the experience of the solution.

Those are the benefits of your features. That’s the most BASIC level of copywriting you need to be able to do. They sell much more effectively than features.

Getting them to imagine experiencing the benefit will get you even bigger results. So do both.

#4 You need to know WHO would want to buy from you.

It’s easy to have the wrong idea of who your customers are, or a very vague idea. Some companies even achieve a level of success without an accurate picture of who their best customers are.

Digital marketing teaches you about them. Many of our clients find out their customers are only SORT OF who they thought. But there’s often something surprising…

  • “Oh, wow, people over 50 years old DO buy this. Interesting…”
  • “Our customers are mostly single? Weird!”
  • “Our customers like George Takei? Who the heck is is George Takei?”

That kind of stuff- which by the way, can dramatically lower your Facebook ad costs- can also be applied to all your other marketing. When you discover who they are, you may look at your email marketing or your print ads or radio or TV ads and realize you’ve pitched them to the wrong person. Changing that will improve your results. And since many types of offline marketing can’t be tracked- what worked or didn’t- this information from digital marketing is super valuable if you’re doing offline marketing.

And, by the way, there’s a ton of free market research inside the Facebook ad interface. Enough to put some market research companies out of business. It’s called Facebook Audience Insights.

#5 Your website has to be really efficient at converting your Facebook ad visitors.

You saw it in the math. If you can double your conversion rate, you cut your costs in half.

That sounds like a bonus. But if your conversion rate is sub-standard, your costs can be through the roof. So you might need to improve your website, or take the more modern approach of using squeeze page platforms that can split-test.

The most vulnerable people to mistakes here are web designers. Anyone who thinks they have a new way to design your website. A more aesthetic way. Lots of ideas about impressive designs.

If that gets in the way of usability, you’re done.

  • Sure, your web visitor may think it’s a beautiful website, but it’s so beautiful that they forget to buy.
  • Or can’t figure out how to buy because the navigation elements were too ugly for your web designer.

If you’re interviewing web designers, ask them what they do for split-testing and conversion optimization. The ones that trip over the answer? Move on  to another. The next evolution is using services like unbounce, clickfunnels, leadpages and optimizely.

If you want to run a profitable business, you need to strike a balance between form and function- between branding and conversion optimization.

That’s it- if you’ve grappled with these five issues, then relax- you can advertise on Facebook confidently, and look forward to great results!

If not, we can help with services or my online course, Social Marketing Profit System.

The Worst Facebook Advertising Mistake You Can Make

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Facebook Advertising

If you had to choose, would you rather have:

  • Website traffic that leaves your site without doing anything?
    …OR…
  • Leads and sales?

I’ll bet you said the second one. 🙂

But did you know: if you use the wrong type of ad, Facebook will send you those annoying people who click on ads but don’t buy or opt-in?

You must use the right Facebook ad type if you want Facebook to show your ads to more highly-qualified people. And the right kind of ad is a “website conversion ad.”

Watch this video to find out:

  • The right kind of Facebook ad and how to create it.
  • The conversion tracking set-up you must do.
  • A few more tips for creating ads that convert like crazy and not wasting money.

And to improve from there, you need to write better copy. Check out this post for my whole Compelling Ad Copy system for creating headlines and copy that converts.

Top Secret Way To Lower Conversion Costs With Facebook Ads

Posted on Posted in Advertising, Facebook Advertising

If you’re using Facebook ads for lead generation or ecommerce, congratulations. You’re ahead of most people!

And if you’re getting leads or sales, double congratulations!

But now the question is how can you lower the cost per lead or cost per sale? This video, featuring my work for Promo Rock Stars, shows one often overlooked technique.

The first part of the answer is to test a ton of ads:

  1. Create more ad variations (different images, headline, body copy).
  2. Check daily to see what each ad’s cost per lead or cost per sale is. From here on out, I’ll call both of those cost per conversion. That number can change a lot while you’re getting an ad’s first few conversions. If you only have one conversion from an ad, the cost per conversion number may be wrong. You can’t assume that number is right. That would be like assuming that a kid who hit a home run on his first pitch ever would ALWAYS hit a home run. The more conversions an ad gives you, the more you can trust that number. In academic terms, this is the concept of of statistical confidence.
  3. Pause the ads that have high conversion costs. You’ll get a sense of what’s too high or low below.

You may notice that testing can be expensive and slow. You need to know how to save money on tests and speed up the process.

(The lower your daily budget is, the more time it takes to test a lot of ads.  You don’t want to create too many ads. But figuring out how many you can create within your budget is a whole nother topic!)

One source of wasted money and time is running specific ads longer than you need to. This video shows you a way to know when you can pause “losing ads” sooner than a lot of people would.

To succeed, you need a target value for your cost per lead or cost per sale. Your goal for that number will change as you get better and better results:

  • Look at a set of converting ads with enough data: Look at the ads that have converted. Now, ignore any ads that haven’t converted at least five times. If you don’t have four or five, keep creating new ads until you get enough.
  • Average: Using those ads with four or five conversions, average their cost per conversion. This average number is your target value.
  • Improve results: Look at the ads that converted vs. didn’t. What does each group have in common? This could be certain images, targeting, body copy, or mobile vs. desktop. Create new ads that are more like the converting ones. Veer away from what didn’t work.
  • Lower cost: Look at the ads that are less expensive vs. the more expensive ones. What does each group have in common? Create new ads that are more like the affordable ones.

Now, if you want to save more money, start pausing ads on the basis of impressions. That’s what the video is about:

  1. Look at the ads that have converted at least five times.
  2. Figure out how many impressions you need to convert. Divide the conversions by the impressions. This is in the video.
  3. Pause any ads that have more than that many impressions but haven’t converted yet.

You can also pause non-converting ads on the basis of spend:

  1. Start with your target cost per conversion.
  2. Pause ads that have spent more than that but haven’t converted

Got it? Ok, go run those ads lean!