The Facebook Ads Trap (and it’s booby trap cousin, The Click Funnel)

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  • A $100,000 launch is meaningless when you spent $98,000 on Facebook advertising.

  • A $40,000 deal is pointless when you have to pay $39,000 to your agency.

  • A record sales month is basically just depressing when you can’t afford to pay yourself.

These days a lot of businesses are relying on funnels as the secret to scalable, sustainable and profitable Facebook ad strategy.

But I wonder, how many people actually look at the process and ask ‘Is this right?’ I feel like I can’t be the only one?

I’m a digital specialist, but I am a marketer first. Innovation and progression are basically what my career is based on. If you don’t stay up to date, your effectiveness as a marketer is limited.

I don’t run an agency looking for hacks. I have never used click funnel software, or watched someone’s webinar on how to generate more paid traffic/automated conversions/automate my passive income. I don’t believe there is a hack to long-term marketing success.

I personally think you should have a trustworthy digital marketing specialist who is regularly upskilling, staying ahead of the ball, staying true to the objectives they’ve been set and observing the basic principles of marketing in a digital delivery format.

I see some of the most talented marketers I know being won over by trend-driven clickbaiters and their paid-up minions selling affiliate courses and webinars – and accepting it, because they don’t have the time to stay on top of everything and these seem like an effective way to keep up to date and beat the latest algorithm change.

I see formulaic ‘solutions’ being delivered to CEO’s who need to get money in the bank – they want results, ROI, usually pretty quickly. But there are only so many stories you can build around data and analytics before it becomes glaringly obvious that the conversions just aren’t happening. The end.

And that is my issue with Facebook ads and the point to this blog. Facebook advertising USED TO BE easy – now, it’s failing businesses in NZ. SME’s, especially.

Funnel hacking. Set and forget webinars. Race to the bottom lead gen. I have a major aversion to talking to you about rising lead costs and CPM rates – I just want to talk to you in plain old English, enough of the jargon now.  

Facebook now have offices in NZ, with account managers who mentor you to Facebook success. Mostly for people who spend a lot of money but aren’t official Facebook Partners yet. When I had a recent client with a great product, good pricing and a healthy budget to spend on ads who wasn’t getting the results, I was happy to have the help – I clearly didn’t know something and wanted the guidance. The person I dealt with was lovely, helpful, supportive, but when the ads stopped working after following his advice on tweaks I could make to my ad strategy, the phone calls dried up.

And the whole experience in fact guided me to this – Facebook ads don’t work for everyone. A big budget doesn’t always mean you will have success. There is NO HACK for Facebook advertising ANY MORE. There was. There isn’t now. It actually took me a while to accept this because previously, I nailed Facebook advertising with some good conversion copywriting and some excellent targeting.

Click funnels are my main issue. They’re too common, and the delivery is generally speaking, incredibly naff. I am often surprised at the people I see who have ‘Liked’ a purported Facebook Expert’s free-webinar-sponsored-post. I think ‘That person is so talented. They don’t need that!’

I sometimes view this Facebook Advertising Mystique in the same way we see IT People – jargon, coding, an almost foreign language that scares people into thinking they shouldn’t ask questions or understand, they should just trust the expert and accept their limitations when it comes to that stuff.

I belong to a few business groups, mostly ones for female entrepeneurs, and I see them busting their ass and not paying themselves so they can spend money on Facebook Ads and for what? 67,000 video views, 80 clicks and 2 Add To Carts? Maybe their ad wasn’t right, I am not saying it’s impossible to have success with your Facebook advertising.

But I do think it’s important to manage your expectations. If there was a magic bullet, we’d all be swimming in the lap pools of our mansions eating unlimited avocado.

So what is the solution? Join my free webinar…

LOL.

No.

It’s to have faith in remaining customer-centric. Care about your audience. This is why Influencers have such engaged audiences and retain them – they know how to connect, how to participate within their community, and create authentic connections. Why people like me haggle their rates down so they will promote my clever clients.

When you nail that content, use it as the basis for your ad creation. Use proven, resonant content in your advertising and see what happens, because I don’t think it can get that much worse for you now. The average result is 1-3% conversion. Ok. That doesn’t sound that great to me. I’m about to launch my own product range and that would not be a satisfactory result for me.

People don’t like being scared by urgency,  or having their pain points pressed. People especially loathe click bait and the ones that do are the ones who endlessly sit on Stuff’s news section defending their ignorance in the comments section. If you’re a supermarket or a petrol station they probably are the critical mass you want to influence or woo into choosing you next time with your current incentive. Nothing wrong with that.

But by nature, businesses are more niche these days. If you have a good marketer on your side they will have told you that refining your audience and speaking to just that audience is how you staircase your way to success.

This was supposed to be two paragraphs, now look at me, dragging the Stuff comments section into my rant. But in all seriousness, here’s what I hope you will take away.

1.       If you aren’t getting the results, it’s not worth the spend

2.       Virtually everyone sees through and despises click funnels and obvious lead gen tactics

3.       Facebook Ads don’t work for everyone, and that is not just because of a low budget or bad copywriting. Sometimes they just don’t work as well as they should.

4.       It is worth going back to basics – living in your customer’s head, writing for your customer, empathising with them, engaging them – and when you get the engagement, you know you’ve got the basis for a good ad to put some spend behind

5.       If you haven’t read the Stuff comments section, and enjoy racism, sexism, comments on Jacinda Ardern’s baby and what to do about long-term dole bludgers, you know where to go next.

PS Meri kirihimete.