Well hey there, Catherine Langman here, and welcome back to the Productpreneur Success Podcast.

This podcast episode is dedicated to one of the most popular digital marketing strategies around – paid Facebook advertising. 

And as I’m recording this episode, I have some exciting news that is hot off the press:

This week, our team at Productpreneur Marketing have been awarded by Facebook themselves as Certified Facebook Marketing Partners. All this means is that we’ve been recognised as being a quality agency that does a great job managing Facebook ads for clients, and Facebook vouches for our service. I’m chuffed by this recognition, and incredibly proud of our team too! 

But we don’t just manage Facebook ads for clients, we also teach eCommerce businesses how to do it themselves. 

Specifically, how to use paid Facebook traffic to attract their ideal customers, with the right targeting and the right creative and messaging to appeal directly to their customers, and to help them to make a purchase decision by showing the right ads to the right people at the right time during their buyer journey. 

In actual fact, getting that part set up correctly isn’t really the hardest OR the most important part of the job. 

So the topic of today’s podcast episode is to find out what IS the most important step in your Facebook ad campaigns, and this is typically the part of the process that trips  people up the most…

Before we get started, I want to invite you to my upcoming FREE live Masterclass called “My 6-Figure Per Month Ecommerce Sales Formula”, on Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th June, where I’ll be doing a deep dive training into the strategies that are working right now to drive successful eCommerce sales growth. Including – but not limited to – how to succeed with Facebook advertising for eCommerce.

Join me live and you’ll have the opportunity to not just learn exactly what you need to have in place to build a profitable online store, but also ask me questions as well!

I’ll link to the booking form in the show notes if you’d like to join me live for this tutorial.

Alright, let’s dive into today’s episode.

So. Paid advertising can be absolute gold for driving traffic and sales in your online store. Once you nail the Facebook Ad Campaign that works for your target customer, you almost have traffic and sales on tap!

You can convert new and repeat customers and transform them into raving fans that spread the good word about your biz far and wide.

That’s the aim, right?

But there is a big difference between creating an ad and creating a winning ad campaign that sells.

Tell me if this scenario sounds familiar to you…

A small business owner I know once set up a series of ads to show on Facebook and Instagram. She let them run for several months, spending around $4000 in the process.

Now, there is nothing exceptional about that. I’ve got loads of clients who would happily drop that much in ad spend and more, every month or even more frequently.

I mean, if you’re converting sales at a profitable rate, why wouldn’t you spend more?

But then I received a panicked phone call from this business owner. She had suddenly realised how much money she had spent on her ads, but she had no idea if they were working! Was she getting a good return on her investment, or indeed, any return at all?

Were her ads generating sales?

When I took a look I discovered that her ad setup was absolutely fine. But it’s what wasn’t happening that is exceptional…

Not only was she not monitoring her ads, she also wasn’t getting a return on investment – she was actually losing money.

So the most crucial step is clear: You must closely monitor your ads to make sure they are doing what you want them to

You must review and track them so you can compare from week to week and month to month.

You need to know how many people are interacting with your ad and if those interactions are actually translating into an increase in sales for your biz.

I mean, obviously your advertising must be generating a return on investment to justify spending money on them, right?

These are the questions I hear people asking all the time:

  • How do I know if it is working?
  • When should I increase the budget?
  • Are those numbers good?

If you too are asking these questions, then you need to get to know your metrics – intimately!

Don’t keep your head in the sand about your numbers…

There are plenty of resources out there that can walk you through how to create ads that stand out in feeds, including my own training programs.

But something that many of them don’t touch on – or that business owners easily forget about – is how to monitor the performance of your ads so you can make informed decisions about how they run.

It’s one thing to know how to set up an ad, but a whole different thing to be able to make money from them!

And you simply cannot make smart decisions about your advertising if you don’t know your numbers.

Facebook advertising is not a magic bullet for your business success. But used intelligently, it’s an extremely effective, lucrative way to drive website traffic and sales!

If the thought of going through all those numbers fills you with dread or you can’t seem to make head or tail of them, don’t give up!

Instead, take a deep breath, open up a spreadsheet and start keeping track of your ad performance on a regular basis (at least weekly).

How to track your numbers

I realise that the Facebook ads reporting table looks a bit overwhelming and a lot of people don’t know what the numbers mean. 

But to start with, here are the most important performance metrics you want to track, which you can do by adding these reporting columns to your table in the ads manager:

  • Unique Click Through Rate – the % of people who saw your ad who actually clicked on it. Obviously higher is better, but anything from 2% or above is great. If your click through rate is really low, then either the targeting is off or your ad creative is just not attractive to your audience.
  • View Content – this means the number of people who don’t just click through to your website, but go on to view your products. This is an important indicator of interest, and the more people looking at your products in your store the better. 
  • Add To Cart – it’s pretty obvious what this metric means. But getting lots of people adding product to their shopping cart after clicking on your ad is a really strong indicator that the ad will go on to convert into purchases. Even if they don’t purchase immediately from this ad, you can then retarget them with a second ad that shows to people who added products but didn’t check out (a bit like your abandoned cart email). 
  • Initiate Checkout – pretty similar to the add to cart metric, but is a step further along in the checkout process. 
  • Purchase Total – this is the total number of purchases made as a result of someone seeing or clicking on your ad.
  • Purchase Value – this is the total $ value of orders from the purchases that are directly related to the ad. And finally,
  • Return on Ad Spend, or ROAS. This one is the ratio of revenue to ad spend, and you want to aim for an average ROAS across all active campaigns of 4x or more. A higher return on ad spend is always better, as obviously that means you’re making a lot more money from your ad spend, but at 4x you are at least profitable and can confidently continue to spend money on your ads.

Once you’ve added these performance metrics into your Facebook ads reporting table, then you need to be reviewing and recording them on a weekly basis. 

Of course, the next step is to learn what all the numbers mean and to interpret them such that you can make intelligent decisions and figure out what next steps you should take with your ads. 

Learning this can take a bit of time and experience, and of course the fastest way to learn it is to be taught by someone who knows it really well. 

But basically – you want to be looking for how far through the checkout process your customers are getting. IE, when they click on your ad, are they just heading to your website but not looking at your products, adding to cart, initiating checkout, or purchasing? 

And if they’re not purchasing, where are they dropping off? If they’re heading to your home page and then bouncing straight off – you can pretty much tell this from your website analytics, if your bounce rate skyrockets then either your ad targeting or messaging or creative is sending the wrong visitors to your website, or your website home page is not quickly grabbing their attention and showing them what you sell and how to get it. 

Or, if they’re looking at products but not adding to cart, where’s the breakdown there? Analyse your website product pages to see if they’re clearly presenting your product value statement and enticing people to buy, or not. Or, maybe you need to get some retargeting Facebook ads up to help get punters over the line to purchase. 

Don’t just monitor your Facebook ad numbers either.

You also want to keep an eye on your website performance metrics as well. Your website is your shop – it needs to do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to selling and persuading customers that your products are just what they need. 

I can tell you now, that the best Facebook ads in the world, with the most accurate targeting, the most perfect setup and the most persuasive creative, will never make up for a rubbish website that just doesn’t convert. 

I’ve written a whole blog all about how to monitor your website performance metrics. It’s called, “The One Thing All Successful Business Owners Do”, and I’ll link to it in the podcast shownotes.

What should you do if your ads just aren’t working but you don’t know why or how to fix it?

Sometimes I’m reminded of the saying, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. 

This applies to everything in business and in life I think, and it certainly applies to your marketing.

So, if you’re setting up ads and they’re not generating a result, don’t just turn them off and try again with another campaign. 

You need to get your head around your numbers and try to figure out where the problems are occurring. 

This information will empower you to do better next time! 

But if you are really struggling to work out why the ads aren’t working, or how to fix it, there are two ways you can go.

The first would be to outsource this part of your marketing to an agency. I would recommend this to you only when you’re confident that your website converts really well – at least 2% website conversion rate or higher – and that you’re generating consistent revenue of around $15,000 per month or higher.

Below that sort of threshold, you may be tempted to outsource to a cheap freelancer, and unfortunately, you’re likely to end up with someone who doesn’t do a great job, either because they don’t know what they’re doing or they’re cheap because they’ve got way too many clients and can’t dedicate enough time to each one. 

What I generally recommend to most, is that you actually learn how to do this yourself first. Not because I advocate that business owners always do everything themselves – it’s impossible to do that and still scale and grow. I’m pretty sure Jeff Bezos is not doing everything himself at Amazon! 

But, learning the basics of Facebook ads yourself achieves two things: Firstly, it’ll help you to scale your revenue growth to a level where you can afford to outsource to someone good. And secondly, even more importantly, you’ll know what an agency should be doing when you do outsource! 

I’ll never forget the first time I outsourced something in my first business. I decided to outsource SEO, search engine optimisation, because I was scared of it – I thought it’d be too techy and too difficult to learn and didn’t think I was capable. And I got swindled by some moron who was great at sales but rubbish at their job, and almost ruined my google ranking for good as a result. After that experience, I vowed to at least learn the basics first before outsourcing. I knew just enough to be dangerous, which served me well!

Now, if you need some help either getting started or improving your Facebook ad game:

I have a cool freebie to go with this podcast episode that’ll help guide you through a bit more of this Facebook advertising stuff.

Head over to the show notes to download your free copy today!

The other thing, if you’re looking for help with how to grow a profitable eCommerce business that regularly brings in 5-6 figures in sales per month, then I invite you to register for my upcoming Masterclasses.

I’ll be sharing my 6-Figure Ecommerce Sales Formula in my upcoming masterclasses, and will walk through some case studies of recent client success stories to illustrate what’s possible. 

I’ll share the link to join in the shownotes for this episode as well!