Back To Basics With Facebook Ads
I haven’t posted about Facebook Ads for a good few months now. You probably figure my masterplan of finding, falling in love with, and marrying a sweet Facebook intern was a raging success. Actually, it wasn’t. I still suffer, like most of the affiliate world, from mindboggling approval guidelines and acts of rejection logic that put my world in a spin. I’d complain if I thought it’d make a difference.
More recently I’ve been doing some consultancy work and helping other individuals, mainly those involved with small business, to gain some mainstream exposure with a little help from my intern friends. Advertising on Facebook is valuable and often profitable, which is why so many of us choose to gut it out and submit endless rounds of ads until something sticks.
What really strikes me, as an affiliate, is the scope for expanding my own business by working with small local start-ups. Particularly those without a marketing team. If you’re a successful Facebook affiliate, whether you know it or not, you are a hot commodity. There are businesses out there who will pay good money for your expertise, and with good reason.
Anyway, I’m going to break down the key components behind any successful Facebook campaign. This is quite basic for some of you, so I’ll try to throw in some extra tips.
Before you even think about creating your ad, you need to make a decision. Are you going to bid CPM or CPC? Why is it such a key decision, you might wonder. The answer is because the model you choose will have a critical impact on the wording and message you will need to be sending with your ad text.
I wrote an entire post dedicated to the CPC vs. CPM question. I’d suggest you check it out if you want a comprehensive look at the matter. But the basic gist of the story is this. By bidding CPM, you can afford yourself the luxury of sending a much vaguer message with your ad text. Just as long as your landing page does a good job of twisting that message in to a sales pitch that actually works. You can be as cryptic or dare I say it – misleading – as you want.
If you’re producing a high volume of clicks and a good CTR, you can manipulate your campaign in to something that backs out on the right side of the red. I’ll take a dating ad as an example.
As usual, whenever I give away examples like this, people will go ahead and rip it image for image, word for word. Good luck. Why do you think I’m using it as an example?
Anyway, which ad do you think is more suitable for CPC? The creative which is designed to generate as many curious clicks as possible, or the creative that outlines the steps the user needs to take?
This is going to save you a lot of money. If you’re thinking of bidding CPC on Facebook, you better take that user’s hand and practically drag them through the necessary steps to fire your conversion. It’s no good being cryptic like I have with the first “secret admirer” creative.
By bidding CPC, you need to get the maximum bang for your buck. You want everybody who clicks that ad to be fully prepared for the steps that await them. I can imagine if I set the first example to CPC, I’d probably wipe out in spectacular style and be left with cornflakes for dinner. There’s only one thing worse than a CPC ad that doesn’t convert. And that’s a CPC ad with a ballbreakingly high clickthrough rate that still doesn’t convert.
In contrast, if I were to bid CPM with the cryptic dating ad, I’m now faced with two issues.
How can I get the clickthrough rate high enough to minimize the cost of my clicks?
Test the living crap out of it until I find some numbers that fit in with my EPCs. Change the headlines, split test different age demographics and work out which time in the day is most productive for drawing the clicks. Ahem, after 6pm, use your fucking brain. You ever fancied shagging strangers over breakfast? Well there you go then.
The second and most important aspect to a successful CPM campaign is twisting that original cryptic message in to something that delivers high quality leads to the offer. You probably don’t give a monkey’s arse about the quality of your leads, but you should. When an advertiser knocks you off an offer, it’s a spanner in the works to the groundwork you’ve put in before.
Many affiliates will simply direct link with the high CTR ad and hope that by the law of numbers, all will be profitable in the end.
I don’t like doing things this way. In fact, I rarely ever direct link my offers.
My goal with the cryptic ad would be to develop a small landing page, possibly flogging it up with some dude explaining how he never knew he had so many admirers – until he added Zoosk – and now he can’t stop getting bombarded with messages from girls who want to know more about him. Have I tried that method before? No, because I want to keep my Facebook account. But you should be getting the idea that it’s important to deliver SOMETHING on your initial message. Otherwise you’re going to drive a lot of clicks and still be eating a lot of cornflakes for dinner. Comprende?
I’ve used dating and Facebook as examples here, but the methods are exportable to all traffic sources. You need to plug in your brain and start asking yourself not just “how can I get the most clicks to my offer?”, but “how can I get people clicking through with the right intentions?”. A conversion rate is significantly more important than a clickthrough rate. It highlights the importance of tracking and not interpreting your stats at face value.
I’ve seen affiliates turn off ads with the lowest CTR without even stopping to check which ads had been delivering the conversions. I mean, really, that is the act of somebody who wants to believe he’s tracking his campaigns but is probably just shooting himself in the balls over and over again. As long as you feel like you’re being productive, that’s all that matters – right?
There’s a few more Facebook themed posts lined up for the coming weeks so check back soon if this is your thing.
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17 CommentsLeave a comment
To be honest with you, I’ve never even considered the CPM approach. This is making me rethink my approach.
Thanks, if nothing else, for stirring ideas.
‘You ever fancied shagging strangers over breakfast? Well there you go then. ‘
Every post has a killer line. Fucking love it.
Do you design/code your own landing pages?
Found this blog from AffBuzz. Thank the fucking lord. Finally, a decent affiliate blog from the UK.
1pm? Its freaking 8 pm here. Stop catering for those pesky yanks.
I think if you’re getting conversions from low CTR ads you should pause them if your CPC will be too high to run it. At least from what I’ve seen. But I’m still figuring out Facebook.
A Zoosk flog? Damn, that’s a great idea, lol. And yeah, always look at ROI, not CTR.
Nice post man, it’s surprising how many different ad/campaign variations can produce positive results.
Good post indeed, I’ll be on the following Facebook posts like stink on poop.
Hey, some good points, about the cpm vs cpc. Do you think fb sends cpm to the apps traffic more? i have heard this.
also, on fb ctr is just as important as conversions, not “significantly lower”…i mean they are equal…id hate a great ctr with no conversions but, if your getting conversions and your ctr is .02, it wont be running long.
maybe i’m completely wrong, but i never use CPC .. i dont see the point. If you’re shooting for a high CTR, CPC is a horrible idea. I accidentially kept CPC checked when creating a bunch of ads and i had spent $60 in a matter of minutes. my CTR was .15+ but clicks were .30+ .. i immediately saw what i did and changed it to CPM, then i was getting .15 or less clicks .. i just don’t understand why anyone would use CPC … maybe i’m still a newb
Excellent post Finch, all points are right on the mark. That’s an interesting correlation between vague adds and CPM bidding, I never thought of it that way before. Cheers!
nice post. thanks.
Great post as usual. But where do you get your images for the fb ads and landing pages.
The chicks pic you posted doesn’t look like a stock photo. Everyone gets pics off g images, bing images, and amateur sites. Is there any issue with the women in the pics coming after us for damages or for profits affiliates made off their pics? Have you looked into this at all.
Also totally different topic but where did you learn so much about selling online concepts? Your writings really demonstrate how we need to be really thinking about selling and ways to get the clickers to the conversion. Most am blogs barely touch on this. Thats why your blog is one of my favorites.
Please keep the posts coming and maybe do some more on really selling the prospects. Thanks!
Finch for Prez
It’s always sensible to use stock photos if you’re worried about the ownership aspect and I’d never advise affiliates to go out and jack images. But that’s what 95% of affiliates do, and will continue to do until a stock photo site springs up with a focus on the “amateur MySpace” look that seems to draw the most clicks.
I’ve never heard of affiliates being chased for their profits. But I have heard of the occasional C&D.
There are a couple of things I have gathered from FB advertising. First, I think most AM like to limit their workload and FB doesn’t allow it. I know because my one buddy used me as the worker and he supplied the money. Also, I think most follow those beginner guides and refuse to stray from that at all as FB is such a challenge. Going against them will mean loss in their eyes. Now, I am still fairly new but I I work my ass off so I start to pick up on things pretty quickly. Just my 0.02
[…] he’s one guy I wish I had the honor to know in real life. He’s got some great tips on Facebook Ads, as well. Read through a lot of his posts and you’ll realize why you’re failing with […]
Thanks for this AWESOME article! I will definitely have to implement this in my blog!