Facebook Ads - Strategies for 2019 with Azriel Ratz
May 29, 2019
With the Facebook algorithm ever changing, it's easy for marketers to feel frustrated and at times defeated watching diminishing ROI's amidst increasing ad spend. What worked yesterday isn't working today, but that doesn't mean Facebook advertising isn't working! It's still the #1 social media platform amongst brands and marketers. Before you jump ship, try a fresh perspective and seek to reacquaint yourself with this constantly evolving platform.
- (01:14) It's not as scary as you think it is. You don't have to come into Facebook and spend thousands of dollars every day. It's not like, well, if I can't spend $100,000, I might as well not spending anything at all. Facebook makes it really easy to spend money. It's easy to run Facebook ads, but more difficult to successfully run Facebook ads.
It's really easy to look at what was working yesterday and get really frustrated that it's no longer working today. To keep trying the same thing over and over. Yet I've heard it said that the definition of stupid is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.
- (02:28) The last six months have seen more change on Facebook than the last six years. The structure of your ads, the targeting of your ads, the creative of your ads are totally different than what they would have been and what would have been successful six months ago.
- (03:18) The first thing that I want to do is make the easy money. The lowest hanging fruits. Normally your warm audiences work better than people who've never heard of you. I call these warm audiences the core six. It's six audiences that are the first people you should be running ads to. If you are not spending every dollar of your budget to just these six audiences, you're likely losing a ton of money.
- Your email list. You have a bunch of people on our email list. They should be seeing your ads. A lot of businesses here give pushback. They assume if someone is on their email list they are seeing their content. If you have a 40% open rate you're killing it but that would still mean that 60% of your list doesn't see anything. And then on top of that, if your click through rate is 5% and you're basically an email wizard, that means that 95% of the people that sign up to your email list never even got to your landing page. So the first thing you want to do is hit these people on Facebook because they are there, they already know you and they likely would have bought whatever it was that was in your email, but they just didn't see it.
- Website visitors. People that have been to your website before.
- People who like your Facebook. Whether you have a hundred or a hundred thousand, these people chose to like you on Facebook. They know you and they care enough about you that in theory they'd want to see more.
- Anyone that's engaged with your page. Facebook defines this as a few things. Those who have visited your page, messaged your page, those who have seen a posts from your page and engaged with a like, comment or share, and those who watched a video.
- Instagram followers. For every like, comment or share you have on your Instagram, that's also an audience you can target.
- Your Facebook friends.
- (07:13) Figure out your CPM, which is your cost per thousand impressions. Once you know how much you're paying to reach a sample within an audience, you can figure out how much it will cost to reach everyone on that list. Let's say it costs you a dollar to get in front of a thousand people and you want to get in front of 100,000 people, that would be $100. So that means that for every hundred dollars you spend, you will reach approximately everyone one time. Do the math. How much does it actually cost you and how large is your actual audience? If for example for every hundred dollars you spend you're going to reach everyone, ask yourself how often you want to reach everyone? My guess is somewhere around once in every five to seven days. So that would mean that you want to be spending in that ad set to that audience about $20 a day. And that will allow you in every five days to reach everyone about one time.
- (09:46) You can create lookalike audiences from every custom audience you have. Let's say you have 5,000 people on your email list and you want to find more people like those people. You can upload the email list and Facebook will match the email address to the Facebook profile id of that person. Then they'll have data on these 5,000 people. Now they can look at certain interests that these people have that you could never know. Facebook knows because they own the data. So you're basically telling Facebook, I want people like my people. Here's my people, find more of them.
- (11:29) If you want to create a 1% lookalike audience, this means the 1% or 2.2 million of the 220 million people in the US that look most like the custom audience you've selected. You're basically telling Facebook, find a lookalike audience of 1% the size of the country I've selected that look like my people. So you take your list of 5,000 people and they shoot at you a list of 2.2 million people they think are the most similar 1% from that entire country. But now think how that works in every other country. In Israel there are only 15 million people. So 1% of the audience is only 150,000 people. That's a much smaller audience than the 2.2 million of 220 mission in the US or Canada's 30 million people. 1% of 30 million people is only 300,000 people. For every country you're targeting, you have to remember that's how it works. This is an incredible tool because Facebook knows your people better than you. They will be way more successful at finding people that want to buy your thing then you ever will.
- (15:40) We have this rule in marketing called the rule of seven, which is that you want to talk to people approximately seven times before they'll actually buy from you. But I don't want all that to happen within 10 minutes. That's why I try to keep it between five and seven days. You should be testing different creatives so that they're not seeing exactly the same thing every single day. They should be seeing a slightly different message with a slightly different creative, with a slightly different offer. And that's going to be what allows you to know what works best. Then you know where to spend more of your money.
- (19:04) Image and video is the first is the thing that makes you stop. You're not going to read the copy until you see the image, right? So the first thing I need is a creative that gets you to stop. Now there's a lot of ways of doing this. I've heard people say make the picture black and white because it's unexpected. Or one stark pop of color. Things that are weird. Things that are unexpected. For example, an image video where the words move but the picture doesn't. Sometimes the things that are the easiest work.
- (20:40) Facebook used to have a 20% text rule stating that no more than 20% of your content in your visual could be text and they removed that. But they made it worse. They seem to have more regulations. They just don't tell you what those regulations are.
- (21:04) Facebook knows human psychology very well. They know that their users will do things because they're people not because they like to do them. As an example, if you see words on an image, you read the words, it's a thing they know. When Instagram first came out, the thing that did really well was quotes. Just images with quotes. That's what did well. And why did it do well? Because people read words on images, right? That's what Facebook knows. People read words on images. So what they did was they started asking people, "You engaged, you commented, you hovered, you watched, you shared this picture with words on it. Did you actually enjoy that experience?" What they found was that people did not enjoy that experience. That there were more enjoyable experiences on Facebook than reading a quote on your feed. But you do it because you're a human and humans are predictable and do the same things all the time. So essentially what Facebook realized is that people could create an ad that was low quality but forces, so to speak, people to engage based on how humans act. So they wanted to level the playing field. They wanted to eliminate the possibility of people using tricks to get people to engage with their content, which would lead to cheaper impressions and cheaper clicks and higher returns. So we're going to say don't put words on your images. And then people figured out how to manipulate the system with fonts and other tactics. So Facebook basically said, we're getting rid of the 20% rule. Here's our new rule. You can have texts and if it has too much text we will penalize you. Now I'll tell you, I've spent a lot of money and I don't know what hte words "penalize you" means. I've no idea. I have tested ads, the same ad to the same audience, and the only difference was one image had words on it and one didn't. And the one with words did better on every metric. It got cheaper impressions and it got cheaper clicks. And then they're like, you know, if you change it to one without words on it, it would do better. So I do and it does way worse. All that to say I don't know what "penalize you" means. I've never actually seen it, but that's what they claim happens. Now, if you have a crazy amount of text they won't approve the ad.
- (24:42) Impression wise, images and videos tend to be the cheapest, but we're not out there to get impressions. We're out there to get leads, conversions, add to carts, sales, signups, whatever. This is what we're really here to do. We're here to get a conversion. So what is going to be the best ad for a conversion? I have no idea. A professional photo versus one taken on your iPhone. Half the time the iPhone one does better. It's being willing to test that. It's a lead ad versus a a sales oriented ad or conversion driven ad or a brand awareness ad. Which one has the best ROI? Which one's the best ad?
- (26:03) You can run the same ad a dozen ways and get a dozen results. The reason is because the main change on Facebook when running an ad is which objective you choose. And there's a ton of objectives. There's brand awareness, engagement, conversion, catalog view, link clicks, website visits, it just keeps going.. So essentially if you run an ad with a video with the objective for video views and you run the exact same ad for link clicks and the exact same ad for conversions to the same audiences all at once, they will get you dramatically different results. The video one will get you super cheap views, but no clicks. The click ad would get you tons of clicks, but no views. The one with the conversions will get very little clicks but in theory, get you the most number of purchases. So what essentially is happening here is in your list of a million people, Facebook is saying, oh, you want video views? Well, here's the list of 150,000 people in your list that watch lots of videos. So we're going to do you this amazing favor and show them that ad and then, oh, you want link clicks? Forget those 100,000 people, these 300,000 people click on everything they see on Facebook. Interested in conversions? Out of the 1 million, here's the 30,000 that bought in the last seven days using a Facebook ad. We're going to show your ads to them first because they're much more likely to buy than any of these other audiences. So what actually is happening here is Facebook is pinpointing the right group within your ads and within your targeting to find the best people for the best price for that thing you're asking for. So it's segmenting within your audience, which is why a lot of times you'll see that peak and then the dip after they've exhausted the best of the best within your audience for the objective you've selected. Now they're giving it to the rest of the people and they're not so interested. So at peaks and it falls
- (29:04) You can add a call to action button on your post. You post something on Facebook or on Instagram, and then you wait one minute for it to uplaod and go into the post and you say, I want to boost this post with a call to action button that says learn more with a link. You pay $1 or even $0. You literally click the button to boost then turn off the editor and every organic post impression has a call to action button on it with a button that sends them to your link.
You can beat the algorithm if you're willing to test and see. See for yourself what works. What's working for you and your company may not be the same as what's working for me and mine. We all need to test within our own sphere. Take all of your audiences, take all of your copy, take all of your adsets and test them against each other and then increase in scale and budget the ones that are working for you and for your company. That's it.
- (34:14) Facebook has a new thing called CBO, which stands for campaign budget optimization. You take your 10 audiences and you tell Facebook, I want to spend $100 a day total in each of these ad sets. In a week three then spent $100 and the other one spent 37 cents. Now the question is, is that the best way to do this? Does Facebook always choose what's best?
- (36:41) If you have a 37% open rate, and you make $100,000 every month from your email list, you know these people buy but Facebook thinks they're not as good as a lookalike audience. So what does it mean to me? What it means to me is that I'm going to take this email list and move it out of this one ad campaign. I know that this email list is the best performing list I have and Facebook better spend my money on them because it's going to give me a good return. Facebook knows a lot of really great stuff, but you also know a lot of really great stuff. If you expect something to happen, you better test your hypothesis. Do whatever you need to do. Set a minimum ad spend, increase the bid cap.. prove it. Even if you're wrong, you should learn that too.
- (38:13) The first three days is letting Facebook do the testing. It needs to complete the learning phase. What Facebook is doing is trying to optimize for whatever objective you have. When running ads for conversions, Facebook wants to find at least 50 conversions within that single ad set. So during the first 50 it's learning and then after 50 it's learnt and should be able to optimize. That period is around a day and a half and three days. And during that period Facebook might test a whole bunch of dumb stuff, but over the course of those three days, they will figure out what's working.
You will never know what will work until you just start to try. With all of the fear of the algorithm changes and everything else, put your fear aside. Get out there and test!