The Assumptions That Are Sabotaging Your Facebook Advertising Success!

These are a few of the comments I’ve heard from my private Facebook advertising clients when we’ve been discussing their strategy for converting their targeted audience into paying clients from Facebook ads:

“My audience won’t download an eBook…”

“My audience don’t like webinars…”

“My audience won’t accept me sending daily emails…”

 “My audience prefer a specific style of post or image…”

But, here’s the thing. In EVERY case, these were untested ASSUMPTIONS!

And we all know what assuming does, eh?!

Assumptions that are sabotaging your Facebook ads success

Targeted audience? WHICH audience?

Before you create any Facebook advertising (or post boosting), get clear on WHICH of your audiences you should be targeting, because there is more than one type of audience.


A)     Some people woke up this morning with no idea that they have a problem that needs solving, let alone any sense of commitment to getting help with a solution.

B)     The next group of people within your audience are aware they have a problem that needs solving, but they aren’t in enough ‘pain’ to seek out a solution yet.

C)     And the final group are in enough pain to be looking for a solution, they’re just not yet aware that you are the person that can help them.

Each of these audiences will respond to different motivations and be receptive to different marketing.

The first group is looking for a quick result from something quick to consume.

A short guide, quiz, or cheat sheet is what this audience will be attracted to.

The second group want more information because their motivation to act is higher.

This group will respond to a longer eBook, or a video series.

The last group will invest the most time because they’re evaluating you and will take the time to make sure you’re a good fit.

This group is more likely than the other two to ATTEND a webinar, for example. (Groups one and two might register, but are less likely to show up or watch the replay.)

When I’m working with clients on designing their Facebook advertising strategy, my advice is to primarily focus on the first group of people.

Create a valuable freebie (lead magnet) that appeals to the first group, so MORE PEOPLE will be giving you their email address and you’re building your list from the outset.

This first group is MOST of the people who will see your ads when you use interest targeting.

You know, when you select the audience you want to see your ads as ‘people who are interested in xx topic/brand/influencer’.

These are referred to as your COLD audience because until they saw your ad in their newsfeed, they had no idea who you were.

People in your cold audience are highly unlikely to be ready to buy your services yet.

While that first ad is attracting email subscribers for you, behind the scenes you craft a series of nurturing content (email, social media and follow up ads) that serves up a ton of value. Nurturing your relationship, until they are ready to move themselves up into audience two or three.

Once you’re attracting new subscribers to your email list from audience one, you can begin to introduce invitations for them to take the next steps.

You do this by making use of the remarketing opportunities Facebook offers, to show ads to people who have been nurtured from audience one – giving them the option to step up when they are ready.

Building your remarketing audiences from your existing contacts

You have likely built a database of email subscribers who fall into audiences one, two and three already? Because people on your email list will have been aware of you for longer, we can assume that more of your existing contacts will be in audiences two or three.

E.g. People who are:

  • Your existing email subscribers
  • Engaging with your Facebook page (not just people who like your page, unless they have also engaged)
  • Watching your Facebook videos
  • Visiting your website or specific page/s on your website
  • Connected to you in Linked in

Inside Facebook’s Ads Manager, we can:

  1. Upload a .csv file of your email contacts (or a segmented selection of them – such as people who have registered for a webinar) and Linked in connections, to create a custom remarketing audience from both.
  2. Set up remarketing audiences to track the people who are visiting your website, specific page/s on your website, engaging with your Facebook page and/or page posts, and watching your Facebook videos.

If you don’t already have these remarketing audiences set up, do it now. Create the audiences to start tracking who is in your warm audiences and to craft a series of strategic page posts to begin segmenting your engaged fans according to their specific interests.

So now, you can create laser-targeted ads that automatically show to relevant audiences, and if you choose, exclude specific audiences from seeing your ads too.

Why exclude specific audiences from seeing your Facebook advertising?

Let’s say your ad is to promote your free eBook to your Linked in connections, inviting them to opt in to access it if they’re interested.

(For the love of everything, do not just add your Linked in connections to your email list/CRM without them choosing to opt in by downloading your lead magnet!)

After INCLUDING your Linked in connections audience, you want to EXCLUDE anyone who has already downloaded the eBook, so, you’re not wasting money showing your ad to people who have already converted.

Achieve a greater ROI from your Facebook advertising with a clearly defined strategy

The lack of a defined strategy is why so many people get poor results from Facebook advertising.

Without a Facebook ads strategy, you are hoping an isolated advert will produce results when you haven’t figured out how YOU are going to achieve those results!

What result do you want your ad to achieve?

If your objective is to generate sales from your ad, what actions could people have taken previously that would indicate an interest in what you want to sell from this ad?

Which audiences have taken that action to indicate a higher likelihood of interest?

When your objective is to sell, NEVER use interest targeting to put your ad in front of a COLD audience.

Ads to sell should only be shown to your remarketing audiences.

For example, say you sell training on how to use Widget A, and you want your Facebook ad to generate sales of your Widget A training program.

Previous actions that your audience could have taken to indicate a potential interest in buying this training, include:

  1. Reading blog post/s on your website about using Widget A effectively.
  2. Watching video/s you posted with tips about using Widget A.
  3. Visiting the Widget A training program sales page previously, but not yet purchased the training.
  4. Downloaded a free eBook from your website about getting better results from Widget A, excluding those who bought your training program upsell.
  5. Registering for a webinar you ran previously, where you taught Widget A strategies and invited attendees to buy the training, excluding people who have already bought.

These audiences would indicate the highest level of interest.

Slightly less indicative of interest, but more interested than a cold audience, would be people who:

  1. Engaged with your Facebook page generally – commenting on, or liking your page posts and videos
  2. Visited any page on your website
  3. Visited any similar training program sales pages
  4. Downloaded a lead magnet about a similar topic from your website
  5. Have registered for another webinar you hosted previously, on a similarly related topic

Everyone in the above audiences knows who you are, and are more likely to have got to know, like and trust you enough to feel confident considering buying from you.

For your cold audience, people that you target because of their general interest in a topic, such as “people who are interested in widgets” but who don’t know you, advertise your lead magnet so you’re building your list, and have the opportunity to begin and nurture a relationship with them.

Next, show them something else that is of value to them, such as:

  1. A blog post/s on your website about using Widget A effectively, with a call to action at the end to download your free eBook
  2. A video sharing tips about using Widget A effectively – with a CTA to download your eBook
  3. An invitation to download your free eBook with a CTA at the end of the eBook to purchase the training program

So, you start your relationship by offering a ton of value upfront, and once they’ve consumed the value, you invite them to take another action that would indicate a higher level of interest.

But, as they take each step, you are tracking them in your remarketing audiences. Now you can show them an ad with the invitation to take the next step, to nurture your relationship through the meet, like, know, trust process – entirely on autopilot.

The importance of split testing your Facebook advertising

You can never KNOW what will be most appealing to your target audience until you test a few different variations and see the stats for how well they performed.

Your first ads will split test audiences, images, and copy. Following on from these initial tests, you can break down the data further to get very specific with your testing.

You should never target more than one cold audience in each ad set, otherwise, you’ll never know which audience is delivering which results.

Initially, you’re split testing which audience responds and converts best and cheapest, then within that, you’re testing which image and copy get the most clicks and conversions.

It’s not unusual for two broadly similar audiences to respond to polar opposite images.

For example, say you show audiences A and B the same three ads; each of the three ads has different images but all have the same copy.

Audience A might respond best to image 1, and image 3 gets few or zero responding.

However, when you look at the stats for audience B, image 3 is the most popular, and image one gets few or zero responses.

What is a response?

This is where the data can get even more interesting.

Image 1 might get more clicks from audience A, but image 2 generates more conversions.

So, when you look at the numbers, although image 1 seems to be the most popular, image 2 is actually the better performing image.

The possibilities to truly understand your audience’s motivators, and build your true client avatar is phenomenal when you are split testing.

To ignore split testing is to lose the opportunity to get to know the FACTS about what your audiences do and don’t respond to.

You can drill right down into very specific data to see which audience is getting you the most and cheapest conversions – information that you can leverage elsewhere in your marketing too.

And, the best bit about all of this?

You don’t need any additional, third-party software to be able to implement what I’ve shared here.

Everything is available inside Facebook’s native Ads Manager and Power Editor – for no additional cost!

Just imagine how much more effective and profitable your advertising could be when you know precisely who to show which ads to?

How much more powerful could your marketing campaigns be when you have created a clearly defined avatar, based only on real FACTS of who is responding to your ads?!

What assumptions are YOU making about your audience that you’ve never actually tested to prove yourself right or wrong?

What do you believe to be the truth about your audience right now? If you sit down and think about it, do you honestly have any evidence of this ‘truth’, other than it being an opinion you’ve formed based on something you’ve been told?


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