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Is $100 Enough to Try Facebook Ads?

  |  January 22, 2014   |  Comments

How much is enough to try Facebook Ads?

For some reason, $100 seems to be the magic number for anyone wanting to "test" Facebook Ads these days. I guess it’s because less than that doesn’t buy anything anymore and more than that is the start of having to fill out request paperwork and getting signatures involved. And, pretty much any marketer has $100 they can "play with."

But is it enough?

Yes and no.

If you’re going to start with the "standard" $100, then you’re going to need to set some expectations and orchestrate your test campaign accordingly:

  • Set the length of test time to no more than two weeks. Ideally one week.
  • Come armed with the targets, audiences, or demographics you’re going to try with. 
  • Pick one of the aforementioned targets. Do not try them all at once or try and split the $100 into thirds. Insanity.
  • Pick one to two types of ad units, no more than that. Again, for reasons of sanity.
  • Aim for the lower suggested bids on your selected targets. 
  • There are .40 and less target audiences out there you can go after.
  • Remove selected targets that have a suggested bid of more than $1. 
  • Decide what "success" is and what "failure" is before you spend a nickel.

Also, choose your ad type and approach based on what "success" is. Are you traffic-driving? Think about using link ads. Do you still think that paying to acquire an audience on Facebook is a good idea? If so, then you’ll want to choose an ad type that drives new page Likes. Match the ad type to your success metric, so that you can actually quantify your results.

Now, if you’re living outside those lines and expect that Facebook will be this magical vehicle that delivers those needed sales to meet the quota, you’re going to be disappointed like a state trooper at the end of the month during a funeral procession on a state highway.

When $100 isn’t enough:

  • You’re planning on parceling that $100 out over a whole month.
  • You’re expecting a revenue return that will match that of search.
  • You’ve got myriad targets and/or ad types that you’ve been assigned to try.
  • You’re targeting an audience that falls into the suggested bid range of more than $2 as a minimum.
  • You don’t have the resources to support the effort -- like more than one image for an ad, a carefully crafted post/update to sponsor, or a Facebook page without a call to action or instructions of any kind.

You get the idea. I do highly recommend giving Facebook Ads "a try" and I do think $100 is enough to get some ideas of next steps, but if I may repeat myself here, I want to make sure that I draw your attention to that last point again -- you need to determine what "success" is and what "failure" is before you spend anything. What is it you’re testing Facebook Ads for? What are you hoping to learn? Do that and yes, $100 is enough.

And last, but not least, since you’re at it: ask for $200.

You know, just in case.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Marsten

Elizabeth Marsten is the director of PPC at CommerceHub in Seattle, Washington, where she oversees the PPC advertising practice with concentrations in Google AdWords & Shopping, Bing Ads, and Facebook. She is the is the co-author of All in One Web Marketing Reference for Dummies (Wiley Publishing), as well as PPC courses on Lynda.com.

See her SlideShare presentations from speaking at MozCon, SMX Advanced, East and West, PPC Hero Con, Searchfest, and State of Search or find her on Twitter.

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