1-Sentence-Summary: Facebook Ads Manual gives you an exact, step-by-step tutorial to create and run your first Facebook ads campaign, allowing you to market your product, page, or yourself to a massive audience for next to no money and make you a true social media marketer.
Read in: 7 minutes
Favorite quote from the author:
Mojca Mars loves fast cars, dinosaur onesies and coffee.
She thinks she’s probably the loudest person in the world – a good thing, if you’re running a social media agency in a noisy 21st century world. She started her career as a journalist, soon transitioning to marketing and spending 1.5 years as a copywriter for Mediamix, an advertising agency in Slovenia, where Mojca is from.
And then she got fired. Ugh, a stomach twister! But it made Mojca realize that she’s probably better off without a boss anyway, and once companies realized the freelancer’s knack for social media meant more dollars in their pockets, starting Super Spicy Media in 2014 was only the next, logical step.
The reason Mojca wrote the Facebook Ads Manual: Everything you need to know to get started is best explained in two minutes by the “other” loudest person in the world: Gary Vaynerchuk.
Just like Mojca, Gary would suffocate under a boss, and if you feel like you would too, this video is great news. But since social media has become the plumbing of word-of-mouth, it also means if you don’t learn how to market yourself, your voice will be drowned out.
Think about it. You’re already marketing yourself. If you post a picture of your latest spa treatment on Instagram, you sure don’t say: “I hope nobody likes this.” You want your friends to like your stuff. You’re marketing to them.
Transfer that to your freelance business, consulting side-gig, or the teenage werewolf romance novels you’re writing, and you have a real shot at making a living doing what you love. And in spite of how it presents itself, right now Facebook has the single-most powerful, cheapest way of making yourself heard – and that’s Facebook ads.
Without further ado, here are 3 lessons from Mojca’s Facebook Ads Manual:
- Go through the GRAB² model before every single campaign you create.
- Use the 20/30/50 rule to spend your budget the most effective way.
- Narrow down your target audience to 300,000 people or less, if you can.
Ready to finally sit in the marketing sit and run the media company that you really are? After this you will be!
Lesson 1: Before creating a campaign, always go through the GRAB² model.
If you think big brands like Coca Cola, Sony and Nike have long figured out Facebook ads and that there’s not much left to gain, you couldn’t be more wrong. Because it’s still a fairly new marketing channel – TV ads are almost 80 years old, Facebook was founded 12 years ago – most people just open up the ad tool and have no idea what to do next. Big players, small companies, creative individuals, no one has a clue when they click on “create ad.” But you will, because you’ll go through this:
- G stands for Goal. You need to have one, specific goal in mind, before thinking about anything else. For example increasing brand awareness, promoting a blog post or getting more email subscribers.
- R stands for Results. If you ran a marathon without knowing where the finish line is, how would you know which in which direction to run? Numbers rule. Will 50 new Page Likes do? 100 extra blog post shares? Pin this down.
- A stands for Audience. Trust me, you don’t want to show an ad for a steakhouse to a vegan, or a vacation voucher to someone who just returned from their annual, big holiday. Know who you’re trying to talk to.
- B stands for Budget. We’ll talk more about this in lesson 2, but it’s crucial to determine the maximum amount of money you want to risk (and be willing to potentially lose with zero results in a worst-case scenario). Be realistic. You can’t expect to sell a $1,300 professional video camera with $5 worth of ads (or a simple Amazon affiliate link – see what I did there? ;)). It’s not exactly an impulse purchase.
- B stands for Brand. Ads have long stopped being just about advertising. They’ve long become a way to connect with those, who want to hear what you have to say. If you fail to do that in a unique way, your campaign will produce zero results, and you can’t achieve this if all you say is “Buy my stuff!!”
Running through the GRAB² model alone and thinking about these issues for each and every campaign will put you ahead of 90% of other ad creators.
Lesson 2: Optimize your budget to be most effective with the 20/30/50 rule.
Remember the difference between being efficient and effective? The former is all about doing things the right way, the latter is about picking the right things in the first place. Obviously, effectiveness is a lot more important, because a wrong thing done well still gets you nowhere. In terms of money, one means spending the right amount at the right time, while the other means spending it on the right things.
Looking at your budget for Facebook Ads, Mojca says you’ll want to use the 20/30/50 rule, with which you’ll spend your budget on an ever-decreasing number of ads and an ever-better defined audience. It works in three distinct phases:
- Spend 20% of your budget on all the ads in your campaign to get some initial data.
- Once that money runs out, turn off all the ads that underperform and invest the next 30% into only the best ones.
- After that budget’s spent, analyze the data and tweak your audience criteria, before spending the remaining 50% on the best ads and well-targeted people.
This makes your campaign much less of an all-in bet and instead lets you iterate and optimize your campaign as you go along, making sure you put each and every advertising dollar where it can have the most impact.
Effective, not (just) efficient.
Lesson 3: Try to narrow down your target audience to 300,000 people or less to make sure your conclusions hold up.
Facebook’s targeting system is insanely detailed. You can target a 53 year-old, divorced, Asian, liberal woman, who likes Oprah, The Times, plays Candy Crush on her iPhone, came home from an international business trip one week ago and has her 54th birthday coming up. It’s that specific.
Before you say “Wait a minute, isn’t that kinda creepy and, well, private?” think about how you could use this for good. Of course Target could use this kind of targeting to peddle poor quality pacifiers to expectant teenage moms (they sometimes know before the parents), but you can just as much use this to deliver your unique solution to your audience’s problem, without having to annoy everyone that watches TV with an annoying late-night ad on Comedy Central (not that you’d have the money for that).
The narrower your audience, the better. Facebook tells you how big your potential reach is before each campaign and Mojca suggests making sure it’s 300,000 people or less.
This will allow you to accurately measure results during your three budgeting phases and figure out what’s working and what’s not faster, because your sample size isn’t so big that the possible causes for people clicking (or not clicking) are too many to count.
Fold-out bonus time!
Remember when you were a kid and you discovered that you could fold out something on a page in a book to make it come to life? With each author collaboration on Four Minute Books, I want you to get that feeling again. This summary’s fold-out bonus is a full, free chapter of Mojca’s book, explaining the GRAB² model in full detail. Just click below to download.
My personal take-aways
I absolutely loved the book. I basically ate it. Over the course of 3-4 hours, I read the entire thing and made two pages worth of notes in the process. I instantly executed the book over the weekend and have since been running Facebook Ads for Four Minute Books, reaching results as low as $0.42 per email.
Do you know why that means a lot to me? Because having a scalable channel where I can acquire new email subscribers will allow me to increase the revenue from this site to $1,000/month instead of $700/month, which would allow me to pay for rent and food, not just rent. This would equate to less stress and more time to create things, like these awesome book summaries for you.
You can abuse any kind of marketing for meaningless causes. But you can also use it to be of service to the world. That’s what this book is supposed to help you do. You already were a marketer. Now you know it. For the sake of all of us: be a responsible one.
What else can you learn from the book?
- How much money Facebook ads are actually making and which companies use them the best way
- Which beautiful paradox drives success in Facebook advertising
- The exact questions to answer to complete your GRAB² model
- How Facebook ad campaigns are structured inside Facebook’s tool
- A detailed 7-step process that takes you all the way from picking your goal to pressing the launch button
- Breakdowns of all the different objectives Facebook ads offers
- How to write compelling copy and create engaging visuals that make people want to click your ads
- Which of Facebook’s advertising policies you must comply with (and how to pull it of without having your ads rejected)
- All of Facebook’s dozens of targeting factors explained
- What custom audiences are and which two kinds of them you should start building today to target as accurately as possible
- The mental model you can use to determine your budget and how to set it up in the Facebook Ads Manager
- Which types of ad placements you should double down on, and which ones to avoid
- How to analyze your campaign to optimize it as it progresses
- Bonus resources like ad ideas, a glossary, how to set up your account or a tracking pixel and how to connect an app to promote it via ads
Who would I recommend the Facebook Ads Manual summary to?