SSA #016: Why Authors Should Use Facebook AdsApr 22, 2023
Read Time: 4 minutes
Facebook Ads was the first advertising platform I used when I began marketing my wife's books, for a couple of reasons:
#1: There were a lot of YouTube videos on the topic (but not specifically for authors)
#2: It appeared to be the most straightforward (compared to Amazon Ads)
Little did I know at the time, that Facebook Ads were going to become the driving force behind Lori's career as a self-published author.
That's not to say it's all been sunshine and rainbows since day 1, as there have been several occasions where things just haven't been working, and I've had to solve those problems through rigorous testing and analysis.
However, in the 3 years I've been running Facebook Ads, we've had 1 day where we were in the red (by around $5). Overall, with more than six figures in spend on the platform, we've had a very solid return on investment from Facebook Ads.
Unfortunately, many authors give up on the platform before they see the results. I talked about my beliefs on why authors quit advertising in last week's edition of the newsletter.
So, today, I'm going to share with you the reasons why I believe Facebook Ads should form part of every author's marketing strategy.
Facebook Ads is one of the most exciting opportunities for Authors in 2023
With the Facebook Ads platform as a whole becoming more and more intelligent, there are infinite possibilities open to authors.
If you have any experience with Amazon Ads, you'll know they can be especially difficult to spend money on profitably, let alone scale to $100's per day.
When you're just getting started running Amazon Ads for your books, even spending a full $10 per day can be a challenge.
With Facebook Ads, on the other hand, if you offer up $10, they'll take it! Every cent! But in return, they'll give you traffic – the lifeblood of every self-published author.
The Cost-Per-Click Advantage
Traffic generated through Facebook Ads, providing you're creating good Ads, will have a much lower Cost-Per-Click (CPC) than those of Amazon Ads.
With Amazon Ads, you're doing well if your clicks are costing $0.40 each.
A $0.40 Cost-Per-Click (CPC) on Facebook Ads would signify an epic fail to me! I'm typically getting clicks for $0.10 - $0.20. Anything above $0.30 is a red flag to me.
And even with a budget of $10 per day, at $0.15 per click, you could be generating 66 clicks per day to your books on Amazon with Facebook Ads.
Take the average CPC on Amazon Ads of $0.50, and you're looking at 20 clicks per day for the same daily budget of $10 (and that's assuming Amazon actually spend your entire daily budget, which they seldom do).
And if you're spending $100 per day on Facebook Ads, 600+ people will be visiting your book on Amazon every single day, with a $0.15 CPC. That's a lot of eyeballs.
The Ease of Scaling Facebook Ads
When you find a winning Ad with Facebook Ads and you want to show this Ad to more readers, it's a very simple process to achieve that – increase the budget. And the next day, you'll have more people visiting your book on Amazon. Simple as that.
Try to do the same with Amazon Ads, and it could take you a few days to several weeks to achieve the same result, and it is infinitely more complicated to achieve.
Of course, it's very possible to profitably scale with Amazon Ads, but the process of doing so is just more time-consuming and requires a lot of number crunching and analysis.
The Conversion Rate Factor
With the nature of Facebook as a platform, people aren't logging onto Facebook and scrolling the height of The Eifel Tower every single day (true fact!) to look for books.
They're there to catch up with friends and family, watch some amusing videos, etc; in short, they are there to be entertained in some way.
Amazon, on the other hand, is an eCommerce platform, meaning that the intent behind someone's visit to the Amazon website is very different from that of Facebook.
They are on Amazon looking to make a purchase; a very different state of mind to that of doom-scrolling on Facebook.
Due to the differences in behavioral intent of the 2 platforms, you'll often find that conversion rates (i.e. the number of people who click on your Ad that turn into paying customers, measured as a percentage) of Amazon Ads are typically a little higher than that of Facebook Ads.
With Facebook Ads, you're generally looking at conversion rates of 2% - 8%. With Amazon Ads, anything below a 10% conversion rate isn't good.
However, the traffic volume Facebook Ads can generate compared to Amazon Ads will more than make up for the slightly lower conversion rates of the platform.
More traffic means more sales. Without traffic, without eyeballs, you won't make sales.
And if Amazon Ads aren't driving the traffic, you're not going to see the sales.
Remember also, the power of Amazon's algorithm and organic visibility, which brings me to my final point...
Clicks Without Sales Is Not The End
If you've been an Amazon customer for any length of time, you will have experienced the incredible marketing ecosystem they have in place to persuade you to make a purchase.
Looked at a book on Amazon and not bought it the first time around? You can bet your bottom dollar Amazon will be reminding you about this book (and similar books) through one or more emails in the coming days and weeks.
You'll also see Amazon recommending that very book to you, and other books similar to it, at every opportunity they can across their website!
This is to say that, even if your conversion rate from Facebook Ads is 5%, for example, that doesn't mean the 95% of people who clicked on your Ad but didn't buy are lost forever.
Amazon will engage its powerful marketing system to give your book every possible opportunity to make the sale.
This could be through one of the millions of emails they send every single day or a personalized recommendation to those readers on the Amazon website.
All that to say, if someone clicks on your Facebook Ad but doesn't buy, that's not the end of their journey; it's in fact, just the beginning.
And if someone does buy your book, Amazon will start recommending other books of yours to them through its emails to that reader and in strategic placements across their website.
As you can hopefully see now having read this newsletter, there is so much potential for Facebook Ads for authors, that even if you only spend a fraction of your marketing budget on them, the potential upside is huge.
One parting piece of advice to leave you with is something I talk about all the time...
Always look at the big picture.
You should never look at any single piece of marketing or advertising in isolation.
Even if your Facebook Ads don't appear to be doing too much for you on the surface, they are building your brand, and driving traffic to your books on Amazon.
And as we covered in the previous section, when you drive traffic to your books on Amazon, but someone doesn't buy, Amazon's marketing ecosystem will take over the reins and start marketing your books for you.
Thanks for reading this week's edition of The Saturday Self-Published Author. Hope it helps.
I'll be back with you again next weekend.
To Your Success