If you run an established e-commerce business, you might be wondering whether you are ready to outsource your Facebook ad management. In this article, I put together a list of criteria you should consider when outsourcing your paid social advertising. You'll also find some tips to help you decide whether, for the time being, you might be better off running your own paid social.
1. You have an engaged social media following
In order for you to start getting a consistent amount of organic sales, you need to grow your Facebook and Instagram accounts to a decent size. I recommend aiming for at least 200-300 followers. This is important because once you start running ads, your audience will go and check your social media, and if you only have a small handful of followers, your ideal customers might question the credibility of your company. Is your business one they can trust?
If you are not at that stage yet, it means you haven't established enough of a relationship with your ideal customers just yet. This is perfectly normal and to be expected if you're just starting out, and it's something that will come with time and through employing the right strategies and techniques. But it also means that you might not be able to run profitable paid social just yet. Give it another 6-12 months, and you might be ready for outsourcing, so I'd love to hear from you then!
In the meantime, I still recommend you add the Facebook pixel to your website, even if it's too soon for you to start running ads. This is because the valuable data collected by the pixel cannot be backdated. And considering the Facebook pixel tracks every single visit to your website, having this information when you do eventually start running ads will pay dividends. So if you haven't already, make sure you install it as soon as possible. For more information on this, head over to my article: How to add the Facebook pixel to your website?
2. You have a good conversion rate
Following on from the point above, you also need to be driving enough traffic to your website to generate a good amount of organic sales. Did you know that the average conversion rate on e-commerce websites is 3-5%? If your conversion rate is within this bracket or higher, then you're absolutely ready to outsource your Facebook ads.
The fact you are making consistent sales organically means your business has reached a certain level of maturity. If you start running ads now, chances are you will be able to cope with the increased demand. And it's important you have the systems, processes, or team in place to deal with the additional sales that paid social advertising will generate for you.
But if you're not at this stage yet, and if your conversion rate is currently lower than 3%, it may mean that your product, your positioning, your offer, or your website aren't working well enough for you. For example, if your website is slow, not optimised for mobile, or the user experience at checkout isn't as good as it could be, your conversion might be negatively impacted.
Unfortunately, running Facebook ads to drive traffic to a website that doesn't convert won't fix the problem - it will only highlight it further. So it's important you implement the right changes or tweaks before you go all in running ads. Hiring someone to manage your ad campaigns if you're still at the early stages of your business may give you unrealistic expectations and lead to unnecessary disappointment.
3. You have a good budget
If you want to outsource your Facebook ad management, you need a good budget. I always recommend you set aside at least £750 - £1,000 per month to start with. This is because, right at the beginning, you're effectively buying data from Facebook. Paid social advertising works like a well-oiled machine. And every part of that machine needs to be working effectively for you to get the best results. But this can take time.
For example, when I first start working with you, I need about 10-15 days to dive deep into your business. I will dedicate time auditing your account, researching and setting up audiences, performing competitor analysis, and understanding your business and your product. It's important to run through this initial onboarding phase without rushing, which is why I'm passionate about creating long-term partnerships with my clients. I spend your money as if my own, so you can be sure I'll always monitor and optimise your campaigns and react accordingly and in your best interests.
However, if your budget is small, it will take you longer to obtain the data from Facebook. This means your ads won't be cost-effective and profitable for a while. Because of the floor cost involved with running ads and outsourcing paid social ad management, your budget will need to be more substantial than just £200 - £300 per month, for example. Without a large enough budget, you won't even have a good understanding as to whether your ads are performing or not. Of course, the exact budget you need depends on what you're trying to achieve and the price point of your product, but as a general rule, ad campaigns will start to be profitable when your spend hits the £600 - £750 per month mark.
4. Your average order value is £30 or more
Like with many other services, there's a cost that comes with full paid social ad management. So if the average order value for your business is £30 or above, you may be able to outsource your Facebook ad management fairly quickly.
However, if you sell a much lower-ticket price item, and your average order value is less than £30, you might struggle to get a good return on your ad spend. For example, if it costs £8 to acquire a new customer, and the purchase conversion value is £10, you don’t have much room for a profitable return. Unless you offer a subscription service and are getting a good lifetime value out of that customer, adding advertising management costs to the equation won’t make outsourcing very profitable for you.
But you shouldn't let this discourage you. Paid social can still work for your business. My recommendation would be that you keep advertising in-house, focus on content marketing, and perhaps consider investing in ads training or a monthly consultancy package.
If you're interested in finding out more about managing your own ads, I also run bespoke workshops to teach business owners just like you how to run your own paid social. You can find out more about my training here. And if you think training might be the way forward for your business, get in touch.
5. You understand digital marketing
While this isn't a fundamental prerequisite to outsourcing your Facebook ad management, having an understanding of how digital marketing and advertising work will give you an advantage. There are definitely benefits to outsourcing, including the peace of mind that comes from having an expert run the ads for you. Plus, there's no denying that hiring a paid social expert will save you time and mean you won't have to keep up with the latest changes, updates, and developments.
Having said that, a basic understanding of how digital advertising works will help you make better sense of the data. It will also help you make more informed decisions, so you can get the best out of your ad campaigns.
6. You sell a product that complies with Facebook's advertising policies
Not all businesses can run Facebook ads. E-commerce businesses that fall under gambling, dating, or multilevel marketing (just to name a few) contradict Facebook’s advertising policies. Any business that tries to run ads that go against Facebook's policies will have its account disabled. After all, this is Facebook's playground, and we all have to play by their rules!
So if you run a business that complies with Facebook's regulations, I'll be happy to help. I have worked with clients in wellness and beauty, food and drinks, lifestyle, and home decor, and I love the variety. However, I cannot take any risks by working with businesses that sell products that don't comply with Facebook's advertising policies.
Are you ready to outsource your Facebook ad management?
If you are ready to invest in outsourcing your Facebook ad management and would like my help, get in touch. I'd love to discuss how I might be able to assist you in running high-converting paid social for your established e-commerce business.
3 Things You Need To Do To Get Prepared For iOS14
It’s happening. Apple has started to roll out the changes in the US. Apple’s iOS14 changes will have a big impact on how Facebook tracks data. If you are not sure what impact it will have, read this first.
In response to these changes Facebook has come up with some solutions and tools so that advertisers can run effective conversion campaigns.
This preparation is extremely important to be able to run successful Facebook ad campaigns in 2021 and I highly recommend you do these as soon as possible if you haven't done so already.
1)Domain verification: This is a way for you to claim ownership of your domain in your Business Manager. Click here to learn how to implement it.
2)Setting up Facebook's new Aggregated Event Measurement Tool.
With the new changes, you can now only configure up to 8 unique conversion events per website domain that can be used for campaign optimisation. You also need to prioritise your events so that you can receive the highest priority event fed back into your ad account from people who chose to opt-out of advertising. For example, for an e-commerce business, these will be
Add to basket
As purchase is of the highest importance, this will be the event that Facebook will track from users who opted out of tracking. We will see up to 72 hours delays in reporting so bear this in mind when you are evaluating the success of your campaigns.
3)Conversion API integration: Facebook uses the pixel to track the actions taken on your website. Because of the iOS14 changes, some data will be lost. Therefore Facebook recommends Conversion API integration. This ensures Facebook can get server side data which is more robust than the pixel data. Another important thing is turning Auto Advanced Matching on.
Make sure you have got these three things in place to prevent disruption to any campaigns you are running.
If these sound too complicated or you need a helping hand to make sure you stay on top of the upcoming changes, contact me to arrange a consultancy session to do this together.
Social Thyme is now a Facebook Marketing Partner
I am delighted to announce that Social Thyme is now a badged Facebook Marketing Partner!
I have always strived to better serve my clients and getting this recognition from Facebook has made me very happy.
What does it mean to be a Facebook Marketing Partner?
In Facebook's words "The Facebook Marketing Partner badge is awarded to companies who meet the highest standards of performance and service. If you've got a badge, it tells everyone you're among the best at what you do."
The Facebook Marketing Partner programme gives selected agencies visibility and recognition as well as access to top tools and resources. I am honoured that I am listed in Facebook's partner directory.
What does this mean for my clients?
I get access to a number of benefits, such as
-agency analytics reports,
-advertiser spend optimisation recommendations,
-measurement best practices and creative tips as well as access to trainings, expos and customer support.
As a Campaign Management Partner, I help clients with ads strategy, set up, management and optimisation.
This programme will enable me to get even better at what I do and help ecommerce businesses grow online with high performing Facebook and Instagram ads.
Are you ready to level up? If you are an established e-commerce business and are looking to outsource your ad campaigns, you can find more about the way I work here. I also offer a FREE 30-minute strategy call to help you decide if I could be a good fit for your business.
Why hire me as your paid social expert
If you're an established business owner looking for an e-commerce specialist, you may be wondering how to find a paid social expert who will be a good fit for your business. So here are a few reasons to help you make an informed decision before you hire me to help with your social media advertising.
1. I am open and transparent
Transparency is at the core of what I do. When I work with a client, I don't hide anything - I don't hide data, opinions, or results. I regularly monitor the performance of your ads and update you with weekly emails and detailed monthly reports. If there's anything I feel we need to discuss in between our scheduled touchpoints, I will get in touch for an update.
During discovery calls, I often hear from prospective clients who have been burnt by paid social strategists in the past. While they might have been provided with data and regular reports, business owners often tell me they weren't sure what to make of the information. For me, what really matters is not only that you receive the data, but that you also make sense of your campaigns. Because that's the only way for you to be able to make more informed decisions going forward. The data shows you a picture of how your ad campaigns are currently performing, and my job is to help you make sense of it.
That's also why I never talk in jargon. Instead, I always explain things extensively and in plain English. I have no interest in confusing you with terminology or pieces of information that you're not familiar with. For me, it's all about giving you clarity and understanding.
Here's what some of my existing clients said about my approach.
"Isil helped to work with me on-site optimisation, to focus primarily on increasing conversions. Her suggestions were detailed, insightful and also (crucially!) straightforward to implement. I would definitely recommend Isil's site audits." Laura Franklin-Hollier, co-founder at Persephone Beauty.
"Firstly I finally get the data and statistics. Isil explains things in a way that anyone can get (finally someone who speaks my language), she genuinely wants to help and get you the best and most cost-effective results. Thank you again Isil for giving me some much needed guidance where others have failed." Kimberley Barnard, from Kimberley Barnard Coaching.
2. I believe in testing
When running ad campaigns testing is fundamental. Looking at your data helps me to see how your content, your engagement, and any strategies we're employing are working for your product. It's only through testing that we can get a clear picture of what's driving success for your brand and what isn't. Without testing, observing, and analysing the data and tweaking accordingly, you can't make informed decisions. And the best decisions, I believe, are always data-driven.
When working together, I help you test different formats to see which ads are more effective, so you can determine what type of content to use for each type of promotion. When running your ads, we can tweak different elements:
3. I invest in my personal development
When you're working with me as your paid social expert, you are also investing in my experience and knowledge. I have an extensive background in Retail, which can be incredibly useful when working in the e-commerce space. But also, I invest in my own personal development.
This means that I:
As an example, I recently took Facebook’s Media Buyer exam, and I am now certified by Facebook - the Blueprint certification is the highest accreditation they offer. And this is the feedback I received:
“Congratulations on becoming Facebook Certified! Thanks to the time and energy you’ve put in, you have demonstrated advanced proficiency in Facebook Certified Media Buying Professional and are in the unique position to showcase yourself as a Facebook marketing solutions expert.” Facebook.
My agency has also become a Facebook Marketing partner, which is awarded to companies who meet the highest standards of performance and service. This means I get access to some cool tools and benefits to fuel my clients' growth.
Also, below are some kind words that one of my clients shared about me:
"Facebook is such a fast-moving and ever-changing platform, and Isil was on top of all the latest developments, which was exactly what I needed to get up to date with. I highly recommend her as a social media specialist and all-around friendly and professional person to work with." Melanie McDowell, Conference Producer at Business Forums International UK.
4. I give you your time back
Speaking to clients, I know that running your own ads can feel stressful and overwhelming. Putting your ads together, testing, looking at the data, and optimising your campaigns is time-consuming. But if you're not familiar with the platforms or ads manager functionality, these tasks can also feel frustrating and confusing.
Prospective clients often tell me they're tempted to give up on advertising. And when you've tried to run ads on your own and ended up feeling anxious and stressed - wondering if you were wasting time and money - that's understandable. But it doesn't have to be this way.
When you hire me as your paid social expert, you have the peace of mind of having a dedicated consultant fully taking care of your ad campaigns. Because running your own business is busy enough as it is - you certainly don't need running ads added to the mix. By leaving ads management to me, you get to free up more of your precious time to take care of the things that really matter in your business. Let me do what I do best, so you can focus on the things you do best - running your business.
5. I get you results
I run a boutique agency, which means I only take on a limited number of clients. When I decide to work with you, I am fully committed to you and your business. I treat your budget as I would treat my own. And I do that because I'm determined to get you results and a return on your investments. I dedicate the time and effort required to make your advertising successful because I'm committed to your growth and want to see you achieve the best possible results.
Building strong relationships based on mutual trust and respect with my clients is fundamental for me. I don't see myself as a one-off advisor who will step into your business only to disappear a month or so later. Instead, I consider myself as a long-term partner for your company. And I like that all my existing clients see me this way.
It's why I tend to work with established e-commerce businesses for a minimum of 3 months and often longer. After all, being your paid social expert for a month or so wouldn't give us enough time to test and tweak. The real results come month after month. Only when we build more data around your campaigns, we start to understand what really moves the needle for your brand. Every business and every product are different, but I can help you figure out what works for your specific audience.
Would you like some help with your social media advertising? If you are an established e-commerce business and are looking to hire a paid social expert to run ad campaigns for you, you can find more about the way I work here. I also offer a FREE 30-minute strategy call to help you decide if I could be a good fit for your business.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
It came from the realisation and frustration that platforms like Amazon were not considering the impact they were having on the planet, the packaging they use, how the products are made, who makes them and at what cost in both human and planet terms. So the idea to create a platform where all products and businesses listing have a shared set of values, that the products are ethically made and sourced, that they have minimal impact on the planet and are sustainable and that they are vegan or come from a vegan range. This also means they are aligned with Choose Conscious as a business. This provides consumers with an alternative. Interestingly recently like many companies Amazon are having a really good go at green washing themselves, any improvements are important and should be applauded but consumers need to
look beyond the surface.
What's a typical day like?
No day is the same, I like many founders have to wear many hats, so anything from social media planning, to contacting new business to discuss listing on the platform, to bookkeeping and so on!
What is the best part of having your own business?
The flexibility around the working day, work life balance, the freedom to create the business I want. Creating a business for good. Working with sellers that are likeminded.
What's the hardest part?
Always making all the decisions, decision fatigue is real!
What’s your bestselling product?
There is a wonderful array of different vendors listed on the site, from toilet brushes to Vegan Leather trousers but the best seller this month has been a Vegan Candle range.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out, what would it be?
Do your market research and always listen to your gut, oops that’s two!
Let's talk tech. Which software do you use in your business? ( Online store, email marketing, scheduling tools, video apps, accounting & banking apps etc) If you're on Shopify, I'd also love to learn your favourite apps.
I use Dokan and WooCommerce, Xero for accounting, Stripe, Mailchimp, HubSpot for CRM, Canva and Sprout Social. I’m always looking for anything that can help automate a process, so I have more time to actually run the business.
Which social media platform works best for you?
Instagram, along with Instagram shop.
What business book/podcast/courses would you recommend?
I’ve not read a business book recently, I should make time, the last one was Freakonomics probably 15 years ago! In terms of courses I’ve also not done any for years but if you are considering it remember how valuable your time is and invest only courses that fill in your skills gaps.
Where can people find you?