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Facebook Ads Effectiveness: The Myths, Misconceptions and Costly Mistakes

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Facebook Ads Effectiveness: The Myths, Misconceptions and Costly Mistakes

I was at a networking event for Small Business owners and the standard, “What do you do?” question came up. I said “Facebook Ads” and his response was interesting.

“Yeah I tried them, they don’t work,” he said. I asked him what he’d tried, and to sum up, he described boosting a post for people to buy his widget. The problem is that he was making the same mistake many business owners make when it comes to marketing on social media. They forget to be social.

There are a lot of amazing success stories about using Facebook as the vehicle for sales, and I’ve had many. But, unfortunately, in reality a lot of business owners waste a lot of money because all they try to do is sell, sell, sell.

COMMON COSTLY MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE

What many Small Business owners do is a type of ad called Direct Response. They make one post and expect people to just buy from it directly. It reminds me of when I was young and silly with my mates trying to pick up girls in nightclubs. Some of us had patience and genuinely were looking for someone special. We were prepared to put in the effort to get to know each other a little first. Others, basically said, “How about IT? No? Next!”.

I watched those guys churn through a lot of ladies before they found a “special” one. It also caused them a bit of pain on the way to finding the 2 o’clock specials. Plus, these ladies were never the sort of girl they were actually looking for. It’s the same with ads and clients. With direct response ads, you have to reach a lot of people to find that one buyer, and it costs a lot of money too.

No wonder people like my networking friend say that Facebook ads don’t work. There is hope though (for business owners running Facebook Ads – not my mates’ chances).

HOW TO AVOID MAKING THESE MISTAKES

-Produce some interesting content that is aimed specifically at your target market so only they want to read it. Solve their problems.

-Collect everyone who digests your articles using the Facebook pixel (we don’t need emails anymore) and continue to give them valuable or interesting content.

-Test that process with a small budget to find what is actually relevant to your audience.
Train the Facebook algorithm to know exactly what type of person is more likely to buy from you.

EVEN MORE WAYS YOU CAN SAVE MONEY ON YOUR ADS

-If the webpage you send people to takes more than 5 seconds or so to load they’ll give up and go back to Facebook. You paid for them to go there, and then they didn’t. Optimise your site, it’s generally cheap and easy to do.

-Make your website pages mobile friendly. Actually look at them yourself, don’t just trust your designer.

-Target your ads where people actually are instead of the default options. – No one looks at the right-hand column, or worse, ad blockers just remove them anyway.

What I’ve found from spending over a million dollars on ads and generating heaps of data, is that people will generally share your article but not your widget. They will comment and tag their friends if it reads like something interesting and not salesy. That’s where the real organic traffic comes from now that Facebook isn’t free anymore. Done well, it’s exciting to see your post go somewhat viral.

So if you have to pay, (because social is just a cost of doing business now), don’t waste your money. Be interesting, collect people who are coming to you, continue the conversation with them, then once you’ve aligned them with your purpose, sell.

When you have a system that returns more than it costs, that’s when you should scale up and use Facebook ads as a weapon of cash production.

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Showing 3 comments
  • Tracy Raiteri
    Reply

    Thanks Phil for the great tips. Facebook Ads are so powerful, when done right.

  • Cate Scolnik
    Reply

    Hi Phil,

    Thanks for the great article. I love the dating / marketing analogy and it’s so true! There’s also an art to getting facebook adverts right – not something we should be diving into with too little knowledge. (Unless we have money to burn). 🙂

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