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[STEP-BY-STEP] Facebook Ads Guide: Here is why you’re not making money!

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by nahidlancer, Jan 27, 2014.

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  1. nahidlancer

    nahidlancer Regular Member

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    Facebook has been around for a while now. It?s no longer a ?new? platform and chances are that most affiliates have already got their foot wet with them.

    However, I?ve noticed a dramatic increase in the number of threads regarding Facebook ads on this forum during the last few months. Maybe it?s because the platform is getting more popular, maybe it?s because many affiliates have already cracked the code of Facebook and are now making very good money there, but my theory is that more people are starting to use Facebook because it?s the easiest route to promote CPA using paid advertising. AdWords is a tough place for affiliates, and media buys is way too expensive for a beginner with a low budget, so Facebook is the obvious choice.

    But people seem not to be using Facebook properly. Most newbies come to the forum to say that Facebook isn?t working for them and claim to have tested many campaigns without making any money. They say their CPC is too high, the conversion rate is poor and the affiliate managers are not helpful.

    Well, based on my experience on Facebook and also coaching affiliates, I can say that, without a doubt, the problem is not the offers, platform or affiliate managers. The problem is the affiliates, who don?t know what they are doing.

    People pick a random offer just because it has a nice payout, set up a general campaign, spend 10 bucks and then start wondering why they are not getting a return on their investment. Unfortunately, this is not the way we build successful campaigns on Facebook. This is not the way we build successful campaigns on any platform.

    So, in the next paragraphs I?ll try to explain the most essential steps anyone must follow in order to set up profitable campaigns on Facebook. Of course, this is just a forum post, so I can?t write a super detailed report here, but I?ll give the main steps involved in the process and I?m sure that if you follow them (all of them) you will be much more likely to start seeing positive results in the next days.


    CREATING A CAMPAIGN

    1. CHOOSE YOUR NICHE

    In the beginning, I don?t recommend you to promote many different offers. Pick a niche and stick with it. If you keep promoting offers in the same niche you will be more likely to understand that particular market and find out what offers perform well and what words and images make people ?pull the trigger?.

    Also, you should try to start with simple offers in the gaming, dating or mobile niche. People on Facebook are looking for funny things to do, they are talking to friends, watching videos, reading gossip, etc? So don?t ask them to make important decisions such as filling out an endless form to get an insurance quote or buying an expensive supplement. Invite them to know join networks of people, play nice games or download cool ringtones. Give them what they want.


    2. PICK THE RIGHT OFFERS

    It?s not every offer that accepts social traffic that performs well with social traffic. On Facebook people are browsing really fast and you should avoid promoting offers that take too much time to complete. If it?s too complicated, then it?s not worth it. This is how Facebook users think, and you must respect this mindset if you want them to complete your offers.

    So, give preference to 1st or 2nd page submits that don?t involve long forms. Also, avoid email confirmation offers. Basically, the easier, faster to complete the better.

    Also, it is important that you choose offers that don?t violate Facebook?s Guidelines or have been blacklisted by them, or your ads won?t get approved.


    3. DEFINE THE DEMOGRAPHICS

    Never, never go too broad. Define specific demographics for your campaign and try to reach a not too big audience.

    If you think your offer can perform well with many different age ranges, then set up different campaigns (or at least different ads) for each of them.

    For example, you could have a campaign for men between 20 and 24, then another for 25 ? 29 and one more campaign for 30 ? 34. Different age groups may have different (sometimes, completely different) performances, so divide your campaign into groups of 5 years and test them separately.


    4. DECIDE ON THE ANGLE

    It seems that most people don?t even know what an angle is, and it?s sad, because building a successful campaign on Facebook without having an angle is very, very hard.

    Bascially, an angle is an approach, a strategy that you use to reach a specific audience and make them relate to your campaign.

    For example, if you?re going to promote a dating offer to young males, you could try to target men who like soccer. It?s very easy, you just need to use interests related to soccer such as name of teams, events and famous players. Then, you could use images of girls wearing t-shirts of famous soccer teams and say things like ?Girls like it too!? or ?Find someone like you?.

    We are not allowed to mention the interest we?re targeting in the ad copy, but it?s easy to find a way around it using the images.

    Of course, this was just an example, you could use other sports, movies, books, events, hobbies, food, drinks, etc? The most important thing is that you use an angle to reach a specific audience and then find a way to connect the dots between your offer the interest of your audience.

    I also recommend you to come up with more than one angle before you start testing a campaign. It?s not every angle that works, so you want to have options.


    5. CREATE ADS

    Good ads are absolutely essential for a successful Facebook campaign. The math on Facebook is very simple:

    + CTR = - CPC

    The higher your CTR the lower your CPC. So you need to test many ads and find the ones with the best performance. Start with at least 10 ads per angle, but be prepared to upload more if none of them cross the 0.1% (CTR) line.


    OPTIMIZING A CAMPAIGN

    1. SPLIT-TESTING ADS

    Run several ads simultaneously, focus on testing more images than ad copies and aim for a CTR of at least 0.1%, ideally more.

    Start bidding within the suggested range and pause/drop ads as soon as they reach 2,000 impressions with no clicks. Also, drop ads that reach 5,000 impressions with a low CTR. I know some people would recommend you to wait longer, but successful ads are successful right from the beginning, so there is no reason for you to waste money on the bad ones.


    2. DECREASING YOUR BID

    You will see that Facebook will automatically attribute a lower CPC to ads with a higher CTR. However, you can also decrease your bid manually (and slowly) and keep doing this until you notice that Facebook started delivering less impressions to your ad.

    Another possibility is switching your ads to CPM and start paying per impressions. However, when you do it Facebook will increase the frequency cap of your ads and your CTR will decrease, so you need to have ads with a CTR above 0.15%, maybe 0.2% to do it.


    3. IMPROVING THE CONVERSION RATE

    Having a low CPC is obviously not enough if your offer doesn?t convert. So, it?s also important to split-test offers and find out which ones perform better with your audience.

    Eventually, you may need to create landing pages. Not complex websites, just simple one page HTML sites. It happens because you?re using an angle, so people see something in your ad, click on it but then don?t see anything related to that on the offer?s page.

    For example, you could have an ad somewhat related to soccer, but then when people reached the offer?s page they wouldn?t see anything related to soccer and would close the window, because you didn?t deliver what you offered.

    So, in this case, you may need to create a landing page that will connect the dots between the ad and the offer. It could be a page similar to the offer?s page (same style, colors, etc), but saying something related to soccer.

    But keep it simple, use a headline, some bullets, one or a few images and a call-to-action. Don?t overcomplicate.

    Also, test a few landing pages, because 1 out of 5 or 6 tends to perform well, so don?t work with just one option.


    IMPORTANT TIPS

    1. GO INTERNATIONAL

    Some people say it is better to go international because the US is saturated. Well, this is not my opinion. I don?t think the US or the other main English speaking countries are saturated, I just believe that they have higher numbers.

    By higher numbers I mean higher payouts and higher CPC. So, yes, the cost is higher, but the earnings potential, too, so there is a compensation.

    The problem is the testing phase. While you?re testing a campaign you?re running it with a negative ROI, your CPC is high and your conversion arte isn?t optimized. So, during this phase, the US can be more expensive than other countries. While you would need $50 to test a campaign in an Asian country, you woul need $200 or $250 to test it in the US.

    Of course, the US can give you more volume and make you more money in the long run, but if you?re a beginner who are testing campaigns on a tight budget, I highly recommend you to start the easy way and target international countries.

    When I say ?international? I mean anything outside the US, but, if possible, you should try to avoid the UK, AU and CA, too, and focus more on non-english speaking countries.


    2. TRANSLATE YOUR ADS AND LANDING PAGES

    When targeting a non-english speaking country, it?s absolutely essential that you translate the ads to the native language of that country. If you?re targeting France, Italy, etc you can just use Google Translator for your ads.

    However, if you?re targeting China, Japan, etc or using landing pages, then you should hire someone to translate your content. www.onehourtranslation.com is a good place to find good translators. It isn?t very cheap, it costs $0.07 per word, but considering that you will be submitting just few sentences, it probably won?t cost you more than $5 per campaign.


    3. CLOACKING

    Cloacking is important.

    First, I?ve noticed that using directly the affiliate link makes it tougher to get the ads approved.

    Second and most important, when promoting an international offer you will most certainly have problems with the redirect feature that all CPA networks have.

    Facebook reviewers are in the US, so when they click on your link to review your offer they will be redirected to another offer, maybe something completely different, because they are not in the area allowed by the offer you?re trying to promote. Therefore, they will reject your ad (they can?t approve the ad if they can?t review the destination page).

    I use a custom PHP script that redirects my visitors to the affiliate link and anyone who is in a different country (including Facebook reviewers) to the offer?s homepage. So, for example, if I was promoting Be2, I would send people to www.mydomain.com/be2.php and the be2.php file would contain a script that would send my visitors (people who click on my ad) to my affiliate link and Facebook reviewers to www.be2.com.

    However, you don?t need to use a custom script, here is a thread that explains a very nice (and simple) alternative to solve this problem.


    4. IT DOESN?T NEED TO BE EXPENSIVE

    Testing campaigns on Facebook does NOT need to be expensive. Just start with international offers, set up very specific campaigns and control your budget properly. Spend $15 - $25 a day (depends on your initial CPC), eliminate bad ads soon and split-test offers and ads simultaneously. If you do it, you will see that it doesn?t require a lot of money to find a winner on Facebook.


    5. BE PERSISTENT

    Most campaigns will never be profitable, this is a fact. So be persistent and don?t give up just because your first campaign didn?t perform well.

    After the optimization, chances are that just 20% or so of your campaigns will have a positive ROI, maybe less if you don?t have any experience, so be prepared to invest some time and money to crack the code of this platform.


    6. SCALE YOUR CAMPAIGNS

    Campaigns on Facebook die away fast, it?s a sad reality. However, a good way around it is to scale your campaigns.

    Once you find a winning combination, try to expand it to other demographics or even other countries. If an angle is working well, try to use it with other campaigns targeting different countries and promoting different offers. It doesn?t work 100% of the times, but sometimes it does, so it?s well worth it.


    Uff... We got a big post here, didn't we? [​IMG]

    But the paragraphs above contain the most important steps I (and many other affiliates, I?m sure) follow to set up successful campaigns on Facebook.

    Basically, the idea of this post is give you a simple process to follow and show you that we can?t just guess. Guessing doesn?t work, we need to test, optimize and build successful campaigns based on real data. So don?t set up campaigns and expect to make money right from the beginning, be prepared to go though and optimization process and make your decisions based on solid data.

    I don?t want to make this post even longer, so I won?t add more information. However, if you have questions or there is something above that?s not clear, feel free to post your questions here. I?ve been very busy lately but I?ll do my best to reply to all the questions asap!


    To Your Success,
     
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  2. jimmylegs

    jimmylegs Senior Member

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    I can vouch for this because that's basically how i do my facebook campaigns also. Good post OP!
     
  3. abhi007

    abhi007 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Starting out with FB ads myself should be helpful :)
     
  4. DanTe_0101

    DanTe_0101 Senior Member

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    Thanks a lot dude, haven't read it all yet but looks really good.
     
  5. cowboyseonoob

    cowboyseonoob Registered Member

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    I skimmed through it and just printed it out for further reading .. I'm about to embark on my first FB campaign and this type of guide is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for taking the time to post this OP!
     
  6. pasenseoso

    pasenseoso Power Member

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    unverified paypal accounts will work with fb ads right?

    I got 1 $100 adwords activated account. Would love to swap it with 2 fb vouchers..
     
  7. hameem

    hameem Elite Member

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    Some good pieces of info.

    By the way, what do you think about collecting emails with a landing page and later email marketing to them? Have you tried that option?
     
  8. virtualc08

    virtualc08 Supreme Member

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    Was planning on going on facebook ads soon. Good share my friend!
     
  9. nahidlancer

    nahidlancer Regular Member

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    Thank you all buddy!
     
  10. prab1996

    prab1996 Elite Member

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    thanks , was looking for a guide from some time.

    -=-
     
  11. Mr.Whitehat

    Mr.Whitehat Senior Member

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    You missed to place the link?
     
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  12. seogeek2

    seogeek2 Newbie

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    This is one of the best guides around, I must say! Its usually not in what platform you use but how you use it that makes the difference.
     
  13. jimmylegs

    jimmylegs Senior Member

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    Search the forum for the thread on cloaking

    Posted via Topify on Android
     
  14. hameem

    hameem Elite Member

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    Looks like you missed my question...
     
  15. forvenz

    forvenz Regular Member

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    great post thanks!

    - where is the thread?
     
  16. jimmylegs

    jimmylegs Senior Member

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    To answer your question, if your doing CPA, nobody puts their real email so don't bother. Go straight for a kill and spend time on conventions

    Posted via Topify on Android
     
  17. Smeems

    Smeems Regular Member

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    • Thanks Thanks x 1
  18. shaggy93

    shaggy93 Senior Member

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  19. jimmylegs

    jimmylegs Senior Member

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  20. Kojas

    Kojas Newbie

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    This is awesome, definelty will use it in the future. :) Thanks OP.