Build A Simple, Profitable and Sustainable Author Business

Hi, I'm Matt Holmes, and I help self-published authors build a simple and profitable business without the "hustle".

I spend 60-90 minutes per day building my wife’s six-figure author business.

And in my FREE daily(ish) newsletter, I’ll share real-time, real-world, actionable insights to help you do the same.

I’ll also send you my FREE Facebook Ads For Authors Masterclass as soon as you sign up.

SSA #010: Avoid These 3 BIG Facebook Ads Mistakes

Mar 11, 2023

Read Time: 4 minutes

 

Making mistakes is a fact of life. As Soichiro Honda, founder of the Honda motor company said, "Success is 99% failure."

And I agree. We grow from discovering what doesn't work and doing more of what does work.

Although I believe we need to make our own mistakes, you can't make them all yourself. There are some that are completely avoidable.

And today, I'm going to share 3 big mistakes I've made with Facebook Ads so that you don't have to make them.

Let's dive into them...

Mistake #1: Using Facebook Boosted Posts


Facebook Boosted posts are, in Meta's own words...

"Ads that you create from existing posts on your Facebook Page."

Meta (or Facebook when they first launched) played a smart move by making advertising (which is effectively what you're doing with Boosted Posts) accessible to anyone and everyone. They have removed almost all the barriers.

The Facebook Ads Manager is undoubtedly overwhelming at first glance if you're brand new to the world of advertising.

Clicking the Boost Post button has far less friction than learning to navigate the Facebook Ads Manager.

But here are the biggest issues I've come across with Boosted Posts:

– Targeting is restrictive

– Expensive on a Cost Per Click (CPC) basis

– The data you gather is next to useless

Just take a look at these stats from 2 Ads I ran a while back targeting the same Audience (people who have interacted with Lori's Facebook Page, Posts, or Ads).

On the left, is a Boosted Post advertising a new release. And on the right, is an Ad with the Traffic objective that I ran through the Facebook Ads Manager:

 

 

As you can see, the Ad Creative is very similar, with a few minor differences.

The results, however, have some BIG differences. Here are the stats for both Ads:

Boosted Post


Cost Per Click: $0.88

– Click-Through Rate: 3.16%

– Clicks: 8

– Spend $7.00

Facebook Ad (Traffic Objective)


Cost Per Click: $0.14

– Click-Through Rate: 6.54%

– Clicks: 54

– Spend $7.00

For $7, with the Boosted Post, I generated 8 clicks, and with the same $7, I generated 54 clicks from the Traffic Ad.

Big difference...

All things being equal, if I had put the $7 I spent on the Boosted Post into the Traffic Ad I ran through the Facebook Ads Manager, for $14, I could have generated a total of 108 clicks, rather than 62 clicks.

What To Do Instead:


In short, run Facebook Ads! You'll have far more data to work with for a start, but you will also have many more opportunities for targeting, budgeting, Ad Creative, optimization, and scaling.

Learning to use the Facebook Ads Manager is a skill very much worth learning.

Yes, it takes time and there are going to be a few bumps along the way, but trust me, the results you'll generate and the skills you'll develop will be invaluable moving forwards.

The bottom line is, if you want to generate profitable sales from your Facebook Ads, don't run Boosted Posts. Commit to learning the Facebook Ads Manager.

Mistake #2: Turning Off Your Facebook Ads Too Soon


When a Campaign, Ad Set or Ad seems to be doing nothing short of rinsing your bank account, I know how tempting it can be to turn it off.

There are some scenarios where turning your Ads off after 1-3 days makes sense, but in the main, I recommend letting them run, untouched, for 5-7 days.

An absolute minimum of 3 days though, as it generally takes this amount of time for an Ad to optimize itself and stabilize in performance.

Sometimes, I have Ads that don't reach peak performance until day 5, 6, or 7. There is no hard and fast rule.

What I have seen though, is that Facebook Ads get better with age, like a good cheese or wine.

When I was first getting started with Facebook Ads, I was tinkering with them every single day. And then I wondered why I wasn't getting the results I was hoping for. Hindsight is a beautiful thing!

What to do instead:


First things first, you need to embrace patience.

I know, it's not the most exciting thing in the world, and probably not what you want to hear, but advertising isn't a quick fix. It takes time for Ads to gather the data you need to make confident decisions from.

I would also consider reducing the budget, if at all possible. But, make sure you're spending at least $5 per day, per Ad Set, if you can.

Yes, it may take a little longer to gather the data you need to make a decision with a small budget, but at least your mindset will be in a different, better place, and you'll be at less risk of making rush decisions.

Ultimately, embrace patience, let your Ads run for 5-7 days untouched, and if necessary, reduce the budget.

Mistake #3: Looking At Your Facebook Ads In Isolation


Achieving a great Cost-Per-Click (CPC) or stellar Click-Through-Rate (CTR) does wonders for the ego!

Achieving a low CPC will mean more clicks for your budget. 

Generating a high CTR will mean more of the people who see your Ads will click on them.

But if these are the only numbers you're paying attention to, you're missing the point of advertising, and could potentially be throwing a lot of money down the drain.

So, whilst these metrics are certainly important, the metric that matters most is conversion – how many of the clicks you're generating are turning into sales and/or page reads of your books(s).

What to do instead:


Looking at your Facebook Ads metrics in isolation is something authors had no choice but to do before October 2022. We were essentially winging it.

When Amazon introduced Amazon Attribution at the beginning of October 2022 though, all that changed.

With Amazon Attribution, authors can now track the performance of all their off-Amazon marketing and advertising, including Facebook Ads.

The solution then to looking at your Facebook Ads in isolation is to track their performance using Amazon Attribution.

If you're unfamiliar with Amazon Attribution or haven't yet set it up for your books, watch this video where I'll walk you through exactly how to do it step-by-step.

With the data inside Amazon Attribution, you'll be able to calculate the conversion rate of your Facebook Ads (Orders divided by Clicks).

This way, you'll no longer be winging it and will be able to make informed, confident decisions on which Ads to leave on, which to turn off, which to scale, etc.

Amazon Attribution has been an absolute game-changer for authors, so I highly encourage you to start using it.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)


In a nutshell, here are the 3 big Facebook Ads mistakes to avoid:

1. Using Facebook Boosted Posts

2. Turning off your Facebook Ads too soon

3. Looking at your Facebook Ads in isolation

That's it for this week; thanks for reading. See you next Saturday!

To Your Success
– Matt

 

Build A Simple, Profitable and Sustainable Author Business

Hi, I'm Matt Holmes, and I help self-published authors build a simple and profitable business without the "hustle".

I spend 60-90 minutes per day building my wife’s six-figure author business.

And in my FREE daily(ish) newsletter, I’ll share real-time, real-world, actionable insights to help you do the same.

I’ll also send you my FREE Facebook Ads For Authors Masterclass as soon as you sign up.