7 min read
You’ve committed yourself to spending money increasing your Facebook metrics.
Your ads are up and running and seeing some results.
And… You’re completely and utterly lost.
As my copy of The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy states… DON’T PANIC!
This is all normal. The reason it is so easy to get lost and confused once you turn your Facebook ads on is because there are close to 100 different metrics you could look at to judge your ads.
Here is a random sampling:
There is a lot to look at, and this is before we even look at how to break down these metrics further by things like gender, age, display location, geographic location, and a whole bunch of other cool views.
Sidenote: WTF index is the measure of how many times (and how intensely) you mutter WTF to yourself when trying to figure out why your ad campaign isn’t working. It’s real and you’re not alone if yours is sky-high.
Don’t get lost in the noise of all those stats.
Before you ever look at your reports, you should know what your main objective is and the metrics that will be the most important to you.
Let’s take a look at an example so that you can see how I launch, evaluate, and optimize an ad campaign.
Say that I run a business that teaches people how to hack IKEA furniture and turn it into something else (yes – this is a real business and don’t click unless you want to get obsessed).
I offer free PDFs in exchange for someone’s email and then sell people instruction videos for $19 per video after they opt-in to my email list.
I decide to spend $1,000 on Facebook ads over the next month to promote my free guide on how to turn the Lacksby Side Table and Ekby Viktor Shelf into a stand up desk. I want to target freelancers and entrepreneurs with this offer and create some killer ad creative.
Here are the metrics I would care about and why:
I know from my organic sales that I typically make 12 sales for every 100 people that opt-in for the free standing desk guide. That is $228 for every 100 email subscribers ($19*12) OR $2.28/email subscriber.
My ultimate goal is to at least break even on my ad spend, which means I would spend $2.28/email since I typically make that much in sales per email subscriber. (If you don’t know what your target cost/subscriber is, be sure to read this first.)
Quick tangent: Why is break even a good early goal? It allows you to test more and build your email list for free (your ads pay for themselves). If you also have additional products, breaking even on the first product means you will probably have some sales of other products, meaning a positive ROI long term.
And in a magical world, my ads launch and they immediately see email opt-ins at $2.28/email or less… but guess what?
In reality, they crash and burn – hard!
This is common, but it’s also when frustration sets in – But remember: DON’T PANIC!
Now we start to evaluate and test.
After my first week I spend $250 and the ads are converting people into email subscribers at $5.10/email.
I look through my audiences and ads and see that one audience is converting people for $4.20/email with an ad in that audience getting $3.80/email.
Pretty good for a start, but still not close enough to my goal.
I also notice that my relevance scores are only 4, my CTR Link is 1.13%, and my conversion rate is 17%.
This is all great news as it means there is a lot of room to improve.
The relevance score of 4 means my ads are doing OK, but not truly connecting to my audiences. I decide to take my best ad copy from the first test and try new ad images to pair with it to see if this helps.
My CTR Link of 1.13% is fine, but could still improve. I look in my ad manager reports and see that people ages 25-34 are clicking my link at 2.34%. I then decide to change all my audiences to only target people in this age range (could help relevancy as well).
Finally, my conversion rate is low. This should improve with better audience targeting (changing the age range will help), but I also create a new opt-in page using some of the language from my best performing ad copy.
I also stop my worst audiences and ads and then launch a whole new batch of audiences and ad creative. The key is to try a lot of different variations, see what works, and refine what is working best.
The result of all this?
I keep evaluating.
I keep optimizing.
And I keep testing.
Each time I learn something new and apply it to my next test.
The result is that over time (and more than a few tests) my cost/email subscriber drops to $1.87/email on average and I am now making a profit.
I think you can see how accessible it is now to understand how to improve your Facebook advertising once you know and understand the numbers you’re looking at. After you’ve got that down, there’s just three things you need to keep doing to make sure you’re hitting your ad goals.
Immediate success can happen when you launch Facebook ads, but it is much more common to launch and then be left with mostly questions.
By following our example above, you now should be able to think through your initial results, decide what needs to be improved next, and test again.
If yes, then what was the hardest part for you in evaluating their success or what to do next? What would you do differently now that we have walked through this example?
If no, do you feel ready to now after reading this article? Just make sure you know how to find and measure the important metrics and you’ll be on your way to testing until you hit your results.
Download this issue of Tradecraft as a PDF to read and reference at your own pace.