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How to Run Facebook Ads

Chapter 3 by Amanda Gaid & Adeel Qayum

Facebook is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to ecommerce.

If you look at the data from their first quarter of 2019, the company saw 26% year-over-year advertising revenue growth compared to the first quarter of 2018 – going from about $11.8 billion to $14.9 billion.

facebook advertising stats

Simply put: people love shopping online, and more of them are turning to Facebook and Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) to do it.

When you combine this intel with the sheer amount of time people spend on these two social media platforms alone, you can see a clear recipe for advertising success.

This is why many dropshippers – and most of our Dropshipping Masters – use Facebook ads as the primary revenue-driver for their businesses.

Of course, it’ll take some due diligence on your part before you’re able to rake in some serious cash with your Facebook advertising strategy.

That’s why we’ve got some juicy tips from the Masters to help shorten your learning curve.

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Focus on your product first

There are a lot of approaches for diving into Facebook marketing, and you’ll hear a lot of discussion and strategies for finding the right audience.

While your audience is a massive part of the formula, Jordan Bourque emphasizes that your product should come first.

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No point in searching for the right audience when no one wants the product to begin with, eh?

jordan bourque dropshipper

Jordan Bourque says,

“I think the product is the most important thing. You can test different audiences and go in-depth later, but in the testing phase, you’ve got to keep it very simple.

The product is the most important thing, because your audience is either going to like your product or they’re not. So if you see some sort of traction with the product, that’s when you want to dive into the audience.”

Keep it simple – just “sell the click”

The ideal type of ad can vary drastically depending on the nature of the product and the type of audience that’s interested in it. But a good rule of thumb when it comes to Facebook product ads is to keep it clean and only say what you need.

Marc and his partner Noah feel that this is a key for their success.

Marc Popov facebook ads

Marc Popov says,

“It’s probably the simplicity that makes our best ad successful. It’s basically a carousel ad of four images and it features all the key elements of our product.

I think it looks visually appealing because when you scroll and you see a bunch of videos and then you see this phone case shown on a black background, it pops up on the feed. People stop, they look at it, and then they click on it.”

Master bonus: If you’re interested in hearing more from Marc, check out this video where he gives a detailed overview of the process he follows for researching profitable niches.

To take the simplicity rule a bit further, Harry Coleman doesn’t even give specific offers in his Facebook ads. His theory is that your Facebook Ads formula should be geared toward “selling the click” over selling the product itself.

Harry coleman on fb ads

Harry Coleman says,

“On the ad side of things, you need to focus on your link click through rate. And that comes down to how well you are connecting with the person who is looking at the advert. It comes down to these three things that make up a good ad: the attention or hook, the benefits of the product, and the call to action.

A lot of people get this wrong. I generally don’t write things like ‘Save 50% off today’ or ‘Save this today, there’s only X amount left.’ I think this is trying to sell too much. The whole purpose of the advert is just to sell the click, that is it – not the products, just the click.”

Build your brand with custom videos

While it’s absolutely possible to find success with Facebook ads that feature photos and videos from your suppliers, you should ideally be investing in custom photos and videos when you have the resources

This is especially true for videos, which are an increasingly killer way to build engagement and snag sales.

Video is a boon for today’s entrepreneur, with 88% of video marketers saying they’re satisfied with their social media ROI.

ROI of video marketing

Shooting your own videos is a powerful tool for building a brand, and many of our Dropshipping Masters – like Ryan Carroll – will tell you that a strong brand is critical.

Ryan Caroll video ads

Ryan Carroll says, 

“It was funny how I realized how to shoot video ads. I was running basic photo ads, and then when competitors started coming in, I could tell that my ads weren’t doing as well as they once were. 

When I first launched the store in February, I did okay for the first month or two, making a few thousand every day. And then I realized eventually it started slowing down and my Facebook ads were just getting crappy.

I was like, ‘I really needed to custom-brand this with my own video ads.’ That will completely set you aside from all of your competitors, 100%.”

Master bonus: If you’re interested to hear more insights from Ryan, take a peek at this video where he discusses some ideas for what to sell.

Split test on different audiences

Facebook’s split testing (also commonly called A/B testing) feature lets you directly compare two or more ads with slight changes. For example, you can test the same exact ad on different audiences, or the same ad copy and audience, but with a different photo.

There are infinite ways you can go about it, and it can be a great way to get some intel on the direction you should take for future ads.

Andreas Koenig and Alexander Pecka strongly recommend using this technique to find the right audience.

facebook split test dropshipping

Andreas Koenig says,

“You have to have a little bit of money for testing Facebook ads. Facebook wants to earn money with you, and they will not give you the best pixel data in your first steps. 

You should split test around 10 different audiences at $5 a day, and then you’ll see from the numbers which could be a winner. Then duplicate this audience and go that way.

If you only make two or three audiences to test, you may not have success and you’ll think that it’s not a winning product, even though it is maybe. But you were following a false marketing strategy.”

Pro tip: Learn how to set up split test ads here.

Take advantage of Facebook Messenger bots

Ashley Banks had a clever idea when it came to boosting engagement. He used a Facebook Messenger chatbot, which can be operated through companies like Manybot or ManyChat.

He found that this was often the extra push of engagement that many people needed to convert after interacting with his best Facebook ads, as opposed to just being window shoppers.

Plus, you can program the apps so that users can interact with your brand in different ways, like asking questions or browsing inventory.

ashley banks facebook messenger bots

Ashley Banks says,

“I set up a bot based on anyone who commented on a specific advert. It said something like, ‘Hey, I appreciate you commenting and spreading the word.’ And as a ‘thank you,’ it would offer a code for free shipping or 10% off.

It was a psychological incentive for them to actually use the code and get something. And I wasn’t losing any money, because shipping was priced into the product.”

Do your own thing once you get the hang of it

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you have to follow the advice of successful dropshippers who advertise on Facebook. But what works for some people won’t always work for others.

Plus, there are way too many factors at play to duplicate what someone else has done, even if you’re selling the same product!

At the end of the day, your intuition and situational observations might just take you farther than anyone else’s advice.

Vasco San-Payo learned this lesson when he tried to scale-up his Facebook ads.

Vasco San-Payo says,

“My sales skyrocketed in September after I basically reinvented the wheel in Facebook ads and tried things by intuition. I scaled horizontally instead of vertically. Before that, I was doing what I would see in articles and YouTube videos.

I was trying to scale really aggressively in July and August, spending almost $1,000 per day doing this strategy called ‘manual bidding’ in Facebook. But I wasn’t very profitable because I was trying to scale too hard, too fast.

So in September, instead of putting a lot of money into a few campaigns, I just created like 80 campaigns with little money. That’s horizontal scaling – creating a lot of campaigns, having a lot of audiences. And I just deleted the audiences that were not performing and increased the budget on the audiences that were performing good. And that was much better.”

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It’s okay to change ads

It can be easy to misstep on your Facebook ads, which has led to some mild hysteria and unnecessary rules around how to manage your ad accounts.

As Jenny Lei points out, one of these rules is that you can’t change a Facebook ad for 24 hours. While some say that this will hurt your performance, she’s realized that it’s never impacted her before.

Jenny Lei

Jenny Lei says,

“Don’t listen when people say not to change a Facebook ad for 24 hours. You can change it whenever, it runs fine!

I was so scared to change an ad that was working well that I’d just duplicate it and duplicate it until I had a bunch of ads that were the same. Then I was like, ‘Jenny, this is stupid, just edit it.’ I have ads running at $1,500 a day and I’ll change it at 11pm. Nothing bad happens.”

Hopefully, you have a better idea of the dos and don’ts of posting ads on Facebook.

If you don’t have a big budget for ads, fret not – the next chapter is just for you. Let’s look at how to make sales without Facebook ads.

next: Chapter 4

How to Make Sales Without Facebook Ads

If you look beyond the standard advice that is to invest in Facebook advertising, there are a number of alternative w...