5 Questions to Ask Before Starting Ads

Thinking about starting social media ads? There’s no denying that Facebook and Instagram have incredible targeting capabilities that can help you reach and convert more customers.

So you might be thinking it’s a no-brainer to fork over your credit card and dive head first into ads.

But…

Before you dive in, there are a few questions to ask yourself first.

Why do you want to do ads?

If you know me, you know I believe everything you do needs to have a purpose. That includes ads. If you think ads are going to be a quick fix, you aren’t ready. Ads are not a magic bullet or a quick fix. Ads aren’t to fix something that isn’t working well—ads help amplify things that are already working well.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO GET OUT OF YOUR ADS?

What goals do you have for your ads? You need to know what you are optimizing your ads for in order to set them up correctly, and so you know if they are successful or not.

Understand why you are running ads. What are you trying to achieve? The why needs to be clear so that you can build a strategy to get there. When you have a clear end goal, you can reverse engineer the strategy to get there.

Just like any other marketing tactic, you need to have a strategy. Let’s say your end goal is that you want people to sign up for your course.

You can run ads promoting the benefits of the course, testimonials from past students, and send them to your website for more information and to sign up. What has to happen to build the know, like, trust factor so that they want to do business with you?

Remember that these people likely don’t know you, or your products or services. So you need to build that credibility with your ads.

Do you have a proven offer?

If you are promoting a product or service, do you know you have something viable to push? Do you have sales? Have you gotten client or customer feedback? It is important to know that before you spend money pushing people to your product or service.

If you are promoting an existing offer, has it been successful without ads? If you are launching something new, have you tested interest through polling your audience on Stories, or asking for feedback around your audiences’ needs?

Side note—also make sure that things behind the scenes are functioning well, too. When someone clicks on your ad, what is that experience like? If you send them to your website, does you website function well, is it consistent with your social media presence? Don’t spend money to send people somewhere that isn’t functioning well. Then you are just wasting money.

Can you Afford Ads?

Do you have a set budget for ads? Or are you just going to “try them out” and see if it works? You should approach ads with a “testing” mindset. The more testing you do, the more successful you will be. That means you need to have the budget and mindset to ride things out, learn from the data and make necessary adjustments. If you approach your ads as if they are a magic bullet you will give up too soon. Be patient. Test what works and resonates with your target audience.

What your budget should be depends on a lot of things—audience size, price point of your offer, demographic targeting, etc. Do some research in Ads Manager around your audience and different budgets to see their potential impact on reach and conversions. When you find a daily budget that aligns with your goals, do some math. Plan to commit to at least 3 months of ads (remember, it’s not a quick fix).

daily budget x 30 = monthly spend

monthly spend x 3 = budget

EXAMPLE:

daily budget: $10/day = $300/month = $900 for 3 months.

I recommend making sure you have that extra line item planned and accounted for (literally). If you need to, start saving money or allocating a % of your sales to your ad spend budget. That way you know the cost and it won’t surprise you or sting as much.

How will you know if they are working?

So you know your goals and you have a strategy and the budget for ads. You finally figured out ads manager and got your ads approved and running. Woohoo! That’s it, right? Now you just sit back and watch the sales roll in. Right? Right?!

No! You have to set benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs) to be able to tell if your ads are working and to make changes if you need to. Know this—when you are looking at Ad Manager results, there are SO MANY metrics available to you. You DO NOT need to track them all. Decide which ones matter most to you, and customize the columns to only look at those.

Depending on your campaign goals, the metrics you need to track will vary, but below are some of the main ones and what they mean:

MetricWhat it means
reachThe number of people who saw your ads at least once. Reach is different from impressions, which may include multiple views of your ads by the same people.
clicksThe number of people who performed a link click (unique link clicks). The total number of clicks on your ads (clicks all).
CTRThe percentage of times people saw your ad and performed a click (all).
CPCThe average cost for each click (all).
conversionsThe number of times someone took a specific action (i.e. adds to cart, completes registration, etc.)

Bottom line

Before you start ads, make sure you understand why you want to utilize them and how they work. Social ads are their own unique beast and the better you understand how they work, but more effectively you will be able to use them.

If you have any questions, let me know.

Do you use social media ads? How have they worked for you?

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