Part 6: 🎥.ws Our first Facebook ad

Matt came round last Saturday (14th October 2017) so we could put our first Facebook ad into action.

I mentioned to him my concerns about how broad we were going with the targeting and that it was this lack of focus that was stopping us from doing any organic growth work. When you don’t know who your customer is, you don’t know where to go to get them. We all know this, really. But it took me writing it down in part 4 to have it sink in.

Using the groups I had defined in that post as the possible end users of our product we decided to create a Facebook ad targeting people with at least one of the following interests:

  1. Independent directors
  2. Vloggers
  3. Actors
  4. Digital marketers with video content
  5. Film students
  6. Cam girls (I know. It just came out as an idea…)
  7. Video graphic creators
  8. Startup community members linking to video content
  9. Twitch account holders
  10. YouTube celebrities
  11. Cinemas
  12. Movie camera manufacturers

We knew it would be a very broad traffic campaign but decided to proceed anyway. If we can send cold traffic to the homepage which converts into paying customers we’ll have truly validated the idea and create the simplest income stream.

It is highly unlikely that this tactic will work but it is the first and most simple step. Instead of getting caught up in split testing, optimisation and market research, which might quickly complicate the process, we get to test our assumptions that one of the groups mentioned above might more readily fit with our product offering.

The idea is to see if we can identify the first niche audience with which to grow the business.

Knowing that, we can find out where those kinds of people spend their time, what publications do they read, which forums are they a part of, what other likes do they share etc. When we find this out we can create better converting Facebook ads using the specific language they communicate with, designing an image that resonates and creating a call-to-action that is pertinent to their needs.

In creating the ad we needed to somehow speak to all of them and therefore decided to keep it very light on the text, hoping that a simple image would communicate all we needed at this point.

first Facebook ad image

The accompanying text said “Beautiful short emoji URLs”

Would this be enough for people to understand our proposition? It was worth a first shot to see what would happen. We’re not going to get it right first time so putting something out into the world is half the battle. No point wasting too much time trying to perfect something.

Facebook warned us that our image was very text heavy. That’s what we get for having a product that is a text link. At least the emoji offsets it…slightly.

Even though we were warned we proceeded anyway. A few days later I got an email saying that Facebook wasn’t able to serve our ad as much due to the text in the image. Fair enough! We had been warned.

So, last night Matt came up with a neat little idea about using emoji to depict a lot of information displayed in a small way. That’s what we do- we take long links and make them short using emoji.

After finishing up some website work I opened Photoshop to start implementing Matt’s idea. One image struck me as a perfect way to say the whole thing in an intriguing way.

The simple image prompted more accompanying text which I wrote, re-wrote, condensed, re-wrote and edited over and over until I think we ended up with something quite neat. Here’s the new ad as it would be seen on desktop:

vidd.ws first Facebook ad for desktop feed

and here’s how it looks on mobile:

vidd.ws first Facebook ad for desktop feed

We’re both much happier with the look of this ad. Facebook did us a favour by not serving the first one! My girlfriend said she would click on this link just because the elephant is cute. The other one, she said, looks like spam.

As a side note, I did make sure that the example shortener links to our homepage 🎥.ws/elephant

We took a lot of advice about Facebook ads from a video posted by Kevin David of That Ninja Lifestyle.

The biggest difference between the ad Kevin’s mocks up in his video and our ad is that Kevin’s ad was selling a product people might be looking for. He could then target specific interests and pages dedicated to the product.

No-one is looking for emoji shorteners. Yet.

So we had to broaden our audience to people that we think might benefit from using an emoji URL shortener.

We’ll run this ad for $60 (as per Kevin’s advice in the video) and then take stock.

The next post should be a results post from this first foray into Facebook advertising.