With the explosion of the eCommerce industry in recent years, so too has the need intensified to gain a competitive edge in the market as more and more companies emerge to grab market share. With this flood in the market, companies find it increasingly challenging to compete online, needing to put in more and more energy and resources to attain the same sales volumes they may have just a few years ago. And as a result, more and more freelancers and agencies are emerging to meet the marketing and advertising needs of these companies.
What's also taking place, however, is a flood of "marketing gurus" who are hastily pasting together ill-conceived, incomplete courses that in turn churn out thousands and thousands of incompetent marketers and advertisers per month, who have been enticed by the glitz and glamour of the latest biz opp pitch for a life of wealth and freedom.
And because they don't have a thorough and complete understanding of Facebook ads since what they know is limited to the course they bought online, they're ill-equipped, not just in terms of implementation, but also in terms of onboarding - taking on clients without knowing whether or not they can actually get sales for those specific companies and hit their revenue goals or ROAS targets.
So then what happens? eCommerce companies like you are getting wooed and dazzled by sales pitches and case studies only to get disappointed down the road because your advertiser didn't appropriately manage your expectations and because you simply didn't know what you didn't know.
If you're reading this, consider yourself lucky. Because the cycle of hopping from one advertiser to the next ends today. Here, I'm going to:
1) empower you with the information you need to determine whether Facebook ads will be right for you and your business, and
2) give you some insight that will help you separate the wheat from the chaff and identify paid advertisers who actually know their stuff.
Ready? Let's do this.
There are a few questions you need to ask, right off the bat.
Do they specialize in your niche? Not all Facebook advertisers are created equal. If your freelancer or agency doesn't have a specialty and claims to work with any and everyone, you should be concerned. Ads for eCommerce require a completely different approach and methodology than ads for real estate, ads for real estate investors require a completely different approach and methodology than those for restaurants, and ads for restaurants require a completely different approach and methodology than ones for entertainment and nightlife. Only work with Facebook advertisers who have demonstrated replicable results in your niche.
Have they made sure that you're even eligible to run profitable ads? I'll be blunt. Results vary. Some brands can and will see stellar returns right out of the gate, others require a month or two of optimization to get there. We've garnered 5x to 42x ROAS for our brands. The reality is that Facebook ads won't have the same level of effectiveness for every company in every stage of business. Your likelihood of garnering profitable returns in your first quarter of your build declines if you:
have only recently installed your Facebook pixel. If you have less than 5,000 hits to your site per month and you only recently installed your pixel, you don't have a lot of data to relay to Facebook about the people who are demonstrating interest in your products. That means it's going to take Facebook a bit of time to optimize your ad campaigns (rather, it'll take a bit of time for Facebook to figure out who is most likely to be interested in buying from you so that it knows which people within your targeted audience it should really be serving your ads to).
have not validated your product in the digital market. If you haven't sold your product online before, you're taking a risk in running Facebook ads and expecting profit right out of the gate. Particularly if you've created your product yourself, create some launches in various digital spaces (Facebook groups, Instagram page, YouTube videos) and see what level of interest you garner before you run through $15,000 in ad spend, hm? You really need to do the work to ensure that the market actually has a demand for what you're selling. Your bank account will thank you.
don't have an eCommerce store converting at 2% or higher. Your website's conversion rate is one of the most impactful metrics when it comes to determining ROAS (return on ad spend) and cost-efficiency of your ad campaigns. Depending on your AOV (average order value) and your monthly ad spend, the difference between a 1% conversion rate and a 2% conversion rate can be massive when it comes to your ROAS and the sales your store generates.
haven't invested time or resources in high-quality content or branding. This is especially the case if you're selling items whose pricing is over $100. Would you show up to a job interview in cheeto-stained sweatpants and a ratty t-shirt and expect to land the position? No? Then why would you let your website, company pages, and anything else you put out look anything other than polished and professional? What you're selling is irrelevant; no matter what your brand voice or look-and-feel of your site is, have a strong one and make sure your brand shines through.
have little to no social proof. Telling the world how great you are gets tough if you're the only one saying it. Testimonials (written and video), screenshots of comments on social media, or photos of people wearing or using your products are gold and add to a compelling message. The more you have, the better.
are selling a product that requires a great deal of trust to purchase. Coaching products, web design services, even lower ticket haircare and skincare products from unknown brands, can be challenging by very virtue of the product. For instance, women are very particular about what they put on their skin and hair and so additional hurdles around trust will need to be overcome digitally. Selling products that require high-trust are absolutely doable (we run successful campaigns in these niches all the time) - but do require structures and strategies specific to these niches.
don't have the capital required to properly invest in Facebook ads. Realistically speaking, most eCommerce brands just getting started with Facebook ads need to be spending at least $1,500 to $2,000 per month to begin with. Why? A good chunk of that will go towards split-testing your audiences, copy, and creative to find the perfect combination that's going to get you profitable results. If you're trying to spend $5/day per adset, you're going to struggle with deliverability. While Facebook's algorithm helps level the playing field for small and mid-size business competing against big brands, it is still an auction-based system - so your starting bid does matter and you do want to make sure you're winning as many bids as possible.
have a low AOV (average order value) and/or low profit margins. Since the efficacy and sustainability of Facebook ad campaigns for eCommerce are driven by the campaign or adset's cost per purchase and ROAS (return on ad spend), the AOV (average order value) of your store is key. If you're a new brand, you have low levels of site traffic, your AOV is under $40, you have slim profit margins (less than 50%) for instance, and you don't have a sizable marketing budget for the quarter, you should consider starting off by DIYing your advertising and working with an ads consultant to train you or a member of your in-house staff to build out your ads system as the ads management fee of any reputable agency may render any outsourced efforts unsustainable - at least for a time. Which leads me to my next point. You're certainly not setting yourself up for success if:
are in a state of emergency and are running on fumes. Facebook ads, or any paid advertising platform for that matter, are not for companies whose decisionmakers believe they should be able to turn an ad on and instantly see sales flood through the door. Does this happen? Oh, you bet. Often quality advertisers will hit the nail on the head during the split testing phase and quickly identify a winning combination of audiences, copy, and creative that can garner huge success right out of the gate. But there are a number of factors at play (including how niched or obscure your audience is or if your products are ultra-niched in nature), that can mean that it takes 1 to 3 months to fully optimize your system before you're seeing a sustainable ROAS (return on ad spend). So if you're going make Facebook advertising a part of your marketing strategy, you need to be prepared for that. Especially if you're pulling in less than $30K per month from your eCommerce store, you may need to give your system, and your advertiser, a little time. If you're running on fumes, however, you're going to be panicked. You're going to be tempted to start flipping switches on and off in the backend. And you're going to drive your advertiser nuts. You're much better off working one-on-one with an ads consultant who can show you how to build this on your own and DIY so you can at least bootstrap intelligently without having to pay monthly ads management fees.
Any Facebook advertiser worth their fee will first conduct an internal, in-depth analysis and audit based on your store's economics to determine if Facebook ads can be a profitable approach for you, before even sending you a contract. The success of an ad campaign will by and large come down to the numbers, and you need to be concerned if that's not the language your advertiser is speaking during the course of your initial discussions.
Facebook advertising is an extremely lucrative option for eCommerce stores in particular. But you need to make sure your store is prepared, first. If 1 to 3 of the above bullet points apply to you, I encourage you to reach out to us and let us assess if your store is actually ready for a Facebook advertising system and if it isn't, to show you how you can lay the right foundation and get prepared to hit the ground running. If 4 or more apply to you, you've got some work to do.
When shopping for Facebook advertisers, here are some factors to consider and inquire about:
What's included in your fee and what isn't? What is your process? Before you compare prices, know and understand what you're actually paying for. Because clients and customers typically require multiple touch points (between 7 and 12) before they're willing to reach for their credit cards and buy from an unfamiliar brand, paying $2,000/month to get two ads out that haven't even been split tested or have poorly formed targeting approaches is a huge money waster compared to paying $5,000 to $8,000/month to get out an optimized ad system made up of 12-16 accurately-targeted, split tested ads that each resonate, serve a specific purpose in guiding your thoroughly-researched audience along each step of your funnel to garner sales, and work together to form an evergreen, high-yield, sales-generating machine. High yield results require real work and real work requires real time, expertise, and effort. Compare value first. Rates for Facebook advertising services typically range from $2500/month (bargain-bin marketers) to $100K/month (agencies like Saatchi & Saatchi) - and the services and attention your brand will be getting with a $2,500/month service versus even a $5,000/month service are not remotely alike.
How many accounts is each account manager responsible for and is there a forced cap on the number of accounts any one manager is allowed to take on on a monthly basis? Any more than 4 per manager and I promise you, you've got poorly serviced ad accounts on your hands that aren't receiving the attention required for high-yield results and are therefore not maximizing returns. In case you're wondering, at KRA our monthly account maximum per account manager for eCommerce is three.
Building, maintaining, and scaling advertising systems for eCommerce brands requires a level of time and effort that bargain-bin marketers simply cannot provide. Think about it. You're building a system that's going to ask people to give you money for products that they can't see or touch for themselves and to take your word that they'll receive what's being advertised, at the same level of quality and craftsmanship. That takes some doing. An advertising agency cannot sustain a $2,500/month model, still hit their own revenue and profit requirements, and STILL provide the high-level of service and attention required to get you the high-yield returns you're looking for. At that level, they need to bring in way more clients than they can properly serve. The math simply doesn't work out.
The difference in results can be staggering. Accounts recently managed by a bargain-bin marketer garnering 7x return on ad spend (ROAS) have garnered 30x ROAS in our hands! Of course, 7x is nothing to sneeze at.
But isn't 30x so much better?
So, is your company ready? Schedule an ads campaign audit with us and let us run an assessment for you. We'll also diagnose your current or past ad campaigns and see where you went wrong and how you can get back on track. And it's all free. Just click here: http://bit.ly/diagnosemyads