That’s a lot of dough! First one to admit, this is not normal. This was the only company I’ve been a part of who spent this kind of money on Facebook Ads. But I tell you, I learned a lot. It was easy to spend this kind of money when 95% of the campaigns we ran returned a 3x ROI. But as history shows us, all good things must come to and end. And for us, it came to an end after 18 months and helping 1,000’s of companies get new customers. But in hindsight, I learned a lot. Here are the 3 biggest oversights we made and what I would do differently a second time around.
1. Need Ad Variety
We ran ads in the fitness industry. This was also before everyone and their mother also ran ads in the fitness industry. See, when things are good, it’s hard to question anything you’re doing. You just run with it and lay in a bed of cash (this never actually happened). We had this massive budget, but were only running 1-2 ad variations and it was typically just the image we were rotating! Our market was just being pounded by the same ads, over and over and over. This will burn any market out, no matter how much low hanging fruit is out there. And that was fine for a bit. But after 10-12 months in the same market, people really did just stop noticing our ads. We were invisible to our consumer. With that type of an ad budget, we should have easily been running 30+ ad variations at all times. We should have been testing descriptions, text, images. We just ran with what worked, until it didn’t.
2. Let The Market Breathe
We were so excited making money hand over fist! All we wanted to do was to continue running ads because, well, every campaign returned the same ROI. Why would we stop?Until the market stopped responding. The campaigns started at 3x, then a campaign would produce a 2x roi. Then break even. We started losing money on campaigns. And not just one or two campaigns, the majority of our campaigns.What was going on? See, we had a fairly niche product, and with a massive ad budget, there’s a point in time you run out of leads. That’s exactly what happened. Our low hanging fruit was gone. They already purchased. Now we had to work harder for lower quality leads. Not a good combination. Our CPA spiked. Went from $10 to $50. It was over. We couldn’t muster a profitable campaign. Next time I would let the market breathe a bit more. Give our ads some breaks. Target only men for a month, then only women, different age groups (which we eventually started doing, probably a little too late).This played in beautifully to number 1. Not only were people tired of seeing our ads, they also didn’t want to respond.
3. Diversity Platforms
I couldn’t stress this enough. Never, I mean never, rely 100% on one platform like Google Ads, Facebook, LinkedIn. Along with that, never rely on one strategy, (paid Google Ads, content blogging only etc.). See, we were 100% dedicated to Facebook ads. That’s where all our campaigns ran and all our leads came from. We had no email marketing, no display, no adwords, no content, no anything.And yes, focusing on one platform is good, but when it’s good, you should always be preparing for it to not be good. Try strategies on other platforms to diversify your product. When our CPA spike on Facebook, we had no alternative. We had absolutely no idea if any other platform would even work. It was too little too late. We couldn’t then adjust and start marketing somewhere else. These platforms take a lot of testing before you can just push $500,000 worth of ads to them and not have a panic attack. During our good times, we should have been testing Google Ads along with our Facebook campaigns. Put more money into Instagram marketing and built a real email marketing system.
Marketing is like the stock market. It’s easy to see the good and bad in hindsight. Having some advanced analytics in place can really help. The obvious of Google Analytics along with any platform analytics you get. But using something more advanced really helps you keep an eye on everything. We use Agency Analytics for all of our projects so we and our clients always know what is happening.