New Facebook Ads 20 Times More Effective

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about Facebook’s new Ad Create Flow. I questioned the removal of bidding for CPM and Facebook’s ambiguous explanations of what they actually do with your budgeted dollars. As a very supportive Facebook marketer (a fan boy?), it was probably the most scathing post I’ve ever written about the social network.

Can I make a retraction? WHOA!

Immediately after hitting “publish” on my post, I figured I had better test out the new advertising. What happened during the next 24 hours put me into full-on maniac mode. I could not believe what I was seeing.

Is Facebook’s new bidless advertising worth it? My answer is such an emphatic yes that I question whether there was a bug in my favor. My results were great… TIMES 20!

The Experiment

Like any good social scientist, I wanted to be sure that any new ad I created could be closely compared to one I previously ran on the old system. So I took this one, which was targeted at friends of fans of Jon Loomer Digital outside of the US with several specific interests related to social media business…

Old Facebook Ad Results

It was one of several ads from a campaign in which I spent a total of $25. I’ll help you do the math here…

Total Reach: 116,843
Total Spent: $10.52
Total Likes: 10 (21 of the “Actions” were Page Tab Views)
Cost Per Like: $1.05

That’s what you’d call a pretty pedestrian ad. I probably shouldn’t have run it as long as I did. I consider a “great” ad as one that nets me a Cost Per Like rate of between 35 and 50 cents. I rarely see anything below that, and when I do it doesn’t last long.

The .024% click through rate is decent, though, which is probably why I ran it as long as I did. I kept hoping it would turn around.

So I used that ad to create a nearly identical one with the new system. I spent nearly $20 on it. And to be honest, I should probably spend $200 after you see the results…

New Facebook Ad Results

Ready for me to do the math? Hold onto your shirts…

Total Reach: 35,261
Total Spent: $19.39
Total Likes: 351 (!!!!!)
Cost Per Like: $.055 (!!!!!!!!!!)

Are you freaking kidding me??!!

The decimal has not been misplaced. I was spending only 5.5 cents per like. I very rarely see anything under 30 cents. That is 5% of the rate I paid for my ad using the old system. Incrediby efficient. This… is… INSANE!

Truly Optimized

You’ll note that the total reach of my new ad is about a third that of the old one, yet the cost was nearly double. The CPM price of the new ad is also about six times as much.

As you probably recall, it is no longer possible to bid on CPM ads. Facebook “optimizes” your ad and provides an optimized price. I have no idea how exactly they optimize these ads, but… Yeah. I’m a believer.

I can only make assumptions, but I consider it highly likely that “optimizing” means focusing advertising more on people who are known to click on ads. Facebook knows who clicks and who doesn’t, so it would only make sense that they would use this to make ads more efficient.

Double Checking

I’m still in disbelief. I’ve reached out to numerous friends to see if they are getting similar results, and I’m not hearing anything definitively one way or the other yet. I decided to create a completely separate campaign and duplicate a different ad to see if I still got good results.

This time, I used a failed ad that targeted US users. With that one, I had previously spent $1 and didn’t get a single Like or click. When I ran it with the new system, I spent $5 and received 10 Likes. An exceptional rate (50 cents per Like)? Maybe not. But once again, far better and more efficient than it was before.

It’s all relative. And it’s all been relatively great so far.

Some Notes

One very important note is that with the new ad unit, I could not target friends of fans. I tried to enter the name of my Page, but it would not pull it up. Facebook only seemed to want to find friends of fans of my apps. One would think this would make the ad less effective, but that was clearly not the case.

Another note to make is that in all cases, I’m clearly having much more success with Facebook users outside of the US. This is partly because rates are simply higher in the US. But people outside of the US also seem to be much more willing to click on ads. This isn’t a new development, but is now amplified.

I also need to note that Facebook approved my ads very quickly. I complain about approval time a lot, so I should give them props when it goes well.

One more, important, note: The Like is only the first step. Yes, getting 350+ Likes for less than $20 through advertising is a huge bargain. But the main question will be whether these new fans have value. So far, it doesn’t appear they have provided significantly more traffic to my site. And while my email subscriptions for a typical day doubled, my ad sent them to a tab to subscribe. Most chose not to provide their email address.

So very eye-opening results? Absolutely. This is huge. But in the end, quality matters. What you do with those new people matters, too.

My Recipe for Success

Here are the settings that I used that gave me such ridiculous results. Magic formula? Can’t be replicated? Maybe. But feel free to try something similar…

Destination: Facebook Page

Promote: Facebook Page

Location: India, Ireland, Italy, Malaysia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa, United Kingdom, Australia, Thailand, Philippines, Brazil, Portugal, France and Germany

Age: 28-58 (no exact match)

Gender: Male and Female

Precise Interests: who like #Affiliate marketing, #Chamber of commerce, #Digital marketing, #Email marketing, #Internet marketing, #Mashable, #ReadWriteWeb, #Search engine marketing, #Search engine optimization, #Small business, #Small Business Administration, #Social media marketing, #Social media optimization, #Social media strategist, #TechCrunch, business on facebook, denver business journal, facebook ads, facebook advertising, facebook business development, facebook for business, facebook for local business, facebook marketing, facebook marketing solutions, mashable, mashable business, mashable social media, mashable tech, small business or small business owner

Broad Categories: None

Connections: Only people not connected to my Page

Interested In: All

Relationship Status: All

Languages: None Entered

Education: Anyone

Workplaces: None Entered

Objective: Like my Page

Campaign Schedule: About 24 hours

Please Share

I have been screaming all day about this, and I’ve yet to find anyone to share in my excitement who is seeing something similar. How about you? Feel free to try a new ad with similar settings to what I used above and let me know how you do.

Good luck!