My first Facebook Ads

I just posted my first Facebook Ads! Wooohoooo! So exciting, and yes, also so nerve wracking!

How will my Ad perform? Will people like it? Will it give me the results I’m after?

This has been in the works for ages…

I was nervous I would be throwing money down the drain. So often I hear people say they tried Facebook Ads and it didn’t work for them.

I didn’t want to become one of those people, so I did some proper research and reading before I put my first Ad out there.

Preparation

  1. I read tons of articles and blog posts about Facebook Ads: how to target the right people, how much money to spend, what strategy to use, what the differences are between a Campaign, Ad Set and Ad etc.
  2. I joined multiple free challenges that Facebook Ads experts were organizing. Every little tip and bit of feedback I could get, I took it in!

My goals

I have a free training on launching your own self-hosted WordPress website in 7 days. The people that have taken it already love it, and I would love to get more people to sign up for it. For my business it’s a really good freebie as well: people get to know my teaching style, they will feel they can actually do techy things if they follow my instructions 🙂 It’s also really helpful for me because it has affiliate links included in it. If people sign up for webhosting and the Divi Theme through my links, I may receive some affiliate money as a ‘thank you’ from those companies. The people taking my free course are not paying me a dime, yet I can make some money. Nice!

Now I’m thinking that this money could then also in return pay for the Facebook Ads I’d be running towards the freebie.

But, first things first.

Pure content

I won 3 months free access to The Funnel Playground (yeey!)  in which we work on our sales funnels and Facebook Ads, and one of the suggestions there was to lead with pure content first. People are more likely to opt-in to your freebie if they already know you.
People are more likely to opt-in to your freebie if they already know you.

I needed to find something that would come ‘before’ the signup to my free course. I decided to create a video that talks about the content of a website: what is absolutely necessary and what can wait till later?

Why video?

Facebook is competing with YouTube when it comes to video. Because of this, video ads are relatively cheap, yeeey!

Videos of course also give the people watching it a good idea of who you are, and how you teach. A great way for them to get to know me!

After a good number of people have seen the video, I can retarget the people that have watched at least 25% of the video. The fact that people watched that much of the video is a good indicator of their interest in the topic and me as a teacher.

I will run a second ad to show a second video to these people.

Audience: who to target?

Targeting your ads to the right audience is crucial for running a successful Ads campaign!

Luckily Facebook is great at helping us find our target audience. You can have a look at Audience Insights for example.

Custom audiences to start with

When you’re starting out with Facebook Ads, or even if you’re only just thinking about ‘maybe someday’ running Facebook Ads, it’s a good idea to create some custom audiences right now. It won’t cost you anything but a little bit of time.

Some custom audiences I started with:

1. Website Traffic to my whole website, for the past 180 days
2. People who engage with my Facebook Page (tip: show your services on your Facebook page)
3. I uploaded a list of people that previously subscribed to my free website course.

You can later use these to specifically target these people themselves with your ads, or people that are similar to them.

Lookalike audiences

Once you have 100 people in a specific audience on Facebook, you can create a so-called lookalike audience out of it. Facebook will look at the attributes of the people in your audience and creates a new one full of people that are similar to the ones in your own audience. It follows that these people are probably also interested in you, your website, your freebie, your products etc.

For me it would be so helpful to create a lookalike audience of people that already subscribed to my freebie. I currently have around 120 people that are subscribed to it and I uploaded that list of people to Facebook. Well over a 100, so this would be perfect for a lookalike audience. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t recognise everyone, some people may not be on Facebook etc. So I ended up with 90 people in this custom audience, which is not yet enough to create a lookalike audience from. As soon as I have more people subscribed to the freebie, I will update the list and hopefully I’ll get to 100 soon. For now I had to come up with a new strategy!

The one lookalike audience I could use already, was the one created from my website views. This resulted in an audience of 2.5 million, which is too many people to target. So I had to niche it down.

Further targeting

My audience seemed to exist mostly of women, aged 25-54. I also focused on English speaking people, since my freebie is created in that language. My lookalike audience includes people from the United States, Canada and Australia.

I love working with people that have an academic degree, are interested in social justice, and are starting out as entrepreneurs. When I used all of these to narrow down my audience further, I got to around 14.000 people. That would be ok to start with!

Placement

I chose to only show my ads in the Facebook news feed, both on desktop and mobile, and not on Instagram. This lowered my audience to only 2600… uh-oh…

So, back to the drawing table when it came to my audience!

The audiences I decided to target

I played around with the different options, and chose to run my ad to 2 different audiences:

  • lookalike, women, 25-54, English language, interested in Human Rights Campaign.
    “The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality.” (Source)
  • lookalike, women, 25-54, English language, interested in Female Entrepreneur Association.

For now, I’m not actively targeting people that 1) have an academic degree, and 2) are interested in being an entrepreneur, and 3) are interested in social justice. The audience would simply be too small. Currently, I’m not targeting the academic background at all, just the entrepreneurship interest and the social justice interest, separately. This could result in my Ad being shown to people that are interested in being an entrepreneur but not in social justice, or to people that are interested in social justice but that have no interest in being an entrepreneur.

In the text that goes with my Ad I already speak about creating a website, so that pre-qualifies people even before they watch the video. Then in the video itself I pre-qualify people further by asking a number of questions right at the start. Questions along the lines of: do you have an academic degree? Are you interested in being an entrepreneur? And do you want to make a difference in this world, inside or outside of your business? This way I can still target specific people, because people that don’t qualify will probably stop watching the video as soon as they feel they don’t ‘qualify’. This is my theory at least, we’ll see how it goes!

Results

The ads haven’t been running for long yet (not even 24 hours yet) so I can’t really speak to their success just yet. At the moment I’m getting €0.03 and €0.04 video views that are 3 seconds or longer. I feel that’s pretty good!