What I Learned from Facebook Advertising

Earlier this week I began a short experiment by deciding to spend some money on a Facebook ad that would target a very specific audience I wanted to reach. This was initially a test to see the power and capabilities of Facebook when it came to dark posts and how effective they can be in driving results.

If you are more interested in finding out the results and what I learned through video form you can watch this 17 minute in-depth YouTube video here:

Why I Chose to Advertise on Facebook

I had shot a YouTube video reviewing a Logitech Mouse on my YouTube channel and in its infancy stages of promotion I managed to garner 20–30 views in the first day or two. This was simply through posting on my Twitter, Instagram and interacting with people who were discussing the mouse online. The video itself is shot at an incredibly high quality and I believe that I get across some really good insights within the video; it was at this moment that I decided to take the plunge and see what effect I could have on the video by utilising paid promotion.

As this was an initial test and one of the first times I had used Facebook to advertise with its wide database of users to target, I gave myself the budget of only £15. I didn’t want to pour tons of money into the ad and it be a complete waste and on the flip side putting in anything less than £15 seemed like it would be too small a sum of money to see an impact. When starting to create the ad Facebook stated that £15 worth of advertising would get my post in the eyes of an estimated 7,800–21,000 people so it seemed like a worthy investment.

The Final Campaign Results

After an entire week of Facebook pushing the post to my target audience (I’ll explain how I picked them in a second), my final results were 2,877 people reached and 43 clicks. Not a great deal considering the lowest estimate Facebook gave me was 7,800 people!

This is what the analytics looked like by Day 4 of the campaign.

How I Picked my Target Audience

Knowing your target audience is vital to advertising on Facebook, it’s the difference between being successful or failing. I decided to target men between the ages of 16–27 who live in the United Kingdom with 6 interests.

These interests include:

  • Mouse (Computing)
  • PC Gamer
  • Gaming Computer
  • Twitch
  • eSports Gaming
  • PC Games Hardware

The reason that I decided to pick this audience was because my research online showed that men were more likely to watch and buy tech related items over women; this coupled together with the age range would give me a specific audience that would be interested enough to click through to the video and potentially click the Amazon link in the description.

So why did I want this audience to click the link in the description?

Well, the Amazon link in the description isn’t a link directly to Amazon, it’s actually an Amazon Affiliate link. This means that anyone who clicks that link I’ll get a cut of whatever they buy on Amazon for up to 48 hours, whether it was the mouse, a book or baby nappies!

This is why when I was creating this advertisement I advertised solely to the United Kingdom as the Amazon Affiliate link redirected to the UK store. Once I had defined my audience I let the ad run for an entire week using up my £15 budget.

Facebook’s Analytics & How I’ll Target in Future

One of the greatest takeaways from this initial test is that the Facebook analytics tool is incredibly weak. The amount of information that they give you is very limited and doesn’t allow you to really analyse who clicked the link, what specific interest brought the most attention etc.

What I learned here is to simply not trust their data analysis tools completely and to have something external to the platform that will record clicks and other essential data for giving crucial insights into how impact your advertisement was.

The Power & Results of Tracking Links via Bit.ly

The link that I had within my Facebook post was a Bit.ly link. A Bit.ly link is a link that tracks a lot more data such as the time that the link was clicked, what website/service the user clicked the link from, country of origin and a ton more.

What I noticed when inspecting the Bit.ly data after the campaign ended was that the platform that drove the most results was Instagram!

Instagram Promotion is Better than Facebook

Instagram had a total of 31 clicks whilst Facebook only delivered 16! If you were unaware, Facebook owns Instagram and so these two platforms work together if you select an option in the ad targeting menu. I believe that this is simply down to the fact that the thumbnail is more visible and aesthetically pleasing to click on compared to Facebook’s news feed appearance.

In future I will ensure that I only target on Instagram when running a Facebook ad as it gave me double the amount of results that Facebook did.

The Impact on Amazon Affiliate Marketing

The single biggest take away from pushing this video through Facebook was how it caused a domino effect where the users who clicked through to the video went onto clicking the Amazon link in the description.

As you can see from this image, once the advertisement was published there was an influx in Amazon clicks from the video; unfortunately these did not convert to a monetary gain despite the large number of clicks. Should a single individual have bought the mouse or anything else from the site within 48 hours I would have made some money — this is incredible for a £15 investment that could potentially pay itself off!

Anything after the initial £15 investment would be pure profit alongside the other benefits of increased views, subscribers and engagement with the YouTube Channel.

I believe that if you were a slightly larger YouTube channel than myself (currently at 143 subscribers), you would have a larger CTR which could in turn cause a profit rather quickly. As I grow my channel I intend to repeat this initial experiment again to see how the larger audience could impact the £15 investment.

It is wise to remember that any fans I already have on my Facebook account could in-fact like, share and comment on the initial post which could organically reach potentially hundreds to thousands more people!

Why You Should Buy Facebook Ads

I think that buying Facebook advertisements can be an incredibly useful tool to gaining an insight into how your business, video, product or whatever it is you’re trying to sell performs. Through doing this small test it opened my eyes to things I hadn’t considered before such as the Amazon Affiliate links which can now potentially generate me a larger profit.

What I believe this comes down to is yourself taking a small risk and investing an initial £15 for instance into an ad to familiarise yourself with the platform, its power and how it can personally affect you. There is no one size fits all and the only way you will ever be able to progress with Facebook advertising is to spend a little, learn, readjust and then increase the budget. Rinse and repeat until you find yourself at a comfortable level that is bring in a positive ROI which isn’t breaking the bank!


If you found this article helpful in anyway hit the little clap button down below to show me! If you want to discuss these tips further tweet me at @WhiffenYT.

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