I have always been a DIY kind of person. There’s nothing I’m not happy to google or research if I get a bit stuck. However, when it came to getting started with Facebook ads and investing money, I knew I wanted some expertise on the subject.
However much of a DIY-er I am, I am also a big advocate for outsourcing areas that are beyond your skill level or would take up so much time to do or research that it would end up costing you.
I wanted to make the money work for me and spending hours, days, who knows, weeks perhaps, trying to figure out how to get started with Facebook ads, was going to be a torturous and perhaps fruitless experience.
I’d got as far as setting up a pixel and creating an ad manager account but I have so many other hats and jobs to attend to, that figuring out all the intricacies of an ad campaign, the setup, and back-end ‘bits and bobs’ was going to be a headache. Not to mention the split testing that’s recommended you do and the back and forth tweaking and perfecting of the ad itself.
It was time I called in some help That is, I went to a lady who knew and that was Isobel of Digital Marketing Engine.
We agreed to collaborate by trialling a few weeks of Facebook ads for The Homeworker and to monitor and report on the process and performance.
This was my first venture into ads and it was an experiment so we decided to see what could be achieved with a minimal budget of just £10 a day for a month.
For a lot of small business owners who are just experimenting with getting started with Facebook ads, this seems like a very manageable amount to play with. The beauty is that when you’re confident with an ad set that works and delivers results, you can then scale up and spend more.
The set up
On Zoom, I watched Isobel dart around my screen, highlighting the pages and buttons on each page to track.
She directed me to certain parts of my e-commerce platform, knew just the right bit of code I needed to select and copy and then could tell me which menu to select and option to click on in the Facebook Ads Manager.
Now, I could have googled this and haphazardly plodded my way through, referring to different sites, watching You Tube videos and then just hoping and praying I was getting it right. What would have taken me literally hours or days, Isobel had got done in an hour. Sometimes it pays to free up your time!
Facebook Ads research
One thing that’s key with running facebook ads is narrowing down who is going to see it. There is no point splurging on a great ad if the wrong people view it, dismiss it, and never interact with you.
I had to choose my audience and learn about their likes and interests. Who was my ideal client and what do they enjoy on Facebook? It involved researching, trying to find out what other pages and people my ideal client followed so that I could use some of these parameters when setting my audience for the adverts.
This stage involved collecting a bit of data and populating a basic spreadsheet with Isobel’s guidance and templates.
We then had to split the ads into a warm audience (those who have already interacted with you on some level) and a cold audience (somebody who has not come across you or clicked on anything you’ve done before).
Getting started with Facebook Ads – top tips
Doing your audience research will be one of the most important things to do in order for your ad to be effective.
After that, think about your copy. You need an ad that speaks to your audience and that they can relate to. This is what helps convert a browser into a buyer.
How do you know if you have a good ad?
Isobel says that one of the most common mistakes is turning off
an ad before it has had a chance to perform. It takes around 3-5 days or 2000 impressions for Facebook to start optimising effectively. While you’re watching the ad spend creep up this can be a really tense time! The temptation to turn off ads that don’t seem to be working is huge. Until they’ve had enough data to make decisions, sitting on your hands can be the best thing you can do.
Once the campaigns have had enough data through them, you can start to look at their performance and make decisions around where to cut and where to scale.
Isobel shares her complete Facebook Ads 101 in issue 007 of The Homeworker. You can get the back issue here.
Facebook Ad campaign results
The first ad campaign which we did for The Homeworker was for sales. Of course, right? When you run an ad, you usually want to sell something to make some money back.
What you want is a good Return On Ad Spend (ROAS). Anything over 1 and you’re in profit.
With my warm audience, I actually had a very good ROAS of 6.31 and even the cold audience was 1.7 but it was the start of Covid-19 and I sensed in the climate, it would be better to increase brand awareness and offer support rather than trying to sell.
I switched focus to helping people and building my mailing list at the same time. We changed to advertising the free guide to working from home – a practical, useful and free resource for people during lockdown.
This instantly saw an increase in reach and leads, although it did ‘cost’ me money, it grew my list and helped people with tips during an uncertain time. Don’t dismiss the idea of running an ad just to raise your profile.
I even ended up generating indirect sales through the increased awareness.
Adapting your Facebook Ad
At one point I changed the copy and the images. One ad set got rejected. At this point, I may have backpedalled and looked for alternatives but Isobel reassured me. She knew Facebook. She knows how it works and she knew how to appeal. Two days later we were back up and running.
It was really interesting seeing the different types of ads, the way Facebook can be clever with determining your best combination of images and copy.
Monitoring results meant we could adapt the ads and see which were getting the best ROI. Unfortunately (for me), those with a picture of me were performing best (people love a real person rather than a fake stock picture or bland image).
Knowledge is power
When you know, you can adapt, learn again, and improve your process and results. This is what Isobel could read from the outset. Working with her meant I could change things very quickly to maximise the best performing ads. I honestly think left to my own devices, I would have been less on the ball and taken longer to tweak and evaluate.
Putting an ad together can be fun. You get to be creative, and really hone in on your message. It’s a great way to get clear on what you offer and how you help people.
I actually found things became more intuitive after our first couple of sessions such as where to find the campaigns and which drop-down menus to use.
I have to say, I still am not sure I’d be able to replicate the initial setup alone. Isobel saved me a lot of time getting started with Facebook ads but I feel I’ve got the tools and a bit more knowledge to run some again when the time is right.
Facebook announced some changes to tracking and use of its pixel with iOS14. Digital Marketing Engine have written all about how the changes might affect your Facebok ads here.