If you’re reading this blog, there’s a very good chance the reason you originally found us was through an ad (or you have a brilliant friend who shared our information!).
The Circuit Sales System team are BIG fans of paid media. There’s really no better way to grow your business quickly than by creating and implementing a great ads strategy.
Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs rush into paid advertising, hoping to make as much money as they can, as fast as possible. But if you move straight into the ad space without taking this one crucial step, it could not only dent your finances, but also eat up your precious time.
To help you avoid making this common Meta ads mistake, we’re going to share exactly what you need to do before you start putting your hard-earned money into ads.
Testing Ads on your Existing Audience
Before you start running ads, testing them on your existing audience and organically promoting them on your social media channels is a critical step. This means you’re not wasting money before you’ve figured out the kinks of your messaging, and really honed in and refined what truly works. You can do all of that without bleeding money, which, let’s face it, is very easy to do with paid media!
You know for a fact (or at least as much as you can know anything 100% in digital marketing) that most of this audience is your perfect audience. These are the people who have stumbled across your messaging somewhere, and maybe started to follow you or opted in for your email list. These are people who are essentially raising their hand and saying, ‘Yes! I am your target audience. I’m interested in what you have to offer.’
Displaying your offer to this organic audience is so important because when you put your offer in front of your target audience (or send your organic audience through your Circuit), the results that you get validate your offer or the efficacy of your Circuit.
You can start to see which emails you’re sending resonate the most, which ones have the highest open rate and click through rates, and which ones don’t perform as well. It allows you to analyze each element of the funnel so that you can identify some of the weaker points and where you might need to strengthen your messaging.
Right Person, Right Message, Right Time
A really easy way to veer off the success path is to test your offer to your organic audience, see that it does really well, turn on ads, and panic when people are not purchasing from your ads.
“Oh my gosh, there’s something wrong with my offer! There’s something wrong with my Circuit! I need to go in and change it.”
Once we start putting money into ads, it gets really easy to become reactionary. It’s natural to want to make decisions quickly and to change what you have control of. But don’t forget that if you ran your organic audience through your Circuit to your offer and it performed well, then your offer performs well for your perfect audience. So if your offer is not performing well for your ads, what’s likely happening is your ads are not bringing in the right audience.
You need the right messaging, to the right people, at the right time. If you’re starting to think your messaging is broken, it might just be that you need to fix who’s actually seeing your ad.
Not seeing purchases is often the trigger for business owners to screech, turn around, and make big changes. But the changes that you need to make there are probably in your ads targeting.
Best Practices for Ad Testing
Ultimately, it comes down to looking at the right metrics and knowing what you’re looking at. When the Circuit Sales System had people coming into our funnel who weren’t weren’t the right folks, we knew the message was resonating because people were clicking on the ad, but then they weren’t purchasing. Because we had the security and proof that this Circuit works for our right audience, we knew we were targeting the wrong people and had to refine our ad targeting.
On the other hand, if you don’t have people clicking your ad at all, it could be that both the messaging is a little off, and the audience isn’t quite right, so you’re going to have to take some time to test both of those things. But you have to do so in a way that gives you clear data. You don’t want to change the messaging and the audience, because then how do you know which one solved the problem?
When testing, it’s crucial to go about it in a very scientific and methodical way, so that you only test one element at a time. This process can require a lot of patience, especially when it’s so tempting to get things working fast so sales start coming in. But if you start to change everything in the short term, you will end up taking longer to figure out what works (and end up spending more money).
You also want to make sure you have a sizable enough data set to make a decision from. If you’ve sent 20 people from your organic audience through, that is not enough. You don’t want to make any sort of drastic change based on just a handful of people. When the Circuit Sales Team tests things, we usually get to almost the 1000 mark before making any sort of decision–and that’s wildly helpful because there’s so much variability.
While we want answers as quickly as possible, you’re not getting real answers if your numbers aren’t adequate enough to provide some perspective on it.
Learning your numbers is something that might initially seem a little bit scary or confusing, but as business owners, our metrics are one of those things that we have to learn. But the great thing is, once you understand them, you don’t forget them. You can then use all of those numbers to guide your business decisions–rather than blindly shooting darts at a dartboard and hoping to get a bullseye!
Working with an Ads Agency
At this point, you might be thinking one of two things: ‘I’m steering clear of ads, they’re too scary! or ‘I think I’ll just hand this over to an agency.’
First of all, you can certainly run a successful business without ads. However, paying for ads will increase the speed with which you can get people into your Circuit, and get people in front of your offer. If you don’t run ads, then you’re essentially paying for your traffic with time (creating posts on social media, being a guest on podcasts, speaking at events, promoting yourself via PR, etc.).
But if you want to get to seven figures and beyond in revenue per year, it is a very rare business indeed that can do that without ads of some sort. Although it can seem complicated and tricky when you first encounter it, it is all stuff that you can learn.
If you recognize that you need ads to grow your business, but don’t fully understand it, you might consider hanging it over to an agency. A word of caution with this: when you have no idea how to do something, you are putting not just your faith, but your money and, in some ways, your entire business in someone else’s hands.
This is why we *strongly* encourage you to at least have a baseline understanding, especially of knowing who your audience is, so you can pass that information along to the agency to guide them. No one understands your brand in and out as much as you do and so partnering with your agency will make sure you’re setting them up for success so that they can then help you achieve stronger results.
This is another case where you’re going to want to understand the metrics, because the agency might say, ‘Hey, look at this great cost per lead!’ but is it getting you the results that you need? Is this audience purchasing? If it’s a great cost per lead and people are opting in, it’s likely not the message, but a problem with the audience, and so having that knowledge is going to be helpful. You don’t necessarily have to solve it, but knowing when to raise those flags will help you stop wasting money and accelerate business growth.
We know the world of Meta ads can feel intimidating and complicated. But imagine how much harder this task would be if you hadn’t validated your offer or your Circuit with your organic audience? Imagine if you skipped that step and said ‘No, I want to make money right away–I want those sales’ and dived headfirst into running ads…
Ads almost never work perfectly when you start them. There’s always a process of refining. Without testing them organically, you’re suddenly in a situation where you don’t know if there’s a problem with the audience, the messaging, the images, the type of creative, the opt-in page, your offer itself…it could be anything!
Inevitably, you end up going back and making changes to your offer, which probably would have worked just fine if you had shown the ads to the right audience.
We understand the desire to make as much money as you can as quickly as possible (we’re not in business for free after all!) but we absolutely do want to make sure that you take that all important step to put your offer in front of your organic audience before spending money.
Once you have the knowledge and proof that your funnel converts, only then does it make sense to start moving into the ad space. Otherwise, you run a risk of breaking everything, making it much harder to backpedal and figure out what’s wrong.
Running Meta ads can be a fantastic way to grow your business. That being said, there is one crucial little step that you need to take before you start pouring money into paid ads.
To help you avoid making the common Meta ads mistake many business owners make, you’ll want to listen in to this Energize Your Online Business episode, where Nicki and Kate explain why patience is a virtue in paid media campaigns.
What are some of your concerns about running ads? Tell us in the comments below!