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Facebook advertising for ecommerce.

How Tuff Partnered with EZ Lifestyle on Facebook and Instagram to Increase Revenue by 50%

EZ Lifestyle is an international nutraceutical company that sells products through Shopify stores and Amazon. Their most popular product is their hangover prevention pills, Over EZ, followed by sleep aid Dream EZ, and energy supplement, Fuel EZ. They are well-reviewed both on Amazon and through private customer surveys. People rave about how effective their products are on social media.

Despite having an efficiently managed online presence, including ongoing CRO work, and a library of videos and images, EZ Lifestyle had not yet found consistent success through their Facebook and Instagram advertising. Both channels were viewed as critical to growth.

EZ Lifestyle reached out to our team to help crack the Facebook and Instagram Ads for e-commerce code, and grow EZ Lifestyle’s overall sales while consistently achieving a positive return on ad spend (ROAS).

Tuff is a true growth agency. We’ve been working with the facebook ad specialist Nate and it’s been a great journey so far. They are highly skilled in all aspects of performance marketing and specifically what it takes to win at facebook ads, which is constant experimentation and analysis. Since we started working with them we saw immediate results growing our revenue by 50% MoM! – Matthew Greenspan, Head of Digital Growth, EZ Lifestyles (View our reviews on Google & Facebook)

In this article, I’ll take a close look at the part Facebook Ads plays in ramping up revenue for EZ Lifestyle.

An all-encompassing testing plan for Facebook Ads 

The first step was determining if Tuff was a good fit for EZ Lifestyle and vice versa. Goal alignment was critical here. EZ Lifestyle granted the Tuff team access to Google Analytics, the Shopify store, and their Facebook and Instagram Ads Account, so performance potential could be identified. 

From there, we developed a three-month plan focusing on these key areas: 

  • Finding efficiency in the Facebook Ads account 
  • Developing high-value audiences for ad targeting 
  • Ongoing ad testing 

Finding efficiency in the Facebook Ads account 

Audience overlap 

The first thing we did was dig into the audience. We found efficiency by focusing on identifying and eliminating audience overlap, a mistake that can cause double bidding on the same users. 

Facebook audience overlap.

Current events

With the US election in full swing at the time of our launch together, key “early voting” states were excluded from our geo-targeting. This helped us avoid bidding against presidential candidates who were spending millions on Facebook. For Facebook ads, it’s important to note, advertisers compete to serve ads to the same audiences regardless of what they’re selling. 

Audience research to identify top audiences 

Another miss advertisers often make is cross-referencing Google Analytics audience data to Facebook ads. Google Analytics lets us know which age groups, genders, devices, and geos spend the most on their products. 

As part of our Google Analytics eCommerce investigation, we discovered that though the USA market has 21% fewer transactions, the USA market drives 20% more revenue, and has an average cart value 34% higher than Canada. This data informed our initial audience development. 

Creative best practices

EZ Lifestyle was running dozens of ads per ad set, and frequently encountered ad rejections which stymied performance. At launch, we winnowed ads down to their top performers and used the dynamic text option so the Facebook algorithm would serve the best copy to the right audiences. Reasons for ad rejections were identified and fixed. 

Developing high-value audiences for ad targeting 

Google Analytics behavior and eCommerce data was leveraged to identify the most valuable audiences. Segmented retargeting, including cart abandon audiences, were identified as well and included at launch. 

The audiences were created and launched, however, they didn’t last long. As part of ongoing performance monitoring underperforming ad sets, and ads we’re turned off, freeing up budget for top ad sets, in turn creating revenue and ROAS growth.

Rapid experimentation was a critical piece to Facebook Ads eCommerce revenue growth 

By the end of month two, five Facebook Ads trials or tests had been completed, three were active, and 12 tests are waiting on deck in a test back-log. The series of tests helped us identify top audiences, placements, objective types, and ad optimization strategies. 

The ongoing testing has helped us create a base level of revenue and ROAS that will facilitate the next phase of growth without wasted spend. 

Facebook eCommerce ad example. Instagram eCommerce ad example.

The results: revenue growth of 50%

  • From month one to month 2 EZ Lifestyle experienced revenue growth of 50% 
  • Overall Account ROAS increased 70% for currently active campaigns at the end of month 2.
Facebook advertising results.

Tuff Ads launched week 15. Week 12 was a holiday sale.

These results were not achieved in a vacuum. Though Tuff was able to find efficiencies out of the gates in the Facebook Ad account and via Google Analytics analysis, the willingness of the EZ Lifestyle team to collaborate was key. It also was beneficial that EZ Lifestyle and their product had the following attributes: 

  • Desirable and highly rated product 
  • Website, eCommerce, and CRO fundamentals 
  • Existing resources readily available: past performance, email templates, creative

Though if these things aren’t available on day one, they can be developed with the help of the Tuff team. Schedule a 30-minute strategy session today to explore how Tuff can help your eCommerce business grow. 

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Six Signs It’s Time to Update Your Facebook Ads

Has your Facebook ad performance dipped? Maybe your ads never achieved your desired outcome like increased ecommerce sales or lead generation. Facebook ads performance can drop off — or never take off at all for a variety of factors, but one of the most crucial is your ad creative (copy, images, and video). Across our clients, Tuff manages anywhere from $50,000 – $100,000 / month in Facebook ad spend. This article pulls from this experience and outlines six factors we’ve identified that can indicate it’s time to update your Facebook ads creative. 

If you don’t have the time to read these detailed explanations, here’s the tl;dr on when to know it’s time to replace your Facebook ads creative: 

  1. Campaigns costs are going up / objective completion
  2. Ad frequency is getting high causing dreaded ‘ad fatigue’ 
  3. Your ads just didn’t perform in the first place
    (note other factors can be at play with this one
  4. Facebook ‘Ad Diagnostic’ scores are ‘below average’
  5. Google Analytics is telling you performance has declined 
  6. You’re not selling more or generating more leads despite an initial bump in performance after the campaign launch 

Before jumping into this read, please note, much of what we discuss is irrelevant if your digital advertising measurement it out of whack. This article assumes that the Facebook Pixel, Google Analytics, and/or other tracking mechanisms are in place to measure your Facebook Ad performance. Unless otherwise stated, all mentions about measurement and metrics are in reference to data available in the Facebook Ads manager. 

Campaign costs are going up

Is the cost for your campaign objective going up? We typically focus on Facebook campaign objectives of traffic, leads (website conversions), or ecommerce website purchases. If you’re seeing the average costs for these objectives go up, it may be time to update your ads.  For instance, if your campaign used to average $4 per website conversion, but now averages $6, it may be time for an ad refresh. 


Before you get an update underway, verify that the ad set level learning phase is complete, no major edits have been done to the campaign, and that there aren’t external factors at play. For instance, an HVAC company may see a dip in AC campaign performance during a mild weather spell in summer. 

Your ad frequency is getting high

Ad frequency is an average of how many times people in your target audience have seen your ads. At around a frequency of 2, our team likes to evaluate ads for declines in performance. Ad frequency is more of an art form to evaluate though, because frequencies that trigger declines in performance may vary by industry and audience. We have seen frequencies of over 10 lead to conversions in niche B2B verticals. 

High frequencies often lead to a phenomenon called ‘ad fatigue’ wherein your audience is simply tired of seeing your ad. High frequency and decreasing performance may mean your audience is tired of your ad, and that you should fire up new copy and creative. 

Failure to Launch

It’s one thing to observe measurable changes in performance that point to the need for new creative, but what if you never had any performance in the first place? If your ads had no performance at all, creative could be a factor to have on your radar, however, before looking to creative as a culprit consider these other causes: 

Cost Type

Facebook offers three main cost types for ad campaigns that have an ecommerce or lead generation objective: target cost per acquisition (CPA), max cost, and lowest cost. 

Though target CPA and max cost look appealing on paper, in execution they can stymie results. We’ve found that ‘target CPA’ is the most likely to underperform due to Facebook’s algorithm restricting ad delivery to only users most likely to complete your campaign objective at the exact cost you’ve set. Similarly, with max CPA, Facebook is trying to serve your ads to users most likely to take action below your set cost, which means they’re drawing from the pool of people who are more likely to spend less. 

Lowest cost gives the Facebook Ads algorithm the most flexibility because it gives Facebook the leeway to serve your ads to the broadest audience, knowing some will cost more than others, but over time Facebook “learns” who converts at the lowest cost. The downside of optimizing for ‘lowest cost’ is that costs can be higher. If the ad set learning period is over, and your lowest cost-optimized ads have a cost that isn’t ideal, it’s time for fresh creative or changes to your audience. 

Audience Size

If your audience size is small, there may not be enough users to complete your desired objective. Without users to complete your desired objective, the Facebook advertising algorithm will struggle to learn. The users of this small audience could also receive that ad at a high frequency, which could further impact results. 

If you’ve ruled out cost type and audience size, but your ads never achieved your desired results, it may be time to try fresh creative. 

Facebook Relevance Scores are Average or Below Average

Facebook has assigned a ‘relevancy’ score on ads for years. In summer 2019, they broke out relevancy into three categories outlined below. The relevancy scores are now out of three possible ratings, above average, average, and below average. If your ads are scoring ‘below average’ especially in the ‘conversion rate ranking’ category consider a media and copy update. 

Facebook Ad Relevance Diagnostic Categories 

  • Quality Ranking – does your ad ‘fit’ within your audience’s newsfeed? Your ad will receive the worst rating of ‘below average’ if your audience feels like the ad is salesy, trashy, or spam. 
  • Engagement Rate Ranking – similar to organic post’s engagement metrics, are users liking, commenting, and sharing your ad? If your ad can make these things happen you’ll land best marks of ‘above average’ in this category.  
  • Conversion Rate Ranking – will users take the conversion action you’ve optimized your campaign for? Scoring an ‘above average’ here, means users are more likely to ‘convert’ from your ad than average Facebook ads. 

These Facebook Ad Relevance Diagnostics are scored comparatively across ads on Facebook. The ‘below average’ rating in any category will also tell you if you’re in the bottom 35%, 20%, or 10% of ads overall. Poor marks in ad diagnostics are one of the best indications your ad creative should be updated. 

What does Google Analytics reporting tell you?

Google Analytics can be a great arbiter of truth by offering an unbiased look at your Facebook Ads performance. At Tuff, we’ve made it a practice to cross-reference Facebook campaign reporting with Google Analytics reporting. Using UTM parameters on all Facebook ads allows us to see how the ad set audience, and in some cases, individual ads perform. 

In Google Analytics, take a look at your Facebook campaign and individual ad set’s cost per session over time. Look at goal completions. If costs are going up or conversions are going down as reported by Google Analytics, it’s a good indicator that it is time to refresh your ads. 

How about your bottom line?

Facebook and Google Analytics tracking isn’t perfect for a variety of reasons, so at the end of the day, it’s important to evaluate your own balance sheet. Are more of fewer customers becoming leads or making purchases online? Have increases to Facebook campaigns correlated with upticks in business? Is that uptick starting to wane? Use common sense, if you launched a $10,000/month Facebook campaign and saw an uptick in business, the campaign is likely playing a role. When performance declines, it’s time to reset.

Conclusion

Facebook thrives on novelty. People are on Facebook for a number of reasons, but when they’re in the app or on Facebook.com, it’s rare they’re looking for an advertiser’s product or service specifically. Ads should be optimized to stop someone’s scroll and get them to take action. 

As a rule, it’s often good to start planning your next round of Facebook ads before performance ever dips. This way, you’re not caught on your heels when one of the above factors causes a dip in performance. Though great ads paired with ideal audiences can have a tenure of several months, we like to plan for new Facebook Ads creative every 4-6 weeks. 

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-google-ads-for-hvac

How to Drive Your HVAC Sales Leads Up with Google Ads and Facebook

We sometimes get questions about how other local business clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. Meet Alpine Ductless.

Alpine Ductless is a family-owned Northwest ductless heating and air conditioning installer based in Olympia, WA.  Looking to build up a defense against local competitors while increasing qualified sales leads, they partnered with Tuff to launch local Google Ads (formerly Adwords) and Facebook campaigns to drive their HVAC sales leads upward, along with their revenue and booked jobs. Through closed-loop reporting (Lead < Assigned to a salesman but not quoted < Lead Quoted < Customer Ordered < Sales Volume), we now maintain a minimum 1953.33% return on ad spend each month. 

Why Alpine Tapped Into PPC

Today, 80 percent of homes in the U.S. have an air conditioning system — and that’s similar for commercial properties. This generates a massive amount of search traffic on terms like “central air conditioner installation” or “ductless mini split installation.” Since there are plenty of customers searching for an HVAC company, if you don’t show up in every possible area on the search engine results page, customers won’t find you. 

One of the channels we saw the most success with for fueling user acquisition for Alpine Ductless was Google. After an initial kick-off meeting with Alpine Ductless to align on goals, ROI expectations, call-tracking, and reporting we launched geo-specific paid campaigns following the below process. 

HVAC Playbook:

Step 1: Conduct user research before building campaigns

Have you built out campaigns and ad groups in Google Ads before or with the help of an agency? You go into Google Ads, pick some keywords, insert some ad copy, and fill in the rest. In 15 minutes, you’ve got an up-and-running ad campaign. Sound familiar? 

If so, we should talk. One of the key things missing from this picture is research. After managing dozens of local Google Ad campaigns for our partners at Tuff, we’ve found that a team-wide brainstorming session to narrow in on the best keywords and match types can make a huge difference in the campaign ROI. 

Step 2: Configure tracking and reporting flow 

After we do our research, we set up conversion tracking and call tracking. This is critical for local businesses because without this tracking you’re in the dark when it comes to results. For form fills, we placed the Google ads pixel on Alpine’s site and also configured goals in Google Analytics. Then, we worked with their team to setup CallRail to track calls.  For many local businesses, a phone call has a very high chance of becoming a sale, because it usually means a customer has finished researching and is ready to pull the trigger. 

Step 3: Capture highly relevant searches on Google 

Google ads for local business can get expensive and wasteful fast. Before we launched campaigns, with Alpine, we identified top keywords and niche-specific opportunities to improve our clicks, quality, and sales. As a team, we decided to start with only the most qualified terms and expand from there once we had a steady sales flow. We also restricted our ads to only show to people within a 30-mile radius from the business to make sure the clicks were relevant. 

Step 4: Make your contact info easy to find and add call extensions 

The whole point of running Google ads for your local business is to get the phone ringing, people in the door and leads in your pipeline. We helped searches do this by making sure Alpine’s contact info was front and center on Google. In addition to call information, utilize all relevant ad extensions in Google Ads. This will help motivate searches because they have your location and phone number at their fingertips. 

Step 5: Build brand awareness and retarget with a compelling offer on Facebook 

To combat ad invisibility and get the most of customer acquisition using Facebook ads, we try to always include a compelling offer or call to action in our retargeting effort. Doing so can drive great results, especially if your goal is to generate sales rather than solely drive clicks. With a wide range of targeting options to help you find the right niche, customer acquisition using Facebook ads can be a highly cost-effective channel. Here’s an example of what this looked like for Alpine Ductless: 

Facebook ads for HCAV business.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-increasing-mobile-app-installs-tuff-case-study

16,947 App Installs Later: 8 Simple Ways to Grow Your App Installs With Facebook and Google Campaigns

We sometimes get questions about how other clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. 

Your app is live and you’ve been steadily growing users over the last couple months. Now what? How do you scale faster without seeing massive spikes in cost? 

We teamed up with our partners at WatchBox and Rever, two very different companies with very different apps, objectives, and target audiences, to figure out if we could leverage Facebook and Google campaigns to: 

  • Increase mobile app installs by 3x 
  • Maintain Cost Per Install (CPI) targets below the industry average

And the results after 30 days? 

Spend:
$7,886.18

Quality Installs:
5,165

CPI:
$1.53

Industry Average:
$2.07

Focus:
In-App Actions

 

    Spend:
    $12,623.58

    Quality Installs:
    11,782

    CPI:
    $1.07

    Industry Average:
    $1.51

    Focus:
    Install Volume

Based on the data above, we doubled our investment for both accounts and scaled even larger – and we’re still experimenting with ways to improve efficiency. In this post, we’re happy to share what we’ve had success and hope they are helpful as you scale customer acquisition efforts on your own. 

Adopt the 80/20 audience strategy

When it comes to using Facebook campaigns for customer acquisition, app install focused or other, you strategy should be driven by the target audience. Who are you targeting and what do you care about? 

Start by analyzing your existing users and build from there. Where do they spend time online? How do they talk about your app? What other Facebook pages do they follow? What other apps do they use? 

Take this information and jump into your Facebook Audience Panel. Using a mix of lookalike, custom, and saved audiences, build a minimum of 10 separate audiences to target. Give each audience an intuitive name so it’s easy to remember and keep organized. 

You can also leverage Facebook’s audience insights tool. This will analyze the people who already follow your Facebook page and give you insights on the other pages they follow, like, and engage with. Use these insights to build out audiences using interests and behaviors. 

Find your hook

What is going to make someone hit download or subscribe? Finding the answer to this is key for increasing mobile app installs. 

After building out our target segments in Facebook’s audience panel, we create Facebook campaign concepts for each target segment. Both the copy and creative is developed with a particular audience in mind. We want to find the message that resonates the best and kill everything else. For example, we ran all three of these ads below to the same audience with the same creative. The only thing that was different was the copy. The winning ad quickly surfaced to the top and we were able to kill the other variations. 

Facebook mobile app install ad. Facebook mobile app install ad with video. Facebook mobile app install campaign.

Create multiple ads and formats on Facebook

We’ve seen success with single image ads, carousel ads, and video ads. If you have limited funds, a scenario that many startups — and even enterprise companies — face, you don’t need anything fancy. 

You can use the same creative for you single image campaigns as you do for you carousel campaigns. And if you don’t have a video, put it on the list for phase two. More tests give you better insight into which format will deliver better results. 

Facebook mobile app install example. Facebook mobile app install carousel ad.

Upload as many assets as possible for Google campaigns

Before you do anything on Google ads, make sure you configuring conversion tracking for installs. If this isn’t setup, there’s no point in running campaigns. 

Then, when you go to build your app campaigns, make sure you upload as many creative specs as possible. Google takes care of most of the optimizations for these campaigns and since it’s constantly learning, you want to give it as many creative combinations to test for you. Here are the specs you want to upload: 

Text install volume and in-app action campaign types

What’s your focus? Do you want to drive as many installs as possible regardless of the quality? Or do you want to only get downloads from users who are likely to use or purchase your app? When you go to setup your campaigns on Google, you can select from the below options: 

Install volume: campaigns that optimize towards driving app install volume 

In-app actions: campaigns that optimize towards cost for specific in-app event(s) post install (reaching X level, a sign up, etc.). For this you will need conversion tracking set up, either with Firebase or a 3rd party mobile measurement company. 

We start with the Install Volume campaign type to get data back quickly. Then, once we see success there, we integrate Firebase and run in-app campaigns. The Firebase integration can be technically tricky to setup, so if you are short on dev resources or don’t have dev support, skip this. 

Split campaigns by device

iOS and Android campaigns will perform differently. To know where you want to allocate more spend, knowing you CPI by device is extremely helpful. In the example below, you can see what had way better results on Andriod. We were able to identify this after a few days and push spend there. 

Facebook mobile app installs for iOS and Android.

Split campaigns by location

Similar to device, locations will perform very differently. Instead of lumping all your locations into one campaign, consider breaking them out, especially if your customer acquisition goals are international. 

For Rever, we were focused on install volume so allocated 65% of the budget to our best CPI market (EU). In phase two, when we were focused on upgrading free users to paid users, we shifted spend to the US because the market had the best free to premium conversion rate. 

Learn and then scale

If you’re new to Facebook and Google, building the right campaigns for customer acquisition is about traction – not scale. We start out with a max daily budget of $150 and this is spread out across anywhere from 15-25 ads sets (or audiences). That means each of the audiences in the first phase only get $2-3 bucks per day/max. 

Phase one is all about learning so you know exactly where to allocate the big bucks. At the end of two weeks, you want to know: 

  • What are my top three audiences? 
  • What device give us the best CPI? 
  • What message and creative is the best? 

With the answer to these questions, Increasing mobile app installs becomes easier. You can kill 80% of your ad sets and push all your budget into the top 20% to supercharge your customer acquisition results. For example with Rever, we had 12 different ad sets in our initial launch. Each ad set launched with $3/day budget. 

Once they went live, we start to kill low performing ad sets, drop in new ad sets, and push budget to the top performers. The below screenshot is the outcome after 14 days where you can see two audiences eventually received all the spend because they were driving the highest quality results. 

Facebook mobile app install results.

If you want to explore more about how to scale your customer acquisition, or want a first-hand look at the data showcased above, touch base to set up a free, 30-minute growth strategy session with the Tuff team. We’d love to learn more about who you are and what you do so that we can help you find your way to the next level.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-the-biggest-mistake-most-businesses-make-when-investing-in-ppc

The Biggest Mistake Most Businesses Make When Investing in PPC

What is the ROI on your PPC channels and how does it compare to your other digital marketing efforts?

If you can’t answer this question, you’re not alone.

When it comes to digital marketing, PPC is a critical piece of the client acquisition mix. Done right, it can bring you more leads, more sales, and more revenue. Done poorly, it can be a huge expense with minimal return.

After managing millions of dollars in ad spend we’ve learned that one of the most critical components to account success is managing campaigns to an efficient ROI. It’s our favorite and most telling metric. Understanding ROI from your paid digital advertising campaigns means tracking leads from click to close and measuring revenue on a per-channel (or campaign) basis.

When you understand which campaigns and channels are actually generating revenue, you’ll know where you’re making or losing money and have a powerful data set to share with your fellow executives and investors.

In this post, we’ll discuss how to invest in PPC for the long-term and learn about the unlimited opportunity to maximize your ROI.

How to identify an ROI target

When it comes to maximizing your results with PPC, the first step is to identify an ROI target. While this can be difficult to track, it’s one of the most important KPIs for your business and advertising health.

How do you determine an ROI target for your PPC efforts? Here’s how we do it:

(Sales – Marketing Cost) / Marketing Cost = ROI

So, if a PPC campaign generated $1,000 sales and the PPC campaign cost $100, then the campaign ROI is 900%.

($1000-$100) / $100 = 900%

While this doesn’t account for Lifetime Value (LTV), it’s still one of the most important metrics for you to track so you can make informed budget decisions.

How to invest in and evaluate your PPC to yield the highest ROI

Now that you’ve set an ROI target, the next step is to evaluate your performance based on ROI. It seems simple yet too often companies come to us after running PPC campaigns with uncertain feelings as to whether or not it’s working. If your PPC reporting looks like the below screenshot, it’s bad and good. Bad because you’re missing an opportunity to be more data-informed but good because we can work on it.

Instead of just looking at top of the funnel metrics like reach or clicks shown in the report above, once you have your ROI targets, we monitor results and evaluate performance based on ROI.

The cadence of your reports should be determined on your lead-to-close time. For example, if you typically close a lead in a 7 day window, you might look to do weekly reporting. We’ve also worked with clients with longer lead-to-close times, as long as an average of 3 months. In cases like this, you might look to do quarterly evaluations.

With ROI reporting, we track the following metrics at the account level:

  • Spend
  • Traffic
  • Sales
  • Cost Per Visitor
  • Sales Conversion Rate
  • Cost Per Sale
  • ROI

The biggest mistake most businesses make when investing in PPC

Our most successful PPC clients also focus on retention. Rather than putting their entire budget into the upfront traffic drivers and then hoping their leads will turn into profitable clients over time, they apply proven customer retention strategies that lead to high ROI on their PPC investments.

Before launching your PPC efforts make sure your retention plan is solid. It’s hard to have the foresight to plan for every bump a customer might run into but making sure your team is empowered to spring into action on the customer’s behalf is critical. You’ll end up wasting time and money if the clicks you acquire through PPC don’t stick around.

To share an example, we have an existing client that consistently generates 100 leads per month from Adwords. We’ve been working with their team closely on PPC for over 15 months. In Q1 of 2018, we saw average returns  – for every $1 we spent, the business made $2. We spent $40,000 each month and we got $80,000 each month in return. While this was positive, our other marketing channels were operating at a 3:1 return. By the end of March, we were so unsatisfied with our gains that we almost walked away from Adwords and Bing completely.

In May, we tried something new and it changed the situation completely. Instead of focusing on the click, or PPC channel, we dug deeper on the post-click. Asking, once we get a user to the site, how do we get them to convert? Once we get a user to call us, how do we close the sale? We listened to over 200 phone calls and found that certain sales reps were more successful with internet leads than others. We rerouted the PPC calls to a specific group of sales reps and within 30 days our ROI when from 2:1 to 7:1. We spent the same budget, generated the same amount of monthly leads, but increased revenue by 600%.

Why thinking long-term yields the greatest returns

In this blog post, we’ve talked a lot about ROI and managing your PPC accounts to an accountable ROI target. While a high return is generally the key goal for your PPC efforts as a whole, picking a metric that’s relevant to your campaign objective is equally important.

For example, one of our clients is actively advertising on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Bing, and Adwords. We use these channels in a comprehensive cross-channel PPC effort to funnel customers through the path-to-purchase.

When it comes to YouTube, we use this channel to strengthen brand awareness and open up the funnel to as many potential people as possible. Because of this, we evaluate our YouTube campaigns based on reach and impression metrics, rather than ROI. We then use Facebook and Instagram to retarget video viewers and drive as much quality traffic to the site as possible. We evaluate these campaigns by click metrics. Last but not least, we then use a combination of Adwords and Bing campaign types to drive sales. Our collective PPC efforts – YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Bing, and Adwords – are then evaluated by an ROI target.

From plug-in equations to determine your ROI to higher level strategy focused on customer retention, PPC is a powerful and important digital marketing tool. Empowered with data, you can learn how to yield the highest PPC ROI for your campaigns.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

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Top 5 Common PPC Questions Our Paid Acquisition Expert Answers

Running paid ads on Google, Facebook, and various other paid platforms is often new and exciting to any business owner looking to crack into new sources of leads. In my role as a Paid Advertising Specialist at Tuff, I partner with CMOs and business owners and get the opportunity to answer their initial questions when getting started. Here are the most common PPC questions and responses to those questions.

Let’s dive in!

1. Is PPC right for my business?

This is a big one, the most high level of common PPC questions. Owners and entrepreneurs have seen ads all over the internet and usually have fair concerns about the validity and effectiveness of them. I look to a few specific things to answer this question:

What industry are you in?

The type of business you operate is of big concern to me. If you are a niche business with no competition and Keyword traffic, PPC is a great fit for you. If you are a brand new Real Estate Investor in a crowded NYC market that has a ton of expensive competition, PPC would be a tough nut to crack. Usually clients fall somewhere in the middle and it’s my job to find the sweet spot in the market space.

Do you have systems in place to handle leads?

It’s not a great experience for potential customers if there isn’t a sales funnel or process in place to convert this new channel of incoming leads. It’s important to ask yourself, does my business have a reliable CRM? Will my business be able to provide a reasonable amount of creative flexibility with landing pages to test new traffic? Do we have a reliable IT process?

How much traffic is out there for you?

This might be the most important starter question. I always check if there is enough traffic out there looking for exactly what your business does, using Keyword tools like Keyword Planner, and SpyFu. Bottom line, if there’s not enough traffic PPC might not be the answer. Traffic doesn’t just mean Keyword impressions, it could also include audience groupings for display, youtube, facebook, etc. If there aren’t market segments that exist already, you would essentially be creating a market, and for a lot of business owners the capital to do that is limiting.

2. How much should I spend?

This usually comes on the heels of agreeing that PPC is right for you. Now, it’s time for me to align PPC expectations:

What are your goals?

There is a big difference between looking for engagement to drive leads and looking to drive sales of a very expensive online item through paid ads. This question is an opportunity for me to set realistic expectations based on experience and traffic estimates. This is also a great time to be more specific about how we plan to turn cold traffic into warm traffic through blogs, white papers, videos, etc. This is where an experienced PPC manager will explain that turning extremely cold traffic into a sale through one ad and landing page might be too big of an ask.

What is the lifetime value of your customers?

The lifetime value of your customer is an important metric to track. This metric should be ingrained within the decisions you make about balancing your own books. Knowing the lifetime value also helps a PPC manager assess how much we should spend to get a lead and customer or sale through the paid advertising.

Knowing these two things helps me set a baseline budget for testing and makes sure I’m optimizing my campaigns against the right ROI targets.

3. What will I get in return?

So, we’ve decided PPC is right for you and set a budget for testing. Then, we dive into some more questions:

What are you hoping to get in return?

When it comes to maximizing your results with PPC, the first step is to identify an ROI target. While this can be difficult to track, it’s one of the most important KPIs for your business and advertising health. During this stage, I work with you to set reasonable lead and ROI targets.

What are your historic conversion rates from traffic to lead?

This is a necessary metric to know as a PPC manager. With these historic numbers, I can set a baseline for your PPC performance. If conversion rates are too low based on PPC traffic, your targeting isn’t hot enough.

What are your historic conversion rates from Lead to Sale?

Similar to above, this metric is important to grade the continuity of your marketing efforts from ad to sale. If you are getting a ton of leads but no sales, a) your ads aren’t in line with the messaging on site, or b) the site in general isn’t great at converting colder traffic. As an end-to-end growth agency, we love analyzing if it’s a or b and can help optimize either.

With all the above, you can forecast some average conversion rates and some very conservative numbers on what you can expect from the PPC efforts.

4. What platforms should I be on?

This is where we breakdown the platforms for our clients and help them select the right channels to reach their goals. As a general rule, if the objective is brand awareness, we’ll typically start with Facebook, Instagram, or Pre-Roll YouTube ads. Video is an excellent ad format when it comes to reach and impressions, so we’ll often push for this type of creative asset to maximize brand lift.

If you’re bootstrapped and on budget looking to drive leads, conversions, or sales, we often launch search campaigns on Google and Bing knowing these might be more expensive clicks, but should convert at a higher rate than other platforms since users are actively searching for a solution or product. In other words, the search intent is higher.

Selecting the right platform to reach your objectives is one of the single most important pieces of the strategy phase. And, in the ideal world, we leverage a handful of PPC channels to reach potential customers at every stage of the buyer funnel – from awareness, consideration, and conversion with a variety of ad formats and retargeting.

5. I see my competition all over the internet. How can I do that?

You’re right to think that way. If your competition is doing it they’re taking money off the table. We like to investigate a little further with this common PPC question:

Is copying your competition best? (Think USP)

Any PPC manager should remind you that copying the competition isn’t always the best strategy. Maybe they’re doing a great job and you can borrow a thing or two, but ultimately, they are separate businesses with separate Unique Selling Propositions that should be built into the ads.

Are they bidding on your brand?

If competition is bidding on your brand terms you should 100% get into the game. That other business is stealing business from you, bottom line. From personal experience, businesses have had shut their doors because other digital marketers have cannibalized their brand terms online.

Are they across all platforms?

This is great to research because it can yield opportunities for an account manager. What if a business is slaying it on Amazon but not on Google? What if a huge brand is owning Google but not on Bing, and that competitor can bid on their brand terms? What if none of them are on FB?

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-customer-acquisition-using-facebook-ad

How To Scale User Growth Using Facebook Ads

We sometimes get questions about how other clients work with Tuff to reach their growth goals — so we’re sharing some stories to help bring our services to life. 

Fresh Meal Plan is a healthy meal delivery service located in South Florida. Looking to find traction in the Florida market and scale their growth, they partnered with Tuff to launch high-impact Facebook and Instagram campaigns to increase ROI and quickly drive key learnings on what’s working and what’s not.

Why Fresh Meal Plan Tapped Into Paid Social Acquisition

Scaling growth is hard and it requires you to be rigorous about the channels you experiment within the early stages of your business. It might seem easy to find one right away and then dump all your money into that one tactic but that almost never happens. As a startup, you have to work towards the right channel – and understand that it takes time.

One of the channels we saw the most success with for fueling user acquisition for Fresh Meal Plan was with social ads. With a wide range of targeting options to help you find the right niche, customer acquisition using Facebook ads can be a highly cost-effective channel. After an initial kick-off meeting with Fresh Meal Plan to align on goals and ROI expectations, we launched geo-specific Facebook and Instagram campaigns following a 3-step process.

The Three Step Process

Step 1: Conduct user research before design

Figuring out the right targeting is key to reaching the audience most likely to convert. Be it in-depth customer segmentation or listening to customer phone calls, we never create a Facebook or Instagram without researching user behavior first. As an agency, you can lean on your client’s customer-facing team members or, if you’re in-house, partner with your support team to learn more about your customers.

We’ve found that it’s better to spend more time building out target segments and do the right design for them than doing the right campaign for the wrong users. For this account, we built out 5-10 core and custom audiences in Facebook.

For our core audiences, we relied heavily on interest and behavior targeting. For example, we created an audience of users who expressed an interest in CrossFit on their Facebook page. In addition to core audiences, we also built out Lookalike Audiences using website traffic and existing customer email lists.

Step 2: Develop custom creative for each audience

After building out our target segments in Facebook’s audience panel, we created Facebook campaign concepts for each target segment. Both the copy and creative is developed with a particular audience in mind.

Step 3: Retarget with a compelling offer

To combat ad invisibility and get the most of customer acquisition using Facebook ads, we try to always include a compelling offer or call to action in our retargeting effort. Doing so can drive great results, especially if your goal is to generate sales rather than solely drive clicks.

 

Results

Over the course of 30 days, we achieved the following results for customer acquisition using Facebook ads, driving significant market awareness and sales for the brand. Since then, we have doubled the budget and scaled our acquisition efforts to new markets:

  • Clicks: 1,984
  • New Customers: 228
  • CPA: $15.85

Whether you’re just testing the waters or ready to scale, figuring out how to acquire new customers on Facebook and Google is difficult. We’ve spent the past few years working with all kinds of different businesses, with small and large budgets, across a range of industries to help them figure this out. 

If you want to explore more about how to scale your customer acquisition with Tuff, or want a first-hand look at the data showcased above, touch base to set up a free, 30-minute growth strategy session with our team. We’d love to learn more about who you are and what you do so that we can help you find your way to the next level.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.

tuff-facebook-ad-copywriting-strategies

Refining Your Facebook Ad Copy For A Lower CAC

Person updating Facebook ad copy on laptopReady to start using Facebook ads to acquire more customers? 

As an agency with social advertising experts, we’re fortunate to run and test quite a few Facebook ads every week. This means lots of copywriting opportunities and the need for fresh inspiration.

“Brevity is the soul of wit.”
— Shakespeare

“A word after a word after a word is power.”
— Margaret Atwood

“It ain’t whatcha write, it’s the way atcha write it.”
— Jack Kerouac

“The greatest part of a writer’s time is spent in reading, in order to write; a man will turn over half a library to make one book.”
— Samuel Johnson

No matter your writing muse, communicating your message in a compelling way with a limited number of characters ideal for social media is hard. It’s an opportunity to challenge yourself, your creativity and your vocabulary. It’s also an opportunity to increase reach, leads, and revenue for your business.

When I feel myself hitting a roadblock, I bring myself back to four pillars I’ve found effective for Facebook ad copywriting:

  • Timeliness
  • Humanizing
  • Emojis
  • Wordplay

Below we’ll share and comment on these four strategies. Under each strategy the first two ads will examples will been written by Tuff and the third example will be another company we think has practiced this strategy well.

Timeliness

Timeliness is an awesome tool for Facebook ad copywriting. Being able to take advantage of the excitement and hype surrounding a big or seasonal event can go a long way. It also shows your audience that your ads and content aren’t on a set and repeat schedule, your aware of what is going on in their world and following along as well.

Here, we capitalized on the Madness of March.

 

With Valentine’s Day coming up before this ad, we were communicating the value of Xendoo — it saves you time.

 

Example: We like how Penguin Books makes you feel all the fall feels.

 

Humanizing

This year Facebook, as a company, has been making a number of changes to incentivize interactions and engagement. They’ve been noticing trends of users being quite passive on Facebook, mostly scrolling throughout content without interacting with it. So, rather than prioritizing content that might grab a user’s attention, but drive little interaction, Facebook will favor the content that sparks conversations and brings people together. One way we like to try and attempt this is through humanizing brands and ads by using photos of real people and customers rather than graphics and illustrations of people. The second way we practice this is through using real names, locations, and jobs in ads.

Instead of a picture of the meal, we used a photo of a person this audience might relate to.

By using “Sally” and “Philly”, we built a character similar to the target audience.

Outside Example: We love the photo 17hats uses here. It shows they know who their audience is.

Emojis

We love emojis! In some A/B tests we’ve also seen them performing quite a bit better than there emoji-less counterparts. With the right brand, they make a lot of sense. Depending on the demographic, including emojis likens the ads to the text messages and Facebook comments with their personal network. We especially like to use emojis as bullet points, like in the 2nd and 3rd example here. It turns Facebook ad copywriting in emoji-writing.

Wordplay

It can be easy to tune Facebook ads out. But, when the copy makes the reader think, laugh, or challenges them with a pun, it can create willingness for deeper engagement. If you need an assist, this Pun Generator can help get the juices flowing!

Divine Spaces is a marketplace focused on unique event rentals. “Open your doors” applies to both the literal and metaphorical doors.

Readers likely aren’t used to fill in the blank type ads. We were hoping to surprise them here.

Over to you…

What Facebook ad copywriting strategies do you use for Facebook ads? Send us a note and let us know.

If you’re feeling stuck writing Facebook copy, challenge yourself to write four different ads practicing: timeliness, humanizing your brand, emojis, and wordplay. Then, pick your favorite out of the four.

We’d love to work with you.

Schedule a call with our team and we’ll analyze your marketing, product, metrics, and business. Then, present a Growth Plan with actionable strategies to find and keep more engaged customers.