Beyond Free Traffic – A Paid Advertising Strategy That Works

Paid Advertising StrategyThis is a guest post from Rick Mulready of iRockPaidTraffic.com.

I met Rick last year when he came down to San Diego for a lunch and it was super easy to get along with him because he’s such a down to Earth and friendly kind of guy. But, what intrigued me most about him was his 10+ years of experience in the online space, which all had to do with paid traffic.

I’ve dabbled before, and personally my previous experience with paid traffic is pretty much synonymous with that of an ex-girlfriend:

“We gave it a shot, but it just didn’t work out…”

“It started off nicely, but then she turned on me…”

and the classic: “I gave her everything, and got nothing in return…”

[insert your own here]

My only small success with paid ads came when I did a tiny $50 experiment to get more Facebook Fans, but overall, my experience wasn’t good – so when I met Rick I became extremely interested in his line of work and as we started talking more and more about it, I became fascinated.

I realized that:

  1. I had no idea what I was doing before.
  2. There’s a TON of potential with paid traffic, especially when it comes to extremely targeted leads and customers.
  3. It’s nothing to be scared of, as long as you’re educated going into it.

I learned a lot from Rick and thought it would be cool to have him write a guest post for SPI specifically about paid traffic. Why and when it should be considered an option, what platform is the best, and how to get started.

So – without further delay, here’s Rick!

Enjoy!

Paying for traffic to your website gets a bad rap.

I mean, who wants to pay money to get people to their site when there are so many other effective no-cost ways to build an audience (writing epic content, SEO, social media, guest posting, etc…), right?

Look, I get it. I really do.

But…

I believe Facebook Ads are an exception that should be considered.

Why Facebook ads?

  • When free traffic just isn’t providing the kind of numbers you want to see, Facebook ads are a great way to reach your ideal niche audience/client, and kick it up a notch fast and on a limited budget.
  • When you need more diversified traffic to your site because Google’s Panda updates wrecked your organic search results.
  • When you have an idea for a product, but aren’t sure if there is a market for it, test it on Facebook to see if there is any interest before creating it.
  • If you’re launching a new product, but want to find a name for it that is going to generate the most sales, do a test run on Facebook with a variety of names and see which one gets the most clicks.

There are more than 800 million people (yes 800 MILLION!) on Facebook today.  This lends you an instant opportunity to reach hundreds of millions of potential customers, subscribers or readers that may not know to search for you in Google.

Facebook gives you the ability to set-up extremely specific targeting for your ads so they can be seen by your exact niche audience.

I’m not suggesting that you abandon your SEO efforts or other strategies that are free to do.

Rather, I’m suggesting that the unique form of advertising that Facebook provides can help you in ways that you may not have considered.

What I’d like to show you are some tips and creative ways you can use Facebook advertising to build your audience and grow your online business.

The #1 Thing You MUST DO FIRST

There’s something you can do to increase the chances for a successful ad campaign on Facebook and I can’t tell you how many people DON’T do this.  Well, I can, but that’s a whole other story.

Research your exact target audience before you set-up your campaign.

Unless you know precisely who your target audience is, don’t be one of those people who jumps right into setting up a campaign and skips this step.  You’ll save yourself time and money by taking a few minutes to do it.

There are several ways you can research your target audience:

Google Analytics:

A great place to start is what you know about your existing customers or website visitors.

  • Are they male or female?
  • How old are they?
  • Where do they live?
  • What are their interests?
  • What other websites do they frequently visit?

Know your competitors:

If you don’t know who they are, you should.

Check out their Facebook page and pay close attention to comments people leave, which posts draw the most reactions, what people are “Liking”, etc…

All of this is great intelligence you can use when setting up your own ad campaign.

YouTube:

Ever notice that small graph-looking icon in the right corner underneath a video you’re watching?

When you click on it it gives you some great data about people who have watched the video — viewer age ranges, countries where people are watching the video, etc…

YouTube Screenshot

Also, scan the comments to read what people like and dislike about the video.  There can be valuable insights here.

Quantcast:

Quantcast is a free online tool that provides details about audiences for all website owners.  You simply type in a website whose audience you’re interested in learning more about.

The amount of information available from site to site can vary (the smaller the website that you’re searching about the less data there will be) but the insight you can gain from Quantcast is awesome. My favorite bit of data is a breakdown and list of other sites people are likely to visit.

This is GOLD when you’re using “Interest Targeting” on Facebook because you can learn more about the interests of people who go to that site.

You’ll also find standard data here that you would find with Google Analytics, but the demographics go a bit deeper to include things like site visitor income levels and the # of children per household.

Alexa:

Alexa is another free online resource that gives you insights into the visitors of other websites.

You can use it for a number of insights including how popular a competitor’s website is and finding new competitive websites that you may not have realized existed.

BONUS TIP: In addition to using these resources for your Facebook ad campaign research, they’re also great when researching niches that you may want to start working in.

Who Doesn’t Want to Sell More Products? A Case Study

Only72.com hosts large online niche sales once or twice a year.  You may remember Pat talking about it a couple of times last year.

The people behind Only72 bring together the biggest names in a given niche (personal development, for example), compile their best-selling online products (such as guides or courses), and discount them by over 90% for a limited time (72 hours).

Only72 wanted to reach new people who weren’t already on their email list and who wouldn’t have normally heard about the sale.

Facebook’s enormous audience and the ability to uniquely target its users were a natural fit for this campaign.

In addition to pinpoint targeting — images, headlines, ad copy, and landing page were all designed to grab attention and create a sense of urgency.

This campaign worked so well, in fact, there was a 364% return-on-investment.

Here’s one of the ads that performed extremely well:

Facebook Ad 1

Why it works:

  • This ad catches user’s attention right away with the colorful image of the pretty woman.  With all the clutter on Facebook pages these days, the image is the most important part of the ad.
  • The headline stirs an emotion of empowerment and motivation.
  • The ad copy clearly outlines what the product offering is (“22 courses/products”), the value being offered ($1087 worth…for $97) and then further provides further validation by highlighting that courses/products are from the “biggest online personal development bloggers and authors.”
  • Users also explicitly know the price ($97).  Including the price is a great tactic to filter out qualified customers.
  • A sense of urgency is implied — “Only 36 hours left.”

Landing Page:

We all know how important a landing page is when trying to convert website traffic to paying customers.

The landing page used for this campaign prominently displayed exactly what was stated in the copy of the ad – “22 personal development courses from 25 amazing people…”  This was done so the user didn’t experience any surprises when they clicked.

The landing page also clearly listed out each of the courses/products, their authors, and the price they normally sell for individually.

There was a clear call-to-action (a red button with “Get Instant Access”) and a digital clock in the upper right counting down to the end of the sale.  This clock further created a sense of urgency for the person to buy without further delay.

Targeting:

“Precise Interest” targeting was used to reach users who have an interest in things like the following:

  • Personal development
  • Personal growth
  • Productivity
  • The 4-Hour Workweek

“Fans” of people like Tim Ferriss, Tony Robbins, and Gary Vaynerchuk were also targeted because their brands align with the products and courses being offered.

If You Don’t Test, You’ll Hate Yourself Later:

In any kind of online advertising, testing is THE most important thing you can do.

Different images, headlines, ad copy, and landing pages should all be tested to see which performs best.

The 364% ROI was the result of testing all these variables and ultimately only running the ads with the best combinations.

Do yourself a favor…be diligent about testing.

Grow Your Business Page Through Facebook Page Ads

I want to expand on Pat’s advice about building your Facebook audience quickly.

His last tip in that video offers Facebook ads as a viable way to increase your Fan numbers.

I couldn’t agree more!

These ads are called Facebook Page ads or sometimes called “engagement ads.”

A couple of things have changed, though, since he put that video out; a few things I think you’ll find game-changing.

First and foremost, you can now target friends of people who are already Fans of your page.  This is Facebook’s bread and butter — leveraging social proof and word-of-mouth promotion.

After all, you’re more likely to do something at the suggestion of a friend than a total stranger, right?

When setting up your ad, you’ll see this option:

Connections on Facebook

Attract Your Ideal Audience

The other part that has evolved over the past couple of years is the “Interest targeting.”

Hopefully you have a picture in your mind of the ideal person who will benefit most from your niche business. (If you don’t, I’d jump to the “Do this before anything else” portion of this post.)

“Interest targeting” is a great way to put your business in front of your exact target audience.

This targeting has only gotten better because, whether we like it or not, Facebook now takes all of our status updates, “Likes”, personal profile info, what we post on other people’s Walls, groups we belong to, etc… and uses it to target ads to us.

A little scary, but true.

Have a site in the personal finance niche, for example?  You can target your ads to people who work at the Wall Street Journal if you want.  Awesome.

Facebook Interests Targeting

This type of ad is so effective because all your ideal customer has to do is click “Like” within the ad to become a Fan of your business and start getting your updates.

They don’t even leave the page they’re on when they click.

Pretty cool.

Here’s an example:

Facebook Ad Example 2

By clicking “Like” I would automatically register as a Fan and start getting updates from AmEx Open.

Pat has mentioned it several times when he talks about his Facebook strategy but once you get someone to Like your page, you MUST engage with them on a regular basis.

Share great content with them, interact with them and grow your relationship.  This is one way people start to trust you and ultimately become buyers of your product.

Test Product Ideas BEFORE Creation

Have an idea for a niche product but unsure whether there’s a desire for it?

You can test market reaction to a product idea before creating it by using targeted Facebook ads.

Tim Ferriss talked a lot about this kind of testing in The Four-Hour Workweek but he did it with Google AdWords.

As we’ve discussed, set up your targeting so the ideal audience for your product idea will see your ads.

Test different versions of images, headlines and ad copy which all revolve around your product and variations of your idea.  Give your ads some time to run and then see which of your ads perform the best.

I wouldn’t worry too much about the landing page with this kind of test because you’re really only concerned with how many times people are clicking on your ads.

Was the click-through rate high? (the average on Facebook is about 0.04%)

Was there one ad that people interacted with more than another?

This kind of testing can give you invaluable feedback about a niche product idea before you spend the time and resources to create it.

Testing eBook Titles – A Case Study

Similar to testing niche product ideas, if you’re writing an eBook you can also test different titles to see which most resonates with your target audience.

I did this recently with Scott Dinsmore over at LiveYourLegend.net.

Scott just released an awesome book/course called “Live Off Your Passion – An Unconventional Guide to Finding Passion and Getting Paid to Do Work You Love.”

He wanted to be sure he was using a title that people were drawn to and ultimately one that drove people to buy the book.

He gave me 10-15 potential titles and sub-titles and I created a bunch of ads with different combinations of these titles.

From what I knew about his brand and audience, I set up the targeting to ensure his ideal customer would see his ads.  (The targeting that performed the best was Fans of Tony Robbins and the book Think and Grow Rich).

Here are a couple examples of the ads:

Facebook Ad Example 3

I kept the image the same because I didn’t want it affecting the click-through.  I was more interested in which headline and ad copy resonated with people.

In some of the ads (like the one on the left) I also included a call-to-action because we also wanted to see if we could collect any email addresses on the landing page.  This was merely a secondary benefit but it was really successful as 12% of those who clicked on the ad ended up subscribing to Scott’s blog.

I let the ads run for a few days before seeing which of the ads had the best click-through rates.

In the end, there was a clear winner and “Live Off Your Passion – An Unconventional Guide to Finding Passion and Getting Paid to Do Work You Love” became the title to Scott’s new book/course.

Gift for SPI Readers: Download my Facebook Ads Guide for FREE!

I’ve only just touched on the possibilities that exist with Facebook ads but hopefully you’ve gotten some actionable tips and ideas that you can take and use for your own niche.

If you’re not yet advertising on Facebook but want to get started, I want to help.  Hell, even if you’re already running ads, I want to help.

I’ve put together a great free guide where I walk you through step-by-step exactly how to set up your own campaign and I explain each step along the way.

Consider it a road-map.

By the time you finish reading it, you’ll be creating and running your own campaigns.

To download the free guide, simply click here: IRockPaidTraffic.com

Rick Mulready created I Rock Paid Traffic to help online entrepreneurs and small businesses grow their businesses through Facebook advertising.  He’s been in the online marketing space for the past 11 years, plays rec-league ice hockey every week, is a die-hard Washington Capitals fan and tries to keep up (often unsuccessfully) with the CrossFit workout-of-the-day.

If you have any questions or comment for Rick or about paid traffic in general, please leave them below. Cheers!

  • http://mikefrommaine.com Mike From Maine

    I’ve spent over $100,000 doing paid traffic back in the mid 2000′s, but the game has changed a lot since then. There was a time when you could advertise affiliate ads on adwords and send them directly to an affiliate offer. Unfortunately those days are over :-(

    I’d like to get into facebook advertising…thanks for the mini-guide.

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Sure thing, Mike. Good luck with your ads!

    • http://bradcallenseolinkmonster.com SEO Link Monster

      Sorry to say it, but you can’t really direct link to affiliate offers. You’ll need a good landing page.

      I’ve had bad luck with facebook ads, especially with their stingy ad approval process.

      • http://www.vast9.com Garish Wasil

        Great Post, Rick.

        @SEO link Monster, You can use direct affiliate links (just cloak them with a url shortener, preferably with your domain like yourdomain.com/go/affiliateoffer) in Facebook ads. I have been doing this and the results are great.

        Apart from affiliate offers, I have been growing my email list at an enormous rate using Facebook Ads + Optin App . Beleive me, that do wonders. And I agree with rick that the Pic and the headline is the most important in this. I used to get 3k impressions on my ads with 0 clicks earlier due to bad ad copy, but now I had grown a lot :) and usually get a decent converting ctr using these ads.

  • http://www.viperchill.com Glen Allsopp

    Totally agree on the Quantcast suggestion. I make my Facebook ads ridiculously targeted (literally one for every two years of age) and then test them that way, until you can narrow it down to a really low age bracket.

    The trick is getting a good initial CTR and then in the CPC goes down massively.

    A study yesterday showed that people are saving as much as 45% on buying ads to Fan pages / apps rather than external sites (it was 29% last year) so it’s definitely something I’m experimenting with more.

    Nice post :)

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Hey Glen, so glad to hear you minutely target your ads. Targeting small age ranges for people is key in determining which ages respond best to your ads. I tend to run age increments of 5 years (ie – 25-30). Once you see which ages perform the best, you can then focus your ads on them going forward. And, most people don’t do this!

      You’ve also learned a great trick in getting your CPCs lower — getting a strong initial CTR. Awesome…

      PS – Keep the podcasts coming, great stuff!

    • http://www.ivblogger.com Sheyi Shobayo

      Glen, it means one should focus on fan page for the fb ads. I also agree with you on that too as with update on the fan page, you can bring the fans to the website as well thereby reducing ads cost.

  • http://www.wpkube.com Dev

    Great stuff, Rick.

    Nice suggestion on the Quantcast tool. I have some success with FaceBook ads in past. Going to download your ebook, now.

    Thanks for this awesome post.

    -Dev

  • http://www.stevenfleet.co.uk Steven Fleet

    Great timely post. I’ve dabbled with Adwords with varying degrees of success and did think I should look into Facebook ads for a couple of sites. Now it’s a no-brainer with the advice in this article.

  • http://blogs.fanextra.com Tom Ross

    Great post Rick. I’ve been on the fence about using Facebook ads for a while now and your post is definitely swinging me towards using them. I do love the idea of advertising only to friends of your fanpage, that seems like a killer technique.

    Quick question, which isn’t actually about paid advertising but facebook engagement. I think it’s really hard to engage your users early on when you don’t have many fans. I have a page with 2000+ fans and still occasionally receive no responses when I post a ‘fill in the blank’ post or similar. This seems to actually act as negative social proof, and is really holding me back from pushing forward my Facebook brand (which is sadly quite neglected). Do you have any tips for the real early days in terms of engaging and interacting with users (and actually getting a response)?

  • http://www.beautifulbannerads.com Matt Brighton

    Great post! I’ve always tried to like PPC advertising but I’ve never quite found true love for it. I’ll definately have a look at Quantcast! Originally I was just using youtube analytics to find out audience information. I’ve always stuck to adwords but will definately think about using facebook – I even have a $40 free advertising voucher for it so might as well use it!

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Awesome, Matt. Yes, Facebook makes it really easy to get started with their free vouchers. :) Good luck!

  • http://nicolajbm.dk Nicolaj B. Müllertz

    Great post :)
    Well i have only tested facebook ads a little bit, but without success, maybe its to try again.. Thanks for the advice, and have a great day :)

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Thanks, Nicolaj! It’s all about testing and then testing some more. Good luck!

  • http://caseygentles.com Internet Marketing With Casey Gentles

    Great post and very detailed Rick. I dabbled with facebook ads a while back and lost quit a bit of change. Took me while to figure out how it really works and I can say that facebook really does provide some targeted traffic if you use it right.

  • http://makingsenseofcents.com Michelle @ Making Sense of Cents

    This is definitely something that I needed to read right now! Thanks for this.

  • http://www.chasingpace.com/ Wesley Banks

    Perfect timing with this post. My wife just created a site that we’re going to experiment with Facebook Ads, but I didn’t have a clue where to start. Also, some very interesting information on testing and demographics. Nice Post!

  • http://www.strayblogger.com Nate

    Extremely valuable article- thanks Rick for posting it. When I has my own offline business a few years ago I used Facebook ads to get new customers and it worked well, but I haven’t really gotten into it for any of my online stuff yet.

    Thanks again.

  • http://www.strayblogger.com Nate

    lol- *had

  • Mark

    Very informative post. It shows how testing and knowing your audience is very important in business.

  • http://www.thebravemanblog.com/ Rodrigo @ The Brave Man Blog

    Wow this will be truly helpful when I start advertising, right now I don’t have much so I cannot advertise yet, but as soon as I have enough definitely I will start using it, Facebook ads have been pretty helpful when doing market research and combined with Google Trends to know which states and countries to look it becomes a powerful weapon, which ones do you think are better to use for advertising? Google Ads or Facebook Ads?

    Thanks a lot in advanced

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Hi Rodrigo, thanks for your comment. There’s quite a difference between AdWords and Facebook Ads. Both have their strengths and are worth testing depending on your goals.

      The mindset between the people on Google and Facebook are quite different.

      AdWords essentially gives you the ability to advertise to people who are
      actively searching for the type of product or service you provide.

      The people on Facebook are there to check their news feeds, upload pictures, socialize with their friends, etc… They’re not necessarily in a buying mindset. So, you have to creatively catch their attention with a well-positioned message and a great, eye-catching image in order for them to click on your ad.

      The REAL difference, though, is the targeting capabilities. You are able to get way more specific with your targeting on Facebook due to the amount of information that Facebook has about its users.

      If you want to target females within a particular age range who have a specific hobby for example, you can do this easily on Facebook. You can’t do this on AdWords.

      As always, test to see where you get the greatest returns.

      I hope this helps!

  • http://www.englischtestonline.de Englischtest Online

    Thanks for this interesting post. Mademe think about a few things re using google analytics.
    You wrote – with my comments in brackets:
    ——
    A great place to start is what you know about your existing customers or website visitors.

    Are they male or female? (how did you find out?)
    How old are they? (how did you find out?)
    Where do they live? (google analytics location data)
    What are their interests? (google analytics / content section most viewed pages)
    What other websites do they frequently visit? (google analytics referrer data)
    ——-
    What I am interested in is how to get the detailes out of analytics to properly target in FB?
    Any advice is much appreciated.

    Btw, I checked with Google Adplanner but for getting data out of that tool you need massive traffic.

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Thanks for your comment. Google Analytics has decent data but is rather limited. It comes down to getting creative with your research. Sites like Quantcast and Alexa give you pretty detailed data about your own site and others. YouTube is also another site where you can research either your own videos or those of your competitors to learn more about your own or potential audience. Look for the small graph icon to the right of the view count.

      • http://www.englischtestonline.de Englischtest Online

        Hi Rick,
        thanks for your reply – unfortunately it doesn’t help much. What you described in your reply you already elaborated on in your post, which I see as a very valuable reference.
        I stated my question as you listed the 5 demographic details with a subheader “Google Analytics”.
        Services like Quantcast don’t list smaller non .com sites, Alexa is no valuable source of information in Europe and Youtube only helps when you have videos.

        So, my main question regarding how to find out (w/o Quantcast, Alexa, Google Adplanner) if your audience is male or female and which age group it belongs to, still stands.

        Thanks in advance for thinking this over again.
        Tom

        • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

          Hey Tom, thanks for the follow-up on that.

          This is a bit of a roundabout way, but have you considered linking your external website to Facebook so that you can leverage their Insights reporting? It’s called “claiming a domain” and here are the directions to do that: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/insights/

          Insights allows you to see this type of info about your visitors (both for linked external sites and FB pages) when driving traffic to the page. This would allow you to learn more about whether the visitors are male/female and also the age range they fall within.

  • http://MarriedWithDebt.com John | Married (with Debt)

    Rick – this is a really well-done and comprehensive piece. I’m going to bookmark.

    I actually don’t even have a Facebook page, personal or for my personal finance/lifestyle design site.

    This actually is making me strongly consider it.

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Thanks, John! Having a Facebook page can be a HUGE catalyst for growing your brand and business. Good luck with it!

  • http://www.mobile-marketing.co.il Sharon

    everyone need to know how to advertise on Facebook, more people stay on Facebook more time then ever and you must be where your audience are. in addition Facebook is going to publish a new version of app for mobile devices where there will be ads in it.
    the combination of Facebook and Mobile is the future and every publisher have to be there. In the customer hand

  • http://ninetonever.com Zach

    This was a great post! I have dabbled in facebook ads, but never got great results. This is an awesome resource. Thanks!

  • http://experimentincome.com Ramy Khuffash

    I’ve played around with Facebook ads and testing is definitely essential. One question though. When you’re advertising products that haven’t been created yet, where do you send the people who click on the ad? Im guessing you send them to an opt-in page of some kind?

    Anyway thanks for the amazing info!

    Ramy

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      You got it, Ramy. Facebook requires you to have a functioning landing page that’s relevant to your ad. The great thing is you don’t have to do much to build a page. You can buy a domain for $10 and then create a site for free. The page can certainly be an opt-in but you don’t NEED it to be. You can simply create a basic page which discusses your product and then measure how much traffic is going to the site. If there’s a ton of traffic going to your landing page, that’s a pretty good indication whether people are interested in your product.

  • http://www.sportmanagement.cc Remco

    I have some (bad) experience with facebook ads……my main problem was reaching my ideal audience.
    I am in a niche of a sports niche….and it is very difficult to get to my audience

    • http://www.hothitmedia.com Ralph | Social Media Explained

      Remco (Dutch?)
      I’ve just responded to this thread down below and I also had various sport niches so I know where you are coming from.

      Do your research and like other pages that are in the similar niche and just ask to like you back. Also use @yourcompetition in your posts as your post will be shown on their page.. and just interact daily and use various tactics which have been mentioned on SPI. I also mention a few on my own blog if you are interested (just click my name and go to the Facebook Tab. )

      Ralph

  • http://moneyforcollegeproject.com MoneyforCollegePro

    Thanks for the free guide!

    I have dabbled with facebook ads with some moderate success. It is a very appealing genre though, and I’ll be pouring over your guide to see what steps I need to take to get started.

    Thanks again!

  • http://alphaefficiency.com Bojan – Alpha Efficiency

    This is going to be wicked useful to me. I always loved paid traffic, but kinda was reluctant to risk my own money. Now I am working for a company, being marketing manager and can’t wait to do all sorts of experiments while increasing the conversions.

    Subscribed and downloaded! Thanks for assembling it!

  • http://www.idontknowwhattoblogabout.com Patrick Irish

    Great post Rick. I will definitely check your blog out. Lots of good info :)

  • http://shawnozbun.com Life at home

    Great post. using ads to drive traffic is vey scary at time. I have not had much luck at all with ads. I may give Facebook another look. Thanks a lot

  • David

    Great post! Exactly what I was looking for. Downloading your free guide.

    Cheers!

  • http://www.hothitmedia.com Ralph | Social Media Explained

    Facebook Ads, where do I start?!

    I’ve used it quite a bit and with a decent success rate.
    Most of my Ads have gotten a 0.03 CPC rate but an average of 0.2 / 0.3% click through rate. Which apparently is normal. The audience was very targeted but I guess it should be a bit more targeted.

    I want to add a thing here as this is something of my own personal experience.
    There is a difference between your target audience and the audience your page is for. (read that again)

    For instance I have a few celebrity workout websites (yes I’m one of those guys) and I thought it would be great to attract fans of that celebrity to my fanpage. And it worked out great. Got over 700 fans for one of my pages without paying a lot for it.

    There is an upside and a downside to this.
    Downside: My fans don’t care about the product I am trying to sell.
    They like the celebrity, not the product I initially wanted to sell them. Since it is a workout product it is designed for men (mostly). But a lot of the fans are Female…. So I had to alternate my strategy a bit.

    Upside: You can increase your SERP rankings and social proof by leveraging your blogposts via Facebook. I.e. I write a blogpost and ask them to read and share / tweet/ +1 it. Which works as one of my posts made my traffic spike from 100 a day to 700 within hours. All this because of the social proof / share buttons available on the post.

    In traffic wise, social media is great and Facebook contributes the majority of my traffic. Just from January the stats for referring traffic are as followed:
    1) Google.com with 40.91%
    2) Google.de with 14.88%
    3. YouTube with 11.57%
    4) Facebook with 10.75%

    If I would do the total stats for my site (started 1st of Oct.) it is as followed:
    1) google.com with 36.41%
    2) Facebook with 30.91%
    3) Google.de with 13.59 %
    4) YouTube with 5.60%

    On a different site (no YouTube) Facebook is 50% of my traffic and mobile facebook is 10%

    But keep in mind that Fan pages are “hard” work. I have 4 of them and I interact with them on a nearly DAILY basis. It helps as you will gain new fans daily without spending money.

    So I had to change my strategy a bit from Clickbank products to more Amazon focussed as that would be more in line with the Fans of my fanpages.

    Sorry for the long response but this might save you a few dollars :)

    • http://www.hothitmedia.com Ralph | Social Media Explained

      PS.
      A program called http://www.adsage.com will let you upload multiple Ads at once (free software up to x amount of ads) which makes it easy for you to track the conversion etc.

      • J

        Hi Ralph,
        I’m wondering if your Amazon promos are converting from FB?

        If you have a large female celebrity fan-base, I’d recommend beauty products the celebrities use, specific diets celebrities are known to use.. and purses (of-course!).

        I’ve tried endlessly to get free traffic from google to no avail.. my keyword selection must be off-base.

        *RICK, thanks for sharing your knowledge!!

        Great read gentlemen:)

        • Ralph | Social Media Explained

          Hey Rick,

          I just tried 1 product on 1 site and that hasn’t converted.
          So it is still adjusting and see how it goes.

          Ralph

  • http://www.thenewsofthepeople.com Odesanya Taiwo

    Thanks for this great article published. It really helpful

  • http://socialwebqanda.com Andrew at Social Web

    Great post; I really appreciated all the detail! The case studies of the Only72 and Live Off Your Passion ads were especially helpful.

    I am launching a new blog in the sports niche next week, and my plan is to sell some ebooks. Definitely going to grab your free guide and learn more about Facebook ads!

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Glad you liked it, Andrew! Case studies are among my favorite to learn from too. I’m actually starting a regular series of campaign case studies on my site which I can’t wait to share. Good luck with your new blog!

  • http://www.thelistgrowers.com Michael Stetina

    Rick – What a timely post. We were just getting ready to explore Facebook ads for our clients and there was your post. This has just become my new go-to resource. Thank you.

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Love hearing that, Michael. My free guide will be a great help in getting started, too. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

  • http://photographybasics.com L Simon from Photography Basics

    I’ve used paid traffic in the past, and have just about broken even. There is definite potential in Facebook, I just didn’t have the capital to develop the skillset and insight needed to exploit it.

    I have to admit, Rick – after visiting your site, my initial reaction isn’t “You should trust this guy, he knows what he’s doing”. I’ve followed Pat’s advice in the past, though, and haven’t been let down. I’m going to put aside my first impression and see what you have to offer.

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      I appreciate your honesty. I hope to prove you wrong by providing great, helpful, actionable content. :) If you have any questions that come up, don’t hesitate to ask.

  • http://conversionchamp.com/ Adarsh Thampy

    Great post there Rick.

    I have tried Facebook advertisement in the past, but the problem is they have too many rules that it’s simply hard to get around most of them.

    One example is that I have an optin page where you can sign up to get a free ebook. When I submitted an ad with the copy “download your free ebook” in the subject, they rejected my ad saying that it’s not conveying the true motive of the page. So what am I supposed to say? “Give me your email so that I can later sell to you?”

    I know slight changes can be made to get around this. Maybe including words like “Signup to get FREE ebook” or something along those lines. Also the CPC they suggested was much more than what Google Adwords would have charged for a medium competition keyword.

    That’s when I gave up on Facebook advertising. I guess I’d give it another shot in the coming months. As I see it, FB ads are geared towards promoting Facebook content itself (FB pages or Apps).

    BTW, which do you prefer, Sponsored Stories or Facebook Ads?

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Hi Adarsh,

      It really all depends on what my goals are. I like Sponsored Stories a lot when I am promoting an internal Facebook initiative of some sort. I like Facebook ads a bit more when promoting an external site, but that doesn’t mean I won’t point to within Facebook.

      Not exactly a clear cut answer but it really depends on the goals of your campaign.

  • http://www.brockstarlife.com/ Brockstar

    I have honestly never considered Facebook ads, but I’ve seen them work with my younger siblings who are on there all day, so maybe you’re on to something…

  • http://www.polybagpro.com Johnny Bravo

    Great post. Rick I signed up for your free guide and I hope to learn more about it. I’ve been looking to create a successful campaign for my company and hope this points me in the right direction.

    Thanks Pat for showcasing this post.

  • http://www.extramoneyblog.com Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

    good stuff Rick. I second your thoughts on Facebook.

    I have used it to drive traffic to certain niche sites I own that market expensive digital products. I also own a small brick and mortar business in my community that has tremendously benefited from the very specific targeting capabilities of the facebook ad platform (I can narrow down to folks within a 10 mile radius, certain demographic categories, income, etc).

    looking forward to reading your thoughts on this approach to driving traffic

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Absolutely, Sunil. That’s one of the great things about advertising on Facebook. You can target your audience so specifically, including within a short distance of your business. I’d continue testing this approach if it’s been effective for you!

      • http://www.extramoneyblog.com Sunil from The Extra Money Blog

        ditto Rick

  • http://www.jamienorthrup.com Jamie Northrup

    I’ve been using Facebook ads since last year, but haven’t really gotten down and dirty yet with my testing, I really need to take the time to test a bunch of things out, and then invest more into it. Your post has given me the inspiration I need to try and set some time aside this weekend to work on it, I’ll keep this post not to far, thanks Rick for taking the time to share all this.

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Glad to hear that, Jamie. You’re very welcome!

  • http://www.ivblogger.com Sheyi Shobayo

    Fb ads does not work for online business alone. It works pretty much for offline businesses as well. I have friends who told me they’ve tested it for their offline biz and it works fine.

    A friend who owns online biz also rely on fb ads and YT vids for his affiliate marketing. Those are the 2 main things he does as far as getting targeted traffic.

    Goggle adwords is dead when it comes to targetted traffic. A 7 year old boy who types ‘get fat’ might get the same result with a 47 year old woman who uses same search term too.

    Fb is taking over from G which i so much support and I wish Fb will open its own search engine soonest too.

  • http://www.justlearnchinese.com Grace

    Wow! What a informative post.

    Never know about quancast. I’ve just created an account there after reading this post. Need a bit of time to digest all the valuable advice and the ebook …

    Thanks,

    Grace

  • http://www.canadagooseexpeditionparkareview.com mike

    Nice post.

    I had some relatively good success with Facebook when it first started with the ppc ads. I was making upwards of 300 bucks a day with click bank. Then they laid the smack down. I think I will try again… thanks for rekindling the idea

  • http://www.facebook.com/FitnessContrarian Mike – Fitness Contrarian

    Thanks for the tips Rick….. just started running some Facebook ads… found this post very helpful.

    Best-Mike

  • Jules

    Great info. Fb ads approval process is a bit of a nightmare, do you have a hotline to that team? I know that google adwords have contactable reps for specialist companies that offer Adwords services.

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      I agree Jules, the approval process can be frustrating at times. I’m actually working on getting access to an account person at Facebook now. :)

  • http://www.sharonsnowdon.com Sharon

    This is an incredibly informative post, thank you. I’m currently building my blog so will be setting up a new Facebook fan page very soon. Facebook advertising is definitely something I’m really interested in for when my product is ready to launch – I’ll be watching all your video guides!

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Awesome, good luck with everything Sharon!

  • http://vanzantdesign.com/ Shaun

    This is an excellent guest post, i’m just getting started playing around with Facebook so this is a very timely post for me.

  • http://www.ivblogger.com Sheyi Shobayo

    I cannot stress enough how this fbk ads has helped lot of people that I personally know and I am going to give it a try as soon as possible.

    Thanks for sharing

  • http://www.paulcaparas.com Paul Caparas

    Hello Rick, great post and thanks for breaking down the steps to be successful for paid advertising. I have little experience with it and now I know I can do better. Thanks.

    • http://irockpaidtraffic.com Rick Mulready

      Great, love hearing that Paul. :)

  • http://www.thebrainvitamin.com Hope Beatte

    I learned so much from this article. Can’t wait to put this into action!

  • http://www.porter-cable-compressor.com Stephen Mol

    Nice post pat.

  • http://www.selfsuccessmastery.com Zahib@SelfSuccessMastery

    Hey Rick,
    Very smart taking the testing principle behind 4 hour work week, and switching it from google to facebook. It’s so much more of targeted audience when you not only know the keyword there interested in but how old they are, stated interest, income, and more.

    It’s qualifying for you to know that your not wasting time talking to irrelevant audience members. and your not wasting there’s trying to sell Ice to Eskimos.

    Based on the experience I’ve had Facebook is about Social Engagement, and those that follow those rules of engagement reap the rewards.

    Thanks for the picture example, and the insight shared.

  • http://www.iseoagency.com Jass Huston

    Informative site. Thanks for sharing. I like it.

  • http://onlinemarketingo.com Verka

    There are a very good points in above article. If you would like to explore more methods about internet marketing and how to get more free trafic online check it ou at http://www.onlinemarketingo.com Let me know if you have some comment or questions.

  • http://www.brainvitamins.com Brain Vitamins

    I have tried Facebook advertisement in the past, but the problem is that they only do display advertising.
    I personally prefer and see the best results from Google adwords.
    Nice blog by the way.

  • http://www.youtube-hits.com Buy Youtube Views

    Interesting article.
    Do you truly believe that traditional SEO can be beat by paid advertisement like Facebook (Display model) and Google adwords?
    I still have my doubts.
    I mean, how often do you click on one of the paid links yourself?

  • netgo

    Captivating! Sometimes it also depends on the product you are selling. For example promoting this http://goo.gl/ByW2EE I had a sale with onley 3 uniques visitors to my affiliate link giving me a commission of $88.65.