Overcoming the Facebook™ as-spend trap is a mindset issue. The mindset issue is more related to your overwhelming desire to grow your revenue or the lack thereof. If you really want to grow, you will. If you have a pre-disposed negative attitude of what it's going to cost you, then you won't.
By "cost," I mean not just ad-spend, but your time, effort, willingness to connect with people ahead of you, willingness to admit defeat and change course, and your unfailing attitude to press forward no matter what.
There are no half-way measures or attempts. There is no I'm "somewhat* successful." You are either successful" or "not successful."
This year, our annual world-wide peer to peer Facebook™ marketing group gathered in Maui. This event was held within sight of a very popular cliff-diving spot. Let me tell you something about cliff-diving:
- I’ve never done it.
- It is exactly the same as jumping from an airplane or baking a cake.
If you’re going to jump off a cliff, jump from an airplane, or bake a cake, there are no “half way measures.” There is no “half-baked cake.” It’s either fully baked or it remains the goop in your mixing bowl. With cliff-diving, same thing, you have two choices: Jump or just stand at the edge of cliff forever and watch everyone else jump.
With Facebook™ advertising, you need to make the choice of going all-in or not at all—like cliff diving.
95% of companies who try FB advertising fail initially. The ones who fail, attempt the half-baked cake, or half-way jumping off the cliff.
If you’ve tried to do FB ads on your own, chances are you’re created some campaigns, or hired a freelancer to create them, and you’re spent between $500 and $1,000.
Maybe you got some traffic. Maybe you got a few page likes. But you probably did not acquire one good lead. If you did, consider yourself among the fortunate few.
Sorry to offend you, but if you think there is some shortcut, some "non-Gary V" way to do it, some freebie or low-budget way, or painless way, there is not. If you have some success already, it's easier to layer onto what you have. But most of you are just beginning; you've had little or no success with FB ads.
Where the Rubber Meets the Road
Sure, for $5 you can reach hundreds of people with FB ads. But you can do that with blogging for free.
I've had many conversations with marketers in the organic or inbound space. They typically have said, “I added keywords to my blog and linked it here and there and got 10x visitors to my site.” Same with FB ads: “I spent $100 and reached 100x more people than I would have otherwise reached.”
Great. Again, I really don’t want to hurt or offend anyone, but I have to ask: “With all that you’ve done, how much new money have you brought to the bank?”
You can have page likes, blog views, video views, followers, subscribers, clickers, impressions, and what ever other KPI you choose to cite, but until you are growing your revenue, you’re not growing. The dollars you are making is where the rubber meets the road.
Cause and Effect
The one thing that differentiates a Facebook™ ad campaign or series of campaigns from being successful or not, is the funnel.
The people who are successful with FB ads are those who have spent money on a funnel. There is no other way. We are not born with a funnel, we don't inherit one, and one will not magically fall from the sky.
Having a funnel that converts is probably the most valuable asset you can have in your digital marketing arsenal. A funnel only works when all its many, many steps are all working. If there is just one bottleneck, that is, if most of the funnel is working but one aspect isn’t, you won’t get the leads or sales you’re looking for.
Ad spend—the amount of money you’ve committed to Facebook advertising is an important factor, but all marketing boils down to one simple fact: You need to reach the right people, at the right time, with the right message.
And finding that formula of success is a significant task. It can take us several weeks to initially build a funnel and then a few months afterward to optimize it. It’s never a “one and done” process. It’s never, “Let’s today build a funnel, put together a few creatives, and launch some FB ads, never touch it again, and expect amazing results.”
What’s a funnel? Here’s sample funnel map. This is just a sample. Don't try to clone this for your business and expect it to perform magic.
Overcoming the Ad-Spend Trap
One common money mindset is that since Facebook™ is a social media platform, advertising should be free. What is true is that ad-spend is a bargain: The money you will spend on FB ads will be far, far, less than any other channel and return the most revenue to you, but you do have to spend money.
The mindset issue relates more to ROI than the dollars you will spend. If you were convinced that if you spent $1,000 today and next month you’d get $10,000 back, you’d do that, right?
FB ads either work or they don’t. We use the term, “funnel cracking.” A “cracked funnel” will produce leads and sales. “Cracking” a funnel takes time and a lot of work.
If you have a viable product and good branding, you can sell it with FB ads providing you have functional funnel to do so.
Thus, if you have these assets and are thinking, “I’m not sure FB ads will work for me,” then you have a mindset issue that will ensnare you while your competition is boldly launching their own FB campaigns.
Your first and best step is not to focus on cost, but on return. These are the questions you should be asking. "If I spend some money, how long might it take for me to see a 10x return?"
If you have a viable product that has the potential of making you money, then you need to take that product (or service) to market. If you don't, who's going to know about it?
So you have a few choices, muse, contemplate, delay—or jump.