July 9, 2018

Contrarian Facebook ads insights

Do you run Facebook ads? Or have you thought about it?

I run enough Facebook ads to give you an unusual perspective on them.

Most Facebook ads fail, no matter how good you think they are. If you get emotionally attached to the performance of your ads (a VERY real thing when you’re the business owner), you shouldn’t manage your own ads.

Click prices have quietly become very expensive when targeting cold audiences (i.e. people who don’t already know you).

Warm traffic (e.g. remarketing audiences or customer lists) can still be very profitable. The challenge is to warm up sufficient cold traffic to make the numbers work.

Power words such as ‘simple’, ‘secrets’, ‘free’ etc work well on Google, but not on Facebook. Traditional direct response copy tends to fail.

I don’t know about you, but most of the ads in my newsfeed are ‘make money online’ ads. Some chump standing in front of a helicopter telling me how broke he was, until he ‘discovered’ some simple five step formula…

I don’t see many ads that really speak to my interests. I like running. I like motorbikes. I like a drink – within sensible limits. I like to walk. I like to read, when Hugo permits it. I like a good espresso – also within sensible limits. Where are the ads about these things? If you serve an interests-based niche there is definitely an opportunity here.

Most advertisers seem to favour short ads that maximise curiosity and quickly ask for an email address. My experience running this type of ad is they only work for a few days, then cost per conversion skyrockets. It’s rare you’ll get any meaningful interaction on the ad.

Additionally, the people who opt-in to a short ad like this tend not to stick around. Usually they opt-in on a whim using a secondary email address, without any real commitment.

I used to think the spike in conversion cost was related to small audience size or narrow placement selection, but now I think it’s more to do with ad copy.

I’ve harboured a suspicion for a long time that the most effective Facebook ads – at least to cold audiences – should contain a story. On Saturday I watched a webinar about long-copy Facebook ads which verified this.

You can still catch the replay here (the webinar itself is the second video). You only need to watch the first 80 minutes or so – after that it’s pitch and QnA. But if you run Facebook ads this is definitely something you’ll want to watch.

Tip: if you select the settings icon in the bottom right of the video, you can increase the playback speed.

Rob Drummond

Rob Drummond runs the Maze Marketing Podcast and Maze Mastery. Rob specialises in content production, ad creation, storytelling and CRM systems. He has two published books, Magnetic Expertise and Simple Story Selling, affordable on Amazon.