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.