What a Serial Entrepreneur Learned From Spending Nearly $1M on Facebook Ads

When it comes to Facebook ads, you might feel like you've won the lottery if your ads perform well.

However, you couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, I've spent more than $900K on Facebook ads in over 4 years.

Facebook ads are a complex and nuanced form of marketing.

Spending close to a million on ecommerce, real estate, festivals, mobile apps, and much more, I can say that I've learned a thing or two about running successful Facebook ads.

1. Keep a bigger audience.

When people start running Facebook ads, they often try to have the most laser-targeted audience and often end up aggregating around 100,000 people. This might seem like a big audience, but it really isn't.

What's more? By targeting "interests" people have, you have to remember that those are not set in stone.

For example, Facebook thinks I like hunting but I've never done it before. That's why it's important to target a larger audience of at least one million people at first and let Facebook find people who like what you're promoting.

2. Retarget with a large enough audience.

Don't start segmenting your retargeting at the beginning. For example, you could have segmented audiences of people who visited your website in the last 7 days, 14 days and 21 days, but you shouldn't just yet.

I suggest regrouping all your custom audiences at the beginning to make sure your audience is big enough. If you don't, everyone in your retargeting audience will have seen your ads 100 times and you won't see results.

3. Don't scale unless you get results.

A lot of people want to spend more on Facebook ads too aggressively. Let's say they spent $2, made $10, and now want to spend $100 a day. But you shouldn't do that just yet.

Make sure you get sales every day for at least two weeks before starting to be aggressive with your scaling. You might have been lucky with the first sale but it doesn't mean you'll find consistency and that's what you need to scale.

4. Retargeting is everything.

You'll make most of your money from retargeting. I know your budget for Facebook retargeting is often smaller than the one from your cold audience, but it's the most important audience.

You should spend as much time creating new Facebook ads creative for your custom audiences as you do your cold audiences.

5. Low CPC doesn't equal results.

You should measure your return-on-investment on your Facebook ads rather than your CPC.

Getting a good cost-per-click is awesome if your goal is just to get traffic, but not all traffic is created equal. I'm sure you'd rather have 4 people converting from 50 visitors than 1 person converting from 1,000 visitors.

6. Analyze and optimize your demographics.

It's essential to take a look at which ages, gender or location brings you the most results.

One word of caution -- don't draw conclusions until after you've at least reached 2,000 to 10,000 people. If you don't, you'll become really confused because your conclusions are probably false.

7. Pay attention to cash flow management.

Make sure you have a credit card limit high enough to spend the amount you want. Take into consideration that it might take you a little bit of time for your credit card to receive your payment.

This is cash flow management, but for scaling it's very important. One trick is to have multiple credit cards, because if your ads stop you most likely will lose the optimization you had and thus your results.

Also, make sure Facebook allows you to spend the daily amount you want to spend.

One last word of advice -- go slowly. You might realize that $100/day gives you the most profits, just like you might realize that $100K/day gives you the best results.

Once you've mastered all the technicalities of Facebook ads, all that matters is being aware of the traffic temperature of your audiences.

You essentially want to create ads that attract people by finding a way to make them appreciate what your brand is about. The best results we got from Facebook ads didn't come from the ads themselves but rather the relationship the brand had prior with their clients.

Remember, Facebook ads are only a distribution channel and there's only so much you can say to change people's minds. The art is in the entire digital marketing strategy. Everything has a part to play in your success.

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