Recently, I ran a Social Media Focus Fortnight in the DNW Facebook group. As part of this, I interviewed bloggers with an expertise in a certain area of social media to get their best tips and take on how other bloggers can have success in this area.
One of the interviews I enjoyed most was with Alejandro Nunez, from Mi Viaje por el Mundo, about Facebook ads. He shared pure gold and had me thinking about Facebook ads in a way I never had before.
I had thought they were all about getting leads and selling high priced products.
But it turns out that Facebook ads are also a clever way to get traffic to high converting affiliate posts and to rank better in Google – things that I am always keen to do!
In this interview, you will learn...
- Alejandro’s main focus with Facebook ads
- Where you shouldn’t focus with Facebook ads
- Who should use Facebook ads
- How you measure what is working
- How he uses Facebook ads to promote new posts
- Why you don’t need your own product to make money from Facebook ads
- How much time and money you need for Facebook ads
What is your main focus for Facebook ads? eg making sales, getting readers, reach etc
It depends. Each campaign that I create has a different goal.
I name each campaign depending on the objective which is my business goal and the Facebook campaign goal.
Let me explain a little bit about this.
For my business goal, I have a series of categories which helps me quickly identify what that campaign is supposed to do. For example: SEO, Affiliate, Partnership, PFF (this is my own product sales funnel campaigns) …etc
A long time ago I read that one of Google’s ranking factors is the shares or performance the post has from social networks (ie social proof). I took that into consideration and started to play with the idea.
I don’t have a strong DA because I have never focused on getting links but I have managed to rank some articles on Google’s first page fairly quickly if I create a campaign on Facebook. This is without creating a single backlink.
If you check, my DA is 28. However my organic traffic has been growing steadily and, when I track my keywords, I notice an immediate and consistent improvement in rankings.
So every time I publish a new article, I create a small SEO campaign investing around 5 USD per day to get traffic and trying to make Google noticed it.
These are campaigns with the sole purpose of sending traffic to a post that will generate affiliate sales. Usually these campaigns are created using retargeting.
For example, if you visit my article “What to do in Bangkok”, it’s highly possible you will see an ad later on Facebook that says something like “Hey, you want to see hotels I have stayed and recommend in Bangkok, check out this article” or something similar.
Because you have been on my site, are familiar with my content and are looking for information about certain destination, the chances of you making a booking or buying something for your trip are high.
These are campaigns created to increase the exposure of the post or articles I created for certain brand or company. Sometimes I create it on my own to over deliver results and sometimes the brand asks for them.
I also use ads specifically to get people into a sales funnel that I created for my product.
There are other business goals that I use but these ones give you a clear picture of the first objective on my Facebook Ads.
The second objective is the one from Facebook.
Each time you create a campaign Facebook will ask, “What is that campaign for?” it can be to reach more people, create more engagement, drive traffic, promote your event, play your video, etc, so depending on the objective I use, this is the name I put to identify the campaign.
What goal do you think people should focus on with their Facebook ads and why?
As you noticed they are different objectives you can accomplish using Facebook Ads so it is hard to just select one but I can tell you what NOT to focus: “get likes”.
Getting likes on your Facebook page is a waste of time and money. If you create a campaign to promote a really awesome article the new likes will follow.
Don’t worry about growing your Page Likes counter, it doesn’t matter, you create Ads to make money not to be likable.
So, every time you are going to create a campaign stop to think: “how am I going to get the money back?” and usually when you focus on growing likes you don’t see the money back.
Do you recommend all bloggers use Facebook ads? Who is it best for?
Yes. I totally recommended them for any kind of blogger.
Consider that almost EVERYBODY is on Facebook so you can be sure your audience, don’t matter what it is, is going to be on Facebook.
When you are starting to use Facebook Ads, it is similar to learning about SEO. Once you enter this world there is SO MUCH to learn, do and improve that it’s not as simple as it looks.
Just like Google is always changing its algorithm, Facebook does the same with its Ads platform. It can be a really powerful ally if you learn how to use it properly.
How do you measure that what you’re doing works?
I measure this with money.
As I mentioned before, every campaign has the objective of getting the money back from it.
Let’s say that you have an article that it has been making an average of 600 USD a month only from organic traffic. This means that you are making around 20 USD daily.
If you invest 5 USD a day to promote that article you should expect to get at least those 5 USD back or more, so instead of 20 USD daily it should generate 25USD.
If it doesn’t then something is wrong.
Here is where it gets tricky.
First, be careful with the cookie period of affiliates. If the program has a 30 day cookie period then you should wait 30 days to see if the investment was worth it.
If the program doesn’t have any cookie or is just “during session” it’s easier to track because if you don’t get back those 5 USD back the day you invested, you won’t get them back ever.
The purpose of the ad is to send traffic to your offer (article) and it needs to convert immediately (purchase something that earns you money) unless there is a way to follow or track the user (cookie or email subscription).
I hope this is clear.
If the ads are not working (it’s not making money) it doesn’t mean that Facebook Ads doesn’t work, it means that you are not showing the right message to the right people.
This is where Facebook Ads are so powerful, you can micro segment your audience to show them the information they want.
So don’t create a campaign and forget about it.
Create a campaign, if it doesn’t work to start with, analyze why, what happened? There are so many variables you can change that can have a huge impact on the performance on your ads. This can make a difference of thousands of dollars in revenue.
Do you use Facebook ads to promote new posts?
Yes I do.
I usually create different campaigns with different variables and put 5 USD or less on each campaign. After a few days, I see which campaign outperformed the others.
This means the highest traffic for the lowest money. I turn off the rest of the campaigns and leave this one running for a while.
It’s important to consider that Facebook Ads are a matter of trial and error.
If a campaign is not working shut it off and try another one. In my case, for each new article I create around 5 different campaigns to promote the same article and after a day or two I keep only one of those.
Is it necessary to have your own product to get a good return on Facebook ads?
No. There is a subtle difference between promoting your own product or someone else’s product. At the end, people will buy it for 2 reasons.
Firstly, it’s a good product. It can be a webinar, ebook or booking a nice hotel to stay.
Secondly, it’s your recommendation. If the people trust you and your information then there is little to no difference between selling your own things or using affiliate marketing.
Remember that, similar to SEO, the objective of the Facebook Ads is to send qualified traffic to a page.
SEO focuses on ranking keywords to send traffic, Facebook Ads focus on characteristics and demographics on the person to suggest.
Example, let’s say you have a nice article about Disneyland Paris.
People might find you on Google cause you rank the keyword: “Is it worth it to go to Disneyland Paris” or “Disneyland Paris review” or similar, this will send qualified traffic.
But on Facebook Ads you can create a campaign to people traveling to Paris. You can create a nice looking ad that says something like “Now that you are in Paris you should go to Disneyland Paris, here is an article about whether it’s worth going or not”
Both approaches will accomplish the same objective: Send Traffic.
At the end, the purpose of the page is to CONVERT that traffic into buyers, clients or leads. You can send as much traffic through Google or Facebook Ads as you want but if your page or the offer is not good enough it won’t convert.
How much time would you spend monitoring Facebook ad campaigns? Is it something you work on constantly?
First of all, I think the biggest difference with Facebook Ads as a source of traffic is that you need money to invest.
If you don’t have money to play with ads, you will never learn to use it and improve it.
Most bloggers are struggling with making money from their blogs and when you introduce the option of using ads, they hesitate because they don’t have money and, if they do, they get disappointed immediately because they didn’t see the results they wanted so they consider it a waste of money.
And I get it.
Most of what I have learned about Facebook Ads was through trial and error, I have spent thousands of dollars on campaigns that didn’t work at all, and, in this case SEO seems like an easier and cheaper approach.
The benefit of doing Facebook Ads, in contrast to SEO, is that you will see immediate results. If you have published a good article that converts people into buyers the moment you send qualified traffic through ads you will see the money coming.
The best way that I have found to use SEO and Facebook Ads as a team is that I can create retargeting campaigns for people that arrive to my blog through Google because they search information about a specific place and then, these people get retargeted with a Facebook ad to see similar or related content.
So, Facebook ads and SEO are not mutually exclusive. In fact, they are a perfect complement for each other but Facebook Ads requires a much more active role than SEO.
You need to monitor your ads constantly, when you manage to create an ad that is performing well you can let it run for a while before you need to change it. However, until this happens you need to monitor, change, create, stop and improve your ad constantly.
After you get to know your audience, traffic and how to create ads, it becomes easier. You can create a highly successful campaign in no time but, again, you might need to invest some money to reach this point.
It doesn’t have to be much, it can be as little as 1 USD per day per campaign just to start playing with it then you can increase the budget.
Any other tips?
A quick tip for bloggers.
There are a few settings you need to be careful of when creating an ad.
First one, eliminate instagram from the options. When you create a campaign, the Facebook Ads platform has it activated as default and, if you are trying to drive traffic to your blog post, it is a waste of money, so only select to advertise on Facebook.
Second, on the options on the campaign you can select if the ad will show on desktop, tablet, mobile or any.
If the objective of your campaign is increase the reach and traffic to your blog then use any device is fine. If the objective is to increase your affiliate sales then select only Desktop. Usually people only buy when they are on a computer.
You can create a mobile only campaign to one article like “What to do in Bangkok”. This would be cheap and will increase the traffic and then for this same audience you can create a retargeting campaign only for desktop promoting the article “Cheapest hotels in Bangkok” or something similar.