It has come to that time of year again where most online business are looking toward the Christmas shopping season. This is especially relevant if you are running an e-commerce business. What’s working now and how should you approach the next few weeks and months ahead?

Well to be honest if you are at the start of your Facebook ads journey journey, my biggest piece of advice is to manage your expectations of what is actually possible in a certain time-frame. The biggest let down I see happen to business is that they focus on ads for a month and because they are not getting immediate results, they write Facebook off as a source of sales. This usually occurs when people are just boosting posts. It’s a bit like throwing loads of jelly and hoping something will stick!

This is really premature as Facebook and Instagram still remain the biggest sources of social traffic for most of my clients today. Many are are driving traffic from Facebook, but they are doing it all year round. Why? Well if you know a thing or two about sales and marketing you’ll know that the first place of focus should be building your audience and growing your sales funnel. If you try to sell to cold traffic in the first instance it can be very challenging and costly, but if you have a system in place that will help you to generate those sales, you’re on a winner.

The road to success with Facebook ads with the majority of my clients is a three month process. I’ve coined it as the FB Smart Selling System because I have applied my sales experience to the technical piece. In the first month we focus on the buyer journey, creating the copy and creatives and offers that we anticipate will attract the right audience and we start driving traffic and generating leads.

Does my system get results? 100% it does. Here are some examples: 

  • Insurance broker spending €500 a month on lead ads and generating almost €10k in written business per month
  • B2B client who got their lead cost down from €10 to €1.50 per lead
  • E-Commerce store who are getting an average of 6.9 ROAS
  • E-Commerce in the jewellery business getting 4.7 ROAS in the first week of running test campaigns

Facebook ads change a lot but the way in which we do business has not changed at all. The first thing I’ll say to a client of mine is, if I stood you in front of your target audience and it was the first time you met them what would you say? Rarely would they try and sell right up front. Most of my clients would network or talk and listen with prospects before asking for the sale.

Why then do so many thing that running Facebook ads is a guaranteed source of immediate sales. Don’t get me wrong, if you gave a fabulous product or service that you are already generating sales for elsewhere, then Facebook ads will work for you. BUT you have to be prepared to do the following:

  • Be patient
  • Invest in your audience
  • Accept that some campaigns will fail.. but you will learn
  • Learn to read the reports
  • Be open to learning new things every day

Do all of this and you’ll have success. Now I promised you some insights into what is working today in Facebook ads. I’m excited to share some behind the scenes thanks to one of my dear clients who I have been coaching as part of my 121 Quick Start Program.

Kay Bells owns and runs Ruby Robin Boutique.  As you can see, Kay has a very special product with her handmade keepsakes. They are literally the most gorgeous products I have had the pleasure to sell on Facebook & Instagram.

When Kay came to me, she knew her product was selling in local markets and online already. What she needed was insight into how to get more visibility in the market with her product. We set about running tests on lots of audiences to see what the best cost per click to her website was going to be. I split tested lots of audiences and copy and creative to see what worked.

What you are looking at above is Kay’s Facebook ad account. There are a number of campaigns in here as you can see. One of my goals is always to make my ads pay for my traffic. To break even at the top of the funnel is great as you are building your audience and I always start by running a very basic sales funnel like this. As campaigns start to deliver and things are working I’ll start to look at scaling, retargeting abandoned baskets and getting more bang for buck. After a few days running this campaign I’m happy as we are getting conversions. Now all we need it to iterate to get as many at the best cost possible.

Drive Traffic to landing pages/products ==> retarget the traffic for conversions 

You’ll also notice that there are retargeting ads running. These are shown to people who have already been to the website and the goal is to generate more sales. What starts to happen is that you’ll find your traffic ads paying for themselves.. hopefully but not always and then the cost of retargeting and converting that traffic comes down.

The current campaigns we have running here are only a week old so the results are blowing my socks off … YET. I did wake up to three new sales on the conversion campaign today so I know that this process is working.

The next question people always ask me is what kind of content do you show to people at each stage of the funnel and how do you keep people interested? Well the biggest mistake people make is not running ads in a sequence. Not building out the buyer journey and thinking about how your customers convert is a recipe for disaster.

Before you spend so much as a red cent on Facebook ads, you can take this FREE training that I developed. It’s not too long and will show you how I am getting the results I get for my clients ==>>

What ads to run when and where? 

Every step of the journey that you develop for your business needs to be amplified with the right content for the right audience at the right time. It takes 4-5 touches before people convert nowadays. Did you know that? People are bombarded every day so keeping them warm at every step is going to be key to your success.

Here is a look at the ads we are running for Kay right now.

  1. Driving Traffic 

My goal here is to build a relevant audience of people who will buy Kay’s beautiful keepsakes at one point in their buyer journey. If I can break even and cover my advertising costs, that is going to be a bonus. We’ve done it before as you can see we spent €880 in the summer for 18 sales. We just about made a profit BUT we are building an audience, don’t forget that. At the top of the funnel we are driving traffic to two audiences. The firs is a US audience of engaged shoppers interested in jewellery and Irish heritage.. well we had to get an audience of about 1.5 million. Broad audiences are working really well right now but the US is a BIG pie so I always break my targeting down.

The second ad set is to friends of fans in Ireland. Kay has 69K fans which is a BIG pool of people to pull from. We plan to retarget them as well. You might like to go and browse the page here: 

Our goal is to keep our cost per landing page view to under 15c and as you can see, we are winning. Great product with the right targeting and you’ve got a recipe for success! Working out what your goal cost per action is one of the first paces to start before you spend on facebook ads.If you’re not doing this you may lose money. In addition you need to think about your sale price. Are you selling something really cheaply? If you are ads can be very challenging in my experience.

For traffic ads I am using a slideshow creative. You can see the preview here:

I find these are great for driving traffic, getting engagement and creating audiences of people who viewed the video for retargeting 🙂 So I am not just focusing on a short term goal but long term I am building audiences of people who viewed the videos as well.

Another thing I find is working really well is to create a page post, promote it to your warm audience and then us that existing post in your retargeting campaigns. Why? Ah.. because there is social proof associated with the content and that gives your new viewers trust in what they are seeing.

One tip I always give is to run at least 4 ads in every ad set so that you give Facebook enough content to show the audience options. It also saves you creating loads of separate ones imho 🙂

2. Retargeting Options 

Retargeting is where the magic really happens and in most of my client ad accounts we leverage dynamic product ads so that we show relevant ads to people based on what they visited before. This is especially important if you have a huge number of products on your site. If you are just getting started however you can choose to retarget with products you know sell well or you can use my tip and use promoted posts as your ad creative.

As you can see there are conversions coming off each one of these post ads. The optimisation is for conversions but the creative is what you would normally see on a page or engagement ad.

Again we have used the existing post method here and as you can see there are lots of reactions and social proof on that content. I really find this works. The cost per conversion is varying on these but at this point I am happy.

Other great results across ad campaigns that are working include:

  • Instagram stories in retargeting campaigns
  • Video Viewers Retargeting for Traffic
  • Lead Ads
  • Playing with image dimensions & adding different creatives to keep your audience engaged

What next? 

Well, we have not started to run abandoned cart retargeting yet. Our goal is to build big audiences for this website. We will optimise for traffic, page post engagement, video views and add to cart for the next week or so and then add more layers.

Running ads is kind of like driving a car. There are many things you have to remember but once you get to that point it’s about improving on your results and iterating.

I really hope this post helps you the reader to see how simple running ads really are once you have the strategy and the process correct. If you are wondering how to work with me there are a few ways.

  1. My FB Smart Selling System is great value and includes a Facebook community with weekly Q&A’s :
  2. My 121 quick start program is a six week intensive where I support your business.
  3. My Facebook ads management program. Mostly clients who have a budget in excess of €2,000 a month go for this option

If you want to know more, and have a chat feel free to email me [email protected] or you can start with a FREE training here:

What People Say About Me:

Jenny has excellent knowledge and experience with Facebook marketing and Facebook ads, and how it all integrates with the big picture ~ Mari Smith, Facebook Marketing Expert | Author | Social Media Speaker

Jenny is living proof that doing Social Media right leads to real business results! She knows how to leverage social media for her own business, and it works. She’ll do the same for you! ~ Emeric Ernoult, CEO Agorapulse