I’m thrilled to have Gillian Perkins here on the blog to offer up some fantastic (and money saving) advice about advertising on Facebook. But before we get started here is a little bit about Gillian:
Gillian Perkins is a business marketing strategist, entrepreneur, and #1 internationally bestselling author. She works with online entrepreneurs to help them grow their businesses more effectively. She is the CEO of Aptus Creative Marketing and also owns several other businesses including Northwest School of Music and Quintessential Investments.
Facebook ads are a powerful tool, but they aren’t right for every business. They can be implemented quickly and scaled easily, so if they’re a good fit they can be used to effectively turn $1 into $2, but if not, they can waste a lot of money FAST.
Whether you’re currently using Facebook ads or not, it’s important to thoughtfully consider whether or not they’re the best fit, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to use them. Because really, if they’re working (that is, if you’re making a good ROI), and you want to scale, then it would be in your best interest to spend as much money on them as possible. But if Facebook ads won’t work for your business then it would be best to realize that as soon as possible so that you can avoid wasting money.
If you’re struggling with organic reach then you might be considering paying for more exposure. With impressions as low as $0.005, Facebook ads are an affordable way to get your message in from of more people.
What’s more, Facebook’s incredible audience refinement tools and retargeting features allow you to show your ads to your exact, target audience.
All that might sound great (it really is!), but if your business isn’t fully prepared, then paying for Facebook ads can be nothing more than a huge bleeder. Buying Facebook ads when you’re not ready would be like trying to carve a statue out of a block of wood with a scroll saw.
A scroll saw is a powerful tool that can create amazing results, but it’s for cutting delicate details on a piece of wood that already has the basic shape of what you’re trying to create. Try to hack through a large block of wood, and you’ll just ruin it.
So is your business ready for Facebook ads? Here are five reasons your business may NOT be ready for to pay for advertising:
1) You don’t have a strong monetization plan.
As we’re all aware, Facebook ads cost money. They don’t cost a lot of money per impression or per click, but in order to create substantial results in your business they do require an investment.
How do you decide if an investment is wise or not? You consider the ROI (return on investment). And the only way to calculate that is if you know exactly how your investment will make you money.
The worst investment you could make would be to run Facebook ads to your blog before you have a clear monetization plan. If YOU don’t even know how more exposure would make you money, then your visitors certainly won’t know either.
Often, when clients approach me about running Facebook ads and I ask them about their monetization plan, they respond, “I sell _______ on my website.”
While it’s important to have a product that you sell, that on its own isn’t sufficient for FB ads to be able to make you money. Unless you have a strategy that will guide new visitors to becoming paying customers, you’re really just throwing money at the wall and hoping it sticks. (Hint: it won’t.)
On the other hand, if you’ve thought through your sales funnel and have a clear plan of how you’ll nurture those new visitors you drive from Facebook, then you can use ads to quickly increase your sales.
A good indicator of your readiness is: are you already making money? I’m sure you’ve done some networking before you’ve considering investing in ads. Have you been able to close any leads just from your connections? If not, ask yourself why that is.
Some important questions to answer include:
- What am I actually selling?
- Why do people need it?
- WHO needs it?
- What benefits will they receive from it?
- How can I educate them about the solution my product will provide?
- How can I excite them about the benefits of my product?
Once you have answers to these questions (and the answers are reflected in your sales copy on your website, landing pages, and in your autoresponder emails), this light is green for GO ahead with Facebook ads.
If you’re not sure how to profit from Facebook ads, check out this article: Five Ways to Make Money on Facebook
2) You haven’t fully developed your branding.
Facebook ads are crazy good at creating business growth momentum. Honestly, that’s at least a quarter of the value you’re paying for when you start a campaign.
What do I mean by that? Well, imagine you spend $1000 on ads and make $2000 in sales. Yay! You made a profit!
Now let’s say you run another campaign two weeks later. Again, you spend $1000 on your ads. Guess what — more than likely, this time around you’ll make $2,500 in sales! That’s because you’ll already have warmed up your audience with your previous campaign. They’ll be more comfortable with you and trust you more. Also, the first campaign would have grown your audience, giving you greater organic reach for the second campaign.
Momentum is powerful and means that you can get an even better ROI on your ads. However, you can only take advantage of this factor if your branding is consistent.
After all, if you run your first campaign with one style of branding and then turn around and look like a completely different person for your second campaign, you won’t be able to build credibility.
(In fact, it might actually damage your credibility and make people trust you less.)
Consistent, cohesive branding inspires trust. It shows people that you’re the same person every time they encounter you, which leads them to believe that you’ll follow through and provide a good quality product. This makes them much more likely to buy — which ultimately means you’re able to make a good ROI from your FB ads.
3) Your sales funnel hasn’t been sufficiently tested.
Most businesses have some type of multi-step sales funnel that leads traffic to buying their products. This is an important system! Done well it can result in many sales.
Your sales funnel doesn’t need to be fancy, but it does need to work. Far, far too often I have found broken links, faulty videos, and poorly scheduled emails as I’ve been pushed through sales funnels.
(Most often, these problems were in the funnels of professional marketers, who certainly knew better. This is one of the dangers of getting “too fancy” with your funnel.)
So, lesson #1: Keep your funnel simple so that it doesn’t break. And lesson #2: test your funnel. Really! Especially if you’re going to investing good money driving people into that funnel, it is so important to make sure that it works flawlessly — mistakes lose you sales and can hurt your credibility.
4) You haven’t come anywhere close to exhausting your opportunities for free advertising.
No need to spend money before you need to! Especially if you’ve only just started your business, it’s wise to take full advantage of your free options for visibility and leads before you start paying for them.
By utilizing those free sources of sales, you’ll be able to save money, take your time testing your systems, and finalize your branding. Rushing into ads too quickly is unnecessary and can be expensive (especially if you aren’t ready).
Now, by taking advantage of free leads, I don’t just mean that you told your five best friends. Even if you’ve told everyone you know, you haven’t even begun to tap into the wealth of free exposure that presents itself.
Here are a few things you can do to get more visibility for your business and products:
- Promote your work on social media
- Write guest blog posts
- Apply to be interviewed on podcasts
- “Help a Reporter Out” for media exposure
- Collaborate with other businesses and influencers
- Share sample products with influencers
Now, none of these methods will be able to drive the same super targeted traffic to your sales pages that Facebook ads have the power to, so at a certain point, it’s valuable to start investing. However, there are so many opportunities for free exposure that it’s generally best to take advantage of at least the low hanging fruit before you start paying to play.
5) Your business isn’t set up to scale.
If all your ducks are in a row, FB ads can really grow your business quite quickly. This is an amazing opportunity! However, it can also easily create significant problems.
Let’s say you’re a graphic designer who does an ad campaign. The more work the better, you think! Once you sign five clients, you decide that’s about enough… but by the time you actually turn off your ads you’ve made a few more sales. Now you have eight clients on your docket.
It’s a little more than you normally take on, but you’re excited about all the profit you just made! You get to work, only to realize that there’s no way you can deliver eight design projects with your normal two-week turnover.
The closer you get to the deadline, the faster you work. Ultimately, some of your projects end up late, and many of the others simply aren’t up to your normal standards.
You hacked it, and you made a profit… is it really a big deal? I say yes. You didn’t enjoy your work because you were rushed, and those projects you turned out will actually somewhat deteriorate your credibility, not build it up. Not what you want when you’re paying to grow your brand.
You might think that this is an unlikely scenario and that you probably wouldn’t get more work than you can hand. Especially if you sell digital products, not a service — what could possibly be wrong with selling “too many” of my course or ebook?
Of course, if you sell jut a few more than you planned then it’s not necessarily a big deal. But even with digital products, you need to be set up to scale.
What would you do if tomorrow you woke up and your inbox was flooded with hundreds of new emails from customers, who all had questions about the product they had just bought? What would you do if your bank froze your account because you had too many unexpected sales that triggered their fraud prevention systems?
All these are real issues that you should consider before you jump into Facebook ads with both feet.
Best practice? Start small and plan for growth.
All lights green? Proceed carefully.
If you’re five for five on the issues mentioned above, then Facebook ads can most likely have a wonderfully positive effect on your business. However, even so, it’s still important to wade in, rather than taking a high dive.
Facebook ads are all about testing. Testing, retesting, and testing again. Even experts start with $5/day when working with a new client for the first time.
Every audience is different, and they all respond in their own unique ways. Through split testing images, copy, and different sectors of your audience, you’ll be able to optimize your ads to get the best results without spending more than you need to.
Whenever you are ready, Facebook ads are a powerful tool that can help your business scale quickly.
Is your business ready to get started advertising on Facebook? If not, what do you still need to work on? Leave us a comment to let us know!