Five Amazing Lessons Learned from Running 100s of Facebook Campaigns Since 2014!
Over the years, I’ve had the chance to test a whole of stuff on Facebook Ads. If you read my blog you know I’ve shared tons of tips, and case studies showing the results of different tests where we put up a Q, what happens if, and then we run campaigns to see what the data has to say.
Well, I’ve run hundreds of campaigns, don’t really know the exact number because we launch a TON of campaigns all the time to scale, and test new ideas, we also lose accounts because they get banned and then we simply get rid of them, forget that they ever existed and move on – but that’s another story.
One thing for sure, FB ads like Google Ads is all about testing, and being creative. On FB understanding what makes their algo ‘tick’ is the key to success – so as a Marketer what you gotta know is that it’s a social traffic source, where engagement is key.
Engagement being key means that you need to run ads that create a buzz, that get people talking. There’s nothing more important than that in getting cheap clicks… so with that in mind here are 5 epic lessons I’ve learned from running FB Ads for the past couple of years!!!
#1 – Creatives MATTER!!!
It is no question it’s all about your creative on Facebook, the better the creative in terms of creating curiosity or a feeling with the person that sees it the better.
If you make your ads look boring, it’s not going to generate likes, comments, and shares. People will scroll past it and forget about it, which will mean high ad costs for you and barely any conversions.
In 2014 (WOAH) I’ve published an awesome post titled the Best 48 emotions to make killer banner creatives (READ IT HERE)
This is like a go-to guide for finding different images to test for your campaign to find the one that gets the best CTR.
When it comes to writing copy, it can also serve as a resource to keep your mind anchored as to what kind of copy to write.
TIP: For us, bizarre and shocking has always worked best. That’s why if you do aff marketing things like OMG SHE DIED, OMG She was sued, and other weird celeb style angles are killing it.
TIP #2: Check out gossip mag covers on Google Images to find killer headline ideas for your copy. The magazines that have been doing this know what to write and they sell mags based of their covers – the more shocking, unbelievable and bizarre the cover the more people will pick it up and buy it. In our case, it’s about CTR, more unbelievable the more people will click therefore engage with the ad.
Here are some awesome ads that are doing well right now:
What they have in common:
IMAGE: All of them show images that you don’t see everyday, they all have a bit of shock and awe to them – which creates curiosity and makes people click.
HEADLINE: It’s a fact LISTS dominate, top 11 this, most popular 13, best 12 so on so forth. People love it when they know it’s a list so there’s a start and end to it vs just going on and on and on.
TEXT aka the ANGLE: They contain words to hook the reader and the right audience.
For example, if you are running skin care, an anti aging cream the ad below says you don’t have to spend money on expensive creams – which creates an anchor in the persons mind that they must get it for FREE – so if they click and see a landing page about OPRAH looking younger because of magic cream, and it says in the end its a FREE TRIAL they are most likely to convert because the anchor was set that it shouldn’t cost money in the angle.
#2 You Should NOT Scale by Doubling, Tripple, 10x your budget
Facebook, unlike Google Adwords, is a social platform where people don’t hang out with intent in mind. They are there out of boredom, to have fun and entertain themselves.
This is why it’s very important to understand that you cannot just bump up your budget ten times and expect 10x the profits to pour in.
Most likely what will happen 9/10 when you bump your budget aggressively is that your CPA will go through the roof. You’ll blow through your spend, and not get any ROI.
The expectation for most is that if you are getting 5 conversions for $20 each and spending $100 per day. If you bump your budget to $1000, you will continue to get conversions at $20 and generate 50 new leads/sales.
FB knows who are buyers, who are just lurkers that don’t really buy anything. And your audience is fixed size.
This is why we’ve found that audiences in the 2-3 million range work best for us when we run Conversions campaigns. If you do anything less, you’ll run out of ‘buyers’ in the algo’s eyes and they will show your ads to people who never buy anything just to spend your $1000 budget.
There are two ways you can scale on FB (or any traffic source for that matter) – horizontally and vertically
Horizontally scaling means testing things like similar ads to your best performing one (try similar images, similar ad copy for example long form vs short form), different offers or new audiences. For example, if you were targeting a group of people that liked certain magazines, now you can go out and target people that belong to a certain association or club. Think where is community, that’s always a good custom audience to target.
Vertically scaling means increasing your budget, now for this, I recommend only 10-15% per day per adset not to screw the algo so it blows it and messes your CPA goals.
You can also scale by duping adsets (my favorite way) at various thresholds, then using rules to block shitty performers.
I wrote some guides in the past how to scale FB ads fast.
- Top 8 Facebook Scaling Methods to Increase Your Profits Overnight
- Optimizing & Scaling Your FB Campaigns
- Scaling Your Facebook Ad Campaigns – 4 Easy Steps
3. Custom Audiences, Lookalikes and You
When I started on Facebook, I didn’t know much about audiences and how important it is to find your ideal customer by the way of targeting. It wasn’t until I purchased a course for $150 dollars (it’s not available anymore sadly) that I had the AHA moment on what it takes to find your buyers on Facebook.
Maybe you’ve also experienced that you setup a campaign, think you got the perfect settings done and nothing converts, money gets wasted.
Well in this cheap course (yea cheap courses actually teach valuable stuff, you don’t need to pay $10,000 for one, FACT) I learned how important it is to find your most passionate audience. You do this by using audience insights, and also the recommended similar interests in the ads manager when creating the adset.
I wrote a guide explaining how to find highly passionate audiences right here, so I won’t repeat the same thing again.
But to add to that, one of the most important things we’ve found to work well is to layer audiences on top of each other.
For example, to target frequent flyers you’d layer people that liked the flight comparison sites (Kayak, Expedia, Orbitz, etc) AND liked the airlines (United, Alaska, Southwest, etc) AND are in the frequent traveler category. So, 3 things got layered using flex audiences [social media examiner explained what it is here]
We are not done yet, audiences are HUGE!
We always create custom conversions and then set the pixel to fire these ‘conversions’ on different parts of our funnel.
There’s the safe page, there is the lander, there’s the CTA button click on the lander and then there’s the offer. We segment it by placing the click events on each step of the funnel and then build custom audiences based on that. Once we have enough in our custom audiences, we then generate lookalike audiences from them to target in our tests.
Facebook’s guide on how to setup custom conversions with the pixel
There are no rules though, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t work. Be sure to always use custom audiences.
TIP: Talk to your rep, and ask them if they can drop in a list of emails of people that actually converted on your offer via TeamViewer or something, so you can get Lookalikes faster than having to run a gazillion conversions and waste money.
4. NOT Going for the Sale right away can pay off BIG!!!
One of the things I’ve learned with Facebook is unlike Google Ads where the flow is usually CLICKS AD > LANDING PAGE > CONVERSION on Facebook it can actually be cheaper to run a video ad, build a custom audience, then re-target the people who watched 75% or more of the video vs going directly to offer and hoping for the conversion.
In the world of NUTRA, it can work super well to run a lead ads campaign and give away a lead magnet, and collect emails in phase #1.
In phase #2 you can retarget everyone who opted in and/or clicked on the ad to opt-in with the actual prelander/offer combination. You also have their emails so you can create a lookalike audience to target.
In the world of eCommerce, running videos to educate your audience about what the product does, how it’s useful and or simply funny videos that entertain – and then retarget again the people that watched 75% or more of it with the ads to buy the product can work better on your budget vs simply running a BUY IT NOW website conversion ads.
The reason why on FB doing this approach works better is because people aren’t on FB to buy shit, they are there to have fun and waste their time and fix their boredom.
In the world of influencer marketing, you can write case studies and guides just like this one, and run website clicks campaign to it. Then create a custom audience using viewed the page for more than x seconds (aka people who read the whole guide). People will opt into your email list to get more useful info from you, you will grow your authority, and it will have indirect effects on growing your income. In my case, guides like this bring in new readers, they read one of the hundreds of old posts I’ve written, and in the beginning cents, then dollars trickle down from the many, many recommended products, services, CPA networks, services, etc we all need to use as affiliate marketers.
5. Facebook Will Introduce New Advertising Mediums All The Time – TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THEM!!
I was one of the first ever to use Carousel campaigns – we jumped on it when they showed up in our account, then they introduce the Landing pages for mobile ads when people clicked on an ad that allowed visitors to learn more about your product right on Facebook. Now Messenger Ads are the craze.
The point is, when a new feature hits, jump on it!! They usually mean a golden stream of ROI because there’s not much competition and people on Facebook didn’t see them yet, so they are more likely to engage with them.
Having first movers advantage allowed me to kill it in Europe using COD campaigns with Adcombo before every else jumped on the bandwagon. I shared how we did it at Affiliate World Europe in 2017 on the main stage. You can watch the video on Youtube here .
More about messenger ads… in case you don’t know these things are epic because people are more likely to engage with a message as they got used to seeing ads too much but with messenger ads the CTR and CR is way higher. You can actually create Facebook Ads that are linked to your messenger bot, and people can then engage with it. We use ManyChat and when people click the ads, they have a conversation with the bot.
This is not where it all stops though, they get added to a custom audience called subscribers and afterward, we can send out broadcasts to people for FREE. It’s like list building on Facebook, so you can send them cool things every day or ask them Questions to collect input, and make heaps of money doing so.
Hope you enjoyed reading about these awesome things I’ve learned from running FB Ads over the years and will implement them in your campaigns right away!!!
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5 thoughts on “5 Epic Lessons I learned from Running Facebook Ads since 2014!”
Awesome, awesome post! Learnt so much here! Especially the part about not going for the sale right away.
Great post Attila
Always love your articles!
Thx u for sharing 🙏
Lots of gold here, thanks for these valuable insights!
Man these are GOLD AND DIAMONDS! Thank you so much!
One question though, you usually link some other guides of yours, are those still ok or are some of them outdated?
affiliate marketing, and marketing as a whole doesn’t really change…. verticals change and what you can run changes
so a lot of my content even though its published before, still works, or can be applied today..