My Facebook Ad FAQ should help you get the best results with Facebook ads!
- If you want an ad campaign made for you, email firstname.lastname@example.org!
If you are a Facebook ads expert, new to Facebook ads, or have a Facebook page/website you are thinking about using Facebook advertising to get traffic to, I hope this post will prove useful to you. This is a summary of the knowledge I have gathered in showing billions of ads on Facebook that I hope will make your experience with ads on Facebook a little easier than mine was. I value contributions you will make to this thread in the form of asking additional questions or suggesting additional answers. If you do either, I will continually update this to include what you have said. I hope this thread can be a place where people can quickly learn what is most important about Facebook ads from the people that know best. Here is how the thread is organized.
2) Introduction. Facebook ads are difficult and most people think they are doing a good job. Most advertisers are Facebook are unsuccessful and the few that are get all the attention.
3) Analogy to blackjack. If you take a look at how people play blackjack at the casino, the way people do Facebook ads makes a lot more sense.
4) Success and failure with Facebook ads is like multiplication. If any part of your equation is zero, what you get out of Facebook ads will also be zero.
5) Frequently asked questions about Facebook ads.
- The key to getting really low cost clicks on Facebook now is to get the users with a low value that don’t click on ads often to engage with your ads.
- You should completely ignore the CTR on Facebook ads. The only metric you need to pay attention to is Cost Per Action which could be Cost Per Like, Cost Per Click, Cost Per Engagement, Cost Per Install, or Cost Per Conversion.
- With Facebook knowing how much you are worth as a user, how likely you are to click on certain ads, and pricing based on these factors, the optimized CPM pricing now is a combination of getting all of these right.
- The key metrics you can’t see on Facebook that impact the outcome of your ads are junk clicks on mobile devices, fake/duplicate accounts, and Facebook user value.
- If you want conversions, usually desktop ads in the newsfeed as a page post that go to your website and share a story are the best bet.
- What do you risk by doing your own Facebook ads? One CEO of a company was spending 10+ hours per week doing his own ads for nearly a year. While he had worked up to getting solid results out of them, if you calculated his effective pay rate and multiplied that by the 400+ hours he spent on Facebook ads and compared it to what he would have spent if he had hired a company to help instead of doing it himself, he had lost well over ten thousand dollars by doing his own ads. What is worse is that while he did not actually lose that money, what he lost instead was time with his family, friends, and the opportunity to do work he enjoyed instead of work he hated.
A minority of advertisers have a successful combination of product, audience, and ads that are driving a consistent return. This minority tends to be visible and share their experience often. Another minority has giant groups of fans they got for free that people with money want to pay to emulate. The main reason people want to try Facebook ads is that they use Facebook socially and are convinced they can use it to either make money, grow their passion/hobby, or grow their business. While most are wrong, the few that are right tend to talk about being successful a lot more than the people that were unsuccessful talk about failing.
Given the amount of failure with Facebook ads and the amount of success I want you to have with them, this FAQ will give you the chance to avoid failure, endure failure, and find success with Facebook ads that eludes most people. Just the fact that you are reading this already gives you a better chance than most. Since ads on Facebook are so complicated, I will begin with an analogy to blackjack to help give Facebook ads a context that is easier to explain and understand. I will then follow with the questions, answers, and opportunities available with Facebook ads. After reading this, I hope you will be prepared either to succeed with Facebook ads or to skip learning Facebook ads in favor of doing something you would enjoy more.
Advertising on Facebook is Like Playing Blackjack.
I played for five hours. During that time, around twenty people came and went at the table with me. All but one lost everything they sat down with. At the same time, people consistently told me I did not know what I was doing, I was playing wrong, I was stealing their cards, and I was getting lucky. I kept making people mad when I would hit on 16 like the table said to do if the dealer had a seven or better up and then ending up with 20 or 21. I won a lot of hands by one or two over the dealer. I was just playing the tables and it drove people nuts. I also had a few losing streaks to be fair and the amount of money I had fluctuated by as much as $500 during the night. I finished by leaving with hundreds of dollars more than I came with and having put down more than ten free drinks.
Success and failure with Facebook ads is like multiplication. If any part of your equation is zero, what you get out of Facebook ads will also be zero.
- Device format (i.e. mobile, desktop)
- Purchasing power
- Ad headline
- Ad picture
- Ad body text
- Facebook page name
- Competition for ad clicks
- Landing page
- Competition for newsfeed impressions
- Facebook page cover
- Facebook page profile picture
- Facebook page about section
- Facebook page recent posts
- Facebook page likes
If you want to succeed with Facebook ads, think out of the box and beat what works to death.
Questions and Answers.
- How important is the Click Through Rate (CTR) on Facebook? You should completely ignore the CTR on Facebook ads. The only metric you need to pay attention to is Cost Per Action which could be Cost Per Like, Cost Per Click, Cost Per Engagement, Cost Per Install, or Cost Per Conversion. The CTR on your ads is not something you should pay any attention to.
- Why is the CTR irrelevant for Facebook ads now? When Facebook first allowed ads to be shown, the CTR and your competition were the main two factors that dictated how much you paid. If you could get a high CTR on a CPM campaign, you could get ridiculous results. If you had a high CTR on a CPC campaign, you could often get a lower CPC. While this is still true to a limited degree now, there are factors that complicate this equation to the point where the individual numbers in it such as CTR are irrelevant. I have seen posts all over this forum with people saying how high their CTR is only to be paying an arm and a leg for a like.
- What are the important metrics I can’t see on Facebook? Junk clicks on mobile devices, fake/duplicate accounts, and Facebook user value. One of the best moves Facebook has made in recent years is to focus their ads on mobile devices. Unlike on desktops where users are precise with the vast majority of their clicks, the amount of junk clicks on mobile devices is hard to believe. These include anything from fat finger clicks to pocket clicks to kids/friends playing with a device to drunk clicks and every other kind of undesirable click. Facebook is making a fortune on mobile clicks and if you are showing ads in the mobile newsfeed, your CTR will be hugely inflated because of these junk clicks. In addition to junk clicks, Facebook is loaded with fake or duplicate accounts. People make duplicate accounts for anything from simply having a backup profile to creeping on other people’s profiles to just wanting to be someone else. People often spend a lot of time on these backup profiles and are more likely to click ads on them because they know they won’t show up on their main profile. How valuable is a like from someone’s backup profile? You might have a better shot at getting in their newsfeed. For CTR rate, the fake profiles are the worst. It only takes a very small amount of fake profiles to push the CTR way up on all devices. Facebook will allow one user to click 50 to 100 ads before they stop showing them ads. Whatever the motive for these clicks, the larger Facebook grows, the more of a problem the fake profiles are. There are no ad targeting settings you can use to avoid fake profiles. Many times the fake profiles will click on ads and like pages just so they can see more types of ads. You can’t win the war against fake profiles and Facebook doesn’t want to either. The more clicks they can bill for on their ads, the more money they make. They purge the fake profiles at a slower rate than they get made.
- What is Facebook user value? Facebook now has enough data to place a relative price tag on every user in terms of their value in ad revenue. With optimized CPM pricing, Facebook now is billing based on a user’s relative value. This means power users like me which click on all kinds of ads, use Facebook all day, and have liked thousands of pages cost a lot to show an ad to. I have seen optimized CPM prices over $100/thousand impressions which is even higher than many TV ad spots and nearly any online display advertising spot. Combining the user value with the fake profiles clicking on ads and junk mobile clicks gives Facebook ads a huge amount of worthless high priced clicks.
- What is the importance of Facebook user value as related to CTR and Cost Per Action? With Facebook knowing how much you are worth as a user, how likely you are to click on certain ads, and pricing based on these factors, the optimized CPM pricing now is a combination of getting all of these right. If you are paying $40/oCPM with a 40% CTR, you still are probably paying way too much for whatever CPA you are trying to accomplish. The key to getting really low cost clicks on Facebook now is to get the users with a low value that don’t click on ads often to engage with your ads. This means you want to get a low optimized CPM price to show your ads and have a CTR that is high enough to multiply successfully with that optimized CPM price. Which of these would you rather have for low cost likes? 0.5% CTR on a $0.01 CPM audience or a 5% CTR on a $0.20 CPM audience? Assuming you get likes at the same rate as you get clicks on both, the ten times lower CTR will get you double the amount of likes on the audience that costs twenty times less.
- If I bid CPC or CPM (not optimized), can’t I still just have a high CTR and get good results? With Facebook knowing the user value, Facebook also now can choose which people to show CPC and unoptimizedCPM ads to with a high level of precision. Facebook is so good at this now that generally the optimized CPMprice will be the same or lower for a click than the CPC pricing. Thinking of trying to get a great deal with CPM? In rare cases this may work but most of the time, just bidding on CPM will get you zero results. If the audience is large enough, Facebook will intentionally show your ads to people Facebook knows are unlikely to click your ad. If you don’t bid high enough to show your ad to these users Facebook knows don’t engage, you won’t even get any impressions for your campaign. The days of throwing a great ad out with a low CPM bid are mostly over. In any established niche such as MLM, weight loss, money making, or marketing, forget it.
- How important is setting up conversion tracking if I want people to visit my website? Adding a conversion tracking pixel to your website is critical if you want to optimize your campaigns for making money with your website. When conversion tracking is setup, Facebook can show your ads to users it believes will convert based on your conversion data. Facebook can do this because they have so much data on users that if your conversion tracking notes a few key metrics, they can predict which other users might convert. Naturally, the most difficult part of this equation is getting the first conversion. If you want to get the first conversion, setup the tracking as a “lead” rather than just a sale. You will have more data about your leads and usually if you have data about your leads, you can work on your lead conversion process to increase sales. If you place the tracking code after a purchase, it may be difficult to get enough data to optimize for conversions.
- Some coaches have incredible conversion data screenshots showing a few dollars spent and a lot more returned. Should I believe them? I trust most people until they give me a reason not to and I certainly would never criticize someone else’s program without having been through it myself. What you should know is that selectively picking data from previous campaigns has almost no relevance to what results you will see. Weight loss is about the worst category for this in that they always are showing the people that were successful but you never see the people that failed. Think of this example except much more extreme with online advertising. I could show you screenshots of campaigns where companies made hundreds of thousands of dollars profit on their Facebook ads. What I would not be showing you is all the screenshots of people that spent thousands of dollars with Facebook and got zero dollars back. I have a lot more of those. I could show you screenshots of where my ads worked ten to twenty times better than the ads that people did on their own but what you wouldn’t see would be the fact they still made zero dollars off of the ads I made them. You can put lipstick on a pig but that does not make it pretty. If you have a sales funnel that is ineffective, a product people hate, or a business system that is not sustainable, no level of effective Facebook ads will help. Nearly any coach or mentor can have one success story if they get enough clients. If you want to find the right person to work with, you will want to make sure that the team you make working together is great. Working with a mentor or a student that can take you on a journey you enjoy and you won’t quit will give the best chance for success.
- Should I send people to my website, squeeze page, timeline, or a specific post? You should try all methods and see what is most effective to be sure you get the best results. Every approach has benefits and limitations. Squeeze pages are often great for affiliate offers because you can link directly to the offer on the squeeze page. I like LeadPages best for squeeze pages on Facebook but there are lots of great apps where you can easily make a compelling sales page for people to use. If you have a product that people will want to research and that you can retarget ads to later, sending people to your website is usually a better bet. If you are looking for engagement on your page and conversions on your website, often a story posted with a picture and a link to your website can be an effective means for driving conversions. Most of the best conversion campaigns I have seen were built this way. If you want to have long term relationships built slowly over time, sending people to your timeline can be the best to get likes and engagement on all of your posts. While people seeing one post will often engage with it, rarely will you get the one person that engages with all of them. If you send them to your timeline, around one percent of the users will go crazy and engage with all of your posts. The best way to have high organic engagement on a page is to continually push focused groups of global users to your timeline because the new people will continually boost your engagement on previous posts. If you do not have many good posts on your page, obviously a timeline strategy would not be ideal. If your website is not mobile friendly, showing ads in the newsfeed on mobile devices is a bad idea. If your squeeze page app does not work consistently, sending people to your website is a better bet. If your post shows up poorly in the right hand column or has anything on it that will get it rejected from Facebook ads, sending people to your timeline is a better bet. Note that most squeeze pages are desktop only and mobile users will automatically be sent to the timeline if you do not exclude them from seeing the ads.
- Which users should I target on what devices? If you want to reduce junk clicks, skip advertising on mobile devices. If you want to get noticed the most, make sure your ads are in the newsfeed. If you want a chance to get low cost likes, make sure you have your ads in the right hand column. If you have a squeeze page or almost any kind of page app installed, only desktop users can engage with them. If you have a mobile app, you can only promote it in the newsfeed on mobile devices. If you want likes for your page, try different formats and see which works the best. If you want web traffic, generally desktop ads are best. If you want visits to your local business and immediate calls, try newsfeed mobile ads. If you target globally, generally just doing right hand column ads is the most cost effective. If you want conversions, usually desktop ads in the newsfeed as a page post that go to your website and share a story are the best bet.
- What do I risk by doing my own Facebook ads? You risk both time and money with time being the more important in my mind. You always can get more money in life even if you need to beg on the street to get it but all the gold in the world won’t buy time. I have seen people waste precious amounts of the little time they have trying to learn Facebook ads when they could have saved all of that by hiring a company to do their ads. Even companies charging a fortune are often a better bet than dumping hundreds of hours of your own time into the ads interface only to realize you hated it. One CEO of a company was spending 10+ hours per week doing his own ads. While he had worked up to getting solid results out of them, if you calculated his effective pay rate and multiplied that by the hours he spent on Facebook ads and compared it to what he would have spent if he had hired a company to help instead of doing it himself, he had lost well over ten thousand dollars by doing his own ads. What is worse is that while he did not actually lose that money, what he lost instead was time with his family, friends, and the opportunity to do work he enjoyed.
- Why did you get over a million Facebook likes in 2013? I ran global ad campaigns for two of my company pages with faith based messages priced with optimized CPM. Most of my ad campaigns ran at $0.01 with a CTR of around 0.5%. The cost to get over a million likes was around $5,000 in ad spend. I did it to show that I could push the ad system to infinity and beyond in a way that was obvious to anyone that looked at my company pages.
- What are you most excited about for 2014? YouTube ads and extra-long promoted Facebook posts. For example, I will put as much of this as I can in one post and promote it on Facebook. The idea is that people that read the entire thing with have the highest likelihood of taking some other kind of action and it stands out from all of the short posts currently promoted.Thank you for reading this post and I value your feedback! I edited this a couple times but given it is over 6,000 words and I wrote it in a few hours, you can bet there are a few changes to be made. I will keep editing it and include your feedback, questions, and answers to make it better!