Over the last 3 weeks or so I’ve had the joy of trying to make money with Facebook Ads and trying to figure out what the minds in the ad department will allow to be shown on their site. Luckily I was able to secure $250 in free Facebook advertising coupons (some have expired as of this post) via NeilsWeb.com so this little advertising experiment didn’t cost me anything.
Probably the biggest drawback to advertising on Facebook is just trying to figure out what the ad editors want. In a previous post I lamented that the ad editors were so arbitrary in their decision making that they were causing blood to shoot from my eyes. After posting some 28 ads and getting 8 disapproved, I think I finally have somewhat of a handle on what is acceptable. They won’t accept anything that even remotely resembles spammy advertising, whether it be in the way you write your ads or the product you’re advertising.
Their old advertising guidelines don’t give you much direction on how your ads should be worded and while their new guidelines (not yet published, but found at Nickycakes.com) are much better at explaining what they’re looking for, their philosophy on advertising in general is bizarre to say the least. The text in your ad can’t imply that there is anything wrong with a person who might click on your ad. For instance, ads for weight loss products can’t say something like, “Want To Lose That Weight?” because that would be implying that those who want to lose weight are overweight. Well ya! Your ads must be worded in a neutral way such as, “Lose Weight With Product X” or Product X Weight Loss”. Completely lame.
It seems like the ad department at Facebook needs a little schooling in long established marketing principles because they seem to be hell bent on rewriting the rules of advertising. For Facebook to not even allow you to creatively pique a potential customer’s interest by asking a question, to establish a need, is just plain foolish. The powers that be at FB might have to rethink that one when their ad revenue starts drying up.
So what exactly happened with the $250 in free advertising credits? Well, my results didn’t turn out all that well. After spending $247 of the $250 I managed to only earn back $87.15, not a good return. Here’s how it all breaks down:
28 total ads created
4 ads generated revenue
Total = 87.15
3 Paused due to bleeding revenue to the tune of $97 in about 2 days time.
Probably the biggest hindrance to earning back the $250 was the high bid prices that are suggested you start your campaign with. Many of them are in the 50 to 70 cents per click range and I started 3 campaigns that ate up $97 rather quickly and produced zero results. I didn’t really figure out how some people such as Neil from NeilsWeb.com are able to get their bids low and still get a decent CTR. Most of my campaigns ran at a ridiculously low CTR of 0.03% and while I ran one campaign after I’d spent the $250 in free credits that got a 0.27% CTR, it ended up producing zero revenue after spending around $30.
Okay, what did I learn from this? While it’s still somewhat of mystery as to how some people are rockin Facebook Ads and cleaning up in revenue, I learned these basic things:
- Don’t advertise spammy offers.
- Find the fine line between neutral and creating too much of a sensation and you will get your ads approved.
- Watch your ads closely and reduce bid prices accordingly if you are spending too much.
- Look for offers or products that pay high, cost the consumer little and have appeal to the young Facebook audience.
- Don’t listen to me, I essentially lost money! For crying out loud, read NeilsWeb.com and NickyCakes.com and learn from people who actually make money with Facebook Ads.
I’m not taking this as defeat though. There is a way to make money with Facebook Ads because other people are doing it, I’m just going to be a lot more careful with the next $250 spent, because this time it’s my money on the table.
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