As an online advertiser, the best strategy you can adopt is to plan for the worst and hope for the best. There’s no reason to treat your ad rep, your media buyer, or your agency with outward suspicion. But there’s also no reason to implicitly trust them.
Every ad network runs on post click attribution so you need a third party’s perspective on their data. Every ad rep has spend goals they need to hit so you need to take everything they say with a grain of salt because they are usually under a crunch to hit their goals.
Even media buyers with the best of intentions can cause huge losses due to a variety of reasons (more on that later).
FunnelDash is the ultimate source of trust. Think of FunnelDash as the WikiLeaks of paid media buying. It reveals the hidden metrics that even the some of the biggest agencies have no idea how to use, calculate or act on. So, what should you be looking for?
Your Current Buyer is Too Busy for You
We like to call this… “The Peril of an Overworked-Pessimistic Media Buyer”
Here’s the truth. A media buyer’s work is never done. There’s always room for improvement, either in return, or scale, or implementation, or all the above.
Many campaign managers who work at agencies are motivated to get to the point where they can “set it and forget it” for a client. They’ll frontload most of their work into the first 30 days of the retainer and use every client management trick in the book to instill fear and uncertainty into their client, with the aim of lowering expectations.
This is a trap.
There is always something to do. Always something to test. Always efficiency or scale to gain.
As someone who works in client services I’d love to be able to let campaigns run without maintenance, but this isn’t the path to sustainable, long term success. (And this isn’t the path to long term client retention either.)
Think about it like this. Facebook has 1.94 billion active users. Any product that fulfills an already existing societal desire has an unknown amount of scale available on the Internet.
Now let’s say for the sake of argument, only a certain percentage of active Internet users will ever buy your product. Even if you are blasting those users with impressions on Facebook, you still haven’t hit the limit of your scale. Even the biggest newbie of an Internet user visits multiple sites. Even my grandfather visits multiple websites.
Every website, every app your prospect uses is an opportunity to get them to buy.
Rome wasn’t built in a day… neither were cross-channel performance based advertising campaigns built at scale.
Advertisers with a product that costs little to nothing to fulfill all want to scale immediately. But with exponential scale comes exponential resource investment.
Before any campaign or set of campaigns can scale there needs to be a concrete strategy in place. Tactics = Strategy
Your Current Paid Media Agency’s “Step-By-Step” System Doesn’t Work for Everyone
Many gurus will close new clients on a pitch that goes something like, “I have a step-by-step trademarked system I use for all my clients to achieve success”.
And what they’re saying between the lines is, “I have a unique set of tactics known only to me that I will leverage for you but only if you pay me an exorbitant retainer.”
My pitch goes something like this:
“I refuse to guarantee any results. What I guarantee is a methodical STRATEGY that over time will yield incremental gains, verifiable results, and proven tactics specific to your account”.
There’s key difference here. One approach starts from a scarcity mindset: “I can’t educate my client because if they know what we’re doing, they’ll take it in house.”
The other approach starts from an abundant mindset: “I will take the time to educate my client or my proper strategic testing methodology. If they know what I’m doing, they’ll have more insight into what is required for the success of our campaigns and they’ll have a bigger appreciation for my attention to detail and expertise”.
As a media buyer, you are the captain of a company’s growth efforts. You’re charting the course for scale, you’re responsible for taking a small media budget and making sure it can turn into sustainable, long-term profit.
When a client sets a monthly budget, there is a level of responsibility there that should not be taken lightly. And when you open up Facebook Business Manager and see the amount of impressions you serve monthly across all clients, there is a responsibility there too.
The unsexy truth of performance based media buys is there are no guarantees. Your biggest asset is the amount you spend per month. It isn’t the big-name clients you’ve worked with. It isn’t your creative team, your system, or your super-secret funnel or your ad rep.
It’s your dedication. It’s your attention to detail. It’s your commitment to do the same thing over and over again and do it correctly 99% of the time. It’s your commitment to proper testing and your tolerance for controlled risk.
How I Knocked It Out of the Park for My Very First Google Display Client
I remember the first Google Display Network (GDN) client I ever got. It was a big name. I was told to not tell them how inexperienced I was in AdWords.
The campaigns ran at a loss for months. We were thousands of dollars in the red. I dreaded our weekly meetings. I had nightmares about losing that client, about them grilling me every Tuesday. Everyone at the agency knew how bad it was, and my boss refused to join me on most of those calls.
But, every Tuesday I reported the numbers in the most straightforward way I knew how. I acknowledged they were bad. I outlined the previous week’s tests. I outlined the coming week’s tests. And I repeated again and again what baseline funnel metrics we needed to hit to make it work.
Dozens of campaigns and banners and keywords and placements later the client had a new product they wanted to launch. I said, “Great, let’s do it”. We took everything we learned over months of testing and thousands of dollars of ad spend and we ran the launch in the most methodical way possible.
And we turned an insane profit.
I got on the call and I never had nightmares on Monday night again. And I remembered what Emilio Kim told me about GDN and how he never could have become as proficient as he is without having patient clients.
Your Media Buyer Probably Isn’t Testing as Much as They Should Be
The best agencies aren’t very good at business development because they don’t need to be. They retain their clients for months. Their clients recommend them to their friends and associates, so they get a reputation for being the best.
Through methodical and strategic testing. Through open and honest communication with their clients. With a dedication to approaching every day as an opportunity instead of drudgery.
This is why I give away all my PPC audits for free. This is why I take the time to educate my clients. This is why most of my good friends are media buyers.
Because once you understand how the auction works and some basic statistics, you can begin to conceptualize a good testing strategy.
And once you realize there are more social advertisers than ever, you realize the best client you could ever have is one who is savvy enough to understand the importance of paid acquisition to their company, and one patient enough to not pull the plug after one bad day.
This is the kaizen of DR buys. Approaching every cent of spend as an opportunity for incremental gains. Pinpointing key areas of optimization such as ad types, bid types, audiences, images, copy, videos, video length, keywords, demographics, locations, landing pages, tracking softwares, ad networks and more.
The strategy is simple. Minimize the variables in your test and identify the winning tactics/concepts in that test. And iterate and iterate and iterate and iterate…
We learn as much from the tests that fail as the tests that win. It’s important to pull your head out of the weeds once in a while and realize that, even if a test has decreased your scale, efficiency, and results in the short term.
In the long term a methodical testing strategy is what will separate you from someone who relies heavily on a single tactic (i.e. cloning, account rentals, 1-cent-click glitches, swiping what they think is 100% of someone else’s succesful campaign, cloaking, etc.) which will almost inevitably stop working in the future.
The Prospector’s Joy
Prospecting is an apt name for what we do. Because, I imagine the joy I feel in hitting a new level success on a campaign is something similar to what a prospector during the gold rush must have felt after digging for hours, days, or months, and finally finding that gold bearing vein.
Here Are The 5 Reasons Why Our Free Paid Media Audit Could Save You Big Money
1) You’ve already spent a significant amount of money on ads but you’re missing the diamonds in the rough because you don’t know how to find them in all of your data.
2) You’ve tested tons of images or copy or videos and you think you have the best piece of creative. What you don’t know is, which one is the best piece of creative for a specific demographic or audience.
3) You’ve hit a ceiling with your ad spend and you have no idea how to reach the next level of scale.
4) You paid a consultant a ton of money to learn ads or you paid for a course but the strategies you learned are outdated or just pure hype.
5) You have all the foundational knowledge necessary to run a good campaign but you haven’t been able to stick to a concrete testing calendar.
We Follow a “6-Step Process” to Audit Every Facebook Campaign
Step 1: You sign up for a Free Funnel Dash trial and authenticate your Facebook Ads.
Step 2: We review your audiences.
Step 3: We audit your funnel performance and look for ways to improve it.
Step 4: We pinpoint your “diamond” traffic segments. Analysis that goes 2,3, even 4 layers deep and identifies the best ads for a specific demo for a specific audience.
Step 5: We audit your account structure and see if you are actually shooting yourself in the foot with:
- A lack of audience exclusions.
- A lack of segmentation.
- Audience sizes that are too small or too big.
Step 6: We perform a competitive analysis and figure out what traffic sources you could be buying on that you are not.
There you have it. Our 6-step process that inevitably helps us find ways that you can improve your current Facebook ads strategy.
Join our online training to find out how you can use this same process to convert leads into clients who will pay you $2,000 – $5,000 per month to run their Facebook ads. Click on the button below to save your seat.