Learn facebook ads

Facebook Ads – 7 Things You’re Doing Wrong

It's no secret that Facebook constantly changes the rules not so much moving the goalposts but hiding them away, running Facebook Ads can get frustrating at times.

It used to be an awesome place to do business.

Who can forget a few years ago when it was possible to launch a campaign and get a quick 4,000% ROI.

When 1 cent clicks were more common than a troll on a 4Chan thread.

The glory days when you could create a post and have 60% of your fans see it. Ahhhhh happy memories.

Unfortunately, it was never going to last.

Facebook became a victim of its own success.

In short, it ran out of inventory and it had to restrict how many people saw your posts.

So Facebook limited the reach, increased prices, and leveled the playing field by adding relevancy scores.

In the words of Florence And The Machine, the dog days were over.

Many people like myself who can remember how good it was in the past really took exception to Facebook for the changes.

We had real downers on them.

I hated how the cost of ads skyrocketed and their customer service frankly sucked.

To top it all off, the reach that posts got was atrocious.

Facebook Ads Are Getting Better…

I was running ads a while back and it was costing me $1.67 per engagement. Not good!

As I was just promoting a few posts and not selling anything that was ridiculous and certainly not worth my while continuing.

That prompted me to dive deep into the bowels of Facebook and figure out what was working and what wasn't.

I looked at lots of factors and tried a few things. The key was forgetting everything I had read and just try everything for myself

I soon realised that Facebook ads aren't necessarily expensive.

I was just running the wrong type of ads.

Imagine my surprise, when over a few weeks I was  getting ads that had cost me between 1c and 3c. The 3c ad is running to exactly the same audience as the $1.67.

Facebook Ads



My reach had grown to levels I'd not seen for years. i.e from around 5 views per post to hundreds of views per post.

Then to top it all off, I noticed that my relevancy score was 9. I've never managed to get over 6 in the past.

Facebook ads screenshot

Hype Vs. Reality

Now before you rush off and call BS on this – because you've been told you can't get results like that by some PseudoGuruWannabe, or everything you've read about cheap clicks has proved to be bs – almost every step of the processes were discussed and theorized about openly in The Minimalist Marketing Facebook group. So this isn't like some of the things you see where miraculous results suddenly appear from nowhere.

This was all from “I wonder what would happen if…” or  “I am going to try an experiment” type conversations.

The Holy Trinity Of Facebook Ads

By simply looking at what was working on Facebook and complying with what they wanted, I was able to get the “Holy Trinity.”

  • 1. Cheap Clicks
  • 2. High Reach
  • 3. High Relevancy

It's like meeting an old friend who you stopped meeting up with because they used to have anger issues and realizing that they have changed.

You start to realize that all the great things that made you like them to start with are still there.

But it slowly dawns on you that the reason they were angry was because of you.

Facebook is that old friend.

And I made it angry. It's me that has changed.

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Shot Down In Flames

I have to admit though as good as I thought my results were when I shared them in the Facebook group, I was shot down in flames.

My sometimes business partner, Tim Goodwin, posted a screenshot of his recent ads. Every one of them had a “Perfect 10” relevancy score. It made my 9s look mediocre.

So we jumped on a call and compared notes.

It transpired that we were both doing things that we have never seen taught in any Facebook course. I am pretty sure that this is cutting edge stuff so for once, we are ahead of the queue.

As marketers, we are all used to seeing massive returns from Facebook ads shown in sales letters. Unfortunately, they usually come with equally large advertising budgets.

Reality check: If you are spending $500 a day, it's much easier to get lower cost ads.

Honestly, have you seen many $5/day ad campaigns that return upwards of 750% ROI and get cheap clicks?


Not until now at least!

You see, because myself and Tim (I know it should be Tim and I!), hate to spend money on speculative ads we generally start off with a simple $5/day budget (£5 in Tim's case).

That 750% ROI is what Tim got with his £5 ads, grrrrrrr… that makes my 300% look mediocre again.

These are the very same campaigns that get a relevancy score of 10 for Tim and 9 for me.

Simple $5 ads, in Tim's case, he actually uses recycled content to get those results so he isn't spending hours crafting content. Just a simple copy and paste and an image.

Simple marketing, done right, but with a bit of spice and seasoning.

7  Steps  To Make Facebook Work For You

Facebook Marketing isn't difficult if you take a few precautions.

Would you voluntarily walk across a minefield with a blindfold on?

I am assuming that the answer is a wholehearted no.

Then why the hell do most people insist on doing something similar with Facebook ads?

When I do consults and calls with clients, quite often I find they are losing money with Facebook ads.

On occasion, I've had clients who have spent over $500 without making a sale.

The fact of the matter is, if you spend more than $20 without making a sale or getting a lead (in most circumstances), then you should seriously consider stopping your campaign and finding the problem.

Having said that, I recommend that unless you are running an e-commerce business, you should always try to convert your traffic into subscribers before anything else.

In this post, I want to look at some of the things you must do so that you can ensure that you generate a profit from Facebook ads.

1. Start Low and Test

Start your advertising at $5 -$10 a day to start with. Look to see that the audience is responsive to your ad and click on it. When you find an audience that is receptive, save that audience! You can start future campaigns at a higher level. Always start lower than the amount that you finally want to scale to.

2. Know What You Want From The Campaign

Each campaign should only have one desired outcome: Generate a lead or make a sale. Don’t compromise, you are paying a premium for this traffic. Know what you want to achieve before you start. Saying things like, “I want to drive traffic to my blog,” isn't specific enough. Firmly define your objectives.

3. Scale Slowly

You should only increase your budget by 10 – 20% and leave it there at least 24 hours before further changes.

4. Gather As Much Data as Possible

Having a Facebook pixel and relying on that for your only data is foolhardy. At a minimum you should have Google Analytics hooked up and SumoMe’s Content Analytics and Heatmap tracking. (It’s free, so no excuses!).

Google Analytics will tell you how traffic is behaving when it comes to your site. If mobile traffic is performing like a sloth on Ritalin, then you need to know so you can exclude it from your campaign. (It probably will be in many cases!).

I've lost count of the number of times that mobile traffic has performed way below desktop traffic but Facebook still insists on sending 80% mobile traffic.

SumoMe will tell you what traffic is clicking on once it lands on your site and how much of the article they are reading. Don’t underestimate how important this is.

For example, if you’ve lost 80% of your traffic a third of the way into your article, you’ve got a problem that you need to fix before you send any more traffic.

I know I keep on saying this but without the right data giving you the right information, you might as well just Paypal your money directly to Mark Zuckerberg.

5. Know Your Limits

How much are you prepared to spend to get a lead?

How much can you spend on ads and still make a profit from a sale?

It’s likely that you don’t know these figures if you are starting a campaign so you need to make an educated guess.

Even a guessed at figure is better than none.

If your current list earns you on average $1.40 per month per person and your retention rate is 5 months, then you probably don’t want to spend more than $3 per lead.

I have products that I know convert at $3.80 per click. In that case, I want to get traffic there at $1.90 or less. If it’s costing me $2.50 a click I am out of there.. sayonara.

6. Be Ruthless

I have probably closed down a lot of campaigns too early, when maybe a bit more tweaking could have turned them into winners.

However, the flip side of that is that I’ve rarely looked at a campaign and thought I wished I'd stopped that earlier.

Probably 70% of the campaigns I run aren’t successful however the 30% that are more than make up for the failures.

Only this morning I stopped a campaign that I’d  been running for the past 4 weeks that was getting leads at $1.40-$1.50 each. Over the past few days that had grown to $2.00. Time to stop and start a new campaign.

7. Monitor Everything

If you are running a campaign you need to ensure that you monitor it every day. Sometimes it’s tempting to let a campaign run when you are away because it’s doing well.

Don’t give in to that temptation!

I check my ads at least 3 times a day to ensure everything is as it should be. If I am away for a day or two, I seriously consider pausing the campaign.
I have known campaigns where the cost per lead or per sale have doubled overnight, it’s your money, protect it.

How To Fix Facebook Ad Campaigns

Let's start with a simple fact:


Not every campaign will be successful.

However, the nature of buying paid traffic is that it’s relatively easy to spot why a campaign is unsuccessful.

If you know the cause, you know how to fix it.

So here we go with a brief guide to fixing troublesome ad campaigns.

It doesn’t matter the source of your traffic, these fixes are universal.

Problem 1: Your Ad Isn’t Getting Any Impressions

Fix: Look at your budget, it may be too small or you may be bidding too low. Increase your bid.

If there are still no impressions, look at your audience and try to increase it.

Finally increase your budget if you can.

Problem 2: You Aren't Getting Clicks On Your Ad

Fix: Your ad probably sucks. Luckily, there are only 2 possible causes:

  • a bad image
  • poor ad copy

Change these to make them resonate with your audience.

Problem 3: You Aren’t Getting Conversions On Your Landing Page

Fix: Is the landing page congruent with the ad? i.e does the landing page fulfill the promise in the ad? Does the landing page look like the ad?

Change the landing page or ad to make them congruent. Your landing page may not be compelling, change it to entice your audience.

If that doesn't solve the problem, look at the audience you're targeting. Are they the right audience for the ad?

Check your offer… is it good enough and does it provide your target audience with what they need?


Next time your ad campaign stalls, go through the points above and identify your issue and try to fix it.

The fix is more than likely something simple and you can turn around that losing campaign in a short time.

Don't Be That Person!

If you want to make money from Facebook ads you have to be smart.

Facebook doesn't care if your ads are converting or not, they know there are enough people that will just set an ad up and leave it.

Don't be that person.

All it takes is a little work and a bit of data to ensure that you don't waste money on your ads.

Not all your Facebook ads will be winners, far from it. Just like gambling in a casino, the secret is to lose small and win big.

By knowing what you want to achieve from your ads and focusing on optimizing them as best you can, you can ensure that you don't spend more than you make with Facebook ads.



Facebook Ads Vs SEO

No post about Facebook ads would be complete without looking at the alternatives, in this case using SEO to generate traffic. (In this case 100% white hat techniques )

Before we take one step further do not think for a moment that SEO doesn't have a cost involved.

I wasted 8 years of my life as an internet marketer trying to get sites to rank in Google.

I probably should have called this section, “SEO stole my life!”

SEO used to  be the most frustrating and pointless thing you could do.

Why would you  spend months trying to get a site to rank, or more precisely, 1 page of a site to rank for a keyword when you could spend 1-5 cents a click and get better results much, much faster?

Time Vs Money (aka Facebook vs Google)

In reality it can often make more financial sense to spend money on FB ads and get a 200-300% ROI than to spend hours trying to get a getting a site to rank.

The other side of that argument is that just like Facebook is constantly changing, so  Google has gone through massive changes and once you crack the ranking code you will have traffic for a long time with no further effort on your behalf.

The massive changes to google over the past few years have had a very positive effect on your ability to rank for multiple keywords.

No longer will your content rank for 1 keyword instead Google will rank your page for hundreds of keywords,  the image below  is for an article that ranks for 353 keywords related to “Blog Name” it doesn't matter that mat of those have 30 or fewer searches a month, the traffic soon ads up.

That page also has zero backlinks just good on page SEO.

Ranking For Multiple Keywords

Now compare that to the Facebook ads I'll show your below.

That ad campaign was sending traffic from Facebook to a brand new site.

To put it bluntly, it earned me over $1,000 in profit in its first month.

Because I was buying cheap traffic, I spent less than 10-15 minutes a day checking things. In fact, I ran it when I was on vacation from my iPhone just logging into the ads manager each morning and making sure everything was still running ok.

As we discussed earlier the talk a few years back were all about  1 cent clicks on Facebook.

Then everything went quiet and the cheap clicks seemed to stop.

Cheap clicks are still available on facebook but you need to ensure that you are getting good engagement on your posts

Most of  the campaigns I run now get clicks at below 5 cents, quite often 1 cent. I've actually have clicks at 0.006 cents, that's a good price to build your engagement with.

Always consider running an initial campaign to build engagement, then target those who are engaged with you “real ads”

If you have your landing page set up properly, you can generate even more clicks from shares and an income of more than the cost of the click.

With low-cost clicks all sorts of monetization methods are possible.

Before I go any further, here are some screenshots. These are for 2 ad campaigns using newsfeed ads that drove our target audience directly to a blog post.

Campaign #1:


Campaign #2:


Analytics for one of the campaigns above, the landing page was a blog post… this shows the traffic is engaged.


Over 200 shares that day… free traffic.


As you can see, the secret to low click costs is a high CTR. These were around 11%, I've had over 15% on some campaigns.

Here are 4 factors involved in getting low cast clicks.

1. Images. To get high CTR, you need a GREAT image that gets people to stop and look. It needs to stand out.

Here is an ad I ran recently. Would that get your attention in among all the memes?


2. Headlines. You need a headline that's a good call to action, is controversial or provokes curiosity. Your headline is more important than your ad copy.

3. Target audience. Facebook interests are the most expensive audience you can go after.  Try to focus on engagement and then retargeting those who are engaged.

4. Split-testing. Constantly improve your campaigns. Don't be afraid to try different ad types to find what works.

A little more on point 4.

Those 1 cent ads started off at about 12-14 cents. Facebook optimized them over the first 36 hours down to around 7 cents. Then I went to the reports section and removed all demographics and geo-locations that weren't converting at over 7%.

If I start out with an audience of 1.6 million, I really want to have that down to under 1 million in 3 or 4 days. The secret here is actively removing people from your targeting, NOT adding them.

Finally, the process of creating and setting up an ad isn't a 5-minute process. You need to spend time on it, treat each ad as a project. Assign an hour or two to it and get it right first time!

Hope that helps. Share with those that you think would benefit.

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1 Comment

  1. Andrew on September 8, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    A lot of really simple and effective FB ads advice there Mark. Your right it is so easy just to turn it on and forget, but starting off with small budget and regular monitoring is very worthwhile for keeping the ca$h balance in check so you aren’t filling Mr Zuckerberg’s pockets unnecessarily!

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