My One-Week Crash Course on Facebook Ads

2021 Edition

I came across an interesting job position at Appsumo last month. For those of you that don't know, Appsumo is the number one software deal website for entrepreneurs.

The interesting job position was called Demand Generation Specialist, and the job responsibility was to use SEO, paid advertising, giveaways, and whatever other methods I can think of to drive traffic to a new service they are offering.

Becoming a Demand Generation Specialist seems like it would offer me a lot of freedom to test and experiment with marketing ideas. The challenge is that even though I have worked with SEO at my old job, I don't know much about paid advertising and giveaways, so I decided to give myself a crash course before I apply for the job.

The best way to learn anything new is to consume just enough information to get yourself started, and then you should go test out what you learned.

Here is what I did:

  1. I read an article about how to spend your first $100 on Facebook written by the founder of Appsumo, Noah Kagan.

  2. I planned out two different Facebook ad campaigns to market existing products from Appsumo

  3. Somewhere in between creating my ad campaigns, I read another article called "To Kill or Not to Kill your Facebook Campaign: 15 Reasons Why" to get a better understanding of the important Facebook Ad metrics.

Campaign #1 Beagle Security

The first criteria I looked for when picking a product for the first campaign was to pick something on Appsumo that is already showing a lot of traction.

Beagle Security was a product that had over 125 near five-star reviews on their Appsumo product page when I was working on the campaign in May. It also fulfills my second criteria was to choose a product that I would also use.

Beagle Security is a pretty awesome deal. You are paying a one-time fee for software that you can use monthly to manually “attack” your own website and send you a report on the vulnerabilities.

The moment I saw this product, I knew how valuable it is for WordPress developers and WordPress agencies because WordPress websites are typically for security vulnerabilities.

(Security issue only applies to WordPress websites that require user logins)

Here's a screenshot of how I did my Facebook ad targeting.

The gist was that I targeted people who are interested in WordPress and Computer Security. I made sure to exclude people who already knew about Appsumo because this is a campaign that is trying to reach new users.

One thing recommended by Noah Kagan is to target an audience of fewer than 10,000 people when you have a small budget. My audience reach for this campaign was 5,100.

Campaign #2 TidyCal

For my second campaign, I wanted to kill two birds with one stone. Another skill required for the job position was being familiar with giveaways, so I thought it would be interesting to run ads on a giveaway for an Appsumo product.

The product I chose for my giveaway was TidyCal, a scheduling software that is simple to use with a one-time payment of $19. I've been using this software for over three months and I have enjoyed the overall experience.

(Yes. It's the same giveaway I emailed to my subscribers two weeks ago. Now, you know my true intention of running the giveaway 😉)

Here's a screenshot of how I did my Facebook ad targeting.

I targeted digital marketers in Texas, who are interested in Tim Ferriss and WordPress. The audience reach for this campaign was less than 1000 people.

Why did I target such a weird niche? Well, since the giveaway is to get signups for this newsletter, I wanted to sign up for people who had similar interests as me. I also thought people who have similar interests as me might also enjoy the TidyCal app more.

Which Advertisement Performed Better?

Because I didn't have access to the actual Appsumo website, I couldn't measure for things like Return on Investment (ROI) or conversion rate. The best measurement I had for evaluating the quality of my two campaigns was click-through rate (CTR).

According to the Word Stream, a good benchmark for the technology sector is to have a 1.04% CTR, so that's the benchmark I measured myself against for this experiment.

Here are my results:

  • Beagle Security: 648 impressions, 3 clicks, which leads to a CTR of 0.46%. The cost per click was $3.27 dollars. Doesn't seem too good.

  • TidyCal Giveaway: 531 impressions, 1 click, which leads to a CTR of 0.18%. The cost per click was $10.23 dollars. That's horrible.

  • The total amount spent for both ads was $20.05 dollars.

If we are just judging CTR, then both campaigns didn't pass the benchmark, but the Beagle Security ad campaign did perform a lot better than the TidyCal Giveaway.

Takeaways

Facebook ads definitely have a steeper learning curve than I imagined. There's a lot that could be improved on both ad campaigns such as better targeting, better image, and better copy.

I will definitely dig more into paid advertising because it seems like a useful skill to have.


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Thanks for reading!

-George 🐙