I have a confession to make. I have always struggled with Facebook advertising. No matter how many guides I read, ad combinations I tried or videos I watched I just couldn’t crack the “Facebook Advertising Code”.
This, as you can imagine, was extremely frustrating. I would read post after post about people achieving clicks for a few cents and everything I did came in closer to (if not over) the $1 mark.
I even went to the extent or hiring someone who runs Facebook ads for a job to set up a campaign (this was for another project, not Task Pigeon). I believed that there must be something I was doing wrong, and that there knowledge would fix the issue.
But at the end of the day they didn’t know any better either. The cost per click / engagement was still sky high.
When it came time to advertise Task Pigeon I ran a small campaign that re-targeted people who had already visited our website but was scared of running one that was just for promoting content or creating brand awareness. Based on my past experience I couldn’t justify spending $1 just to get a single view!
That all changed the other week when I went back to the drawing board and started again…
I had an idea to create a blog post covering Elon Musk’s to do list. While this wasn’t a blog post that would directly sell my task management application, Task Pigeon, the focus of the campaign was on driving traffic to my blog.
Once I cracked that code I could experiment with different post types and work on getting people to opt in to my marketing funnel.
Define The Audience – Finding Super fans
The core premise of my idea for targeting was to find people who were “super fans” of Elon Musk. My hypothesis was that these people would be highly likely to engage with the blog post I had written.
My settings for the ad campaign where:
- I targeted every country as my product is global but refined the campaign settings to only target people who speak English.
- The next tier of the campaign was to find people who were hardcore Elon Musk super fans. For that I used the “AND” feature to narrow the audience and used the following settings:
- Have an interest in “Elon Musk” AND
- “Tesla” AND
- “Hyperloop” AND
If you liked Elon Musk and three of his core projects then I was certain this post would appeal to you. In fact the audience was defined as being 40,000 people so there are a hell of a lot of Elon Musk fans out there.
My hypothesis proved correct and I managed to achieve a cost per engagement of only 2 cents!
I almost fell off my chair when I checked the stats the next day. I had never, ever had a campaign anywhere near this successful, nor did I think it was realistic for me to achieve. I finally felt like I had received value for money from a Facebook advertising campaign.
Now, obviously the cost per engagement includes post comments, likes, shares, etc, as well as clicks. So on a purely cost per click basis it came in at 11 cents! Still a fantastic result.
I also got a benefit that I didn’t expect 37 new page likes. This was directly from the ad itself but I then went through and invited everyone who had liked the post to follow my page and in the space of a week added 100 new fans.
Yes, it a vanity metric…. but its still nice to see.
Further Testing of The Audience
The next part of my experiment was to try and determine what the cost per click / engagement would be if I refined the targeting to only look at countries where ad costs are typically higher.
For this I targeted:
- United States
- United Kingdom
- South Africa
I wanted to see if just targeting these countries would blow my results out of the water. While Facebook allows you to refine and see country by country results within a campaign I wanted to run it again anyway and see what transpired. Was there going to be an impact if I only harder higher network countries?
As one would expect the cost per engagement was higher. It did however come in at a very respectable 15 cents.
What was surprising however was that when targeting people only from these locations a larger proportion of them clicked the link, rather than just liking or engaging with the post. As a result the cost per click was only 18 cents, 7 cents higher than when I targeted every country under the sun.
Also because I was targeting a smaller number of countries I actually had to cut the interest in “Hyerloop” from my list of interests as the audience size got to small if I kept it in. No doubt this would have affected the quality of “super fans” somewhat, thus also impacting the cost.
Overall this was still a massive improvement on past campaigns where I struggled to get clicks for anything even resembling that kind of number.
Comparing Results With A “Boring” Ad
Now that I had figured out how to use targeting so effectively I wanted to see if I could replicate this for something that was more relevant to my company, Task Pigeon, and the types of customers I wanted to engage with.
Where the Elon Musk post was great for traffic and general awareness I wanted to “speak” to people who were managers and thus more likely to actually want or need Task Pigeons task management tool. As a result I created an ad to promote my post on “How Different Management Styles Affect Employee Motivation and Productivity”.
For the targeting I went global again and focused on people who spoke English.
I refined the audience by narrowing their interests to having:
- A job title/position as a “Manager” AND
- An interest in “Productivity Software”
The results of this were an impressive 11 cents per click. This matched the result I got for the Elon Musk post that one would assume is more likely to interest people who are just casually scrolling through their feed.
This post didn’t bring in as many page likes (only 7), but when you include all engagements, the cost per engagement was only 9 cents. I found this very interesting. A post that potentially is a better magnet to attract people who have a need or interest in productivity tools performed better than the cool/interesting piece on a well known Entrepreneur.
Moving Forward – What I Need To Learn Next
While it has been great to finally see some decent results from Facebook advertising on a cost per click basis my next focus is on working out how to convert interest in a post into a customer of Task Pigeon or at the very least someone who opts in to the various lead magnets I have on my page.
At the end of the day a campaign is only going to be as successful as the revenue it ultimately generates but after many missteps with Facebook Ads in the past I am happy to finally get this first part of the puzzle in place.
It will be interesting to see what results I get when I begin playing around with more targeted ads designed to acquire users or drive them to product landing pages.