I wasn’t born an advertiser and odds are you weren’t either.
In fact, I’m a “reformed” SEO guy. Most SEO guys never get into advertising because they believe Google will give them all the traffic they need. When I discovered how silly I was for believing that, I decided to start playing around with advertising.
Initially, I thought I was a huge failure. Every time I set aside some money and played around with ads, I failed miserably. The entire budget would disappear, then I’d avoid it for a few months.
In time, I created a few winning campaigns and gained a bit of confidence. One campaign took in nearly $10,0000 for $7 via Facebook™ (I’d tell you how, but you can’t do it anymore).
Eventually, I got good enough with advertising to be confident about it. Then, a client asked me to run their advertising. Right now, I have one client where we’re turning every dollar spent on ads into $45 in sales.
I decided to explain the rules I follow as an advertiser because they will guide you towards being able to use advertising effectively in any business you decide to build.
Below is what I call the “Advertising Manifesto”. Once you complete reading it, you’ll understand why.
If you’re spending money on traffic, you have to actively test as many things as you can.
If you’re driving people to a landing page, test different headlines or offers.
If you’re buying email traffic, test variations on your emails and different lists.
If you’re advertising on Facebook™, test different images, audiences, and ads.
Why does this matter? It matters because the single best thing you can do is to let your traffic show you what will make them pull their credit cards out.
If you’re not, you could be costing yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Don’t be a dumbass. Test.
I was seriously surprised recently to find that the primary thing all of my client’s traffic had in common is that they were jobless. It’s not a market I would have thought would have that as a qualifier.
Now that I know that, I can refine my targeting to ensure even more return on our ads.
Discovering this detail was as simple as looking through their analytics.
Data is the primary thing an advertiser needs to see success with their ads.
Knowing more about your audience allows you to enhance your targeting.
Finding what keywords buyers used to find you can provide new keywords to post ads for in Google Adwords™.
Seeing what images will convert in your ads allows you to find more like the ones that are converting.
Google will hide most of your data, so finding another tracking service will help you refine your advertising and create more profits.
I recently wrote an entire post on how to increase the odds of success on Facebook Ads™ and the focus was to advertise to warm traffic before you dive in and start selecting interests to target.
This is the order to focus on:
Once you have proven ads for those 3 things, you’ll be more than prepared to start testing interests that should want to buy your products and services.
Test your ads on warm traffic first, then you can comfortably start with colder traffic.
Know going in that your ads will require more detail when you’re targeting people that have no idea who you are.
When I first started, I threw my entire budget at whatever advertising I attempted to run. I also failed over and over again until I figured out that wasn’t going to work.
Just because you have $10,000 you can use for advertising doesn’t mean you should be spending it all on day one.
Go in slow. Start at the minimum and see if you can drive any sales.
If you see you’re profiting with a tiny budget, start increasing it. Slowly.
Watch your data and see if your conversion rate sticks as you raise your budget.
If it doesn’t, go back and make adjustments until it does.
Most advertisers start with either Facebook™ or email traffic. With Facebook™, you can get traffic very cheaply if you target well and your ad converts. With email traffic, it’s as simple as writing up an email and finding someone willing to send it to their list for money.
While it’s super easy to mess up with Facebook ads, the potential for low cost traffic is too attractive to ignore.
With email traffic, it’s as simple as paying for the traffic and watching to see how well your landing page converts.
Yet, there is so much more out there. Google Adwords™, Banner ads, Sponsored posts on social media, joint venture deals, small advertising networks like Reddit and PlentyofFish, and many others.
Once you have converting ads, it only makes sense to move those ads onto other networks.
What do you think would happen if your favorite email provider disappeared?
What would you do if Facebook tripled your cost-per-click?
Having alternative networks that you’re already using ensures that you won’t have to scramble to create the traffic you need for your business to continue producing sales and profit.
If you’ve ever been robbed by a traffic seller, you understand why this is such a big deal.
As you troll through a long forum thread or Google search to find new traffic sources, you fall upon the greatest deal you’ve ever seen.
After clicking the buy button, you send whatever information they ask for and you wait.
That seller has disappeared and your money is gone.
Sometimes you can get it back. Other times, you get absolutely scammed and they disappear with your money.
If you’re lucky, you can do a quick Google search on a business or person’s name and find other people they’ve ripped off. If you find that, obviously stay as far away from that seller as you can and never give them any of your money.
This could be simplified into “don’t be a jerk”.
Misleading advertising will produce clicks, but it will not produce sales.
It will upset people.
It will cause haters to search for a way to let the world know that you’re dishonest.
It will cost you large amounts of money.
Just don’t do it.
Be realistic and honest in your ads.
Every single advertising platform has rules and people whose sole job it is to ensure they’re followed.
Don’t try sneaky tricks to get around rules. They do exist, but they’ll just end up getting your account banned. Banned accounts can’t pay for traffic.
While you will sometimes find rules that are annoying and silly, consider them part of preparing for getting the traffic you need.
In advertising, there is nothing that qualifies as a failure.
Everything that you try that doesn’t work will steer you towards the direction that will.
Every time you choose a bad audience, it helps you avoid other similar ones.
Every ad that dies a flaming death shows you what not to do in your next one.
It’s always just a test.
Once you’ve gotten a few losses under your belt, you’ll be able to do better, smarter advertising.
Now that you’ve gone through the rules, do you have anything you’d add? If so, leave a comment below!