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Facebook Ads: Outsource or learn how to do them yourself?

Facebook Ads: Outsource or learn how to do them yourself?

When does it make sense to outsource your Facebook ads management?

A good facebook ads manager will cost around $5k a month. If someone quotes you cheaper than this they are either a churn-factory or are still learning and you’re paying for them to gain experience.

Depending on your business, $5k a month for someone to manage your ads could be the best investment you ever make or it could bleed you dry in a matter of months.

Let’s have a look at the benchmarks we use to determine whether investing in your own knowledge vs outsourcing Facebook Ads is the way to go.

1. Turnover

The first metric we look at is turnover. This isn’t the be-all-end-all however it is a good start. If you are making less than $10k a month on your online store, management fees and Facebook ad costs will be a big chunk of your revenue. Sure you need to spend money to make money, however, we’d prefer to see you spend that money on ads rather than an ads manager in the beginning.

There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, you don’t want to spend more than you have on a service that isn’t guaranteed. Facebook ads are simply a media placement tool and are certainly not a silver bullet or magic wand. Secondly, when you do outsource your ads, if you’ve learnt the basics yourself, you will be able to sniff out a bullshitter pretty quickly.

2. Gross profit margin & average order value

If your gross profit margin is too low, like a lot of startups are, you won’t have any money to reinvest back into ads. We recommend a minimum of 50% gross profit margin, with the aim to increase that as you scale. The first thing we do in our Ignitor program is to get people to work out their numbers. This is often a sobering experience and most of our students put their prices up after realising they simply have a hobby… rather than a money-making business.

3. Conversion rate

If your conversion rate is too low then it won’t matter how good your Facebook ads are. We recommend reading our blog all about working out whether you need to invest in your website or your ads but as a general rule if your website isn’t converting, running ads will just drive more people who don’t buy to your site.

 

4. Time vs money

You can pick to spend time or money as your investment for growing your store using Facebook ads. This is a super general statement but you need to have enough data to make decisions about your ads and the way you get data is by running ads, and it costs money to run ads. You can spend more money and get the data you need quicker, or you can spend less and the data will come in over a longer period of time.

5. Your risk tolerance

Do you have enough capital to invest in a few months worth of Facebook ads management PLUS the cost of the Facebook ads themselves without a return? When we work with clients we always aim for a positive return on investment. That’s our success metric. But as I’ve mentioned before, Facebook ads aren’t a magic wand or a silver bullet. As with everything in business, every investment is a calculated risk.

Ok so to answer the question of when is the right time to outsource your Facebook ads management, we recommend looking thoroughly at these elements when making this business decision.

If you’re ready to learn how to manage Facebook ads for your online store then you need to check out eComm Ignitor.

If you’d like to talk to us about getting us to manage your ads for you, click here to book a call with me.

What our most successful Facebook ad clients have in common

What our most successful Facebook ad clients have in common

There are a few key elements that our most successful Facebook Ads clients have in common. Let me share them with you so you can see how you might improve your Facebook ads results too.

1. Great product

The first is a great product. Obviously. You can’t sell crap. Although a lot of people try. Do you have a product that you would gladly offer a 100% money-back guarantee on? If the answer is no, you might want to look at why.

2. Showcase behind the shine

People are sick of seeing the shiny, perfectly curated Instagram feeds. They want to see the real, raw and sometimes rough you. Our most successful clients showcase behind the scenes, they let their customers get to know the real them. People are curious creatures. They love to see behind the shine. Show videos of you packing and sending orders, what your office looks like, your design process, etc.  Let people get to know the face behind the brand. People intuitively like to connect with other people. In fact, now more than ever, we are craving human connection. Also, humans buy from humans and they love to see the face behind the brand.

3. Engaging organic content and highly engaged audience

Our most successful customers invest resources into their organic social and customer engagement. They have a team member dedicated to community management. Paid ads are only amplified by organic social and when you combine the two it’s a powerful force.

 

4. Great conversion rate

Conversion rate is a super important factor in the success of your Facebook Ads. If you think about it… doubling your conversion rate from 1% to 2% might not seem like a big jump, but when you double your conversion rate, you’ll double your return on ad spend. Doubling your return on ad spend from 4x to 8x is a big deal. If your conversion rate is too low then it won’t matter how good your Facebook ads are. We recommend reading our blog all about working out whether you need to invest in your website or your ads but as a general rule if your website isn’t converting, running ads will just drive more people who don’t buy to your site.

5. Solid gross profit margin

A solid gross profit margin is essential to successful Facebook Ad campaigns. If your gross profit margin is too low, like a lot of startups are, you won’t have any money to reinvest back into ads. We recommend a minimum of 50% gross profit margin, with the aim to increase that as you scale. The first thing we do in our Ignitor program is to get people to work out their numbers. This is often a sobering experience and most of our students put their prices up after realising they simply have a hobby… rather than a money-making business.

Ready to up your Facebook ads game? 

If you’re ready to learn how to manage Facebook ads for your online store then you need to check out eComm Ignitor.

If you’d like to talk to us about getting us to manage your ads for you, click here to book a call with me.  

 

3 reasons why no one is buying your offer

3 reasons why no one is buying your offer

You plan, prepare and promote your offer, expecting the sales to roll in. If you get it right, they will. But if they don’t there are usually 3 reasons for this.

There is nothing worse than putting your time, effort and money into planning, preparing and promoting your offer and… crickets.

If this has happened (or is happening) to you, don’t despair, you may be able to tweak a few simple things to turn it around.

This recently happened to Elizabeth, one of our Ignitor students, recently. She had an amazing sale on but no one was buying. Together, we look at the following elements, she made a few tweaks and like magic people started buying. However it’s not magic, it’s simple marketing.

A failed promotion sucks at the time, but I encourage you to look at it through a learning lens. Work out why it failed and improve it in real-time, or learn for next time. The beautiful thing about eCommerce is that you can make changes to your website and digital marketing instantly.

Ok, so let’s look at the 3 reasons why no one is buying your promotion and what to do about it.

Number 1: You’re telling the wrong audience

You may have the best promotion in the world but if you’re telling people who don’t care, of course, they aren’t going to buy. Dig into your analytics and see where your traffic is coming from and who is viewing your promotion. Where are you promoting your sale? Is it in a large group where your offer may get lost in all the noise, or is it in a very niche carefully curated group? Is it to a bunch of people who’ve never heard about you before, or is it to people who know, like and trust you.

You may also be telling no one. If you are relying on organic marketing alone, you may be missing out on people who are hanging out for the exact promotion you’re running. Social media is becoming a pay-to-play environment and even just a small budget to the right audience can deliver great results for your promotion.

Number 2: Your offer sucks

If lots of the right people are seeing your promotion but they aren’t buying, they are literally telling you that your offer sucks. It’s a tough pill to swallow but the truth is in the market. Your customers will tell you what they want – and what they don’t want – through their purchasing behaviour.

Now, here’s the thing. It could be that your offer is one that people don’t want… or they aren’t clear on what it is. If it’s the latter then you fall into reason number 3.

Number 3: Your messaging sucks

Confusion is the enemy. If people don’t know what they are buying, they simply won’t buy it. If you have an amazing promotion you need to communicate it in a clear, concise and compelling way. Don’t leave people guessing.

Look through a learning-lens and tweak, tweak, tweak

So, if you are in the middle of a promotion that isn’t going so well, look at these 3 reasons why no one is buying from you and tweak, tweak, tweak.

If you have run a promotion that flopped in the past, look at it through a learning-lens and work out what you can do next time to improve.

Should I Invest in Facebook Ads or my Website

Should I Invest in Facebook Ads or my Website

We recently got asked this question by one of our Ignitor students and it was such a good one I wanted to share it with you.

“Should I spend money on updating my website or use that money for Facebook ads?”

Such a great question. And the answer to this question really depends on a few important factors. There is not a blanket answer.

If you want to sell more on your online store there are simply 3 ways to do this:

  1. Increase the number of people coming to your website (traffic)
  2. Increase the number of people buying from your website (conversion)
  3. Increase how much they spend at the checkout (order value)

So, should you invest in Facebook Ads or your website?

If you have lots of traffic coming to your website and no one is buying, then you need to improve the conversation rate of your website.

If you don’t have anyone coming to your site, then you really need to get some traffic to your website to see if it converts or not.

If you have traffic but aren’t getting any sales:

Ok, if you’re starting with lots of traffic and no conversion, there could be 2 issues.

  1. The wrong people coming to your site
  2. Your website needs to be improved and optimised for conversion

Have a look at your google analytics and see where your traffic is coming from. If you’re confident that you’re attracting the right people to your site but they aren’t buying, then yep, it’s time to improve your site.

A good conversion rate in eCommerce is around 3%. If yours is lower than this you can improve your conversion rate in a couple of ways:

First, let’s look at 5 behind the scenes tech checks to run on your website to make sure you’re optimised for conversion rate. If you need to increase your conversion rate start by running these 5 tech checks.

Next, you want to make sure that when people hit your site they have a great user experience. Let’s look at 5 onsite must-haves your online store needs to make sure you’re optimised for conversion rate.

If you need more people to come to your site:

Typically a good conversion rate is 3%, but if you don’t have anyone coming to your site you won’t be able to draw any conclusions on your conversion rate. If you have a really high conversion rate but hardly anyone is visiting your site, chances are your site isn’t getting the exposure it needs to grow. Your mum buying your products doesn’t count. A data set of less than 1000 unique visitors per month, you need more traffic.

What we recommend here is that you get your website as ready for traffic as possible yourself. Shopify allows you to setup your online store quickly, cheaply and you don’t need any web development skills. Don’t spend thousands of dollars building a fancy schmancy online store. Start with the minimum viable product.

Then, run traffic to your site and see if it converts.

As we always say in our program, until you test, it’s just a guess. So don’t worry about getting your site perfect, get it out to market and let your customers tell you if it’s working or not.

Remember, your website is not a tattoo

So start where you are.

If you have less than 1000 visitors per month, spend your money getting people to your site and pay attention to what the data is telling you. You can learn how to get more people to your site in our course eComm Ignitor.

If you have more than 1000% people per month and your conversion rate is less than 3%, spend your time (and possibly money) improving your conversion rate. We teach this in our eComm Ignitor program. We can do a website audit for you and highlight exactly what you need to improve.

3 must-have types of Facebook Ads

3 must-have types of Facebook Ads

Facebook ads are a powerful marketing tool and you can have great success with them… you can also flush a lot of money down the drain.

The type of ads you run are imperative to the success of your campaigns. So let’s have a look at 3 must-have types of Facebook Ads you need to run in order to have successful Facebook Ad campaigns and sell more on your online store. 

1. Introduce your product to people who don’t know you exist

Using Facebook ads to introduce your brand and your products to potential customers are the most common types of ads we see.

These are important because how can people buy from you if they don’t know you exist?

The most common mistake people make here is they go in for the kill on the very first ad people see. It’s like asking someone to marry you on the first date.

Rather, we want to introduce yourself and peak interest and curiosity enough for people to want to get to know you better.

 

2. Build trust in your brand and your products

Once people have become aware that you exist, they often need a little more information before making a decision as to whether your product is right for them or not.

This is where you showcase the features, advantages and benefits of your products so people can imagine your products in their life.

People are also starting to purchase with purpose more and more, and this trend will continue to grow. You need to highlight your brand values and communicate what you stand for so people can see if your business aligns with their values. You need to give people a reason to buy from you rather than the ocean of choices available to them.

3. Remind people to complete their purchase

So often, people will be browsing an online store and they might even add to cart then… the phone rings, the kids scream, the boss walks in… and they close their laptop or turn off their phone.

Sadly, a lot of brands are leaving so much money on the table by not running ads that simply remind people that you are there.

Not everyone thinks about your business and products as much as you do. Sometimes they just need a simple reminder.

So if you’re running Facebook ads, check to make sure that you’re running these 3 types of ads.

And here’s the secret sauce. Make sure you are running these ads to the right people. A reminder ad to someone who’s never heard of your brand before would make zero sense.

If you want to learn how to run Facebook ads for your own online store, you have to check out eComm Ignitor.

How to Prepare Your Business For the iOS 14 Update

How to Prepare Your Business For the iOS 14 Update

Because 2020 hadn’t already thrown enough at small business this year, we now have widespread panic about Apple’s iOS 14.4 release set to happen in early 2021.

So what is the big deal about this latest software release and how will it affect your business?

Let us start by saying it’s not all doom and gloom. We will certainly see changes to the way we can use data to track and target people using ad platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, but there are measures you can take to make sure your business keeps striving forward… regardless of this update.  

According to Apple

“Privacy is a fundamental human right and at the core of everything we do. That’s why with iOS 14, we’re giving you more control over the data you share and more transparency into how it’s used.”

“You can now get information on the App Store to help you understand the privacy practices of every app before you download it”

According to Facebook

“Apple has announced changes with iOS 14 that will impact how we receive and process conversion events from tools like the Facebook pixel. Businesses that advertise mobile apps, as well as those that optimise, target, and report on web conversion events from any of our business tools will be affected.

Specifically, Apple will begin to require that all apps in the App Store show a discouraging prompt to users on iOS 14 devices, in accordance with their AppTrackingTransparency framework. Apple’s policy will prohibit certain data collection and sharing unless people opt into tracking on iOS 14 devices via the prompt. As more people opt out of tracking on iOS 14 devices, ads personalisation and performance reporting will be limited for both app and web conversion events.”

“Apple’s new iOS 14 policy will have a harmful impact on many small businesses that are struggling to stay afloat and on the free internet that we all rely on more than ever.”

In English

In short, Apple has released a new privacy addition to their next update of iOS 14 which will enable users to turn off tracking for any app (i.e Facebook) they use on the phone. On one hand this may seem great for you as a personal user, but on the other hand this means as advertisers, and business owners, if people opt out of tracking we loose the ability to run personalised ads to them.

It’s important to note that users will have the option to opt out of tracking, it’s not a blanket application. 

Facebook ads are a powerful tool for eCommerce business owners and allow us to show a personalised message to people based on where they are at in the buying funnel. It’s this personalisation of the right message at the right time, to the right person that makes Facebook ads the success that they are for many eCommerce stores large and small.

If you’re not familiar with how we currently use Facebook ads to grow eCommerce stores check out:
How to use Facebook Ads to Deliver the Right Message to the Right People

The 5 Pillars of Successful Facebook Ads

The Effects

Turning off this ability will certainly change the way we run Facebook ads in the future.

Not only will we not be able to track when someone makes a purchase after seeing an ad, we also won’t be able to show ads to someone who has viewed a product or added it to their cart. The dynamic ads showcasing the exact product they were looking at, or had in their cart, have always generated the highest returns for Facebook ad campaigns.

Facebook is adapting as fast as possible to the changes – as you can imagine this will affect their bottom line – A LOT!

One change is your pixel may only optimise for a maximum of 8 conversion events for each domain.

Conversion events include things like ‘PageView’, ‘ViewContent’, ‘AddToCart’, ‘InitiateCheckout’ and ‘Purchase’.

Facebook will initially configure the conversion events they believe are the most relevant to your business based on your activity, making all other events inactive for campaign optimisation and reporting.

You will then be able to manage your preferences in Events Manager. When you create your ad set you’ll choose only one of the 8 designated conversion events to optimize for (same as normal). Any existing Ad sets that were optimising for a pixel conversion event that is no longer active, will be paused so you will need to update these.

If you’re in eCommerce I believe the 5 events listed above are all you need so I wouldn’t stress too much about this change. The only reason you would need to narrow down to 8 is if you are using lots of custom events such as ‘PurchasedTop’, ‘PurchasedBottom’ etc.

Outside of the iOS update for apps other measures have already been put in place including ITP (Intelligent Tracking Prevention) for Safari, Apple’s internet browser closely followed by ETP (Enhanced Tracking Prevention) by Firefox.

Some of the effects from the browsers include limiting Cookie Data to a 7 day lifespan. This means:

  • You won’t be able to track conversions attributed to your ads that happen outside of a 7 day window. This means 28-day click-through, 28-day view-through, and 7-day view-through attribution windows will not be supported. You will need to prepare to transition to the new 7-day click-through attribution.
  • Re-targeting audiences such as Viewed Content, Added To Cart, Initiated Checkout or Purchased will be limited to the last 7 days (currently up to 180 days). This will change the whole re-targeting game.
  • If you’re running Lookalike audiences built from the above custom audiences your seed audience will be reduced to the last 7 days, greatly reducing your audience size and ability to create a lookalike as you need to have a minimum 100 people in the same country in your seed audience. So if you don’t have 100 purchases in 7 days you won’t be able to create a Lookalike audience from that event.

What Can You Do?

So other that hide under the Christmas tree with your eggnog, what can you do?

  • Narrow down to using only 8 Facebook events or less.
  • Remember the principles of marketing and advertising haven’t changed (and they never will).  
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Facebook ads in their current state are amazing, but as things change make sure you have other ways to re-target your customers. Start collecting emails from your website visitors so you can interact with them via email once they leave your site. Consider running a competition to entice them like they do at https://picnicseason.com/, the old 10% off your first order is not enticing these days as it’s everywhere.
  • Sync your email lists with Facebook. As you’ll want to be able to target old customers, or exclude recent purchases and likely want more than 7 days data it’s a good idea to sync your email lists with your custom audiences so you can use these audiences to target and exclude. We recommend Klaviyo which makes this super simple.
  • Get super clear on your customer avatar. This is particularly important if you have been relying on Lookalike audiences and Broad audience targeting. Narrow down your avatar’s interests so you can start targeting people that way.
  • Verify your domain with Facebook. We’ve started seeing issues in creating ads for our clients recently and our Facebook rep has suggested all accounts verify their domain to ensure there are no further issues with pixel integration etc. There are 3 ways to do this. 

It’s not all doom and gloom – the fact that Privacy is becoming a top priority for large digital corporations is a good thing overall, just inconvenient for those of us who use the data to place ads! Facebook is trialling a new tool already which we are setting up for some of our clients which will replace the pixel all together. As updates continue to happen we can be sure Facebook will continue to evolve to the current climate – after all their ad revenue is their business model and they’re not going down without a fight! 

For now stay calm, take the steps mentioned above and keep an eye on out for our email with any further updates.

Here’s to an amazing 2021 for your business!

 

Written by Karyn Parkinson

Karyn AKA Karyn with a Y is an eCommerce marketing specialist specialising in Facebook ad funnels and website optimisation.

When she's not behind the computer you'll find her at the beach with her fur babies or on the roller derby track as Pink Fury!