Digital: Facebook Advertising

by | Jul 2, 2021

MINT Member Helen Johnson gave members a training session on Facebook Ads.

I’m Helen Johnson. I run a business called Remix Marketing, which specialises in Facebook ads. So I do everything from running campaigns, for people to auditing what people are doing already for their ads or training people who want to run ads for themselves.

Watch the session below:

Transcript of Video

Some of you know me, some of you don’t. So I’ll just quickly tell you a little bit about me and my business. So I’m Helen Johnson. I run a business called Remix Marketing, which specialises in Facebook ads. So I do everything from running campaigns, for people to auditing what people are doing already for their ads or training people who want to run ads for themselves.
Before I started my business, which is only nearly a year old, it’s about two weeks until it’s a year old. I spent 30 years working in marketing in the corporate world, mostly on product marketing. And then I
spent 18 months doing charity marketing. So my whole whole career has been based around marketing. And then last year I retrained into Facebook ads so that I could niche down into that and have a business in a particular niche rather than trying to do general marketing cause I figured that was going to be too competitive.
So I’m gonna put my presentation on the screen. I’m gonna ask you to ask questions at the end, rather than through the presentation, because as Suzanne knows, I’ve got quite a few slides. So I want to try and make sure that I definitely get through the presentation and then I’ll answer questions. And also it may be that I answer your question further on in the presentation. So bear with me.
I’m going to try and achieve two things today. The first one is to give you a bit of a feel whether Facebook ads might be right for your business or not. And the second one is to look at how to create effective Facebook ad campaigns. I’m not going to take you into the platform. It’s not a button pressing exercise. It’s more around the things that you need to think about if you’re creating a campaign.
So the first thing to think about, Facebook ads can be really effective for some businesses, but they don’t work for everybody. So before you rush in and set them up for yourself, there’s a few things that I’d like you to think about.
Now I’ve got a problem cause it’s refusing to page down. Oh, thank you.
So first of all, does Facebook ads like your category of product or service? So there are certain categories of products that you’re not allowed to advertise at all. So things like you can’t sell, live animals. But there are other categories that Facebook feels a bit uncomfortable with and you have to be really careful if you’re sat within those areas.
So anything that’s financial related, you have to be quite careful about what you’re saying. Particularly if it’s around anything that Facebook thinks is a get rich quick scheme because it absolutely, it doesn’t like that. And then the other area that’s quite tricky for some people is the health area because Facebook doesn’t want ever to have people feel bad about themselves. So any claims that you have, you have to be able to substantiate, but it also doesn’t like comparisons.
So for instance, if you’re a personal trainer and you have clients who lost weight, you couldn’t use a before and after shot in the ad or on your landing page because Facebook doesn’t want people to think that they’re the fat person to start with and feel bad about themselves. So basically anything that puts them on a bit of a downer Facebook doesn’t like. So if those are the sorts of products that you’re working with, it’s not that you can’t advertise, it’s just, it’s going to be a lot more difficult to advertise. You might have to sign up for some additional vetting from Facebook, but also every time that you submit an ad, then they’re going to put more scrutiny on what you’ve written and your landing page.
So the next thing to think about is can what you’re selling or promoting have a high visual impact? So the first thing that your ad is going to need to do is to stop the scroll. When people are scrolling aimlessly through their phone, it doesn’t really matter what the copy says because you’re not going to read that until you’ve stopped and looked at the image. So if you’re selling a product that is not visually attractive, or you can’t think of a way to represent it in a way that’s going to make people look at it, then your ad is never going to work. They’re just going to keep scrolling. And I’m going to talk a little bit more about how to do that further on in the presentation.
Another thing to think about is do you get a lot of returning customers? Because the economics of advertising are very different if you do, because if you get a lot of returning customers, then you can be looking at their lifetime value. So if they make 3, 4, 5 purchases, the cost of getting them into your funnel in the first place and creating a customer is going to be carried over all of those sales. Whereas if they only pay you once, then your ad campaign has to make economic sense on its own. And then what’s your profit margin? Because if your profit margin is low, Facebook ads are not going to work for you because there is an element of paying for ads and paying for someone to run them, if that’s the route you go down. But so, and even just paying for the ads themselves, if your profit margin is low, it’s just not going to work for you.
And how old are your target audience? So for Facebook, Facebook, 70% of UK adults have a Facebook account and 40% of them log in every day. So it does have really good reach. But if your audience is really old, maybe not online so much, or really young, maybe on other social channels, like TikTok, then Facebook might not be the right platform for you. So that’s just some general things.
And then for specific areas for an online retailer, how much have you got to spend? Because Facebook ads are an auction. You are bidding for the space against other advertisers who want the same space. And whilst the amount you’re prepared to spend is not the only factor, it’s a significant factor. So if you’ve only got five pounds a day or a couple of pounds a day, you’re really going to struggle to make impact.
When you think you’ve got people like John Lewis on there who are spending millions, particularly in the run up to Christmas. So I would really say to people think seriously, if you want to do ads, you’re much better spending 10 pounds a day for 10 days. And seeing how you get on and spending a couple of pounds over a longer period of time, because you’re not going to give the algorithm a chance to learn.
The next thing to think about is what’s the conversion rate on your website? Because if your conversion rate is poor on your website, all your ad is going to do is send more people to somewhere where they’re not going to buy, because they’re still going to have a bad experience on the website itself. So for an online retailer you’re really looking for about 2% being the ideal conversion rate at which you would start doing ads, unless you’re a high ticket item.
If you’re a high ticket item, 1% can be okay. So if most of your products are over a hundred pounds say, then 1% might be okay because they tend to get more people visiting and browsing rather than making a purchase straight away. But I would certainly say to people really get your website sorted before you launch ads. Otherwise you’re going to waste money.
And then what’s your average purchase value? Because if your average purchase value is less than 20 pounds, you’re not, I wouldn’t advise you to do Facebook ads unless you get a lot of returning customers because you’re really, really going to struggle to make the breakeven.
And then for service providers, you really have to ask yourself, can I form an emotional connection with the people I’m advertising to? Because if you can’t, if your products are very dry product or you haven’t thought carefully about your targeting, they’re just going to scroll on past. So really think about that.
And then also are you selling a high cost item? Because if you’re selling something that’s really expensive, your Facebook ad is probably just going to bring people into your funnel. They’re not going to purchase off the ad. You really need to be doing more to nurture the relationship. So you’d be putting them into an email sequence, maybe doing things like masterclasses, other things that are going to build trust before they’re going to spend hundreds of pounds with you because they’re just not going to do that off a single ad because they just, they don’t know enough about you.
And then also just thinking about whether you’re selling locally or nationally, that’s going to have a huge impact on your budget. If you’re selling locally, you can have a much smaller budget and still be successful. Whereas if you’re selling nationally and competing against far more people, then you’re going to have to invest a lot more money into it.
So there are just a few things to think about before you even say yes, Facebook ads are for me. So then we come onto the ad itself. Really there’s six, well, a few things to think about. First of all, in general, when you’re spending money on Facebook ads, most of the people who see your ads don’t know your brand, the whole point of them is that you’re bringing them into your funnel. So in general, I would spend 80 to 90% of the budget I spend on Facebook ads for people on trying to bring new people in and introduce them to the brand.
So think very carefully about that. Also, when you’re on the Facebook feed, you go on your Facebook feed to see what, well, normal people. We’re, we’re not normal people cause we have a business. So we normally have our own business page and things, but most people who are on Facebook, they’re just there to relax. They want to see what their mates are up to. Maybe post a few things that they’ve been up to. Maybe go into a group, have a hobby, that kind of thing, but they’re there to relax and they’re pretty chilled out. They’re not there to shop. So they’re not actively looking for your product and they’re not thinking about immediately making a purchase. So it’s not like a Google ad where with a Google ad, you have already thought you want something or you’re already researching a subject with a Facebook ad. You’re starting them on that journey. So they’re in a very different frame of mind. And that means that you need to think really carefully about the way that you’re going to try and interact with them.
So you need to meet them where they’re at. So with an ad that looks at home in the feed. So anything that looks really sort of curated or professional is going to stick out like a sore thumb in a Facebook feed and anything that’s using a lot of formal language again, is really gonna stick out like a sore thumb and is going to turn people off straight away because that’s not the mood they’re in. So even if you’re a service provider, you probably want to be a bit more casual looking than you normally would on say a LinkedIn ad or even on your own website. So that people feel at home with you in the mood that they’re in, because they’re not in business mode, they’re in relaxing at home mode.
So when it comes to creating an ad in general, I would say natural and relaxed is a really good place to think about when you’re putting your ad together. People want to see you as a person and start to sort of feel some kind of interaction with you as a person or your product. So things like videos to camera. So I would absolutely recommend selfies and using a video that you’ve made yourself rather than a highly professional studio setting, because that’s just not going to look at home in the feed.
In terms of the actual pulling that ad together, the six main components, first of all, what’s your offer? Secondly, what’s your objective and how are you going to measure your success? Then you’ve got the audience that you’re going to send the ad to. Copy, the image and the landing page. So a little bit more detail a bit about each of those.
First of all, the offer. Now I really can’t stress this enough. If you don’t get this right, you’re not going to get the results that you hoped for. This is the most important element of what you pull together. So your offer has got to be something that is really interesting to your audience. It’s not about you. It’s about the audience and it’s also about Facebook and what Facebook wants, because unlike your organic posts, Facebook has complete control over whether you’re allowed to use your ad or not. And it’s going to use its criteria.
So from Facebook’s perspective, it wants people to enjoy being on the, on its feed and it wants them to come back. It wants them to spend as much time as possible there. So it likes ads that people interact with it, likes ads that make people feel good. And it’s always going to put that filter over everything else when it’s looking at whether or not it’s going to approve your ad in the first place.
And then when it has approved your ad, the extent to which it’s going to distribute it, because it’s not just about the amount you’re prepared to bid, it’s also about how appealing it thinks it’s going to be on the platform. So really think about, carefully about, is the ad something that the people I’m planning to send it to are interested in or not? And it’s really, really, really important that you, it’s not about you. It’s always about, what’s interesting to them. What problem are you going to solve for them? So it doesn’t have to be something that’s new. And I think that’s really important to stress. A lot of businesses, particularly product based businesses are always thinking about what’s new and what they’ve just introduced, but probably 95% of the people who see your ad maybe more don’t know your brand. So when you’re thinking about what you want to put in front of them, things that are doing well for your company are really good things to consider.
And I would certainly, I would definitely say don’t be all about the new, so one of the things it could be and probably should be if you’re a product based business is the best seller. And I’m going to tell you a little, a little secret now. So this ad on the right hand side may look really boring and strange to you, but this is my best performing ad across all my customers by a country mile. And the reason that is, is because it’s talking to a specific audience who want a specific product. It is a best seller for the company that it’s for, year in, year out. It’s really boring for everybody else. But if I’m a cake maker, I want a box.
They have two types of customers, they’ve got one who just bakes for themselves and their family and friends. And then they’ve got semi professionals who are baking as a business from home, which is why the bulk options is on the bottom and the price is on it. So people are going to look at it and think, yeah, that’s a good offer. That’s something that’s really appealing to me. So in terms of putting your ad together, that’s the sort of thing that you really want to be thinking about what is important to my customer and that absolutely wouldn’t work in a lot of people’s feeds, but for the target market that it’s for, it’s a really good ad.
Next thing to think about, something that lots of people will like. So some of you may know that I’ve been working with Claire at Lola Mac. When I came to pull her ad together, you can see the bottom left and the top right, are probably the sorts of things that you would normally associate with Claire. They’re kind of like her signature products and they are really nice, but they probably have a little less broad appeal than some of the other things.
So Claire and I had a little bit of debate about the heart pendant in the top left-hand corner. Now that has been really, really successful. And that’s, what’s brought a lot of people in. And so sometimes you, you want to put something in your ad that you’re just thinking how many people within my audience are going to like that? As broad as possible, because your objective with the ad is to bring people to your business so that you can look to convert them after that. But it’s that kind of real sweetener at the, at the outset, this is the thing that’s going to make people say, oh yeah, I’m going to go and look at that website. So really try and think about that when you’re putting it together.
And as I said before, I really can’t stress enough. Advertising. A poor offer is a really easy way to waste a lot of money. If you’ve not got, if you’ve not cracked the offer, then it’s really never going to work. So the next thing to think about is what is your objective for your ad? So you need to be really clear with yourself what it is that you want your ad to do. Are you looking for sales? Are you looking to grow your number of followers? What is it that you want? And when you set the ad up, you really need, you have to tell Facebook exactly what it is that you want.
So this is a screen. If anyone’s done Facebook ads, they’ll really recognise. So I never ever, ever use the objectives on the left-hand side, brand awareness and reach. And the reason why. So Facebook knows an awful lot about all of us. It literally has hundreds of data points on all of us. It knows that people who buy online, it knows the people who like to window shop. It knows the dreamers who like to go online to online shops and put things in their basket, but never make that purchase. And it, when you give it an audience, it segments the audience into those groups. So if you ask it for the things in the right-hand column, the conversions and the store catalogue, it’s looking for people with high intent. If you ask it for things in the middle column, it’s going to give you people who like to click and look at, so nosy people who like to have a nose and have never ran websites. That’s what you get if you go to for traffic. So really, really think about what it is you want.
Now you are going to pay more per click for the people in the right hand column, but you’re also more likely that they are going to convert. So really think about that. And my advice would be if you want sales, run a conversion campaign, optimised for purchase. That would always be my starting point. And it might be that it ends up too expensive and you have to change it. But that’s always the beginning, because if, if you tell Facebook that, then Facebook is going to look for people who are likely to be interested in your product and have a history of buying online.
Similarly, if you want leads, then you should run a conversion campaign, optimised for leads. If you have a good website and a good landing page, if you don’t, then you would run a lead gen campaign and use the form within Facebook. But in general, I’d recommend that you use the conversion campaign, optimised for lead.
Now to do all of those things. And in fact, anything that’s an objective off Facebook, you need to have your domain verified. You need a pixel on the landing page, and you need to have aggregated event measurement set up. But if you try and run campaigns like a traffic campaign to a domain that doesn’t have a pixel on you’re literally asking Facebook to drive blind, it can’t see what happens once the person has clicked off its website. So it can’t then start to say, oh, actually from the audience that I’ve got, these are the types of people who are making the action that we want. And so I’ll send more of the ads to that type of people.
So I would, for me, I don’t think anyone should run a campaign that they can’t put a pixel on and expect to make money from it because you’re not giving Facebook any clues about what people do once they leave the Facebook platform.
So next, your audience. So in general, and this is probably a bit counter-intuitive, Facebook likes large audiences. So Facebook would normally look for you to have an audience of over a million people, if you can. And the reason for that is that gives the algorithm a bit of wiggle room and it allows for machine learning.
If you go for a much smaller audience, I know it’s tempting to put lots and lots of criteria in you’re going to end up paying a lot more for your ads. And in reality, the machine knows way more about your customers or potential customers than you do. So you really should let it have the scope, if you can. Now I realise on the local campaign, that’s not always possible, but we’ll come to that in a minute.
So there are three types of audience that you can build. First one is custom audiences. Now, custom audiences are people who’ve already interacted with your brand. So they could be people who’ve been on your website. People who bought from you, people who are engaged with your Facebook or Instagram pages or people who are on your email list. So all of those you can build custom audiences from and custom audiences are really valuable, but the trouble with them is they tend to be very small unless you’re a very big brand. So in terms of advertising to them, it’s not generally practical, but they do make a really good seed from which you can make the next type of audience, which I’ve lost the arrow again.
So look alike audiences. A look alike audience is literally you give Facebook a seed. So maybe it’s people who purchased from your website and say, find me more people who are similar in your view to those people. And it will pull you together an audience of about 450,000 people who in Facebook’s profiling look similar to the seed audience. So they are a really powerful audience because they’re what the machine would pick to send ads to based on what it knows. And it knows a lot.
The next type of audience is a saved audience or an interest based audience. Now this is probably an audience that you’re all really, really familiar with. What I can’t stress enough is it’s really critical when you’re building these audiences to have a really clear picture in your head of who your ideal customer is, and start to pull interests together based on those.
And when you’re looking at the interests, the criteria that you should ideally use is what would be interesting to this customer, but nobody else. So you don’t want really broad terms that might appeal to lots of other people for a couple of reasons. First of all you’re going to get a very big audience, but also you’re going to pay more because if you use common terms, lots of other people are going to be bidding on those terms, and it’s an auction. So you’re better, if you can to find interests that are a little bit more obscure, because you’ll find that the cost that you, the amount that you pay to get a thousand people to your site is going to be a lot less, if you can do it that way. Okay.
So in terms of what I would recommend for audiences, if you’ve not got a particularly big budget, so if you’re running a local campaign and your audience is in the tens or hundreds of thousands, I wouldn’t put any other criteria onto audience to narrow it down. Don’t try and put interests on top of that. So you’d just drop a pin into the radius around it, or you could use specific postcodes. We’re going to use the ad itself to speak to the people that’s going to be interested in the copy and the picture. They’re going to be much more important rather than trying to narrow the audience down to people within that area who can be interested. If you’re running a national campaign and you’ve not got a ton of money, my starting point would always be users. 1-3% look alike based on the best quality day or two you have available.
So if you’ve got a website, you’ve got purchases, I would be creating a lookalike based on past purchases. If you’re a new business, and you’ve maybe only got an Instagram page, then you might have to build it on Instagram engages. And sometimes you use a combination of them together, but that would be one audience. And the second audience is going to be a saved audience and interest based audience. So it’s basically the first one is what the machine would pick. The second one is what I would pick based on my ideal customer. And as I said, really stay away from broad terms. So things like, if I was in jewellery, I definitely wouldn’t pick Pandora because a huge section of the population is going to be interested in that. And then a lot of them might not. So for someone like Claire, where it’s a handmade, handmade item, their appeal isn’t just that it’s jewellery. The appeal is that it’s handmade. So I’m then looking at that area to build interests from.
Okay. So the next thing is your ad copy itself. So build your copy around what’s important to your customer and Facebook, not around what’s important to you. So you really need to have a couple of hooks in your copy or a couple of copy ideas, because generally you wouldn’t just run one set of copy. You would probably try at least two to see, which is the more appealing to your audience because you can never know. So you are thinking about what is it about having this product, which I think might be the next slide. So how will buying this offer, improve their life? What is it about it that’s great? What’s going to make them feel good? What kind of emotional connection can you form? Cause it’s all around trying to get that first emotional spark.
You want to keep it really simple in terms of the copy. So don’t try and do too many things with the copy and always remember that the job of the ad is to create the initial interest and to send people to somewhere. The conversion is not going to be in the ad itself, their decision to purchase happens where they land, where you’re going to be able to give them a lot more information and have a much better interaction with them. But it’s the whole point is that initial, emotional connection and thinking, yeah, I’m going to go and find out a bit more about this. That’s, that’s what the ad is there to do.
It can be really useful to use things like testimonials from past customers, because that’s going to give you some, an element of trust. And quite often I would start an ad with a testimonial in terms of copy sometimes if you’ve got a really relatable story.
So if you’ve got a product that you developed to solve a problem that you have, and there are lots of other people with a similar problem, telling that as your starting point of your ad can be a really good idea for the story, or, I mean, for instance, it might be something that a lot of customers have asked you for in the past. And again, that might be a really good starting point. But certainly storytelling and, and, and talking in a way that’s relatable is, is really at home in the feed because that’s what everybody is there to do. They’re telling their story of today. So if you can try and do something similar, that’s probably going to work well for you.
And remember, as I said, you’re on a social platform. So really, really steer away from formal language. A lot of the copy that you should be writing is what you might say to a friend, literally, if you were just having a normal conversation, because that’s what is said in the feed alongside what you’re doing, and that’s the mood that people are in.
That’s what they’re going to be likely to digest. Well, rather than something that’s formal, or they’re going to look it and go, Ooh, that’s looks a bit strange here. Another thing to think about is emojis. So emojis can be a really good way to lighten the mood. And if emojis are something that fits well with your brand, then I would definitely say, use them in your ads. One of the stats that completely blew my mind, a presentation that I watched was, it was from the MD of Social Chain who are a huge social media agency. And they did a test with one ad with a smiley face in and one ad without a smiley face with just a, I think it was a flower icon and the smiley face got 30% more interaction because similar to the way that you mirror, when you’re talking to someone, if you see something that’s an emoji has the same impact because our minds are wired to look at it in the way that it’s a face.
So definitely think about using that kind of thing, if it’s right for your brand, obviously if you’ve got a very, something like insurance, maybe you wouldn’t, but if you’re selling products, most products are going to be compatible with that sort of lighter style. Literally, if you were putting a Facebook post up for your mates, how you would do that, might well be appropriate for looking at how you do your ad. And quite a few of mine, I use things like cat and dog emojis for one of my clients and with the smiley faces and things, because I know that people who have cats and dogs are going to look at that and smile. So a lot of it is that, you know, it doesn’t just have to be the copy that can be a hook, and that can form that emotional connection. It can be the other things that you use within the text element of the ad.
And then the next thing is the scroll stopping image itself. So the first thing to say is the image and the copy should tell the same story. And you’re really looking for, you would normally start with the copy. We normally write the copy first, and then you would think, what can I use in terms of imagery that tells that same story and in a really concise way, right? I would also always recommend to you that you always use more than one ad format. So I, for all my clients, I would always use a single image as one of the formats. And then depending on what the product is, if it’s a physical product, I would normally use a carousel. That’s my second ad. But I’ve also used video and video works really well, too. So if you have something that’s somebody, like a coach, I would recommend that you do one video, one single image.
So you really, a lot of your success in Facebook ads is around testing different formats and finding out what works, because with the best will in the world, no one ever gets it right. And one of the courses that I’ve done this year, one of the best Facebook ad trainers in the world, so she still gets it wrong 60% of the time. So it is really about being open to learning and looking at what’s worked and what hasn’t and evolving what you’ve done. But definitely in general, I would say use at least two versions of your copy on two different ad formats. When you first start out just to test, what’s going to be right for you? Because what works for one person is not going to be what works for someone else.
And then in terms of the actual visual itself, use features that will help the ad standout in the feed. So like that ad that I showed you for the cake deck wholesaler, they’re really bright pink in the background. It’s going to make that stand out in the feed and keeping some, a lot of the time, keeping things really simple or a video. That’s a bit funny, maybe might work. It’s just something that’s going to make it, make you want to stop scrolling. But definitely not over complicated. So simple and bold really is best for what you pick for your image and nothing too formal or posed, because that’s just, it’s just not the right platform. It’s a social platform. And you need to be thinking about it in that way, in that sort of more casual and relaxed way, because that’s, what’s going to give you the best interaction.
It used to be a rule that only 20% of the surface area of the ad could be text. That rule is no longer valid, but in terms of performance, Facebook know that images that have more than 20% text perform less well, than ones that have less than that. So I would really say, try to keep your wording on it, on your image to a minimum and let the picture element of it. Do the talking, the only exception to that is obviously at the moment there’s loads of sale ads, where the word is the image, but in general, don’t try and do too much with your image. It’s your copy is going to be the start of your interaction in terms of conversation. So yeah, simple and bold. And then the final element is the landing page. So where they go after the ad is equally important from Facebook’s point of view and your point of view. And when they’re deciding whether or not an ad is going to be allowed to be released, they, they scan the landing page as well as the ad itself. So it’s really important both from Facebook’s point of view, but also from your potential customer’s point of view, that where they land makes sense, it’s telling the same story, but in more detail.
So your ad is just the beginning of the customer journey, and you always need to remember that. So where are they going next? Does it make sense to them? Because, the less it makes sense to them, the more likely they are to bounce off and you’ll lose them at that point in the journey. Facebook doesn’t want their users to have a poor experience after they click on an ad. So there’s a couple of implications to this in terms of website performance. Facebook hates websites that are slow to load, and doesn’t like sending traffic to them. So if your website is slow, Facebook won’t like that. It also, doesn’t like email signup popups and other popups that come up immediately that a page lands. So I would always recommend you put a delay on those things, if you’ve got them on your website. I would have a pop-up for email signup, but I would always put a delay on it.
Because it’s not good for customer experience. It’s a bit like when you walk in the door of the shop and a shop assistant immediately walks up to you and says, can I help you? You tend to feel a bit affronted and quite often you might walk straight out again. So a similar experience to that. So Facebook and Facebook, really, if you putting anything in the ad, Facebook really wants you to come through with what you’ve promised in the ad on the landing page. And it’s going to look at that, but it’s also like when I’m talking in the beginning about the personal trainer in the same way that you couldn’t have the before and after shots in the ad, you can’t have them on the landing page, either all the same rules apply. So you just have to be careful about what’s out there on the landing page.
So kind of what I just said, landing page needs to be a logical next step from what was sat in the ad from Facebook’s point of view and from your customer’s point of view. And if the user experience isn’t good, so that the website doesn’t load well, or if Facebook sees that a lot of people are leaving quickly after landing on the page. Your ad is not just going to cost you more because it’s one of the factors in the auction is the user experience as well as how much prepared to bid. So it’s just going to cost you more for each time it’s shown, but it’s also going to mean Facebook is going to give it less reach because, and you might find that Facebook doesn’t spend the budget that you’ve given it, because it just doesn’t want to put people through an experience that they’re not going to enjoy, because it sees that experiences reflecting on its brand as well as on your brand.
So I think I’ve rushed through that quite quickly. So I do have time for questions and I haven’t been looking at the chat, so I will stop sharing.
I’ve just got a a quick question that a lot of what you’re talking about there, is obviously based on existing information, existing past experiences, what your audience is. So is it the case that as a new business, it’s not recommended really to do a Facebook ad because you don’t have that history to draw on to make the audience and things like that? Is Facebook ads more for when you’ve got an understanding of what your audience is, and you can actually target them and build on them?
So you can use Facebook ads as a new business, but you really need to be quite clear in your own mind who your ideal client is, so that you can build a really credible interest-based audience. And it may be that you would start off by doing ads that were things like traffic. So rather than a conversion ad, because then if you’ve got the pixel on your site, Facebook can start to learn the sorts of people who are interested in what you’re talking about. A traffic will cost you a lot less but it’s much less likely to convert, but it, it starts to build a bit more data that you can then use to build your lookalike audiences and your custom audiences. So it’s just, it takes a little bit longer in the pipeline. It, depending on what your product is to be fair.
I mean, if you’re a product based business, you can, you might get away with switching pretty quickly to conversion. Particularly if you’re not too expensive, anything that’s less than 50 pounds people, a lot of people will buy on impulse. Once it’s above 50 pounds, then it’s a much more considered purchase. And you, you need to spend more time building trust. But it can work, but it’s, it’s just, if you went from day one, if you’re thinking, I’ll put a bit of money behind this and I’m going to get sales straight away, you’re probably kidding yourself, if I’m absolutely honest about it.
And it’s obviously a bit more difficult if you’re a service-based business, that’s a bit more niche and you don’t have that sort of visual elements, I’m assuming as well behind you.
Yeah, you’re going to struggle if you’ve not got a visual element, I would say if you’re a service-based business. So things like video might work quite well for you. If you can talk about what the product does, show it in action. Certainly things like video testimonials. If you’ve got anything like that from past clients, those sorts of things really gives you some credibility. And that’s probably where I would, I would say to start, but on the understanding that you are going to need to build a relationship, particularly if you’re an expensive product. So you would really any service business. I would really recommend that they’ve got a strong email sequence, sat behind their Facebook ads to start to build more of a story and more of the interaction
Morning, morning. And I just want to ask, you’ve been gradually working on increasing my budget. I wonder how people decide when is the right time to do that, how do they know that it’s working and that they should invest more money?
So that really depends on what their success criteria are when they start out. So when I said, you need to be really clear on what your objective is and what your success criteria is. So if you’re hitting your success criteria, normally that would either be the cost per acquisition or the return on ad spend, the two normal metrics that people would use. And they’re always going to be business specific. But they are the things. So if you’re outperforming whichever your chosen metric of those two is, then you would potentially look to increase the budget.
You would normally, you should never increase the budget more than 30% in a single go. Because if you do, you really confuse the algorithm because you’re suddenly asking it, it might not have a pool of more than 30%. So if you want to double it or ten times, some people do, it’s not immediately in its mind got another 10 times the number of people who are the same as the people, who’ve already done what you want. So you need to increase it gradually. And normally you would say increase it maybe 20%, every four or five days, if that’s what you’re looking for, because the only way that you can do it, the opposite way is to create a brand new campaign, rather than putting a bit more money into your existing campaign. But once you create a new campaign, you’re putting everything back into learning. So it’s back into day one, all of the history that you’ve got and the things that has helped it refine who it’s showing things to is lost. And so if you’re not hitting the success metrics with your existing audiences, then you’re then going to need to think about other avatars that might be appropriate and start building new interest based audiences.
Which is one of the things that you and I have been doing. So we’ve now got creative writing as one of our interests and people who like colourful clothing is one of the interests which maybe don’t sit immediately with stationary, but we’re looking at people who like certain things. So yeah, so there’s two ways to scale, basically, either you scale by creating new audiences and new campaigns, or you gradually build the budget in your existing campaign, but not beyond the point of the success metric and particularly not at the moment. Cause at the moment the Facebook platform is not particularly stable. It’s very up and down. And that’s because of the ISO 14.5. So any of you, you’ve got an apple device, you might have been offered the option to opt out of tracking. If you have, then those figures are no longer reported in the Facebook figures for your campaigns. So any sales that you get from them and no longer reported in the figures. If you have API tracking set up, you can see the number of purchases from those people, but you can’t see the value, and you can’t optimise campaigns for them. So you’re, if you’re trying to compare a campaign from this year, last year to this year, you can’t do it because you’re not looking at the same data set. If that makes some sense, or if I’ve maybe gone a bit far and it makes no sense.
Any other questions have I made your head spin? Have I made it any simpler?
Question from Kate.
I’ve got one. My first businesses is a children’s business. So for me, I struggle is how I target the children through parents. How would you, I find that a minefield, how to, if there’s any advice or how you would pick an audience that you need to, is it people who’ve got children? Is a specific age or child or?
Yeah, you can, you can certainly build audiences based on age of child. That’s one of the options that is sat there within it. And then you could potentially think about things like where might the family shop? That kind of thing. If you, if your audience is too big, but if in generally, if you’re a local business, are you selling locally or nationally?
Yeah. So if you were selling locally I wouldn’t, I would use the copy. I wouldn’t, I wouldn’t narrow your audience further because at the end of the day, if you start narrowing your audience by only the parents, it might be a grandparent, might recommend it, or a friend of mine might recommend it. So any of those things you’re narrowing your audience beyond what’s helpful. So I would say, just use as a local audience for your area. And then in the ad itself, you’re calling out to parents of children with the particular type of thing that you’re looking for. And yeah, that, that way, if that makes any sense,
Kate, sorry, because you’re online, why are you restricting to the local audience?
Oh yeah. I keep forgetting. I could sell it further, couldn’t I? I’m still getting my head around, running an online business because I’ve always done services and just done it locally so that I’m still, I’ve been pushed online now. So yeah, you’re right, Suzanne.
Yeah. It’s anywhere, anywhere that things could be posted to now, isn’t it?
I keep forgetting a little bit.
If you’re selling nationally, then you would be looking to build your audience based on parents of the children of a certain age, because if you try and go broad your audience is going to be huge and it’s going to take Facebook a very long time to narrow it down to the sorts of people who are going to be interested. I would certainly try those people as an interest based. And if you’ve already had website interactions or you’ve got Instagram followers and things, you’re building that look alike audiences, your second audience, and that’s just because they happen to live in your part of the country, doesn’t mean Facebook doesn’t look for the whole of the UK for people who have similar.
Okay. Right. Obviously I talked to a million miles an hour to get through all of my slides. Suzanne’s laughing at me.
No, you had 55 slides. Who knew you could go through them that quickly? But in terms of Facebook ads, it’s something I’ve never put my foot in the water with. Who has on the call? Just two or three. So a few of you have done it. And if you, what kind of experiences have you had from it?
I think I started mine too early. I did mine right at the beginning of the business when I was pivoting the small businesses and I put money in and got nothing out of it, but I don’t think I understood my target audience, my ideal customer and nothing like that. So at the time it was yeah, not the best experience, but I think knowing more now, I can do better with it than I did five, five months ago, six months ago.
So I would say for service-based business as well, you are, you want to have a lead magnet. So either a PDF that people can download or something like a free master class. So you might do like a short session. Just a taster of what you do and get people signed up to that and then get them on your email list and then look to convert them later in the process,
Or offer that directly through the Facebook ads, which is what I was doing,
Then they’re never going to do that. That’s not, they’re not the same. I think, I think it’s people don’t realise they’re not a sales tool. They are a marketing tool and they are really for about introducing people to the business and then converting them is happening somewhere else.
Yeah, that was my, that was my mistake.
I think I did the same kind of thing as Ian did. Cause I I did have Facebook ads running, kind of what, 2017, 2018, but I’ve stopped and switched over to sort of Google and Amazon PPC stuff. And I’ve, I haven’t touched or spent a penny with Facebook in about three years now. And then part of me kind of doesn’t want to, because I don’t like Facebook, you know, your personal preferences shouldn’t come into it. I just, as you know, I’m fighting against going back there, but I’m looking at starting up subscription services again. And that’s, that’s my get back into Facebook for me. It’s a, it’s a small, it’s a small purchase, but hopefully once someone buys from you once it becomes a regular purchase, that’s the, that’s why it’s worth the spend.
Yeah. I think the other thing to say is if you’re running Google ads, they actually work really well together because there are a lot of Google ads, your best audiences are probably retargeting audiences. The Facebook ads are feeding the top of the funnel. So you’re getting more people in than you would if you’re only looking for people who’ve already got high intent.
Yeah, I think probably one of the questions that I’ve got is when you’re kind of trying to do like split testing and working out a winner, and I know this is going to be a, how long is a piece of string questions and I apologise in advance, but if you’re looking to try and do it on a, on a small budget to just think about what works would be ideal.
So in general, if I’m, ideally you want to put 10 pounds a day behind each ad set. Okay. and probably have within the ad set, two to three different ads and you would normally test the different elements sequentially. So you would test which copy works, just using one image. And then you would use the best copy with an image or video. Sometimes I do more than one at the same time, but typically the way that you are supposed to do it is you test each element separately. And then you’ve got a really clear picture of the best audience, the best copy, the best ad format. Then from there, you build everything else out.
But most people I work with don’t have enough budget to do that. So I would normally set away two ad sets, two copy variants, or maybe a couple of different types of maybe a carousel or an image or a video and an image at the same time. And just see the algorithm is supposed to only need 500 impressions of something, of an ad to decide whether it looks like it thinks it’s going to be a good one or not.
And does it still kind of tell you whether it thinks it’s good or not? There used to be like a dial thing.
It doesn’t have a dial. Now it has a rating of three different things, which I can’t remember what they are. One’s quality, one’s conversion and I can’t remember what the third one is. But you have to have a certain number of impressions for it to feed that out. And it always makes much sense because it’s looking at the performance of the people who other people are bidding against for the same people. Now, if you are a fast moving product, you’re likely to get a better rating than if you’re selling something like insurance, for instance, because you’re always going to be in the bottom 20% of interactions and conversions on something like that, compared to that same person. If it’s say that’s a fairly affluent person, if you’ve got a clothing brand targeting them, they’re always going to do better on the clothing versus the insurance, just because of the nature of the purchase.
So it gives you some feel, but it’s not gospel. Okay. Thank you very much. A clear answer. Facebook ads have always been really successful for me because I know it’s where my customers are. And so it’s always worked really well, but I have to say, and she hasn’t paid me to say this. The best thing to do has been to get someone else to do it for me, you know, because I knew a lot of the theory. I’d done a lot of training, but it constantly changes. And I can’t spend all my time keeping on top of the changes. So getting Helen to keep on top of the changes and to monitor my outs and to make the adjustments and to push me out of my comfort zone a little bit, you know, really makes a difference. So, yeah, Liza I’d highly recommend.
Cool. Okay. Do you want any more questions or do we get to wrap up early?
We’ve got time for one more question.
Well, thank you, Helen. I think we all learned a lot, so we enjoyed it as well as being well-taught. What kind of basic budget would you be thinking of if we were to come to you. That I’m afraid that’s a very blunt question, but what would you be thinking would be a wise starting point?
In terms of your ad spend? So I would never go with less than 10 pounds a day for 10 days as a, as a, as your starting point, because you’re not giving the algorithm a chance to learn. And one of the things that I didn’t say is when you first put an ad up on day one, you are not going to see a flood of sales, because normally you’ve given the Facebook algorithm, a couple of million people that can potentially share the ad to. It does take a little while to understand who’s clicking and how far through the journey they’re getting. So normally if you’re putting an ad up, sit on your hands for at least three days and don’t change anything, because it’s very tempting to panic and start mucking around. As soon as you muck around, you put it back to stage one of learning. Anything that it’s learned already, it forgets.
So you just have to put them up and walk away, which to be fair, they’re generally taking a bit longer than they used to as well to come to some kind of equilibrium. So part of the trick in Facebook ads is knowing when to leave well alone, as well cause it doesn’t like too much change. So yeah, you have to accept that I’ve committed that amount of budget, and I’m going to leave it. I’ve given it my best shot. And really ideally I don’t try and look at things for a week and see at the end of a week, right, what’s it doing? Unless I can see there’s an ad that’s absolutely appalling. Maybe I’ve got one, that’s got a click through rate, a quarter of everything else. And I might turn that off earlier, but in general, that you’ve just got to leave it to find its feet.
Thank you.