facebook ads are easier than they seem
Facebook ads have been around for a while, but many photographers haven't taken the leap to run them yet. There are some key pieces to running a Facebook ad, but once you start playing around with them, you can see pretty great results for pennies on the dollar.
Jessica has been studying, testing and teaching Facebook ad strategies and now she's ready to share her key tips with you. She breaks down the key steps in an easy to follow method.
Jessica is from North Carolina and her first business was actually a photography business. She realized after getting a corporate job, she wanted to be at home when she had her first son. After a few years of doing web design for clients, Jessica started focusing just on teaching strategy, technology and video. Her husband is farmer and he loves raising their animals on their land with Jessica and their sons.
Background of FB Ads
Jessica has been using Facebook Ads for a little while, but she really began to study them in the last year. A lot of the details come down to what Facebook wants to do. The biggest recent change is that Facebook did away with the Power Editor platform and only use the Ads Manager to create the ads. They also allow you to target people who have watched your video, and they are cracking down on spammy accounts. This has affected some small businesses, but you can get your account back if they lock you down.
As a photographer, you can highly expand your reach by using Facebook ads instead of just word of mouth. The cost can be so minimal but the outcome will be so beneficial to you. There are very few industries that Facebook Ads won’t work for (like her husband’s farm). You can reach more of your past brides’ friends or acquaintances than she’ll tell by word of mouth.
“Boosting” your ad is something you should never do. With a regular Facebook Ad, you get to tell Facebook who it is that you want to target and what you want them to do. You pick the audience, and Facebook will go even further by choosing people from your target audience who are more likely to take action. They want you to spend your money with them so they want to help you succeed. With boosting an ad, you cannot pick what you want the people to do nor can you pick your audience. If you spend $5 on a boosted post, parts of the money will go to all the different areas - liking your page, signing up for your list, etc.
The process should always start with determining who you are targeting. Photographers can’t sell to someone who doesn’t know who they are. Do you know the difference between a cold audience and a warm audience? Cold audiences are people who have no idea who you are and what you do. Warm audiences are those who do know you and who have also interacted with you in the past. If you’re wanting to target new people, your ad needs to be one where they can get to know you - not buy from you. You can also send them to your website to see your past work or a freebie you want them to sign-up to get. For your warm audience you can totally target them to get them to hire you again or to refer you to someone else. They’ve already worked with you, so they’ll be ready to have your babies again (go listen to the episode!). Your past clients might not realize what else you offer, like newborn (or anniversary) sessions so you’ve got to tell them. You can spend $5 a day staying top-of-mind for your past brides. Most people forget that just staying visible is just as important as conversions.
The $5 benefit
You get to pick what you want to do with your ad. Starting with a video ad, you can get good views for pennies. So with $5/day for 5 days you can get amazing view counts, which then you can retarget those now warm leads with conversion ads. For webinars and freebies, $1-3 will get you some conversions. How good your ad is and the audience you’ve selected does play a role as well. Start with a video ad, get your views up, and then re-target your viewers. People love watching the how-to or behind-the-scenes videos. Once they know you, they’ll become warm leads. The power is in the retargeting. If you’re running Facebook ads and not re-targeting your audience, you’re missing out.
The pixie dust sprinkled onto your website by Facebook. It is literally a dot of data on your website. There is only one pixel for your account that you need to use. Once you put this pixel on your website, it tracks everything everyone does on your website - if they view your contact page, but didn’t contact you or if they’ve only looked at your portfolio. The pixel is huge for retargeting, because you can retarget anyone for doing anything on your site. If you have multiple Facebook pages, you can still manage your ads from the one account. You can also put your pixel everywhere you might want to track them. It will be the same for your website or your checkout page. You can also upload your email list, and Facebook will do their best to match your list with their database.
Come up with a plan - Determine your audience and what you you’re going to do with them. Create a timeline or flowchart for your ads. Cold > Warm > Freebie/Hire (Again, don’t run a “buy me now” to anyone unless they are a very warm audience). If you don’t have freebies, you can send them to a blog post or your portfolio.
Set up you pixel today - Even if you’re not setting up an ad today, you can start gathering data from your website today.
Learn the Ads Manager - If you have the chance to take a course or watch videos, then play around with a few ads. Start testing cold audiences, images, headlines, copy, videos, etc. If you’ve got $15 extra to spend this month, start testing them.
Don’t get penalized
You can change your budget and timeline throughout the ad run, but don’t change the copy or the image while the ad is still being run. Turn it off and then duplicate the ad, make the change to the creative piece, then hit publish. If an ad is working, don’t increase your budget more than 25% at a time and adjust every 48 hours or so. This allows you stay competitive in your range, and you won’t get penalized by Facebook.
Most people online won’t come out and say what makes a great conversion. But Jessica thinks if you’re spending more than $.3 per video view, that is not doing well and neither is $3 per email lead. If you are getting clicks, but not conversions, it could be something to do with your landing page - make sure the only thing they can do on that page is what you want them to do. Don’t let them get distracted by other things on your “menu”. With cold audiences, you really need to keep an eye on the original views and clicks to see if the ad itself is working. Jessica recommends never over $1 for website click, and preferably staying under the $.20-.60 range.
Don’t get too hung up on the copy of the ad - the more expensive the thing you’re offering, the longer your copy should be. If you’re doing an intro video, or a freebie, the copy should be short to medium length. When you’re ready for them to buy from you, make your copy a little bit longer. If you’ve got the budget, you can even run the exact same ad to the exact same audience with either different headlines, copy, or image and make notes for the next time. It is a lot of testing, but it is well worth it. Learn what works for $200 so when you’re ready to spend $10k, you won’t be wasting your money.
Another thing to note is that unless you're running an ad to the people who like your page, it doesn't matter how many 'likes' you have on your page when you run the ad. Also, Jessica strongly suggests never running an ad just for post or page likes. By running an ad, you'll inevitably receive more 'likes'.