Facebook ads are 47% more expensive than last year, and creative is going stale quicker than ever.
You used to be able to run ads that would convert for months on end not too long ago…but it’s a different story today.
Winning ads start going stale within 10 WEEKS, not to mention that 85-95% of ad creative will FAIL.
It’s harder and more expensive than ever to run ads, BUT…
If you are saying to yourself, “Nice try Zuckerberg, I just won’t run Facebook ads”, that is NOT the solution.
You cannot just rely on organic traffic. You STILL need paid marketing to grow your business.
Which brings us to a crossroads…
How can you be successful with Facebook ads in this new era?
In this episode of the podcast, I ‘m diving into two ways you can combat these new challenges we’re facing, along with what we’re doing in my company for our own clients.
You cannot control what Facebook does or how it works, but you can improve what YOU do, and what YOU offer.
Tune in to find out what YOU can do.
What did you take away from today’s episode? DM me with the word PODCAST over on Instagram (@emilyhirsh) so we can chat about it!
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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Hello everybody. Welcome back to the podcast. I hope you guys are doing amazing. We are going into September. I think this podcast will actually come out at the beginning of September, which is crazy. My kids will be starting school. It’s going to be a big adjustment for them because my six year old will be going five days a week to first grade. Last year we just homeschooled my kids. I think it kind of sucks because they fell off of having that structure. It’s going to be an adjustment and it’s going to be hard for me because I always feel bad, but you also have to push your kids to go through those uncomfortable moments because I think that’s what makes them stronger, and just kind of support the meltdowns and the emotions that are going to come with that. Who knows, maybe there won’t be, but I do think it’s going to be a big adjustment, especially for my six year old who really loves to be at home and has never actually gone to school five days a week because COVID started and he was still in preschool only three days a week. Then we homeschooled for kindergarten.
Anyways, going to be a big adjustment. We are still in Colorado. I think I have fallen in love with the mountains. Getting a second home here is high up on my list over the next couple of years. I just love that the amount of nature that we get every single day, every morning, every afternoon. After I’m done working I’m just outside with the kids, hiking, going down to the creek where we’re staying. It’s incredible. I’m just super grateful for this time. We will have been here for a month, and while that is happening our house is being remodeled. I can’t wait to go back to my house. I kind of forget it cause I’ve been gone for six weeks.
I’m very excited for today’s podcast episode. I want to dive into two of the biggest issues facing Facebook ads right now, and two of the things that you have to find a solution to in order to still be successful with Facebook ads. That is the higher CPMs. If you’ve never run ads or you’re like, what is a CPM, CPM is a cost per 1000 impressions on your ads. Essentially, if Facebook increases the amount that they’re charging advertisers, you’re going to see it in the CPM. If your click is exactly the same and you are getting the same conversions, the same landing page conversions, but your CPM skyrockets, you’re going to end up paying way more for your ads because you’re just paying more for your ads to actually be served to your audience.
Facebook actually admitted that over the last year there’s been a 47% increase in ad costs so that they can stay profitable as a business, which is crazy. I mean, they’re definitely profitable as a business, but they’ve also talked about, and I did this in a previous episode, how they’re rebuilding all of their machine learning, everything on the backend, all their algorithms to match this privacy era. High CPMs are impacting a lot of people.
Then also creative ad creative is going stale quicker. So you launch a new ad, I’ve seen this happen a lot, this has even happened in our client accounts that we’ve had to come up with solutions around this. You launch a new ad. It does well for like two or three days, and then it completely tanks and your CPMs are back up. Your ad costs are back up. Your cost per conversion is up, and you’re like, “what do I do?” I want to talk about that. I want to talk about some of the conversations that we’ve been having at Hirsh Marketing behind the scenes to support these things.
First of all, the amount that you have to create is crazy. It’s increased 10 times what it used to be, and it used to always be a lot. I mean, three or four years ago your ad creative could last for months and you would only need a couple of versions. Now you need so much creative that if you don’t have a team doing it, you’re going to be literally doing it full-time because it is so crazy how frequently you need a new creative. And not just like, “oh, I need a new copy or a new image,” but it also has to have different angles and hooks and constantly be innovative.
I read this article where they said, “ just create 20 to 50 new creatives every month because 85 to 95% of them are gonna fail.” That’s kind of true, they might work for a couple of days and then they won’t. You’ve got to keep pumping out the new creative and yes, it is exhausting, but if you want paid ads to work, and you do, because how else are you going to massively grow the eyes and the audience and the leads in your business? You need to put a priority on that new creative. What we do now is we have a process where it’s automated, that we’re refreshing creative.
We’ve up-leveled. I talked about this in the previous episode, we actually have now a creative director on our team whose full job is just to come up with ideas for clients’ ads and angles, and Reels we could go have them record, or videos that we can then pair with copy that our team writes. Really up-level that creative and also remaining consistent with that, because now they say the average winning ad only lasts 10 weeks. I even think that’s a good stat, but that’s so low. It used to be that you could have one ad running for six months and it would stay the same and convert. Because the social platforms want new stimulation, new ads, fresh, innovative, engaging for their audience, that’s coming over into the paid ads.
So the volume that you need to create new ad copy, new videos, new reels, new images is increased literally 10 times. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that. It probably has in the last year, increased 10 times the amount of new creative that you need to have. You need an insane consistency with that, bringing it into your process where it’s every single week you just block off times where you’re going and filming ad videos. Hopefully you have a team working with you on that. Today, I just spent an hour recording four reels and I have to do that multiple times now because I need to have that time for that content.
The other one piece that we’re seeing in terms of more of a technical component is that the audiences on Facebook, it’s shifted where lookalike audiences and the audiences where you’d create those lookalikes from your email list, or your Facebook engagement, or whatever it is, used to be front winners. Now I think that the quality of those have declined in some cases. I think it’s going to come back soon. I think it’s Facebook adjusting their algorithm of creating those and working on how they talked about the backend. They have hundreds of engineers redoing all their systems for creating this and their algorithms and the way that they’re set up for audiences. But right now we are seeing an uptick in improvement on custom audiences in terms of interest based demographic things you can put in Facebook, actually doing better in some cases than lookalike audiences.
This is an example of why you need to stay on top of everything in marketing if you’re running your own ads, or your ads team needs to stay on top of this, because if you would’ve asked us four months ago, it would have been the opposite. Now with the iOS changes, it’s kind of flipped and I expect it to change again. The important piece here is that you never stop testing both. If you get a piece of advice where they’re like “use interest based audiences, and then you do that from now for the next six to 12 months and you never change what you’re doing,” you might be missing out on opportunity where your lookalike audiences make a comeback, or maybe they still do work for you. We have, and I’ve talked about this on the podcast, I encourage people to make fresh lookalike audiences post iOS updates. Try to refresh those, because of a lot of people have opted out of the previous lookalike audiences to be targeted. That’s going to be impacted, but just make sure you’re always testing, and you’re always testing both. You have some way of staying on top of what is and isn’t working.
Right now, just consider adding in more contextual interest based targeting to test that against your lookalikes, because you might find that that one does better than interest based. That’s in terms of Facebook CPM, how do we get that down? There isn’t a magic formula. The way you get that down, if your ad costs have gone up is you increase the amount of creative and the quality of creative that you’re putting out and you create a process around making sure that’s consistent and you have that support. I know for me, it would be full time if I didn’t have my team to help me with that. For our clients too, I mean, it would be full time running their ads and creating new content if they didn’t have a marketing team.
The importance of having a marketing team has gone up because you can’t do this as a CEO anymore. You cannot DIY your ads the way you used to be able to, where you could create a couple versions of copy, put the ad up there by watching some videos, taking a course or whatever, and then not have any support in the feedback, in the results, in the optimizing and then constant refreshing of their creative. You almost need every week something new. Depending on your ad spend, it’s going to vary. This article I read said 85 to 95% of creative is failing. You’ve got to have enough out there that 5% that takes off and works for 10 weeks, if you’re lucky, but you’ve got to have constantly new things.
Then the other piece of this that my team has been talking about, actually, we have just done a workshop as a team on ideas for this for our clients, because if ad costs are going up, how do you combat that as a business? Well, you need to improve your sales conversion. You need to improve what is happening on the backend so that if you’re paying a little bit more cost per lead, let’s say your cost per lead has gone up from you used to pay $8, now it’s $12 to $15. You need to now make that up on the backend. The answer is not, “I don’t want to run ads anymore because I don’t want to pay $12 to $15.” The answer is if that’s the new normal, re-look at my projections and figure out how I’m gonna make that up in my total return on ad spend.
We just did a full workshop, and I’m actually going to take that into a training inside of our Ignite program on how to increase your sales conversion. There’s lots of ideas that our team had, but what you need to look at is if my sales conversion is let’s say 1%, what do I do to increase that one more percent? Is it in my email? Follow-ups? Is it having more DM conversations? I recently did a podcast where I talked about the importance of connection and the importance of increasing that connection and those conversations that you’re having with your audience and depth of your relationship with your audience is now even more important with all the changes.
If your ad costs have gone up and that’s the new normal, stop waiting for them to go down and ask yourself, “what are three things that I can do to improve my sales conversion?” Because your options are you either improve your sales conversion, or you increase your average cart value and you raise your prices. You do one of those two things. Then even if your ad cost is up, you’re still making the same amount out that you used to be making. Our team talked about different ideas in terms of email follow-up, but also dialing in your webinar, making sure that you can improve that conversion. If you can just improve 1%, you would see what that would do for all of your projections. Bringing in strategies, such as flash sales to your list.
I think personally, for a lot of industries, especially in the B2B space, your Facebook ads are going to become a game of how do you get the least expensive lead and then leverage that on the backend. We’ve tested for some clients that used to just run two webinars, having a lead magnet on the front end and the webinar on the thank you page, because if we can get that cost per lead less for that opt-in, but still get the webinar registrants, that might be the way. It’s figuring out and testing what’s the least expensive way I can acquire a new lead on Facebook? Do I need to change that front end offer? I don’t know for your strategy. It’s important to be testing new things to figure it out, but how do I get that least expensive cost per lead? Then how do I maximize on those leads?
Part of me thinks this theory needs to be tested out more and that’s what we’re going to be working on over the next couple of months between our marketing and then also in some client accounts. But I think that Facebook ads are going to become a place where brand awareness and visibility becomes really strong, then lead generation that might be an opt-in or something inexpensive. Then you’re upleveling your new traffic in those new leads with ads still, so that you’re getting those new audiences, but then you’re upleveling when you do a webinar, you’ve got these leads and these audiences to now invite to your webinar.
One thing with ads, you can’t opt out of the tracking for things like video views or engagement on your Facebook and Instagram page, or DM-ing in your Instagram. Those are actually audiences that even if somebody opts out, they’re still being tracked for those. That means those are still very quality audiences that you can then retarget to your webinar or to wherever you need them to go. Maybe that is the sequence that you take now, too, that the higher ad cost. Really the answer overall right now is if you have high CPMs, you can definitely and should be doing what I’m saying in terms of increased creative, increasing the frequency of your creative, increasing the quality and the depth of it. Then looking at the audiences, can you do more interest based targeting? But then also part two, the bigger picture behind this is you’ve got to get more bang for your buck. If you’re paying higher ad costs, you need a higher sales conversion to be able to justify that ad cost, or you have to raise your prices or you do both, but that’s how you combat that, or you test different strategies.
I’m saying where maybe your front end lead generation changes. Maybe you put more ad spend into your brand awareness and visibility. You have these audiences to retarget to your webinar and that’s how you combat the high cost. It’s still a lot of testing of “what is the best way to go about this?” I think all businesses should be going about marketing right now in that way of figuring out you have to rework what should Facebook ads and marketing look like for your business. It’s not going to be what it was a year ago.
On that same note, you still need it. You still need to have some form of paid marketing, a new traffic coming into your business, because if you’re not getting new leads and sales, and you’re not getting new eyes on your brand, you’re growing backwards. I mean, we get into that organic, that’s not what you can count on anymore. It’s even less than paid in most cases. If you’re not figuring out how to run ads in your business and how to create some form of paid ad success and new audiences, new leads coming into your brand, you will be suffering even more, I think in six months from now, the name of the game is figuring out what is going to work for your business if ad costs have gone up, which can be changing things on the backend, which can be figuring out the way that the sequence of your customer journey and should be increasing the amount of ad creative that you have.
That’s my advice on if you’re experiencing high CPMs. If you’re experiencing that kind of situation where ad creative is working for a day or two, and then it’s totally going stale, that is the new normal. It can be exhausting, but you need to figure out how to make it work for your business, to create processes around it, and ultimately get support in one way or another. Because as I said, like the CEO DIY’ing their marketing, it just doesn’t work anymore. It will take up all of your time and it’s not what you should be spending your time doing as a CEO. I hope these tips are helpful for you guys, and I’ll talk to you next time.