Do you find Facebook ad reports boring as hell?
Are you tired of spending so much time optimizing your ads?
Allow me to show you how you can optimize any online ad campaign on a whim.
I’ll start with a story. My story.
In the early days when I began learning online advertising, I was particularly bad at understanding what actually happened to my ads as they ran.
Looking back, I probably made every mistake possible. I was lazy to look at the data, the most I did was comparing cost and revenue. Stupid and expensive, I know. And so I learned.
I got overwhelmed with all the different metrics. People always told me to look at 20 different things when optimizing my ad. CTR (link), CTR (all), Unique CTR (all), CPC, frequency. Huh?
There were simply too many and when Nate Silver among others was saying “just look for a signal in the data” I thought I had a breakthrough until I realized I had no clue what such a signal looked like or what it actually meant.
Obviously, that affected my ads and how much revenue I’d make. One day I’d lose say $100 followed by half the next day with no clue as to why it changed.
It was only when I learned that running an ad campaign, no matter the platform or traffic source, is about problem-solving more than anything else.
Don’t look for solutions, look for problems
Just to clarify: a problem in an ad campaign could be “why am I making less revenue than yesterday from my ad?” or “why are none of my clicks converting into email subscribers?”
All this time I was looking to find the right solution when in fact I should have been looking further at the problem.
As I learned, really understanding the problem gives the best solution and from there the results will naturally follow.
I know this isn’t as sexy as a magic pill, but if there ever were any, this is probably it.
The more I’ve worked with online advertising, the more I’ve found that identifying the problem is the most difficult thing to do, but once it’s done, it’s often easy to solve it.
I became much better at problem-solving after reading a book called Problem Solving 101.
Problem Solving 101
If you think it looks like a children’s book, that’s because it used to be. It’s a quick read – probably an hour or so for the average reader. It’s also a Japanese bestseller. And for a good reason.
It’s a “one size fits all” book because dealing with problems, and problem-solving is done in the same way no matter the problem.
That is also the problem with it, though, as the examples in the book are generic and basic, and while they work great in the book, they can be difficult to relate to online advertising and particularly optimizing campaigns.
How I’ve adjusted it to Facebook advertising
I have adapted the core idea of the book to fit my Facebook ads reporting and how I optimize my ads.
The biggest win I got was to set up a couple of problem-scenarios for myself, so when I look at the data from an ad I’ll immediate know what the problem is and what to do to fix it. If one metric looks like X, it means problem Y, which requires solution Z.
That could be if the clickthrough rate is 0.5% or less and the conversion rate is 5% or less, it means I’m targeting the wrong audience for my ad so I’ll need to use different targeting options.
The more scenarios you map out, the easier you’ll make it for yourself.
It’s not as complicated as it might sound. In a minute I’ll show you the four principles I use to detect most of my problems in minutes instead of hours. The key here is building a system (or a cheat sheet if you will) for yourself, so you don’t have to start from scratch every time you run a new ad. You’ll make much better decisions than your competitors – and much faster.
The four scenarios I use to optimize my ads
In a minute I’ll show you how I deal with my ad reports. This will give you an idea of where your problem lies. As you run more and more ads, you’ll refine your system, and it will become even easier for you.
It’s difficult to give you clear benchmarks across niches and industries, but I’ll use some to give you a clear example of what exactly you could do. I invite you to create these problem scenarios and benchmarks yourself, by looking at your past data. Once you’ve created them, updating will only take you a minute, as you run more campaigns.
If you’ve run some campaigns, I bet you’ll have some good and bad ones you can compare to set this up – if you don’t, you will need to run some campaigns to get some data.
As I’m sure you can imagine, our ideal situation is an ad with a high clickthrough rate (CTR) and high conversion rate (CVR). That’s our end goal.
If you are growing your email list by sending people from your ad to an opt-in offer, Bushra Azhar from the Persuasion Revolution has previously mentioned in one of her webinars that she can get around 50% conversion rate on her sign up page.
As this previous test shows, a high CTR on a similar campaign could be 8%
So those would be our benchmark numbers:
- CTR (link): 8%
- CVR on landing page: 50%
That’s what we are aiming for. I recommend you to compare the numbers from your data to how much an email subscriber is worth to you, so you’ll actually know if these figures make your ad profitable.
Email subscribers are just an example, you can adapt the idea to whichever business model you are running, but it’s important that you always know if your ad is profitable or not.
Since those are our ideal numbers, if our ad doesn’t reach those, we have a problem that we’ll have to solve.
In that case, we’ll look at the three other main outcomes.
Outcome 1: Low CTR and Low CVR
CTR (link): 0-2%
CVR on landing page: 0-5%
In this scenario, people aren’t interested in your ad. Usually, that means you’ve got the wrong people. In my experience, most people know who their audience is and think they are targeting them but accidentally aren’t.
It’s probably the most tricky thing with Facebook ads, and it’s not your fault. I won’t go into the boring technical version of why but the key is that your targeting options didn’t work as expected. Instead, you’ll have to try different ones to reach your audience.
Just to clarify: a targeting option can be anything, from a specific interest to an address used to target your audience with Facebook ads.
Outcome 2: Low CTR and High CVR
CTR (link): 0-2%
CVR on landing page: > 15%
If only a few people click your ad and they are interested in your offer enough to convert that means you’ve found the right audience, but your ad isn’t exciting enough to click on.
The image has the biggest impact on the CTR, so I’d recommend you test new ones. And make sure they are as different as possible or you’ll get the same result with all of them.
Outcome 3: High CTR and Low CVR
CTR (link): 7-8%
CVR on landing page: 0-15%
You’ve found the right people, and they are excited about your ad, but something is putting them off when they arrive on your landing page.
That could be the offer, the copy or perhaps the structure of the page. This is a good stage to be at as you can test different landing pages much cheaper than in the other scenarios.
If you know the offer works from other channels; then you’ll need to work on the landing page itself.
Building your system based on these four scenarios is an excellent way to start. As you become more comfortable with it, you can add sub-scenarios and develop it further. If you’d like to download these four scenarios as a cheat sheet, you can do so right below the key takeaways.
The key takeaways
- Note down what the different reporting scenarios mean for your ads
- Systematize those scenarios so you’ll always be able to quickly understand what is happening to your ad
- Focus on identifying the problem before you try to find a solution
Hey! I’m Aske Christiansen and I write about how online coaches and teachers can grow their email list with Facebook ads at Scaling Your Business. I’ll show you how getting cheap email subscribers with Facebook ads can be uncomplicated, easy to use and even fun! It’s all about focusing on the big wins”.