I meet once a month with a guy who spends hours each day creating content that generates leads for his site. He has over 14 tools that help him track data and for every dollar he spends on marketing, he knows what his return is on that investment. This is not a process that happens overnight, but one that takes time and hard work – but the payoff is huge.
We recently discussed my other business Denton Swag and he asked me, “How are sales going for you?” I said that they were pretty stagnant. We launched on Black Friday 2015 and had sales of $2500 during the Holidays, but then as expected sales tapered off in January and February and only a few sales each month were trickling in despite my marketing “efforts”.
“What are you doing for marketing?” My friend asked me. “I’m posting pictures on our Facebook and Instagram pages mostly and we get quite a bit of word-of-mouth.” Looking back now it just seems silly to me to think that my limited number of followers would really generate any sales. I have almost 2000 Facebook friends on my personal account, but my Facebook page for DentonSwag.com only has 775 followers at the time of this posting. My Instagram account for Denton Swag has only 1050 followers. So my total reach was really only about 3500 people and of those followers, how many were actually seeing my posts and images? Sure I was using good hashtags and my fanbase was growing slowly, but I needed it to grow faster.
My friend, his name is Steven, he said, “You need to know who your target audience is and you need to create a Facebook ad targeted at that demographic.” I was skeptical only because I had used Facebook ads for this website and I didn’t get any traction really – but looking back I realize I hadn’t targeted my ads correctly. Steven mentioned that I should do a test run and spend $200 to see if I could turn that $200 into $240. A $40 return didn’t seem all that great to me, but he mentioned that even a small profit was still a profit and that I would be moving inventory. So I went home and instead of doing $200 I decided to only spend $100 and that Facebook Ad generated about $400 in sales. So my Cost of Goods Sold was $200 and my marketing cost me $100 so I turned a $100 profit. It wasn’t huge, but the inventory was moving and it was getting the word out about our products. I started to realize that even if at the beginning I was just breaking even that these ads were helping me build my brand.
At one point in our conversation Steven asked me, “What is your target audience?” I replied with, “everyone in Denton!” He said, “That’s a bad answer.” But the sad thing is that I was being kind of serious. He told me to narrow it down and to look at my numbers. Who was buying my products? I said, “It’s been mostly women.” And a lightbulb came on in my head because since I am a man, I have been making products that I like and that I would want on my walls, but the reality is, women shop more than men. Even if I am making products for men, I should be marketing to women. Women buy for their friends and their husbands and their sons – and while they are at it, they grab an item or two for themselves.
The final selling point for Facebook Ads is that you only get charged when people click on your boosted post or your ad. This is awesome because if your ad isn’t performing well you can pause it. I have had to delete a post that wasn’t performing well, change out the picture or the wording and start a new ad to see if it delivers better results. These ads are MUCH easier to setup than Google Ads and they cost a whole lot less for the actual conversions.
At then end of the day if you aren’t getting results, sometimes you have to cast a wider net, or cast that net in a different area. Just don’t give up after trying for a little bit and not getting results. Refine your marketing skills and make it part of your skill set.
To learn even more, check out this invaluable article from Hubspot –