Most photographers have tried running a Facebook ad only to become frustrated with the results. They simply boosted a post on their Facebook page, hoping their followers actually see it.
After running hundreds of our own ads (spending over $25,000) as well as coaching photographers on how to run theirs, we have found the top seven mistakes photographers are making when trying to run Facebook ads. Most photographers have tried running a Facebook ad only to become frustrated with the results. They simply boosted a post on their Facebook page, hoping their followers actually see it. After running hundreds of our own ads (spending over $25,000) as well as coaching photographers on how to run theirs, we have found the top seven mistakes photographers are making when trying to run Facebook ads.
1. Not Using A Custom Audience
Did you know you can export an Excel file of all of your past clients’ email addresses and then upload them to your Facebook Ads account? By doing this, you are saying, “Hey, Facebook, here are my past clients. Can you go out and find more people that are just like them?” From there, Facebook creates what is called a Lookalike Audience for you.
This is super powerful and helps to reduce the cost of the ads you are running.
2. Only Running One Ad
We found that most photographers only run one ad before giving up, but when you run an ad on Facebook, there is a lot to consider when determining if the ad was successful or not. These things include the copy you use, image or video you use and who you are targeting.
We have found that running multiple ads with a $5/day budget, while changing each ad slightly, can help you figure out which ad is resonating with your potential clients. You then kill the ads that are not doing as well and focus on the one that is producing results.
3. Not Using The Facebook Pixel
Facebook provides advertisers with a small snippet of Html code (known as the Pixel) that you add to your website or landing page. This allows you to track the effectiveness of your ad. It also allows you to retarget people that have visited certain pages on your website, among other awesome features.
4. “Getting Married” On The First Date
This is a big one! So many photographers will set up an ad for 10 percent off a shoot or another type of offer without giving the user a reason to trust them first.
This is like asking someone to marry you on the first date! You would never do that, right? The same applies when you run an ad. Asking someone to book you right away normally turns people off.
A much better approach is to give the potential customer upfront value to gain their trust. This could be with a wedding planning guide, or a “How to Prepare For Your Family Session” PDF.
Run an ad to get people to download your guide in exchange for their email, and then follow up via email.
5. Simply Boosting A Post
Boosting a post is a good way to say goodbye to $20. When you boost a post, you don’t have anywhere near the targeting options you would have if you created an ad from scratch. You are pushing your ad to people who are simply not interested, which is a waste of your money.
If you want to boost a post on your page, the best way to do so is to post to your business page, then open the ads manager, select Create New Ad and select Traffic as the objective. When you get to the ad section, you would select Use Existing Post. This will allow you to promote the post on your biz page while still utilizing all of the Facebook Ads features.
6. Not Retargeting Based On Page Views
We already mentioned that you should be running multiple ads to see which ones work best for your audience before dumping your whole ad budget into a single ad.
Let’s say you create an ad for a free wedding planning guide. If someone clicks the ad and then submits your form on the landing page to receive the guide, you no longer would want that person seeing that ad, correct? This would be a waste of your money. In the same way, if someone gets to your landing page but does not fill out your form, you would want a way to remind them to download your guide. That’s what retargeting is all about; it helps you in the long run.
7. Sending People To Your Website
While there are exceptions, it is not best to send people to your website from a Facebook Ad. Instead, you should create a landing page and direct people there. The difference between your website and a landing page is that a landing page has only one clickable link. It also does not have a menu at the top of the page with an About Us section.
Why does this matter? We live in a highly distracted world. People are constantly being pulled in a hundred different directions. When someone lands on your page, you have 1 to 3 seconds to get them to interact before they get a text, Facebook message or notification. Limiting the distractions will improve your conversion rate.
Easton Reynolds is the founder of The Art of Six Figures, a social learning platform specializing in teaching photographers how to utilize direct response marketing. He is also the co-owner of LuRey Photography with his wife, Laura.
For more information, or to download this article as a PDF cheat sheet, visit theartofsixfigures.com.