Why do my Facebook Ads suddenly cost more?
If you have been hit by rising Facebook ad costs, then this post will explain why your costs are going up and give you practical tactics to deal with increasing Facebook ad prices and bring your ad costs down again
There are 3 key things that you need to understand about Facebook advertising
- How Customer Intent on Facebook differs to what you are used to on Google
- The differences between 1:1 and 1:many advertising
- How new users flow into the Facebook system
1. How Customer Intent on Facebook differs to what you are used to on Google
People on Google are actively looking for solutions to a problem. However, people on Facebook are passively consuming content and you have to work extra hard to take them from passive consumer to actively clicking on your ad
If I am searching for shoes, you just have to show me your shoes
If I am looking at kittens, your advert better be damn good to get my attention!
2. The difference between 1:1 and 1:many advertising
Google’s advantage is that its users have very high conversion intent. Google is a 1:1 environment. One ad gets seen by one person at a time.
Facebook’s advantage is that one advert can get be seen by many people for just the cost of one ad. Facebook has the potential to be a 1:many environment. One ad can be seen by many people for just the cost of a one ad.
Unlocking this potential for 1:many advertising is where the value of Facebook advertising lies.
If you get stuck in the Google mentality of 1:1 advertising on Facebook, you will struggle to understand the Facebook ad platform’s true value. You will also miss Facebook’s ability to push down CPC and push up ROI beyond that of Google
This SMX Right Hand Side ad uses the 1:1 mindset. It costs them money each time a person sees it and does not take advantage of any of the viral sharing mechanisms that make Facebook awesome.
Coca Cola creates a piece of content that it then promotes, taking advantage of Facebook’s sharing and commenting facility to get more views than it pays for directly.
This promoted post gets shared directly in the comment of the promoted post, at no extra cost to the advertiser
1:1 advertising on Facebook with Right Hand Side posts is not wrong, but it’s not right either. The value on Facebook is unlocking Social Sharing of your ads
3. How new users flow into the Facebook system
The process of putting Google and Facebook ads live are very similar and this incorrectly leads people to assume that the rest of the platform, systems and working are also similar. This is not the case.
The difference lies not in the advert, but in the delivery of people to see your ads. A subtle but killer difference in Facebook and Google ads is in the flow of new users into the system.
An easy way to understand this is to see Google users as fish in a stream. Every day a set number of fish (users) flow past you and your advert acts like a fisherman who can catch some of these fish. You can not affect the number of fish in the stream each day, but you can come back every day and catch new fish. But each day, by becoming a better fisherman (improving your advert), you can catch a greater % of the fish that flow past.
Facebook users are like fish in a pond. You can fish them out by moving to new pools (target them by moving to new segments), each of which have a set number of fish in it. Each pond (segment) only refills with new fish very, very slowly. This means that initially you can catch a lot of fish but if you come back tomorrow there won’t be new fish to catch. Even if you become a better fisherman (improve your advert), you have already taken a lot of the fish (converting users) out of the pond. A better advert won’t necessarily get you a better result.
How you need to interpret the difference between Social Advertising and Search Advertising
You can compare Google ads over time
Because potential users are a constant number each day, the only variable you have is your advert, which you can slowly improve over time. In fact, almost any value you want to work on can be improved over time quite easily – CPC, ROI, CPA or Conversion rate.
Having only the ad as a variable makes for an easy life with nice graphs going up and to the right.
You cannot compare Facebook ads over time
Because the potential clients will decrease each day based on how many clients you converted from your segment the day before, both your advert and the size of your target audience are variables. This makes the system much more complex – even though after 6 months you have a much better advert, the fact that it gets shown to an audience less likely to convert means that it is difficult to understand how much the advert has improved or whether the ad has improved at all.
The ad you show to people in the light blue segment after 6 months can be much better than the ad you showed to the people in the dark blue segment on day 1, but the ad will have much worse CPC, ROI, CPA or Conversion rate simply because the audience is less likely to convert.
After a while targeting a pond or segment of users – you are going to see your ads get suddenly more expensive – your CTR will plummet and your CPCs will skyrocket.
In the more complex environment of Facebook ads, you have variables in both the advert and audience sides of the equation. It is hard to pick out what is actually happening – your audience is drying up, even as you improve your adverts.
Watch the video to see me explain and draw through the whole advert comparison process
@Firstconversion‘s 10 Ways To Solve Facebook Ad Costs Problems
1. Set internal business expectations
Don’t let people in your business expect that Facebook ads will simply run as easily and smoothly as Google Ads. You need to prepare them for the differences and explain the differences in Audiences before you start spending money
Facebook ads are simple to get started with but challenging to master – you have more work ahead of you than you realise and your business needs to be prepared for the learnings and failures on the path ahead
Facebook advertising is a lot more work than Google advertising. It will never “dial in”, you will never be able to “let it run”
2. Facebook changes faster than Google
Facebook ads are a much younger platform than Google ads and they are happy to make large scale changes very quickly and without forewarning. I often find new targeting options just by playing around in the editors
Sell guns by targeting political affiliations? Sell software by targeting job roles?
3. Create an explicit testing plan
Sit down and explicitly think through what you want to test and create a 3 or 6 month testing plan
I developed a list of themes to test for a client
4. Use retargeting
Don’t just do ads on Facebook; use retargeting on Facebook to track down people who visited but did not convert. I use Adroll and it is a very simple tool for retargeting
If you are not using retargeting, you are an idiot. Use retargeting
5. Use dynamic or Targeted and Tested Landing Pages
6. Get better at copywriting
Once you hit the ROI you need on Google ads, it is easy to just coast along and leave ads alone. You cannot be lazy about copywriting on Facebook. If you coast along on Facebook you will get caught out when the audience pool dries up. The way to prolong the life of your audiences is to write better ad copy
7. Keep a scratchpad of good stuff
Every time you see an eye catching ad on Facebook, just screenshot it and paste it into a Powerpoint document. After a while you will be able to categorise the ads and you will get a firm understanding of what works. I wrote an article for Moz specifically on this which goes into more depth
8. Makes sure you clean your posts
If you are paying to promote posts (and you should be because that is where the sharing magic happens) make sure to clean spam and negativity out of the comments section
9. Custom audiences
If you already have a list of emails from your customers, load those into Facebook as a custom audience and bring them back to your site to buy again
If you do good email segmentation of your email database, you can then do good great custom audience targeting on Facebook and deliver very specific, high impact messages
10. Lookalike audiences
Lookalike audiences allow you to take a set audience and let Facebook expand that audience for you. It is super effective! If you combine Custom audiences with Lookalike audiences you can e.g. upload 5000 emails of people who bought from you and then have Facebook expand that into a much larger Lookalike audience who have the same characteristics of your Custom audience and are therefore likely to convert for you
11. OCPM may blow your mind
Optimised Cost per Mille (OCPM) lets Facebook do your bidding for you. A lot of people avoid it because they would rather have the control of setting their own CPCs, but I have found OCPM to deliver considerably better CPCs. I have campaigns where the OCPM CPC is lower than I can physically set the CPC on Facebook
My CPC is so low that Facebook cannot even display it