I get this question so often that I decided to create a whole episode dedicated to addressing it!
In this episode, I share how to…
- Get the most of your marketing dollar
- Rock strategies that work in TODAY’S reality
- Cut down on costs and increase your profits
- Embrace the marketing mindset you NEED
But ARE ADS TOO EXPENSIVE?
The short answer is NO! Facebook ads are still the most effective and, honestly, cheapest forms of marketing in most circumstances.
Obviously, I’m a little biased because I run a Facebook ads company.
But if they didn’t work, I wouldn’t have any clients. Right?
So the real question you SHOULD be asking is: How do I make Facebook ads work for ME?
And that’s what this episode will show you!
After you listen, if you’re still curious if Facebook ads will work for your business. Hit me up in the DM’s! @EmilyHirsh
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READ THE EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
You are listening to The Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast, episode number 390.
Emily: Hello, everybody. I hope you guys are having an amazing week. When this episode comes out, I will be in Sedona with my whole family, my kids, and my husband. I have talked about this on the podcast, but I put as top priority this year having fun, making memories, going on trips, and having adventures. And I pre planned out the entire year at the beginning of the year to make sure that these things got on the calendar. And to be honest, going into this trip, recording this right before we’re leaving, I am feeling like, “Oh my gosh, I shouldn’t be leaving, I have so much to do. I just traveled a couple weeks ago. I just have a really full calendar.” That’s why I did this, that’s why I put these things on the calendar ahead of time as non-negotiable, things I’m doing for my family and time I’m creating and priority that I’m making, having this quality time with my kids and with my husband, because I wanted to make sure that being really busy didn’t cancel this out. It’s so easy to get so busy in your business and with life and in the day-to-day grind that then you don’t end up making time for making those memories. And if you’re not doing that, what is the point? I have young kids, they grow so dang fast. My oldest is turning seven this week, which is crazy. And they just grow so fast.
And so I’m really committed this year to make sure that I try to slow time down even if that means I don’t get something done in the business, or I have to slow down something on that side. I hate doing that, but even if it means that, once you’re making enough money, you’re okay that you’re taken care of, you have to really look at your priorities and say, “What am I willing to continue to sacrifice to build the empire? And what is non-negotiable?” And it’s hard to do because I have a really hard time turning it off. And I love work. I could work 12 hour days.
If I didn’t have my kids and a reason to be present in other areas, I would just work 12 hour days because I absolutely love it. It doesn’t feel like work for me, it’s so much fun, I love the challenge, I love all of it, but there’s more to life and I have to balance that and I have to be really intentional about it. I don’t know about you guys, but I have to literally put it in the calendar, non-negotiable, plane tickets are booked. I don’t care how busy you are, you’re going to have to step away. And it is what it is, and I’m not bringing my laptop and I’m making that time.
So when this episode comes out, we will be in Sedona. I’m very excited to hike there. And I haven’t been there in forever. My kids have never been, so it should be a fun trip. I’ll probably put some stuff on Instagram, but otherwise, I’ll be pretty unplugged.
So today’s episode, I wanted to address the question of, are Facebook ads now too expensive? Should I even try? I’ve been asked this like three times in the last probably a couple weeks and one person specifically said, “I just heard that they’ve gotten so expensive, that there’s no point in even trying anymore and they’re too expensive, and should I even do it?”
I’m obviously a little biased because that’s what we do, run Facebook and Instagram ads. But if they didn’t work, I would have no clients and I would have no business and I wouldn’t be doing this. I’m not dumb, I would pivot and do something else. And the reality is, they do still work. They can and will still be profitable when you execute the right marketing strategy. Now, have they gotten more expensive? Yes. That is a fact, they have. So has Google, so has YouTube, so has every other platform. So yes, they’ve gotten more expensive, but does that mean that they won’t work anymore? No, they absolutely can still work and will still work when you have the right strategy.
So people saying, “Oh, Facebook ads are so expensive, you shouldn’t even do it,” my question to them and my answer to this person was, well, what’s your alternative? If you’re saying Facebook and Google ads are too expensive, what are you going to do to grow your business? Do you have a better backup strategy? Because if you do, by all means, go and explore that. But in a lot of cases, how are you
going to get a new audience in traffic on your business and eyes on your business without ads? And the reality is Facebook and Instagram are still the number one social media platform.
So there is not another platform that your audience is guaranteed to be on and is on the most. Even TikTok, that’s a very limited audience, and the quality of those leads is very questionable. That is something that I want to start testing more on different platforms. Do I think it’s a good idea to diversify? Yes. But I want to talk about that because not every business should be trying to diversify to a bunch of different platforms. So there’s a business that that’s right for and there’s a business that that’s not. So here’s my answer to, are Facebook ads too expensive? No, they’re not too expensive to be successful. Are they more expensive than they were a year, two years ago? Yes they are. That’s a fact. I’m not going to lie to you about it and say, “No, they’re still great.” When I started seven years ago, you could get $2 cost per lead. It’s way more, way more than double, it’s four or five times that cost now. But this is common in advertising when you have things that are so expensive, it’s unbelievable, people capitalize on that, but it’s temporary. And so it’s not a sustainable forever strategy. They are more expensive, however, you can still be successful and you don’t really have a lot of options, but to figure out a marketing platform and a marketing strategy that’s going to generate an audience and new leads from cold traffic to your business.
So if you have a better plan, you can network or you have an affiliate plan or for some reason, organic works really well for you, but if you don’t have a following, good luck with that, because it’s also not really going to work. You have to figure it out, you don’t have a choice. So you at least have to figure out one channel that you can afford and is going to bring you cold traffic, audience and leads. And for a lot of you, Facebook and Instagram is still the best choice because, one, it’s the number one social media platform. And two, it’s still on the less expensive side. If you try to advertise on Google and LinkedIn, in a lot of cases, it’s more expensive than Facebook is and it always has been, and it’s just kept up with that. And so what do we do about Facebook being more expensive? Well, this is what I’ve been shouting from the rooftop since iOS last year . It’s just a push for business owners to do better. When something gets harder, when there is a change on a platform you use or a strategy you’re using, when something gets more challenging, this is just the push to say, “Okay, it’s more challenging, it’s more expensive, I have to be better. I have to up level my funnel strategy, I have to up level what’s happening after the Facebook ads and capitalizing on my leads, better meaning having more follow up emails, having a better complete strategy. I have to up level my messaging, I have to up level my creativity. I have to stand out more.”
That’s the reality.
And five years ago, three years ago, when things were less expensive, you could get away with DIY in your marketing and not really having great copy and just putting something out there and it worked okay because it was so cheap. So it didn’t matter if a small percentage of your leads bought because you were getting so many leads for less money. Now, every lead counts, you need to capitalize on those leads, you need to have complete marketing strategies, nurturing strategies, follow up. You need to understand your data, you need to have the best ad creative and messaging out there. And if you can do that, you will still be more successful.
So is it harder? Yes.
Do you have another option? Not really.
The reality with business and marketing is there’s nothing easy. There’s nothing easy. And if it’s easy now, it’s temporary, it’s not sustainable, it’s not going to be for the long term. So first of all, you can up level your strategy. This is a call and a push to say, “If ads are more expensive, if I’m going to be paying $15 to get a webinar lead, I better maximize those webinar leads. And how can I do that?” And look at it that way versus, “Ugh, webinar leads are $15, I’m just going to shut off all my Facebook ads.”
The second thing is you might need to look at how you are using Facebook ads. So I’ve done this in several of our client accounts. We’ve looked at maybe increasing things like visibility ads, where we’re promoting content and we’re promoting that valuable content to get it in front of the eyes of our ideal customer, or we’re focusing on more affordable lead generation ads. So opt-ins, PDFs, simple lead gen versus the complex webinars, video series, if we can’t afford that cost per lead. So when these changes happened, I started saying, maybe we need to shift the percentage of your marketing budget and how you’re using it. Because we know for a fact that we have to use online marketing, digital marketing, paid ads to generate new leads and traffic to your business, cold traffic, people who don’t know about you, that’s the point of paid ads. And so you still need to do that. That hasn’t changed, that will forever be what you need to do in your business. Now, if the platform has changed and gotten so expensive that you’re paying $30 for a webinar registration, and you can’t afford to do that because you can’t be profitable, it’s probably a 0% chance you’ll be profitable with that, then you might need to re-look at how you’re using your Facebook ads. Still accomplishing the goal of generating an audience and generating leads, but making it so that you can afford it. And that’s why knowing your numbers is so important. And so if you put into your projections and you say, “Well, if I pay $30 cost per lead, even with my best sales conversion, I would never be profitable,” that’s a problem. And what’s happening is people are doing that and they’re not doing projections. They’re running ads, and then they’re paying this high cost per lead and they think, “It just doesn’t work for me, it’s never going to work.” Yeah, but if you would’ve looked at your numbers going into your ads, you would’ve known it’s never going to work at that cost per lead.
So that’s why knowing what’s the maximum you can pay cost per lead, and the sales conversion you need to get with those leads in order to be profitable and to be where you need to be with your profitability. So that might mean switching up your strategy and sending more budget to your visibility ads, to your content, to get your brand out there, to grow your audience and/or sending ads to simple lead generation, which is going to be a lower cost per lead. A PDF download is almost always going to be less expensive than a webinar because it’s a lower ask. There’s a lower barrier of entry to say to someone, “Download this free PDF that you’ll have instantly or come to this webinar.” Coming to a webinar, I have to have the time, I have to know I’m going to go to it, I might not. And there’s obviously a bigger barrier. Now, a webinar can have a much higher sales conversion. So you have to take all those considerations into factor, but if you test out both, which is what we’ve done for a lot of clients, is it overall cheaper to do the simple lead generation versus putting all of our budget in a webinar? Or is it okay that we’re paying a higher cost per lead for the webinar because the sales conversion makes sense?
So looking at your strategy and saying, how do I still make this to generate my audience and generate my leads despite it being more expensive comes down to knowing your numbers and then being creative and flexible with that strategy. The other piece to this is potentially increasing the price of your offer or your product. We made a change. I announced this maybe two months ago that in order to work with us, you have to have a $1,000 offer or above on both things or be willing to change your offer to be that price by combining several offers. Now, there are absolutely some people who can have a successful marketing strategy and their product price is really low. But in order to do that, you have to have the perfect storm of a really low cost per lead under $5 and a really good sales conversion. Because obviously, if you have a $200 product and you’re paying a really high cost per lead, and then you’ve got an average sales conversion, it’s going to be really hard for that to be profitable.
So the hard truth is for these lower price product businesses, they’re the ones feeling the increased cost the most, because if they’re paying more for their ads, it’s just harder for them to get a return on ad spend. So we looked at all of our successful clients and we made this choice in early this year, I think January I announced it, and made that a qualification on our application, that if you don’t have $1,000 or higher product, or you’re willing to at least get your average cart value, your average product price, so you could have a low price product, but you sell people into your higher ticket offer, we have some people like that where they have a low price membership. That’s not their money maker, but inside that membership, they sell people into a high ticket offer. If they don’t have that, we no longer work with those businesses because it is so difficult to get them to be profitable. And so if I’m making that change in the customers that we’re serving and I’m willing to turn away clients and turn away money, it’s something to think about if you’re one of those businesses with a really low priced offer and product. Again, you can make it work if you’re hitting those numbers of a really low cost per lead and a really good high sales conversion. There are people out there and in specific industries, especially if you’re targeting consumers, it still can work.
In the health and wellness industry and fitness, a lot of times you can still get those really low cost per leads, and that’s the key. If you’re in the B2B space and you’re targeting other entrepreneurs, this is why I’m not a fan of slow funnels anymore, it’s just so hard to get it profitable. And the amount of effort it takes to do that versus just sell your $1,000 product, it’s just not worth it. So that is something that you could potentially look at in your business. And that is a reality for every business. When the cost of something goes up in our business, we have to look at, do we need to change our offer or raise our prices to accommodate that cost? You see this happening with gas prices, if gas price goes up, well so does all these other things that depend on that cost. And so I think we’re going to continue to see business owners raising prices because of the inflation happening across the board right now, but also the increase in advertising cost and the increase in cost to reach new customers has gone up across the board. Every platform, it has gone up, Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, all of it has gone up. You’re not going to find those cheap $2 leads anymore anywhere.
So my big point here is instead of focusing on the negative scare tactics that some people like to put out there about Facebook ads and they’re so much more expensive, and you shouldn’t even try them, I want you to sit back and just think, first of all, what is your better alternative? Do you have a better idea? Do you have a better way that you know you can generate new audience, new leads, new sales that is less expensive than Facebook? Or is your alternative to do nothing, and then your business isn’t going to grow and then you’re not going to reach new people and new leads? Or can you look at it and say, “Okay, it’s a fact that it is more expensive, it’s all acceptable.”
It’s probably not going to go back down. This is the new reality across all platforms, across almost everything today, there’s also inflation happening, but this is the reality, so how do I pivot my business in order to accommodate and reach this reality?” “Do I need to raise my prices? Do I need to bundle my offers? Do I need to change my focus? Do I need to adjust where I put my ad spend and put more onto visibility and simple region? Do I need to adjust my projection so that I can be realistic?” I also see people coming in and they’re saying, “I want a $5 cost per lead and that’s how I can be profitable.” But yet they have never in their life gotten a $5 cost per lead. Why go into it where you’re going to set yourself up for being frustrated and disappointed?
Go into it being realistic, understanding that you don’t have another choice but to make this marketing work and to create a one single strategy at the least that is generating you more audience, more leads and more sales. If you can’t do that, how are you going to grow your business? Otherwise, you’re going to be at a standstill and pause everything and just be in that paralysis state, which I witness so often that people think, “Well, so and so said ads are more expensive and they’re so hard, and people are struggling because of it, so I am going to do nothing.” They don’t say I’m going to do nothing, but that’s what their actions say. Instead, be determined to make this work for your business. And there are clearly ways that it still can work because I have members of Market Like a Pro, brand new business owners, people in the very beginning stages, haven’t run Facebook ads before, come in and create thousands and thousands and tens of thousands of dollars of success. So if they can do it, there is no reason why you can’t do it because marketing is numbers, marketing is a formula. You’ve got to be committed to that formula and don’t stay in a state of paralysis going, “Ah, it’s not going to work for me.” Step up, you got to make it work. You have no other option, but to make it work. And it can still work with some pivots, with some potential adjustments. And that is exactly what we help clients and our members do. All right, everybody. Hope you enjoyed this episode, I hope it gave you some things to think about. If you’ve been worried that Facebook ad costs are going up and you’re not sure what that means for your business, or if it can still be successful for you, it absolutely can. And I’ll talk to you guys next time.
Thanks for listening to The Not For Lazy Marketers Podcast. If you love this episode and want deeper support with your marketing, head over to helpmystrategy.com to see how Hirsh Marketing can help take your marketing to the next level no matter where you’re at today. We help our clients scale faster than ever, find hidden leaks in their funnel, experiment with new creative marketing strategies, and help their business explode and be more profitable than they ever dreamed possible. Head over to helpmystrategy.com and see if you qualify for a free strategy audit with Team Hirsh.