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Facebook Advertising – Get The Idea

Facebook Advertising – Get The Idea

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Drop shipping Success

Drop shipping Success

5 Steps to Dropshipping Success

What is Dropshipping?

Dropshipping has become both more popular and more challenging than ever.  At it’s simplest form, dropshipping is essentially creating yourself a sales position online.  You find a company that is willing to let you tie directly into their fulfilment system, and allow people to order their products directly from your website.  In exchange, you are given a fixed fee or percentage for each sale you produce for the company actually fulfilling the order.  The main challenges with dropshipping lie in the ever-increasing competition, and the low profit margins in creating sales.  You can’t beat Amazon on product offerings or fulfilment so putting up a massive online mall doesn’t cut it like it did ten years ago.  And even if you specialize it can be challenging.

Although there are some more involved strategies to finding success in dropshipping like finding your own fulfilment centers to increase profit margins, white-labelling products to increase perceived value, and creating authority for yourself and your brand in a given niche, here are some simple tactics that can make any dropshipping site more effective.

 

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Master advertising, particularly Facebook Ads

There are several advertising options available for drop-shippers but in most cases organic content and Facebook ads are going to be your most effective. The issue with both of these mediums is that event though they are a virtual requirement in the drop-shipping world today, they are also complex and constantly evolving marketing platforms that take a lot of expertise to be successful with.  Take the time to really master content creation and the FB ads platform, or hire a professional to guide you through the processes.  Then be prepared to spend some money on testing out your ideas.  Even the most effective FB ads strategies need to be tested with some actual ads to hone them into profit machines for your business.

Also, be prepared for the fact that modern online advertising platforms are more dependent on data than creativity.  The power and the profit are in the data you get in the form of behavior based analytics and contact information.  If you are not prepared to be analytical with your marketing and your marketing dollars, find someone who is.  Financial analysts, accountants, and really anyone in your life who is data-driven will be an asset to you if you are a DIY’er, but also consider investing in professional help.  The rules on these platforms change almost daily so having someone who is immersed in them AND data-driven will turn your advertising spend into advertising profits. (yes we know this sounds self-serving, and yes it’s still true)

With the right data and the right understanding of benchmarks and profitability, you can both outsmart and outwork your competition with online marketing.  You can also guarantee that you aren’t selling products at a loss. (you’d be surprised how many businesses do this without realizing it, don’t be one, know your numbers.)

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Learn from people smarter than you

Learning from others will shorten the learning curve for you and exponentially increase your chances of success in dropshipping. It will also expose you to many strategies that you can implement and improve upon for your business, that way when FB kills your current strategy, you don’t lose your whole business. Join 10 Facebook groups related to dropshipping, Facebook marketing, and content creation and get active in them.  Also, Youtube is your friend, and check out our learning center to steal a lot of the tools and strategies we use every day for our clients.

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Also, use these groups and experts to create a peer network for yourself.  Having a network of other people in your industry is as valuable as your customer list when you face challenges, need inspiration, or just need someone to vent to that understands what the heck you are talking about when your CPM goes to crap and your conversions go out the window.

Do the research and find reliable suppliers

Do yourself a favor early on and ensure that you’re working with reliable vendors that can scale to your needs and won’t create a customer service nightmare for you. This means that 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐬𝐮𝐩𝐩𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐫 𝐧𝐞𝐞𝐝𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐪𝐮𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐝𝐮𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐧 𝐚𝐝𝐝𝐢𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐝𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐦 𝐭𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝟗𝟗% 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐭𝐢𝐦𝐞…I can’t tell you how important this is.  This also means that you should constantly be looking for more reliable suppliers with new and better products and systems.  If your business is 100% reliant on one supplier, guess what happens if that supplier goes to crap, goes out of business, or becomes unable to supply your customers anymore…

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If using Ali Express, ensure that your products have at least 4.8 star reviews. Anything less and you can bet that the quality isn’t high or consistent enough to keep your customers happy. I highly recommend working with Ali Express suppliers that have been around for a minimum of 2 years or longer. Anything less and you will have reliability issues when you scale(i.e. grow your business so big it takes over Amazon, or at least grow your business big enough that supplier needs to be able to keep up).

Understand the importance of your hook and your offer

First, make sure your offer(product) is something good that people want.  You can’t successfully market a crap product that nobody wants no matter how much of a genius you are.  Then figure out who your ideal buyer is by creating your customer avatar(more on that here).  Knowing who you’re marketing to is essential. 𝐊𝐧𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐜𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐨 𝐛𝐞 𝐚𝐩𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐮𝐧𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐦𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐟𝐟𝐞𝐫𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐛𝐞𝐭𝐰𝐞𝐞𝐧 𝐚d copy that kills, and ad copy that kills your business.

If your messaging sounds like a college kid wrote it for a college kid, it won’t resonate with the target audience for your Rolex Watches.  And once you figure out that nobody wants your “Rale-ex” watches, you’ll realize you have nobody to write ads for, so you might as well just not try.

Develop exceptional customer service

If you’re drop shipping from overseas like most people are, between 30-50% of customers will email you or message you regarding some detail of their order. Things like; order tracking, returns, exchanges, poor quality and long shipping time concerns will be coming regularly, be prepared for that.

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To many people, dropshipping is synonymous with poor quality items, long shipping times, and getting ripped off.  Because of this the post-order regret and stress will frequently be higher than other types of purchases, and you need to be well prepared to calm that concern and get that customer back to the excited state they were in when they hit the order button.

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Use customer service as a way to differentiate your site and your brand from all the other dropshippers out there, and remember that no response is a response, so don’t ignore your customers(more on that here)

You also need to have a plan in place to deal with customer service issues out of your control.  They are seeing your brand and your site, the fact that someone else is doing all of the legwork doesn’t matter to your customer when they gave YOU their money.

Dropshipping is not a get rich quick miracle business model that it once was and frequently is still marketed as so think carefully before getting into this business because it needs to be run like a business, not a hobby.  But like any other business, if you are going to start, there is no better day than today, find a product or two you can sell at will, and build the rest of your business off of those products.

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Marketing Agency Update

Marketing Agency Update

Digital Marketing Agency Charleston WV | Ideation Digital 222 Capitol St Suite 422, Charleston, WV 25301, USA +1 800-538-6950 https://ideation-digital.com/

Social Media and Digital Marketing Updates

Social Media Marketing, Online Marketing, and Digital Marketing never stop evolving, here are the big changes you need to know about this week:

Digital Marketing Agency Charleston WV | Ideation Digital 222 Capitol St Suite 422, Charleston, WV 25301, USA +1 800-538-6950 https://ideation-digital.com/

Facebook marketing and advertising updates:

We’ve seen a lot of issues with group post reach, it’s very glitchy and inconsistent at the moment so keep an eye on the reach of important messages in your Facebook Groups.

BOF(Bottom of Funnel) type ads are stalling and failing to feed out consistently – could be an update, could be yet another fundamental change to the platform so keep an eye on your deeper retargeting ads.  Switch to impressions for 48 hours then play with manual bidding to test if it’s an auction issue or a platform issue.  Also look at updating your custom and retargeting audiences, many of them aren’t functioning properly after the recent category eliminations in the FB ads platform.

New “check setup button”:  This allows you to easily edit and manage ads and ad sets, and replaces some of the features that were lost in the change from power editor

Facebook Rolls out new “Brand Collabs Manager” tool to streamline influencer marketing efforts on Facebook.  As Facebook continues to try to make marketing both more transparent and easier, this tool will begin to make collaborating with influencers on your marketing efforts simpler and more effective.

Facebook rolls out “stories highlights” as a way to re-use your facebook stores content allowing you to showcase your best stories on your profile indefinitely.

Facebook adds functionality to events pages allowing the addition of a free or paid designation on the event as well as a breakdown of important schedule highlights within the event.

Facebook adds new authorization process for managers of pages with large potential reach requiring additional verification and two part authentication.

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Twitter Marketing And Advertising Updates:

Twitter introduces new API restrictions which may affect the way some of your Twitter apps are able to operate. Tweetbot announced the end of certain functionality this week in response until alternative solutions become available.  This move seems to primarily be limiting the power of outside apps and services to provide services that overlap Twitter’s own offerings

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announces that they are considering changes to the app to reduce mis-information and “echo chambers” and identify bot accounts pretending to be human users.

LinkedIN Marketing and Advertising Updates:

TechCrunch announced that LinkedIn is close to relaunching it’s LinkedIn groups platform with a range of new features focused on making that platform a great option again.

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Pinterest Marketing and Advertising Updates:

Pinterest quietly rolls out algorithm update which improves Pin recommendations and increases engagement for users

Instagram Marketing and Advertising Updates:

Instagram adds poll features to DM allowing you to privately poll friends and followers in smaller groups.

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Facebook Ads Auction Process

Facebook Ads Auction Process

Understanding the Facebook Ads Auction Process

What is the Facebook Ads Auction?

Are you one of the new advertisers on Facebook thinking all you have to do is hit ‘publish’ on your Facebook ads and off they go for approval before going live and then showing up in front of the exact audience you are trying to reach?  Are you a long-time advertiser wondering why your ads continue to get more expensive while simultaneously getting less effective?  Not understanding the auction process might be your problem, so let’s clear that up.

First, as with anything on the Facebook platform, it’s not quite as simple as you had hoped or expected.

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Every Facebook ad actually goes into an AUCTION before anyone ever sees it.  Your ads go into a bidding process, not just with other competing advertisers in your local area, but hundreds of thousands of other advertisers worldwide who are targeting the same people as you.  Facebook then uses a formula to decide which ads will be shown and to who.  Although this auction process is updated regularly and none of us know all of the intricacies in Facebook’s big fancy algorithms, the following will give you an understanding of the FB ad auction process, and how it may be affecting your ads.

𝐀𝐃𝐕𝐄𝐑𝐓𝐈𝐒𝐄𝐑 𝐁𝐈𝐃 𝐗 𝐄𝐒𝐓𝐈𝐌𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐃 𝐀𝐂𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍 𝐑𝐀𝐓𝐄𝐒 + 𝐔𝐒𝐄𝐑 𝐕𝐀𝐋𝐔𝐄 = 𝐓𝐎𝐓𝐀𝐋 𝐕𝐀𝐋𝐔𝐄

What the what???  This basic formula demonstrates how Facebook tries to balance offering value both to users and businesses, but what does it all mean?

At it’s most basic level this means that the effectiveness of your ad in the auction process is based on your bid strategy, the budget that you set, and how much Facebook likes doing business with you. Most people leave their ads on auto-bid but higher level FB marketers – especially those trying to scale or grow campaigns and ad spend will play around with manual bidding.  While manual bidding isn’t a strategy for beginners, it can be an effective way to get stalled campaigns going again that won’t spend out because you are losing at the auction process, but more on that later.

Understanding Estimated Action Rates

Every adset in an ad campaign is optimized for a different action that you’ve chosen, whether that’s clicks, engagement, purchases, or any of the other options available to you. The estimated action rate factors into account how likely the person seeing the ad is to take that action that you’ve optimized for based on their past behavior both on and off the Facebook Ad platform.

This is why, even though the audience size you have selected for an ad might be 500,000 people, if Facebook thinks only 50,000 of those people are likely to click your ad then it won’t show it to the rest .  This is also why your ad may never reach the remaining people in the audience and your ad will start to burn out way before you think it should.

Estimated action rates are calculated based on a mix of an individual user’s history of clicking/engaging/online buying, etc as well as your own historical success rate with your advertising – so if your ads historically have a low CTR (Click-Through Rate) this is where it will hurt you.  In other words, stop running crap ads on Facebook, or all your ads will be crap on Facebook.

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Understanding User Value in the Facebook Ads Auction Process

User Value assesses how much value your ad is providing to the person seeing it (and it’s for this reason you get penalized for having too much text in ad images because this makes them look spammy and like something that fell out of a local paper).  Remember, Facebook is a social media platform not an advertising platform. You wouldn’t sign up for a TV channel that’s all commercials, so stop making your Facebook page look like one.  Images and messages that look like organic posts on Facebook will almost always get you your best results, and this is part of the reason.

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User Value is where Relevance Score (which you can see on each individual ad in Ads Manager once they’ve reached 500 people) comes into play.  Relevance Score is a RELATIVE metric, measured on a scoring system from 1-10, which only measures how relevant and engaging your ad is compared to others targeting the SAME audience.

That being said, relevance score is only an indicator, and one of MANY MANY indicators of the health of your ad campaign.  I’ve seen many people kill an ad with great ROI that is getting great results because of a relevance score of 5…don’t be that person.  It’s only an indicator of how well your ad is targeted, something that can potentially help raise or lower the overall costs of your ad.

The other factor in determining User Value is Ad Quality.

This basically means that if your ad is getting a lot of negative feedback (people closing it or hiding it, reporting it as spam, clicking that they don’t like it) its value will be decreased, you will start paying more for your ads, and you will start getting worse results for your ad.  You may also be in danger of getting your ad account shut down if you have major negative feedback issues, again, don’t be that person.  Ad Quality also takes into account whether a person has historically been interested in similar ads and how they are reacting to yours in comparison.  This is one area where you want to make sure you are keeping up with the Joneses.

How the FB Ads Auction Process Actually Works

So, now that you know the formula, how does the auction process actually work?

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When a user opens up their news feed, they instantly become available for ads to be shown to them.  The auction for that user’s newsfeed begins, Facebook’s algorithm calculates the results of the formula above to account for different optimization events (i.e you might be targeting an audience with a conversion ad whereas your competitor might be targeting the same audience for engagement on their ad), the total value is calculated and then the winning ad with the highest total value is shown in that person’s newsfeed.  Taaa Daaa.

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Pretty clever how Facebook does all that (as well as deciding which posts from friends, family and other business pages to show you) in a matter of seconds, isn’t it?  Now you understand why these proprietary algorithms are both highly prized and constantly tweaked.

Now, how can you use this knowledge to your advantage? First by understanding that the quality of your ads, and the conrgruence of your message to your targeting is probably more important than you realized.  Second by understanding that Facebook rates you as the advertiser as well, so don’t run shady, annoying, or disgusting ads, and pay your bills!  And third, by using the second half of the formula above to beat advertisers who are bidding higher than you!

Ensuring your ads have high quality and relevance means that you can beat people in the auction even if they are prepared to pay more than you, which is a massive advantage if you are competing against bigger companies and brands.  Especially because large companies still focus on traditional advertising messages and ads, which aren’t seen as quality or relevant on social media platforms.

This is one of the great things about Facebook Ads; any business, no matter how large or small, can find success on the platform if you work smarter.  It just takes a bit of hard work and, yes, an investment in time and money.  Facebook ads aren’t going to make you rich overnight, but they are going to get you the most profit for your advertising spend if you educate yourself or enlist the help of a professional.

So how does Facebook decide how much you are charged for your ads?

The Total Value calculation above determines who wins the auction, but not the cost, so how is that calculated anyway?  Essentially, you are charged the minimum amount that you would have needed to bid to win the auction.

Here’s a very simplified example of this in action (not taking into account User Value or Estimated Action Rates):

Advertiser 1 bids $0.15

Advertiser 2 bids $0.75

Advertiser 3 bids $0.75

Advertiser 4nbids $5.00

In the auction, Advertiser 1 is likely to get very few impressions of their ads. 2 and 3 will get a good number of their ads shown at prices somewhere between $0.16 and $0.75. Advertiser 4 will get even more impressions – but rather than paying the full £5, they will probably come in at somewhere between the $0.16 to $1.00 range.

As a rule, this means you are charged less than you actually bid.  It also means that it’s almost pointless making very small bids like Advertiser 1 as you will end up losing auctions that you could ultimately have won for only a tiny bit more.  It also means that bidding higher than you want to pay is a very effective strategy to win the bidding process if your ads aren’t feeding out once you are comfortable enough with the Facebook advertising platform to try out manual bidding.

It also means if you aren’t prepared to spend at least $5-$10 a day on your ad campaign(at least) it will most likely underperform for a number of reasons, but particularly because you aren’t spending enough to win at the auction.  This will be especially true if you are targeting smaller or highly sought after audiences.

Now that you have a better understanding of the auction process you now understand why the quality of your ads is critical, so don’t throw garbage up on Facebook and think spending money will turn it into a diamond, and don’t place your own ads if you aren’t aware of all of Facebook’s policies and regulations.  Don’t forget your advertiser rating is an important piece of the auction process, so a few terrible ads can ruin your advertising capabilities for a long time.

Now go out and make lots of money for your business with Facebook ads and tell us all about it.

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Event Marketing Using Facebook Ads

How to Market your Live Event Using Facebook Ads

Your big event is coming up and you need people in those seats, but attendance has been dying off for years and traditional marketing just isn’t getting you results anymore, so what do you do?  You do what everyone is doing right now, because it works, you go online.  Marketing is about reaching the right people, with the right message, at the right time, and social media and search engines have made two of those three steps easier than ever, so if you are ready to take the leap, you are already in better shape than anyone still stuck in traditional media hell.

You wouldn’t be here if you didn’t already see some value in online marketing, so let’s just get right to it.

 

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Event Marketing using Facebook Ads Reality Check #1:

You Are Probably Marketing Your Event on Facebook All Wrong

Facebook marketing isn’t what it used to be, just like traditional marketing, except it’s gotten more effective.  If you are still doing what worked 3 years ago, or what someone told you worked three years ago, you will not be successful and you will insist that Facebook Ads Don’t Work.  The first thing you should do if you are trying to fill a big event is to invest in expert help or an expert education.  Now that I’ve gotten the obligatory “it’s worth investing in marketing” statement out of the way for the day, I’ll move on to things you can do on your own as you ignore me.

Event Marketing using Facebook Ads Reality Check #2

You Probably Aren’t Sending People to the Right Place when Marketing Your Event on Facebook

Cue confused look on your face, followed by an explanation.  Facebook is a platform and a search engine in its own right.  That means it prefers to keep people on its own platform, and if you are asking it to send it’s members somewhere else, that somewhere else better not suck.  Chances are, by Facebook(and probably your prospects) standards, your website, landing page, or tinder profile sucks.  I don’t say this to be insulting, I say this because in the last month we’ve analyzed 100 businesses’ online marketing and 0 of them were up to Facebook and Google standards.  And to state the obvious, if your website, landing page, or tinder profile were as good as they should be, you probably wouldn’t be here looking for help.

 

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Things you probably don’t know matter to Facebook and Google a great deal:

  1. The speed at which your page loads.  People don’t have dial-up anymore and they aren’t willing to wait for your website to load like it’s 2004 either.  Statistics show that every extra second of load time on a site can cost you 25% of your audience. That means if your website or landing page takes a measly 4 seconds to load, the same amount of time it takes you to swipe left, you’ve already lost half of your prospective attendees to your event before the site even loaded.  Want to know if your site is hurting you and your ads?  Get a competitive analysis here and that’s one of the many things we will tell you about your and your competitor’s online presence.  P.S. Google knows this too which means not only is it killing your results, it’s making your ads more expensive, and making you show up lower in search results.  Page speed kills…your business.
  2. Your privacy policies.  Even before GDPR and the great Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook was taking steps to take their member’s privacy more seriously.  Now they are as likely to shut down your ad account as they are to shut down your ads.  Make sure wherever you send people to, that your privacy policy is clearly displayed, and that if you are tracking them in other ways, you make that clear too.
  3. Your congruency.  The people you are trying to sell to care about this too, so make sure your targeting, your messaging, and your landing pages all agree about what the topic is, what the branding is, and what the action is you expect people to take.  Facebook doesn’t like confusion or trickery, or the appearance of it, so make sure your death metal concert ads are targeted at death metal enthusiasts, talk about death metal in the ad, and when they click to that website or landing page, you guessed it, you had better fry their brains with death metal as soon as they arrive.
  4. Your advertiser status.  If your account with Facebook is new, you are going to get worse results, if you don’t spend much money, you are going to get worse results, if you have been banned before or repeatedly place ads that violate Facebook policies, you are going to get worse results, and if you don’t pay your bills on time, marketing your live event using Facebook Ads is just going to suck.  Just like TV stations, newspapers, and everyone else gives preference to their best customers, Facebook is nicer to you when you give them reasons to like you.  If you have never run Facebook ads before, expect to get hazed a bit when you start out and make sure you follow the rules and pay your bills.

Want to learn more about what Facebook advertising could do for your business?  Schedule a free marketing consultation with one of our Business Development Specialists HERE

Ok, now that we’ve gotten all the small print out of the way, let’s move on to strategies to get butts in seats at your next big event using Facebook Ads

First, let’s start with the strategies to avoid when marketing your live event using Facebook Ads.

If you are going to use Facebook Ads to market your live event, unless you are a household name, selling event tickets to a cold audience is going to get you cold results.  Just because you know your $2000  event is going to change people’s lives, doesn’t mean Molly the small business owner knows that, believes you, or even cares about you enough to click on your ad.  You need to build a relationship with someone, especially your average online consumer, if you want them to trust you enough to fork over their hard earned money.

Don’t forget you need to have a marketing strategy in place(pre-event, during the event, and post).  Don’t blindly boost posts with fun pictures or ask people to share a post just hoping the extra exposure will magically pack your event.  Have a plan to reach the right people in the right way, ask them to take a clear action, have a strategy in place to capture some of their info to build your list, have a plan to leverage that list, have a plan during the event to start selling next year’s festival, have a plan after the event to sell people more merchandise, get them to join a fan group, and get them ready for early bird specials to the next program.

Don’t be that guy:  Don’t beat people over the head with advertising.  Show them the value of your event, if people show interest, follow up with testimonials, cool bonuses, and amazing images and stories, not just, “hey you didn’t sign up yet, hey you didn’t sign up yet, hey…”  They know they didn’t sign up yet, I promise, and getting them more excited about signing up will go a lot further than reprimanding them for not doing it I promise.  There is a reason cable TV never sold channels that were all commercials, none of us want to feel like we are being sold to, remember that.

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Now for the good things to do when marketing your live event with Facebook Ads

Options for warming up your event audience or starting that relationship:

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Depending on the type of event you are having, there are several options for beginning the relationship that are better than, “hi nice to meet you, I swear my event is cool so give me $1,000 k?”

FIRST, ask yourself what your main goal is.  Get clear on what your #1 revenue generator is:  ticket sales?  sponsorships?  selling from the stage?  This should direct your marketing efforts, as well as any potential giveaways, sponsors, and affiliate deals.

Use a quiz as a lead-in:  Everyone needs to know what Friends character they are, which festival goer profile they have, and how much of a superfan they really are of your death metal band.  Start getting to know them by letting them prove it.  As a bonus, if you get a bit techie with the quiz, you can have it segment people by responses and then run ads customized to first-time concert goers versus people that have been following the band for years for example.  And you should do that because if you don’t, it’s a lot like showing up for a second date and calling your date by the wrong name.  Doesn’t guarantee you won’t get a third date, but it’s not a great start.

Use a contest:  Too many promoters think they can get the word out on their own or take an “if you build it they will come” mentality.  There is too much competition, and too much noise in the marketplace for that to work anymore, you need to rally the troops.  A great way to do that is to have a contest and reward people for helping get exposure to your event, and telling all their friends how much they want to go(social proof is a valuable commodity in the modern world).  IMPORTANT:  Make sure whatever you give away relates to your event.  Don’t be that person that gives away an Xbox while trying to promote an event for AARP, just don’t.  There are several apps that can help you run an effective contest that will both help you build a re-marketing list and will also help you get “free” exposure, and more pop up every day.  Google is your friend when finding the right one.

One way to come up with a great contest prize for your live event is to ask yourself, what are your potential attendee’s goals?  Is it an amazing night out?  Make it more amazing with a VIP upgrade that gives them limo service to the event and a dinner with the host(s).  Is it status?  Give them a status upgrade with a high end branded giveaway or picture opportunities with VIP guests and presenters.  Is it a better business?  Give them an opportunity to win a program or package that will make their business amazing.  Anyway, you get the point, just stay away from the Xbox packages unless it’s an e-sports event or a Justin Bieber concert.

Another great way to get more butts in seats is to partner with a charity, especially a charity that already appeals to your target audience.  People love to support charities AND get something for themselves so they can feel extra good, so find a non-profit that already has your audience and create a win-win for them for promoting your event.  Charities also typically have access to local and sometimes high-level corporate leaders and celebrities so scratch their backs and if you are lucky they might just open up their contact list a little.

A similar method with less warm and fuzzies is to use affiliate offers.  Who else has your potential attendees attention AND a better list than you?  Reach out to them, show them your event is high quality, will benefit their followers, and doesn’t take away from their bottom line, and for a fee of course, they will vouch for you to their already pre-qualified audience.  Again, social proof for the win.

If you want to get charities and affiliates really excited, and ticket sales are not your main source of revenue, give them 100% commission on ticket sales.  They are extra attendees you wouldn’t have had otherwise, for free, and if your main revenue is generated at the event, who cares about the ticket sales?

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IMPORTANT:  Whatever you do, make sure you make it dead simple and user-friendly for others to promote and to share your live event.  Nothing is worse than getting a shout out from that celebrity you’ve been wooing for a year only to have them sharing the wrong link or not being able to figure out how to share your sign-up process because it was confusing.

Using scarcity offers and deadlines will both increase and speed up event ticket sales, just be sure to honor the cutoff date.  Nothing will make someone disavow your event faster than paying full price right before the “early bird” pricing gets re-instated.

On a similar note, consider giving early purchasers extra benefits.  Give the first 50 sign-ups VIP tickets with great benefits for free, and guess who will be raving about how excited they are to attend your event, and will continue bragging about their awesome free VIP perks throughout the event itself?

Don’t, however, make the mistake of giving away free tickets.  Free de-values your event, so always get value in exchange for value.  Upgrades and surprises good, free tickets, very bad.

Listing your event on Eventbrite without actually selling tickets on Eventbrite can get you extra exposure from good potential attendees without locking you into Eventbrite’s rules and fees.

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BONUS STRATEGIES:

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Easy ways to add money and profit to your live event:

use swag bags: make sure items are quality

Sponsors:  Offer sponsored lunches and seat drops to other businesses who want your audience’s attention

Still need to pitch sponsors for your live event?  Don’t send out anything generic, research their company and show them what’s in it for them.  Give them exclusivity and first right of refusal.  Remember to follow up.  Treat them as if they are special, they are.  Finding CEO’s of major companies on Facebook and following up there works well on follow-ups, but don’t do this as a cold outreach strategy.

Continuation Programs:  Live events are the ideal place to sell an ongoing membership. Who doesn’t want to keep feeling as amazing as they are right now at your live event?  Mentorships, fan clubs, ongoing education programs, VIP groups and memberships are all easy sells and great profit maximizers for your live event.

Want to learn more about what Facebook advertising could do for your business?  Schedule a free marketing consultation with one of our Business Development Specialists HERE

Digital Marketing Agency Charleston WV | Ideation Digital 222 Capitol St Suite 422, Charleston, WV 25301, USA +1 800-538-6950 https://ideation-digital.com/

Top 5 Reasons Your Facebook Ads Don’t Work

Top 5 Reasons Your Facebook Ads Don’t Work

Your Facebook Ads Don’t Work, Now What?

The truth about why your Facebook Ads don’t work

You know your business needs to grow, and you know everyone is on Facebook, so it has to be the best place to advertise right?  For most businesses, the answer is yes, the problem is, it isn’t as easy as you think it is.  Most of you would never even consider that you are the ideal person to create your own tv commercial, assume you know the optimal station and time to put it on, and then just step back and wait for the flood of new customers to come rushing in.  But almost every small business on the planet expects Facebook ads to operate exactly that way.

 

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I mean, you put up a picture and 10,000 people on Facebook saw it, you should have 10,000 new customers already right?  Obviously Facebook Ads just don’t work.  Of course not, so stop thinking that’s all it takes.  There is a reason people like professional copywriters, graphic designers, branding specialists, media buyers, videographers, professional photographers, digital marketers, Facebook ad specialists and search engine marketers exist, and why the good ones are paid A LOT of money.  It’s because unless you are extremely lucky, it isn’t that simple.

That being said there are a few things that will greatly increase your chances of success:

Top Facebook Ads Success Strategies

Identify your ideal customer before you start running Facebook Ads

If you don’t know exactly who you are trying to reach, and exactly what action you want them to take, then you will never reach the right person, and they will never do what you want them to.  Too many businesses take an, if you build it they will come, type of strategy, which is no strategy at all unless you are Kevin Costner, and if you are reading this, you aren’t.  Take the time to clearly identify your ideal customer or avatar, if you have no idea how you can get our free 20-minute customer avatar workshop here.

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Don’t know where to start?  Think of your ideal customer, think of everything you know about them, where they vacation, where they live, what experts they trust, what tv shows they watch.  Dig deep.  Come up with as in-depth of a profile as you can, and now you have someplace to start.  Don’t have any customers yet?  Get a competitor analysis done, or go to a website like SEMrush and type in your primary competitor and they will give you back information on who they are targeting, who they are reaching, and who they consider their top competitors.

One more hack using Facebook is to find a Facebook Page of one of your top competitors, like it, and then see who Facebook automatically recommends you also like.  This will be a list of the people your ideal audience is most likely to follow on Facebook, and a list of more companies to use for targeting and research.

Want to learn more about what Facebook advertising could do for your business?  Schedule a free marketing consultation with one of our Business Development Specialists HERE

Facebook ads don’t work if you don’t know who you are trying to reach.

Once you’ve identified your ideal customer and what action you want them to take, it’s now a lot easier to find them.  Now you can answer: Who do they trust?  Who do they read?  Who do they let advise them?  Those answers are some really great ideas for targeting your initial Facebook ads.  Trying to find people in a certain income bracket now that Facebook has removed those categories?  What kind of car does someone in that income bracket drive?  Where do they live?  Where do they vacation?  What kind of schools do their kids go to?  What kind of university did they go to?  Luckily you can now answer those questions.

If you stop using the same targeting as everyone else and get to know your ideal customer better, you’ll not only reach them more effectively, you’ll do it more cost-effectively because you won’t be competing with EVERYONE else for that generic target market.

If you don’t structure FB ad campaigns in a way that can be tested, and then tested, and then tested again…Facebook ads don’t work

Facebook Ads Testing

Stop assuming you know what will resonate with your consumer, you don’t.  Nobody does.  Michael Masterson put it well in Ready, Fire, Aim, “Business is not and must never be about what the business owner thinks is good or right.  Business is about providing value to the customer.  And that value can be determined only by the customer.”  It’s not any different for your marketing.  No matter how clever you think your writing is, or how cool your video looks, the only thing that matters is if it gets the customer to take the action you need them to take.

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Facebook ads don’t work when you assume you know things you don’t.  The most seasoned digital marketing professionals will tell you that x,y, and z strategies work most of the time, and every single one of them will also tell you about a time they didn’t do any of that and it was the most successful campaign of their career.  The good news is that the internet is the absolute best place to test any and all marketing because you actually get feedback and data about how your advertising is resonating with potential customers.

Generally speaking eye-catching, dynamic images, or very personal images(you know, the kind you expect to see on social media that look nothing like ads) will be your best friend for your ad campaigns.  But you don’t know which image(s) will catch your ideal customers attention until you start running your campaigns.  So set up a few campaigns with a few images each, and after they’ve reached 8-10,000 people(minimum), start eliminating the ones that just aren’t producing.  The same thing goes for messaging.  Don’t assume your clever slogan or kitschy sarcasm will knock people over and have them emailing you immediately.  Try out different kinds of messaging that will resonate in different ways.  And always remember that your job is to get people to feel the way they should feel after their buying experience with you.  Too many of you try to market only product features and most people buy feelings and emotions, not features and numbers.  Sell on emotion, then help people justify the purchase with features and benefits, not the other way around.

Even though we would typically tell you that video ads get the most traction on Facebook, we’ve had campaigns that have had massive success with a simple personal image that had nothing to do with the campaign or a dynamic video animation that just caught attention.  Don’t assume, leave room for incremental and easy improvements in all of your campaigns, and test.

Consult a professional Facebook Ads Strategist

Unless you understand re-targeting, pixels, custom audiences, ROAS, DPA’s, when you want 75% video views versus when you want 3-second videos, TOF, MOF, and BOF ad strategies, how to split test, and how to scale a FB ad campaign effectively, you have no business running your own ads.  A big part of the reason your Facebook ads don’t work is that you don’t know what you are doing well enough to really utilize the power of the Facebook platform.  So either take the time to learn the basics(yes those are just the basics), or consult with a professional, hire a professional to run ads for you.  Boosting posts is not an effective FB ads strategy, and the truth is, you should be really good at your business, not really good at high-level marketing strategy(unless that is your business), so invest in yourself and your business.

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Be congruent with your Facebook Advertising

This really applies to all marketing, but particularly to FB advertising.  If you want your Facebook Ads to be cost-effective and produce results, make sure your targeting, messaging, and landing page all line up.  In other words, if you choose business owners as your target audience(don’t do that it’s way too broad), then in your ad copy, say “Hey Business Owners!” and when they click on the link in your ad, it should take them somewhere that says “Business owners, are you tired of seeing your hard-earned Facebook Advertising dollars wasted on really bad targeting options like “business owners”?”  Facebook likes congruency because it knows so do human beings.

As for the human factor, realize that if you send someone from an ad that says “business owners” to a website or landing page, or messenger bot, or whatever, that says “hey fitness enthusiasts!”, even if your product is for business owners who are also fitness enthusiasts, you’ve just created confusion in the buying process.  Your job is to make it as easy as possible for someone to do exactly what you want them to do, and guess what?  Confusing them doesn’t do that at all.  Keep your messaging consistent, call out your audience clearly and consistently, and make what you want them to do clear and, you guessed it, consistent, and watch your ad costs go down, and your results go up.

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A few bonus Facebook Advertising Hacks:

If you had a video that was performing well an then died, create a custom thumbnail and replace the thumbnail of the video to get renewed attention.

Using dynamic product ads for re-targeting for more than 7 days can result in reduced relevance scores and more negative feedback.  It’s great to use specific product re-targeting, but if a visitor hasn’t responded to your ad after a week, it’s time for a new approach. This applies to other types of ads too.  If you are forcing the same exact ad into someone’s newsfeed for two months they are going to get tired of it and your campaigns are going to suffer.  Rotate advertising based on time-lapse since engagement and/or use frequency capping to ensure you aren’t annoying your potential customers.

If you have a high cost per click or just low clicks, in general, it’s usually because of your creative.  Make sure your copy speaks to and calls out your target audience, and make sure your image grabs attention, and if fixing those doesn’t work you most likely have an issue with your targeting.

Be a minimalist:  start with what you have and test.  Don’t spend money on professional video or copywriting for ads before you’ve tested images you have and simple direct messaging.

Video Vs. Image:  Video tends to get more reach on Facebook, but for direct advertising, static images get higher conversion rates in many situations.  Test all of your creative but don’t be afraid to run an ad with a single image.

Want to learn more about what Facebook advertising could do for your business?  Schedule a free marketing consultation with one of our Business Development Specialists HERE

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Facebook Ads with a small budget: How to be effective

FACEBOOK ADS WITH A SMALL BUDGET: HOW TO BE EFFECTIVE

Small Budget Facebook Campaigns:  How to Make them Work for you

Reasons you might start Facebook Ads with a small budget:

You are new to Facebook ads and want to make sure you can create results before investing a significant amount of money.

You aren’t sure Facebook ads will work for your business, or work at all for that matter.

You want to try many variations of creative, messaging, and audience targeting without spending a ton of money.

You only have a small budget and need to create additional income that you can reinvest with as little risk as possible.

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The best strategies for getting started in Facebook Ads with a smaller budget:

Use ads or posts that are already social proofed:

Start with social proofed or engaging ads:  A “social proofed” post or ad on Facebook is one that already has many likes, comments, shares and engagements.  If you turn a popular post into an ad, the “social proof” of likes, shares, comments etc. will tell the Facebook algorithm that the post is engaging and something people want to see, leading to lower advertising costs.  Don’t forget Facebook first and foremost is a content platform, so they don’t want to serve advertising that people see as annoying and give them reasons to leave their platform.  This is the same reason “organic” looking ads also tend to perform better. In most cases, a real picture, even a really bad picture, will outperform a stock photo or professionally designed ad.

People are on social media looking for information about friends and people they know, so any interesting image that looks more like a post than an ad will grab their attention faster.  The more (positive) attention your ad gets, the less expensive your ad will be, and in most cases, the more effective it will be as well.

Optimize one step at a time:

If you are optimizing your ad for an action or event, like say a purchase, or a sign-up, many times optimizing for the first step in the process will get you better results on a smaller budget.  This is because the Facebook pixel usually needs about 25 events in a week to optimize.

So if you are selling a $500 product, that costs $50 per sale in advertising costs, and you don’t have the ability to spend $1500 a week, the pixel will never complete the optimization process.  However, if a click on your ad is $2.00 and you can spend $50 per week, then you can get that first step optimized.

Then you can move the goal to landing page views, which will now be cheaper because you’ve already optimized for clicks, so Facebook knows what kind of people are at least interested enough in your product to click your ad.  Once you get 25 landing page views in a week, you can now move to optimizing for ad to carts, and so and on so forth.  This will get you optimized for your ultimate goal little by little, without demanding a significant upfront investment, and consequently, significant upfront risk.

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Don’t fall in love with Lead ads:

A lot of new advertisers on Facebook fall into the lead ads trap.  Lead ads have their place in some campaigns but have serious problems with lead quality.

Because Facebook has made it so easy for someone to sign up for a lead ad, the leads are cheap and the ads on paper seem very effective.  The problem comes when you follow up with the lead and they don’t even remember signing up for your offer because it literally took 2 seconds and was 1 of 1500 things they did online that day.

The great numbers tempt many small budget and new advertisers to throw a lot of money at this form of ad quickly, only to realize that the amazing numbers of leads they have acquired have significantly less than amazing potential to become actual customers.

Prioritize results and ROI, not analytics and vanity metrics:

Digital Marketing Agency Charleston WV | Ideation Digital 222 Capitol St Suite 422, Charleston, WV 25301, USA +1 800-538-6950 https://ideation-digital.com/Before you start any digital marketing campaign, Facebook or otherwise, you should determine the value of a customer.  The true value of a customer, not just the value of their initial purchase, but their lifetime value, likely upset purchase values etc.  If you do this first, you know how much you can spend to acquire a new customer and stay profitable, and when it comes down to it, that’s the only number that matters.

Cost per click, relevancy score, conversion rates, etc. are all great indicators, but none of them matter more than your bottom line.  I’ve seen campaigns with terrible conversion rates create tons of income for clients, and I’ve seen campaigns with great numbers in analytics never create enough income to justify the campaign cost.  Use indicators for what they are, indicators of where you can improve, and the health of your campaign, but don’t live or die by them, and even worse, don’t fall in love with them.  Also, take time to determine which ones you will use as KPI’s before you start the campaign.  Don’t fall into the trap of, “oh the conversion rate is terrible, but we are getting tons of page likes so it’s ok” even though conversions is what really mattered.  It’s easy to talk yourself into thinking you are doing the right thing when you didn’t define what the right thing is ahead of time.

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Scale Your Facebook Ads Slowly:

If you get a home-run ad campaign it’s easy to want to throw all of your money behind it and magnify the results quickly and dramatically, but unfortunately, this can literally break your campaign.  Now as with all Facebook algorithm “rules” this one is worth testing because some people find dramatically increasing their campaign spend works just fine, but for the majority of advertisers, especially the smaller budget ones, taking your budget from $5 a day to $500 a day in a week will essentially reset your campaign, and consequently your results.

Like everything else on Facebook, that’s a theory worth testing for your particular situation but maybe wait for that until you aren’t playing with a small budget.

Pay Attention to FB Ad congruency:

Another thing that will keep your ad costs lower and your ad effectiveness strong is to make sure you pay attention to congruency across the entire campaign.  If you are advertising to lawyers, and targeting lawyers, mentioning lawyers in your ad copy, and talking about lawyers on the landing page you send the prospect to will make the Facebook algorithm happy, and will keep your prospect from getting confused as they go through the different steps of your campaign.

Other things to consider to keep your ad costs low:

Use retargeting ads:  Facebook retargeting ads allow you to run a broad ad in front, and then lower budget and more effective ads to a more defined audience on the back end, bringing your average cost per ad down.

Keep your ad account in good standing:  Missing payments, violating Facebook policies, and trying to advertise products Facebook doesn’t like or in a way they don’t like are all good ways to lower your advertiser rating and increase your Facebook Ads cost.

Try out Facebook’s newest offering:  Facebook is always adding new advertising options and tools, and they usually favor the adventurous by giving very low ad costs on these new ad types.  You might get burned by an ineffective new ad style, but you also might trip into a pot of gold with something that converts at pennies on the dollar, so it’s usually worth testing out.

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