From Startup to Scaleup: How to Keep Winning with Facebook Ads

Matt Brannon / March 29, 2021 /

We all know that Facebook is a powerful platform for generating sales, but the key to longterm success is pairing your strategy with the appropriate growth stage of your business.

That probably sounds clear as mud.

Let me give you a couple of examples of how this goes wrong:

Business A has been thriving for many years. They have a product that people love and they've quickly identified the value they brought to the market and how to sell online. Their ads have clear, compelling messages that get right to the point. And those ads had been working great. Lately, however, they’ve noticed that they’ve hit a plateau. They aren’t able to get to the next level. The same old ads aren’t working.

Business B is a new startup. They are innovative, creative, and have produced beautiful ads with production on par with big brands like Apple. While their ads have generated a lot of buzz and a TON of engagement, sales are… slow. They are starting to regret the cost of their ad production.

Both of these businesses are doing good things, but they are focused on the wrong stage of development for their business.

Business A has moved into a new development stage and instead of focusing solely on direct sales, they should be simultaneously building their brand and maximizing their funnel.

Business B was so focused on creating an emotional connection with their audience (which is great), but they never took the time to prove that they had a sales message that worked.

So how do you know what stage you’re in?

Good news, we’ll help you figure it out.

Facebook Advertising Area of Focus 1: Testing

testing

We learned a long time ago to do it cheap before you do it expensive. Here’s a quick litmus test to know if this is where you need to start:

🤷‍♂️ Are you getting a positive return on your current advertising?

If the answer is no, then you’ve got some testing to do before you “go big”.

A great place to start when looking for messages to test is to look at your five-star reviews. Reviews are a gold mine because they use your customer’s language and provide social proof.

Start by using language from your reviews (or the reviews themselves) in your ads to start discovering what actually matters to your prospects and gets them to purchase.

Keep testing new ideas and creative until you find an ad formula that works for you.

What kind of return should I be looking for?

This is going to be different for every business, depending on how much your product/service costs, how competitive your industry is, etc. That said, here are some general guidelines:

We always like to see a ROAS (return on ad spend) of at least two, meaning that you make two dollars for every dollar that you spend. BUT… if you have a ROAS of one, that means that it costs you nothing to acquire a new customer, which for a lot of businesses is a great place to be.

If you only sell one product one time, you’re going to want that number to be much higher. But more on that in the next area of focus.

Expert Testimonial for Gravity Digital_v1

Facebook Advertising Area of Focus 2: Maximize Your Funnel and Heighten Your Creative

How do you know if this is where you need to focus? Here’s a quick way to tell if this is you:

✅ You already have a positive return on your ads.

😬 Your ads look pretty much just like your competitors.

🧐You feel there is still money on the table with converting abandoned carts and increasing the lifetime value of your customers.

You’ve probably heard it said that the cheapest customer you will ever get is the one you already have. Well, it’s true. And if you’re getting a return now, it will skyrocket once you focus on increasing the lifetime value of your customers.

If you’re like most businesses, you have customers who would happily spend more money with you if you were able to put the right messages in front of them at the right time.

Questions to Help Expand Your Value Ladder

expandyourladder

Here are some things to consider for your business (and I’d take them in this order):

Do you already have an entry-point offer? An easy, no-brainer way for people to give you a small amount of money or time? This offer should “grease the skids” so to speak into your core offer but should convert at a higher rate.

If you already have one, do you have email automation, retargeting campaigns, and other mechanisms in place to move people from one stage to the next?

Have you done the same thing for your logical cross-sells and upsells? Have you mapped out how to continue to provide value for your customers after the initial purchase? Do you have marketing in place to move them along that journey?

Do you have a way to get back in front of fence-sitters? This is usually a lead magnet. A valuable chunk of content that you give in exchange for an email address. Pixels also work great, but you have to pay to get back in front of those folks.

Once these pieces are in place and the email automation and retargeting campaigns, be sure that you test calls-to-action in your ads to drop people in at different points in the funnel to see how they perform.

Start combining Messages and Try to Get a Laugh or Two (Maybe)

Now you feel like you’re starting to increase customer lifetime value, you’re picking up more of those people falling through the cracks of the abandoned cart, and you’ve got at least a handful of messages that you know resonate with your audience and sell.

Awesome.

At this point, I’d recommend starting to put a little flavor in your ads. Stand out. Make a splash. Don’t abandon your messaging that you’ve proven – but begin combining those messages and using them in ways that connect more emotionally. The most effective way to do this on social platforms is with humor. If you know the pain points of your customer or the “villain” they face every day – tell a joke or two about it.

If you’re in an industry where humor can be risky, that’s ok. You can still connect through powerful customer stories. Step up the production a bit though.

This is about developing the personality of your brand. Make sure it’s you, but grab attention.

Facebook Advertising Area of Focus 3: Scale

timetoscale

This is where it gets really fun.

Here’s how to know if you’re ready for this level of focus:

✅ You have built a messaging machine that has proven it can sell with a good positive return.

✅ You feel like you have systems in place that re-engage fence-sitters and increase lifetime value.

✅ You have taken a few steps toward brand-building elements in your ads.

✅ You have the capacity, manpower, inventory, whatever you need for rapid growth. 

If you can answer yes to all of the questions above, it’s time to drop a bomb. You can confidently produce a high-end type ad that combines your proven sales messages with high-entertainment value.

Here are some of our favorite examples of the type of ad we’re talking about:

Murphy Ladder
Sandstone Health
Chatbooks
The Arbor Gate

Regardless of what stage you’re at, we’d love to see if we can help your business get to the next level.

Consider the Gravity Digital 90-Day Scale or Bail Campaign. It’s a low-risk way to take a big step forward in the next 90-days.

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About the Author Matt Brannon

Matt graduated from Baylor University in 2003 and married his college sweetheart Ginny. They moved to Austin and Matt began working for Governor Rick Perry, first as an Advance Man and then later as the Governor’s Executive Aide. In 2007, Matt and Ginny moved to Los Angeles where Matt worked in public relations for an independent film (and Toronto Film Fest winner), “Bella”. His primary role was implementing grassroots efforts on a new online network called “Facebook”. After the promotion of Bella came to an end, Matt worked various jobs in entertainment and also spent 5 years working at Cedars-Sinai hospital. in 2013, Matt and Ginny moved back to their home state of Texas and joined the team at Gravity Digital. Matt’s distinctive value for his clients is his ability to bring out-of-the-box ideas and solve problems creatively.

Follow Matt Brannon: LinkedIn |

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