Part 2 in the ‘DIY or Hire’ series: Facebook Ads!
Everyone’s talking about Facebook ads these days, and for good reason! They’re pretty magical. The big question that many small business owners and entrepreneurs face though, is whether to run Facebooks ads themselves, or hire someone to do it. Everyone knows how powerful Facebook ads can be and knows that their business needs it, but it all comes down to this ever-perplexing question: “Do I really need to pay someone else to do it for me?”
Here are 5 factors to consider as you weigh the pros and cons of social media marketing, whether to DIY or hire, and the best strategy to adopt for your own business (although if you don’t have a website yet and are considering whether to DIY or hire a pro for it, you might want to start here instead):
1.Cost: Let’s be real for a minute- we run a business to serve people with our product or service yes, but also to make enough money to support ourselves, our families, our lifestyles and our goals! Right? Since hiring someone to run our Facebook ads can cost a lot of money, is it really worth the investment? (Notice how I used ‘cost’ and ‘investment’ in there- more on this later) Especially when there are so many YouTube videos promising to turn us into experts with Facebook ads after watching a 30 minute video and subscribing to their channel, and free Facebook webinars where experts are literally giving away their secrets for free! And why spend thousands on a social media marketing agency when we can just buy a Udemy course for $10 and watch it over the weekend instead?
My answer is simple: if you currently have any of these cost objections yourself, I would encourage you to follow your gut. If it’s telling you to give Facebook ads a shot on your own, then that’s exactly what you should do. Those videos on YouTube and Udemy are actually pretty great, and are where I started learning about Facebook ads myself! Did it make me an expert in 30 minutes? No. Did it make me one in 30 days? Absolutely not. But it’s a great place to start, and you do learn some very useful tricks to start experimenting with.
2.Time: If, on the other hand, you’ve had a go at running Facebook ads by yourself already without much success, don’t have the time to play with it anymore or to figure it out on your own, or if you know right off the bat that your business needs you to be running the actual nuts and bolts of it instead of spending time figuring out your marketing strategy, testing audiences and getting creative with your ad copies and graphics- then hiring a social media marketing strategist might be the solution for you. Because at the end of the day, your time = money and you need to figure out for yourself where your time is best spent in your business.
3.Investment: This ties in with cost of course, but I feel like it deserves its own space. Plus I promised I would go into more detail with the cost vs investment thing and I like to hold myself accountable 🙂
OK, consider this: your business will always have a list of ongoing costs as well as ongoing investments throughout its lifetime, but it is important to differentiate between the two. A quick Google search says that “a cost is simply an expenditure of money, time or resources. An investment (on the other hand) is an expenditure that has a strong possibility of a return.” Clearly: marketing efforts, including social media marketing and ad strategy, fall right into the investment category. Because, you know, returns. So if this is a factor that’s holding you back- whether it’s solely in determining how high you can go with your ad spend or if you’re adding ad spend + hiring a strategist, try and think of it in terms of your goals, or more specifically: the returns you’re aiming for- and let that dictate your overall marketing budget.
4.Scale: As you scale your business, your marketing strategy and budget will need to scale as well. Scaling your business will mean generating more traffic, turning them into leads, and effectively leading them through the sales process. Scaling your business will also likely require more of your time spent in scaling your actual offerings- whether those are services, products or a combination of both- and nurturing your leads and existing clients. At this point, hiring a marketing team or outsourcing to an agency that understands your goals becomes essential. Keep in mind that like with any business, some parts are better handled yourself while others are better left to professionals who spend most of their time perfecting their art- and it is up to you to decide which parts of your business fall into either category.
It’s a little like me trying to play a video game with my son: I LOVE building websites, running Facebook marketing campaigns and can talk about Facebook ad strategies and web design/ tech all day, but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to coordinate all my fingers well enough to get through a video game! It’s pretty crazy. Not that my business requires anyone to play video games, but if it did, I probably wouldn't be trying to do it myself. I'm sure there's a better example somewhere but let's move on..
5.Price points: Not all marketing agencies are created equal. If you’ve already crossed the “Should I hire a marketing agency” phase and have decided that hiring someone to run your ads for you makes the most sense for your business, and are now just shopping around for the perfect fit- consider how you might define that perfect fit. If it’s based solely on pricing, be aware that going with the cheapest quote may- or may not- be the right answer. I’m sure you’ve heard the popular phrase “you get what you pay for”, but let’s dive a little deeper to see how much truth there really is to that phrase in this case.
If you’ve already attempted to run your own ads and failed, then you know how much time it takes to run a successful ad on Facebook. There’s setting up your tracking pixel, installing it on your website, setting up Conversions API for better ad tracking and optimization, collecting and evaluating data, setting up custom conversions, researching and brainstorming custom audiences, testing those custom audiences, testing ad copies and creatives, calculating your cost per lead (CPL), calculating your optimal budget based on your return on investment goals, monitoring and tweaking settings to keep your click through rate (CTR) above 1%, your conversion rate (CR) above 20%, and troubleshooting all of the above.
Because where there’s tech, there is ALWAYS troubleshooting.
Not to mention keeping up with Facebook’s constantly evolving policies and algorithms.
Considering all of this, how much time do you want the person you hire to be spending on optimizing your ad performance to give you the best results possible? Does their price tag reflect your expectation of their time spent on your ads, and how much they value their own time spent on running all of these facets of your ad strategy? Be sure to choose based on your marketing goals, your expectations, and the perceived value of those expectations.
Wondering how I can help with your marketing efforts?
Feel free to reach out and chat with me using the widget at the lower-right corner of your screen, and let's chat about your business and where Facebook ads fit in!
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