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The Facebook Ad that got 19000% ROI

The Facebook Ad that got 19000% ROI

I “boosted” a Facebook post that resulted in $1520 in sales – the sponsorship cost us $8. That’s a 19000% return on investment! Normally I don’t sponsor posts on Facebook because let’s face it, it’s the biggest rip off since sliced cheese! There are a dozen better ways to get great ROI on Facebook ads. But it was almost by accident that I found the ultimate way to make money from Facebook Ads and get around that pesky 20% rule too!

The Facebook 20% text rule

The Facebook 20% maximum text rule in all paid content is a pain in the ass for B2B. Unlike photographers or sellers of pretty shoes/kid’s stuff/food/views the image doesn’t sell itself when the product is SEO Copywriting or Content Marketing. This means finding an eye catching image that is on brand and will attract mouse clicks. So, so, so simple when the product is bloody SEO! JEEZ.

What we did

I already knew that our awesome client testimonials make for excellent ad copy. I knew that uploading multiple images made for a cool, over-sized image on fan walls. I knew that each image also needed to stand alone for mobile users. And I knew that they had to STAND OUT to attract those clicks quickly (to keep powering organic reach)

How we did it

I created 9 identically sized images in unique colours. In each I put a speech bubble (we are Talk About Creative after all) across roughly 60% of the image. I then added a few words from our most compelling and relevant testimonials to each. These made up about 30-50% of the total image (well over the allowed 20%). At this stage, I posted it as an organic post. I considered it a “branding” post and such, added no spam-style call to action – instead just took a friendly approach!

What came next

It got clicked, liked, commented and loved into some impressive (well impressive these days) organic reach. It stood out like crazy on people’s walls and it attracted a lot of interest, and a trickle of enquiries from existing Facebook fans. Seems worthy of a “promote”.

The better ways to advertise

I took a screen shot of the nine images together as it displayed on desktop walls and created an awesome series of ads, targeting all kinds of people, doing lookalike targeting, demographic targeting…this was going to make a terrific litmus test. I put the kettle on in anticipation. Every single one was rejected because of the 20% rule. Damn. Damn. Damn.

Huzzah for time differences

Being on the other side of the world to both the US and Ireland is usually a pain in the butt when it comes to fine-scheduling advertisements and predicting the billing cycle on Facebook. On the plus size, generally I seem to be able to get away with a bit more. If you promote a post that is a bit iffy on the amount of text, you can usually get it through for at least an hour or two before it gets revised by human eyes and taken down. So, better than nothing, I decided to promote the post.

Finally a use for the Boost Post Function

The “boost” function on Facebook posts offers, by far, the WORST value for money of all advertising options (our results are, on average 200% better using ad manager or power editor than on wall promotions). Ads Manager “post promotions” aren’t much better. There are a lot of Facebook Ad changes being rolled out right now so more on that when the roll out is complete.

Boosting a wall post that uses multiple pictures offers you the stand out display you see in newsfeeds without the reasonably swift and attentive human scrutiny of Ad Manager or Power Editor. It would appear that the multiple images make it harder for Facebook bots to determine a text percentage so it’s easier to slip text heavy ads through.

So what made this ad such an outstanding success?

1. Our existing fans engaged with it quickly
2. I used simple, multiple images to create a large, eye catching ad on walls
3. Each individual image was suitable for mobile devices
4. The message in the ad was compelling – most important part!
5. There was no aggressive/spammy call to action included
6. I used identically sized images (for display purposes)
7. Using the “boost” function allowed for greater exposure!

Have you had an awesome experience with Facebook ads? Please email us all about it – we’ll share it and give you some linky-good credit!