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Are you ready to run Facebook Ads? Four things to check first before spending any money.

I get asked about Facebook Advertising a lot, like really a lot. I sometimes think just about every business owner has tried running Facebook ads at one time or another, some without even realising it - yes hitting the 'boost post' button is actually form of Facebook advertising.

What most people don't realise though is that there are a few things you need to have sorted in your business before you should even think about thinking about running Facebook Ads. These are the things that will help ensure you aren't just throwing your money down the toilet.

1. Your Website Actually Converts.

See Facebook Ads, or any form of paid advertising aren't a magical solution for poor sales. They will not in themselves transform your business from nowhere to thriving.

Facebook Ads are essentially a tool that brings traffic and prospective buyers into your store or website or to your social media accounts. Once the traffic is there, it's up to your website to do the rest of the work.

The average online store converts between 1-3% so if your store conversion rate is below this then you have a problem somewhere that needs fixing. Before paying for any traffic to come into your store it needs to be in tip top shape.

Does a user know who you are and what you do within the first 30 seconds of entering your store? Are your products descriptions up to scratch and written well with the buyer in mind.

Do you have professional images or videos that clearly show how your products works, are there customer reviews and social proof. Does your site flow effectively?

Do enough people actually add items to their cart and begin the checkout process? Hint aim for a 10% Add to cart rate and a 5% initiate checkout rate for a 2.5% conversion rate.

If the answer to any of these is 'no' then you need to hold off on advertising until you have any website issues fixed up.

2. Do You Have a Proven Product?

I know you think your product is awesome but do you actually have the sales to back this up? Think about it, if you are going to be paying $$ for people to come across to your website and check your store out do you already have enough organic sales through the door to justify the expense?

You should never be overly reliant of paid advertising for your revenue. Not only does it take a chunk out of your profit margin but what happens if you can't advertise for some reason? How would your business survive this scenario?

As a general rule of thumb I like to see businesses doing 5-7k per month (at the low end) in sales before putting any significant budget behind paid advertising. This allows for some confidence that your ads will actually convert but also allows some level of comfort that you will still have sales coming through the till each month regardless of what happens with your advertising campaigns.

3. Do You Understand Your Sales Funnel?

The majority of people are not going to buy from you the first time they visit; so how are you going to nurture them through your sales funnel? Do you have a Lead Magnet or Tripwire set up which converts well, and are your email automations firing?

Do you have an abandoned cart email up and running?

Understanding how a perspective customer moves down your sales path and having a system set up to help them do this will allow you to convert your paid traffic into customers at a later date.

Paying for traffic without this step set up is essentially just leaking money out of a bucket.

4. Are You Prepared For the Cost?

Seems a little counter intuitive to ask this but are you really ready to pay for advertising? And I don't mean $5 a day on traffic ads. Running paid advertising isn't a licence to print money anymore.

What I mean here is do you have a genuine budget for multiple campaigns aimed at different stages of the sales funnel. At a bare minimum I'm talking $30-40 a day for Cold and Re-targeting.

Most CPA's are hovering around the $20-$30 mark at the moment so even on a budget of $40 per day that's likely only 1-2 sale every few days.

Another thing worth asking - do you have the margin in your product to cover the costs of paying for a customer? If you are only making 30% margin on your products then I'd say no you aren't really going to cover your costs, in fact running facebook ads at low margins could end up costing you money.

Paid Advertising can be a great way to really grow your brand awareness and capture new interest, however it isn't a magic cure all for all your business woes. They won't solve a really bad traffic problem, or bring you sales if your website isn't set up well.

If you haven't got really solid foundations in place it can end up being a costly exercise. I've seen more than one business go in far too early with Advertising and it's ended up costing them thousands they can't really afford.

Ads are an investment and they take time to work, so if you are serious about running them you need to have at least a three month buffer in place to cover your ad spend. They take time to build, time to bring in new prospects to your sales funnel and it takes time for them to convert. It's kind of like a snow ball effect, it starts small but grows bigger the longer you keep them rolling.

If you think your business is ready to take on paid advertising to grow - but you either don't have the time or you don't really know how to run them properly then we offer monthly advertising account management which takes care of all aspects of running your ad accounts.

You can book in a no obligation strategy session below.

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