Planning a live launch for a new offering? Every second of a live launch is super crucial so this episode is for you.
I’m diving deep into an example ad campaign created for a beta course – and we’re optimizing results by avoiding the 3 most common mistakes people make with ad campaigns. In just one day, we decreased cost per lead by 75% (think: You were paying $15 per lead, now you’re paying less than $3!) with just a few simple changes to optimize conversion rates!
[1:58] The #1 mistake people make with ad campaigns
[3:10] Breaking down an actual live challenge ad campaign (if you’re running a live challenge you’re going to want to listen!)
[6:07] From $15-per-lead to $2-per-lead … in one day!
[7:18] The 3 factors that determine the success of your ad campaign and how you determine which to edit to increase conversion
[8:54] A QUICK FIX solution that can get you higher quality leads (i.e. save you time + money)
Subscribe to The Hirsh Marketing Underground podcast on iTunes or Stitcher below
In today’s episode, I’m going to talk to you guys about the top mistakes people make when launching a Facebook ad campaign. And this episode is inspired by my friend, Lindsay Padilla. She’s been staying at my house all week, because my husband is gone in Toronto getting Chek certified – which is a health certification, won’t get into it, but pretty cool! So she’s been staying with me. And she is running a launch right now, and actually they are doing their own ads, because of [00:00:30] budget reasons; and she’s launching a beta course that she has never launched before, so they want to just do a testing basis.
And I think she secretly knew she was going to be at my house and could get my help, and coaxed me with some wine into helping her at night with her ads! And so, I was inspired to do this episode about top mistakes people make when launching a new campaign – whether that’s, you’re doing your own ads or an agency is doing them or somebody is doing them [for you]. These are common mistakes that I see when a client comes to me and says, “Hey, our ads aren’t doing [00:01:00] well, can you go and look inside of our ads manager to make sure that you guys can help me if you take over my ads?” And when I go in, I consistently see the following things. So here are the top mistakes:
The first one by far being that people don’t do enough testing. And so in this case what happened, I’ll just use Lindsay’s example: I went into her account and I was like, “Well what’s your budget?” And she said $5000 dollars for her whole launch and that she could just spend like … So just to give you [00:01:30] background, she’s doing a challenge and then a webinar … It’s a challenge PLF style. There’s videos in the challenge, and then a webinar, and then opening the doors to her course. So the majority of that budget should be spent getting registrations to her challenge, because that’s what kicks the launch off – we want people to participate in that. So roughly, if you were our client, we would do a campaign planner that would basically break out every possible piece of the launch and how much budget’s being spent.
But let’s just [00:02:00] say, $4000 of the $5000 we can spend – as long as it’s converting on this initial challenge. And so, when I went in, what had happened was … They only had 10 ad sets in this campaign. And they were starting them out at like $20 a day – which [it] isn’t bad to start things at $20 a day, but when I saw that they only had 10 ad sets, I immediately was like, “There is not enough testing going on here. You have no idea how this challenge is gonna convert. You have no idea what audiences, images, [00:02:30] creative – any of those things! You don’t know how it’s gonna convert.” And so that’s probably the biggest mistake people make. They start out really small, and then that gets really hard to scale … Lindsey has a seven day window that she can promote this challenge, because then it starts, the challenge starts.
You don’t want to promote it two weeks out, because people forget, so typically with live things like that, you have about seven days to promote it. So if you start small, it’s really, really hard to scale. So to start, my recommendation is that, in an ideal world, [00:03:00] here’s what you would do: You would spend the first couple of days … Let’s say you want to run it for a seven day window. You’d actually have a nine day window, and you’d spend those first two days just testing creative. And you would get maybe 5-6 different versions of creative, meaning a couple different versions of copy paired with three different images and paired differently with different headlines. And then, you’d run those ads and you’d pick a big audience.
Let’s say you’re in the online coaching space [00:03:30] and you want to target Marie Forleo – that’s a huge audience, right? So you target all these creative versions to Marie Forleo’s audience, starting at $5 a day, because you don’t really care, like … I mean, you care. They’re going to get some leads, but it’s not like this is going to be your campaign. This is purely testing creative to start. So then, you would test the creative, and out of those … And it’s important that you run it to the same audience because we’re trying to eliminate our factors here. If you run it to a bunch of different audiences and the creative’s all spread out, it’s like, was it the audience or was it the creative?
[00:04:00] You run all the different creative to the same audience and then from there, you choose, let’s say, top three creative winners – because you’ve tested what headlines, what images, what copy, what does better. You’ve narrowed that down. Then you take those top three creative winners, and that’s where you run your actual campaign, and you say, “Okay now we have our seven-day window, and now it’s time to audience test like crazy.” And so in this case, when I went into Lindsay’s [ads manager], I was like, “Look at all these lookalike [00:04:30] audiences that are not being used. I know you’ve run ads and you have a lookalike of your list, a lookalike of your video views, a lookalike of your web traffic and your page engagement … and you’re not running traffic to any of those, because you’ve started with a higher budget per ad set and less overall ad sets!” [This] is what you don’t want to necessarily do, especially with a new launch. And with something new you don’t know [whether it will convert].
So, she convinced me to help her. I owe her, she’s here [00:05:00] helping me with my kids this week! But, we added in about 15 ad sets. We started them all at $10 a day instead, and we went through and we made a list of top lookalike audiences. We did some audience insights and found some more interest audiences. And because she had already been running her ads for a couple of days, I already saw a winning creative version – which was a video of hers – and I said, “We’re just gonna take that video and run it to all these audiences.” And that’s what we did, and then right away … She was paying $8 to [00:05:30] $15 a lead, [now] we were getting $2, $3 leads in the first day.
So then, I took that and I said, “Okay, these are our audiences that are doing well. So that we can scale faster, we’re going to take your second creative winner and send it to all those audiences. And we’re going to scale.” And so, bottom line here: The number one thing that people mess up when they launch a new campaign is they don’t test enough things. And they start out – and I see this so much … clients go in and … I actually get [00:06:00] excited by it when a new client comes to me [and says], “Can you help us? Please look at my ads manager.” And I’m like, “Yeah we can really help you, because there’s only 10 ad sets in here.”
We honestly have clients who have had 150 ad sets between testing, because when you launch a new campaign, you have basically three factors that matter in the success of the campaign. You have the messaging and the creative of the actual ads, you have the targeting, and then you have the offer itself. And the offer itself is like the [00:06:30] last thing you want to take off the table, that’s saying like, “It’s not going to work.” Sometimes that does happen, you have a crappy opt-in or your webinar title sucks.
People don’t want it, and we have to alter that. But what you have to do first is say, “Let’s choose all the angles that we can creatively go at this with our ad copy and our images and our headlines – and really hit emotional pain points. And let’s take all the possible audiences and send those to all the creative. And if once we do that and we truly exhaust every possible [00:07:00] combination of audiences in creative and messaging, and it’s still not converting, [then] we have to go to the messaging of the actual offer.” But until you do that … and literally, it will be like, 150 ad sets until you do that, [and] it will be multiple versions of copy. This has happened! And this is exactly what you have to do with ads, because you’re not going to set up an ad …
Seventy-five percent (or more) of the time, if you set up an ad to a couple of ad sets and a couple of audience options with a couple of creative versions, it’s not going to do well [00:07:30] and you’re going to have this very slow momentum. And so, when you run ads, you have to have this massive sense of urgency, and push things out there, and test test test until you find the winners – and then you scale. And especially when you have a seven-day window, or a short window, because you’re doing a short campaign.
Here’s a couple of other mistakes that people make – that are a little bit more technical – that we look out for, that I look out for. So, one of the things I saw in her [Lindsay’s] [00:08:00] account was that she had all of the placements selected as “automatic,” which basically means, “I’m going to let Facebook optimize it for me;’ and it means your ads are going to be shown to desktop right column, audience network (which is like, Facebook game apps), Instagram combined with Facebook, Messenger … all in there together. And our personal belief is to not do that, because if Facebook thinks I’m going to get cheap clicks on audience network, or in the right [00:08:30] hand column – they will show my ad there. But it doesn’t mean I want those clicks.
My client, or Lindsay’s client, is not on video games for Facebook apps. So, automatically … breaking it down … and we really just do like, newsfeed separated from Instagram. Those are our core ones. Separating those out just saves budget and time, so you’re not wasting money and time sending ads to basically places where you don’t want to show your ads, because you don’t have money and time to waste [00:09:00] when you’re launching a new campaign. The other mistake that people make is … without getting too technical, but this is very important … When you’re creating an ad … Every time you create a new ad set in Facebook, you basically create like, a post. So it doesn’t show up on your page, but it has its own post ID.
And you’ll see when you go … Let’s say you get a comment on that ad, and you click on it. It has a URL, and it has a post ID that’s attached to it. So what you do, instead of like … Let’s say you have 20 ad [00:09:30] sets. If you were to create 20 ad sets, each one has a different ad inside of it, and you’re going to have 20 ads. If one person comments on one of those ads, it’s going to go on one ad, right? And then if another person comments on another, it will go on another. So it’s really hard to build social proof when you do that. And Facebook is favoring by far – not only Facebook, but people favor – ads with comments and likes.
Think about it. Subconsciously when you see an ad in your feed … I want you to notice this. If you see an ad that has two likes, [00:10:00] what are you going to pay more attention to? That ad or a ad that has 200 likes and 10 shares? … You’re definitely going to pay more attention to the one with more social proof. So what you do is, you create those (what we call the) original ads. Those are your original creative versions. Then you take that post ID, which you can pull inside of ads manager. (You can either pull inside of ads manager by going to the selection that says “page post,” or if you just open up the ad as a permalink on Facebook, whether it’s [00:10:30] clicking from your notifications because you got a comment or whatever – the numbers at the end of the URL, that’s your post ID.)
And then when you go to create the ad, you can use an existing post ID. And what that does is … if you have 20 ad sets … instead of having 20 ads, you have 20 ad sets, [meaning] different audiences going to the same ad, so all the comments, likes, and shares build-up together. And that will really help the algorithm and people just taking your ad seriously, because trust me, I even [00:11:00] notice (and I probably notice more) whenever I see an ad with hardly any social proof, I’m like, “Ah, inexperienced. They’re not a big business, because they just started this ad.” And I can instantly see if an influencer does a new ad. I know it’s a new ad because I can see that there’s barely any social proof. But that’s not there for long. Anyone who knows what they’re doing with ads will do this trick. So those are easy things that you can do that make a really big difference.
So just to recap here: The biggest mistake [00:11:30] people make when launching a new campaign is not testing enough … Remember, we have three categories: we test creative, audiences, and then the offer itself. And hopefully if you’re launching something live, you’ve already decided the offer is good. In Lindsay’s case, she didn’t – which is why she didn’t hire my team! But I will tell you, she’s sitting here going, “I so should’ve hired your team, I’m losing money by not doing this!” But I helped her, so she’s good.
So you have those three things that you’re testing. And you can’t test four or five audiences and then say, “Oh [00:12:00] my ads aren’t working.” There’s so many options, lookalike audiences, (and if you don’t have a lot of data, then) interest audiences (then as soon as you start getting pixel data, lookalike audiences), creative … So test test test and exhaust all your options for testing before you decide something doesn’t work. And then the placement is huge, because you don’t have money to waste. You don’t want to waste money, and you don’t want to show your ads to places where you shouldn’t be putting your ads. And then the social proof. Those are huge for getting momentum, initial [00:12:30] momentum when you launch a campaign, and getting it to scale faster.
So hopefully this was helpful for you guys. If you are launching a new campaign [or if] you have a launch, whether it’s live or evergreen – all of these things apply. They’re especially important for live campaigns, because every second is crucial in a live campaign. And if you would like support with your Facebook ads, your launch, [or if] you want a campaign planner or you just want to pass this over because you’re like, “This is way over my head,” [00:13:00] … Go to HelpMyStrategy.com and book a call with the Hirsh team.