5 Tips to Profitable Facebook Ads

Facebook advertising

The hole in my backyard didn’t seem to be getting any bigger, even though I was breaking my back lifting shovelful after shovelful of dirt out it.

It was like the ground was mocking me. What I thought was going to be an easy project turned out to be much, much harder than I thought.

But then something strange happened… as I kept at it – even though I didn’t like it, and even though it was painful at times, I started getting results! The hole in my backyard got bigger and bigger. Soon I’ll be able to take the next step and build the patio. It should look great when I’m done.

Facebook marketing is a lot like that backyard hole that was mocking me. It can look like an easy project from the outside, but it can take some serious persistence to master (even if you THINK you know what you are doing).

Here are 5 tips to help you shortcut the learning curve and master facebook traffic sooner rather than later:

1. Know what your testing budget is.

When you start a new traffic source you will almost always lose money before you start making money. What this means is you have to have money to lose – at least at first. So decide what that budget is up front. That way its money you have to lose, and not money you need to pay your bills. This is kind of like gambling, but with much better odds.

A good rule of thumb is to plan on spending double a sale on each ad until you find one that is a winner. So if you have a sale worth $50 then you’ll want to budget $100 for EACH AD YOU RUN, until you find a winner.

And that leads us to our next point.

2. When you are getting 50% ROI – that’s a good thing.

How do you know if you have a winner? Most people would say that is when their ad is making more than what they are spending (having a positive ROI). And they are right.

But what most “Facebook gurus” won’t tell you is that getting to that winning ad takes time and persistence, and you have to recognize when you can turn a losing ad into a winning one. Because most ads start out as losers.

This is like being able to spot a diamond in the rough. You’ve got to know what you are looking for.

There are two rules that I follow to find these diamonds:

  1. Is the ad making at least 50% ROI? So, if I’m spending $100, am I making $50 in sales?
  2. Has the ad generated at least 3 sales? In my experience, 1 or 2 sales can be luck. But three sales is a trend and a very good one.

Once any of my ads meets these two criteria, I know I can almost always make it a winner. At this point, it is a matter of fine-tuning. Doing things like modifying the headline, testing different pictures, and making sure the landing page is congruent with the ad.

This can be a process in itself, but when that ad starts turning a profit? WOOT! Super exciting!

I always give a big grin when I start seeing 50% ROI. It means I’m almost there.

3. Write at least 10 different ads.

The rules that led to number 3 took me years to memorize (and sometimes I even still forget). If you know these two rules you won’t take the fact that at least 90% of your ads won’t work. Which is why you need to write at least 10 ads. Because it’s not personal. It’s just the way it is.

Here are the rules:

  1. You do NOT have a crystal ball. You do not know what your customer will respond to.
  2. Everything you do in marketing is a test.

With these two rules in mind, write at least 10 different ads. Make them different tones and styles. The more the better. Often I will write 30 to 50 and pick out what I think will be the best ones to test. Because I have no idea what will work until I start getting results.

4. Use the power of pictures.

In case you haven’t seen all the fish-face pictures that teens post these days, Facebook is a VERY visual medium. You must use the right kind of pictures or your ad will fall flat on its face. Here are some of the guidelines I use.

  1. Pictures must have a natural background. No white background, please. Outdoors, indoors, doesn’t matter as long as it looks like a snapshot.
  2. Faces work really well. Especially if the people look real and if they are a ¾ face. This is where you can see three-quarters of the face and the eyes are looking at the camera from the side.
  3. Fun group shots can work really well too, as long as they look like snapshots.
  4. People almost always work better than things, but not always – this one is worth testing.

5. Make your Facebook ad look like Facebook.

If you are running ads on Facebook, especially in the newsfeed, you want them to look like facebook, not an ad. So take a look at the kinds of things that people are saying. Make your ad look like a personal story. You will double or triple your clicks.

Running Facebook ads can be super profitable. It’s pretty amazing actually. But a lot of times you have to put in some work to get there. Like my patio, persistence pays off. Big time!