There’s a scene in one of my favourite movies 500 days of summer that heartbreakingly plays out how far our reality can sometimes be from our expectations. 💔
Facebook ads are a bit different to a picturesque love affair feat. Zoey Deschanel that’s for sure, but sometimes that gap between what we’d like to play out and real life can be equally heartbreaking in the digital ads realm. So, to make your love affair with digital advertising a resoundingly positive one we thought we’d share our vast experiences in how to make sure those expectations can come to reality.
Side note: if you haven’t seen the movie, firstly you should def give it a watch and secondly, here’s the scene that I’m referring to…
Quick Wins vs. Long term investment
Expectation: My ads will see success from the get-go
Reality: While you may see some gains from your ads right off the bat, the best results are going to come with time and continued investment.
If you’re thinking you’ll be an overnight success you’re likely to be a little bit disappointed as the best results that we see come from building up that activity and investment over time to create sustainable and prolonged growth.
What stage your business is at will also make a difference here too because if you’ve just launched in the start up phase and this is your first foray into the world of digital advertising, you’re going to need to pull up a comfy seat and settle in for the long haul.
One platform that can do it all vs. An integrated marketing approach
Expectation: Investing in one platform will get me where I want to go
Reality: Each platform that you invest in will help your marketing activity for sure, but sadly, the chances of one platform being able to do it all are limited.
We definitely recommend Facebook Advertising as a great place to start and you’re likely to see some great results but if it’s those $200k sales months you’re looking for from your ads, there’s likely going to need to be other supporting marketing activity.
We’re often asked how our clients get those stellar results that we so often post on our socials and screenshots and the biggest thing that those clients have is that they show up to their organic socials and EDMs as well as looking at and investing in supporting activity across other channels as well.
Digital [whether that’s Facebook, Pinterest, Google or TikTok] Ads can be great in isolation but they are SO much better when utilised together and complemented by an always on and consistent approach to marketing as a whole.
Invest only in ads vs. Invest in your business
Expectation: Spending money on ads = business success
Reality: The old adage that you’ve gotta spend money to make money is something we’ve definitely found to be true in our experience.
Deciding to invest in your ads is a fantastic decision in our books but really just one part of the puzzle. We wouldn’t expect most businesses [especially small ones] to be able to do everything at once but it’s really important to invest in all aspects of your business to give yourself the best chance to succeed.
This means a great website that’s optimised up the wazoo, quality content to use in your advertising efforts and an awesome product and customer service experience.
Without these supports in place, you may find that your precious dollars just won’t go as far as you’d hope.
A completely hands off approach vs. Collaborating with specialists
Expectation: Outsourcing means I never have to think about it again
Reality: We’re ALL about reducing the mental load for our clients and where it suits their needs, taking one big to-do off their list so that they feel comfortable in the hands of our team of digi-geeks.
In all honesty though, even when we take the reins completely there’s still an element of collaboration and teamwork needed to ensure the success of the ads.
If you’re looking to outsource your ads we think you’re making an awesome decision but you’ll just need to make sure you’re keeping your new freelancer or agency updated on your broader marketing plans so they can best support these opportunities through ads as well as supplying them with the assets and info they need to deliver you the best value and results.
Remember also that your ads are one piece of the puzzle so if you’re deciding to keep some elements in house, you’ll need to commit to making sure they’re running smoothly so your media investment yields the highest returns possible!
Ability to act quickly vs. A solid marketing plan
Expectation: I can launch a successful campaign in the blink of an eye
Reality: One of our favourite things about social advertising is the self-serve nature and the ability to edit and adjust in real time. This reduces barriers to getting campaigns live such as having to go through media buyers but it doesn’t mean that you should be leaving your ads strategy to the last minute.
Ideally, you’ll be planning your key marketing activities and focuses ahead of time and aligning this with your ads activity as you go so that you’re making the most of the opportunities available.
The best example I can give you of why acting quickly isn’t necessarily in your best interest would be in looking at a Megasale period like Black Friday.
Technically you could decide the day prior that you’re keen to jump on the discount bandwagon after all and get ads live for the period to try and gain some traction. The problem is while your ads will run, this is the most competitive time on the platform and the brands that see worthwhile returns during this time are the ones that have been doing their sustained ground work with a measured marketing plan and a strategic approach to approaching this period.
Always on repetition vs. Evolving with the trends and times
Expectation: I’ll find a strategy that works and the work is done
Reality: It’s an awesome feeling when you find an ads approach that works! If this is you then take a sec to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back, that’s a massive win!
This doesn’t however mean that you can trust that running this activity as always on is a sure-fire way to see your business keep growing.
We’re talking about ever-changing platforms here so you’ve gotta be prepared to roll with the punches, keep things fresh, try new things and explore new opportunities as they become available.
Steady sustained growth vs. Ebbs and flows
Expectation: It’s going to be a steady incline up
Reality: Having been lucky enough to be involved in growing many small businesses we speak from experience in saying that there are many ebbs and flows along the way.
We aim for month on month growth every month with ads results but there are some mighty large contextual factors at play that mean this is not always achievable.
Whether it’s seasonal changes in retail performance, buyer behaviour or that little global pandemic we’ve all been experiencing, it’s not unexpected or bad to see those figures going up and down as long as the overall trajectory is still headed in the right direction!
We’re big optimists at TDP so we’re always going to aim for the stars in everything we do but it’s also super important to have realistic goals and understand what’s possible through digital advertising to avoid any potential disappointment along the way!
If you’re keen to continue exploring digital advertising a little bit more, we highly recommend you check out this recent blog we wrote about how it can be utilised differently through the different stages of your business journey.