1. Your Targeting SucksBelieve it or not, targeting plays the most significant role in an online business success. Many entrepreneurs make the fatal error of thinking that they understand the market. This is the stage where they consider that every person is their customer and they have a huge market potential. Well, in reality, that’s not true. If you do not know your customers well then you cannot sell to anyone through your online marketing efforts. I have been in marketing for more than 12 years. During this period, I have seen the transition in marketing from 4 P’s to 7 P’s and then 20 market separators. If you know at least 20 characteristics to identify your target customers, then you can certainly reach a great market personification. There are two pivotal Areas where many online business entrepreneurs go wrong while trying to target their customers.
Data Tells the Perfect StoryHere is an example of target audience failure. We’ve seen Facebook ad campaigns targeting over 20 million people in the U.S. alone. However, unless you’re a household brand, your offer and ad copy might not be relevant to such a broad set of people. The main threat of targeting too broad of an audience is that your offer might not reach the people with the highest purchasing potential due to a limited ad budget. The image shows a Facebook campaign that reached 234,000 people. However, the total potential audience size for all ad groups was over 1.1 million people. This means that more than 850,000 people didn’t see the ad due to budget limits.
2. Wrong TargetingWhen you start creating the campaign in Facebook and you select a campaign objective, Facebook asks for demographics, gender, age, and location. The Facebook algorithm also needs the interests. This goes without saying that you can certainly target your customers and advertise to them with demographics only, however, interests play a major role here which you should not ignore at all. Although, there are numerous interests in Facebook that the social media giant has noted over time, based on people’s likes, dislikes, check-ins, and activities. However, knowing these interests, studying them deeply, and following the success formula is as important as looking at the keywords in search marketing. You can easily go wrong by selecting everything in the interests. I have seen some great examples and I have also visited some worst cases where people have added everything that they can think of within the interests. If you look at some of the ad campaigns built up by the online business entrepreneurs in the clothing niche, beauty niche, and custom t-shirt niche, for an argument sake, you will realise the there is a pattern of mistakes, which shows the process is misread by many entrepreneurs. For instance, throwing in vague interests in a beauty niche won’t help. Likewise, adding the interest groups of denim jeans, blue mug, New Delhi, Karachi, politics, and coffee, whilst promoting a kitchen accessories business won’t help either. I have recently met a gentleman who said he failed primarily because he was adding pages into interest groups within the Facebook ad campaign which had a huge fan following. Hell yes. Of course, this was a wrong approach. How could it be possible that the person who is interested in New Delhi is also interested in Denim, and is also interested in Karachi, and is also interested in politics, and is also interested in the pages with a huge fan following, and you think that the same person would be interested in your product? Seriously! Let me built up my argument by saying that you are way better off not add anything in the interest, if you have to add all of such irrelevant items into the interest groups. Since your ad set is going haywire then let it go even without interests. If you have to add interests, first add some sense into your targeting, study your data patterns, and look for the data, check out my success formula and follow my case study too. Don’t Spend on Varied Age Groups Till Your Targeting is Crystal Clear No matter how good your Facebook ad copy, design or ad placement, if it’s seen by an indifferent audience, there won’t be many results. When analysing the 2016 Q3 Facebook ads statistics, AdEspresso found that there could be over a 1000% difference in the ads’ cost-per-click, depending on the audience you’re targeting. For example, the cost-per-click for some age groups is higher than others. Remember. Facebook has a bidding system so your targeting has to be correct, along with your offer and creative designs. Otherwise, you will end up spending money in advertising whilst targeting various age ranges and spending different amounts, but generating zero output.
3. Broad TargetingWhen you create an ad set on Facebook, you can see on the right-hand side that it gives you the ad reach based on the demographics, interest groups, and audiences you have shared. This reach is your ad set’s potential reach only. This is another variable many entrepreneurs make a fatal error with. They make such an error because they consider that if their ad set’s reach is going to be large, they are going to have a greater number of customers, which is not the case. This is just a potential reach of your ad set. Nothing else. By going broad in your reach, you are settling for lower returns on investment and just shooting yourself on the foot. It’s best to go narrow. Here comes a question that how narrow you should go? Well, you should go as narrow as you can till your ad set’s reach stays marketable on budget. I have discussed this in detail in my targeting lectures.
Points to ConsiderHow to tell when your ad audience is too broad? First, take a look at numbers – If your audience size reaches millions of people, ask this: “Are there truly millions of people potentially interested in buying my product?” If the answer is “No”, narrow down your audience with demographic or interest-based targeting. Facebook’s projected ad reach – Another way to tell whether your audience is too broad is to compare Facebook’s projected ad reach and the total audience size. For example, if Facebook’s campaign setup interface shows that for the budget of $2,000 you can reach 250,000 people out of 2 million, you might want to consider downsizing your audience a bit.
4. Your product has no marketIn any marketing campaign, your focus must be to stand out from the crowd. Your ads must be so different and unique that your audience takes notice of it. In an era, where the social media consumes most of our attention every day, your best bet is to attract as many customers as possible. To do that, you would have to stand out from the crowd. Stop selling run of the mill items. If you keep on selling items that are available everywhere without any significant differentiation factors and without great creative, your product would fail eventually. The best at-bat is to stop selling mediocre and bring great levels of creativity and uniqueness in your product sourcing procedures. There are two salient factors to be kept in mind whilst sorting your product issues out.
Learn from AT&T Phone LaunchMost of the times your product fails because you fail to understand consumer needs and wants. Here is an example: After spending years researching and trialling the product, in 1970 AT&T finally launched the Picture phone. The company’s executives believed that a million units would be in use within 10 years of launch. They pulled it off the market 3 years later due to a lack of consumer interest. Why did Picture phone fail? As it turned out, users found the equipment too bulky, its controls unfriendly, and picture too small to actually enjoy viewing. Blinded by their own vision the company ignored negative user feedback right from trials and developed a product that failed to meet customers’ needs and wants.
Bad Pricing StrategyIn the world we all live in today, customers are well educated. Thanks to the widespread mainstream and social media. Customers can easily find out if your product price sucks. Believe it or not! People easily know where they can find the cheap products from, but it’s just the products with a value-added proposition and luxury that they do not know the prices in most of the cases. Make sure that your price is suitable for the people. You must also remember that when selling over Facebook is your best bet, then you should aim for 1 ratio 3 scenarios, but this is just to start with. With the passage of time, you should be able to build up on this. Let me explain what the 1 ratio 3 scenario is. Every one dollar that is spent in your marketing on Facebook, should bring you 3 dollars in return. So, let’s say, if you spend $1,000, you should make at least $3,000 in sales. Out of this $3,000 return,Facebook already deducts $1,000. You are left with $2,000. Your product should not cost you more than $500, thus, giving you a profit of $1,500. That’s a typical 50% return of a growth industry. I have given you an example in thousands. You can certainly do your own math and take it to millions. However, remember one thing here. This scenario is applicable when you are a beginner and not a Facebook Marketing savvy. Once you learn Facebook Marketing, and you become good at it, then your ratios must improve to 1 ratio 15 or 20. That’s what you should aim for in long run.
Data ResearchHere is an example, The Apple Newton PDA flopped because it was priced too high. Although some observers sight poor handwriting recognition as another reason for the product’s failure, the$700 price tag contributed significantly. Customers could afford the Newton. But what’s worse, is its pricing affected its market positioning too.
5. Your ads are so 1990sFacebook has made some great advances towards videos and if you are not utilising a video marketing strategy, you are losing big time.
Benefits of Video Marketing StrategyThe beauty of video is that you can target the people who have watched your videos and based on this, you can create new custom audiences. This is a feature, which is not available in image posts and image ads. If you can segregate your customers based on the amount of time they have spent watching your videos, you can do beautiful things out of this data. So, make sure you are following the video marketing strategy and using it effectively in your online business campaigns.
No carousel accessCarousel ads play a great role in the success of your online business campaigns. Within a carousel ad, you can show more images of your product and videos of your best selling items and generate orders directly. When you have a bigger catalog, carousel Ad comes handy. If you are not using carousel ads, stop everything and start using them. It will immediately get you the results and you will witness some decent profits.
Focus on Consumer NeedsBad design, poor user experience, sloppy implementation, feature creep, and lack of quality control all contribute to product failure. A 2007 iteration of their core product, Windows Vista used so much power that most users found it unusable. Many people encountered issues when using the Internet.
6. Shoot! You are still selling counterfeit productsIf you are still selling counterfeit products, you’re at the losing end. Many countries have adopted the policy and implemented it effectively over the Internet, where they are effectively curtailing the sales of counterfeit items. Now, I know you might belong to a country where you are involved in the manufacturing of the products for some leading global brands. Even, if you’re the backstop manufacturer for such global brands and you manufacture these products, you still cannot sell them or any of your export leftovers without the permission of the owning brand. If you are still selling such items then you are involved in counterfeit items sales. If this is you then you need to understand the social media is taking a bold step, along with the leading global brands to curtail the sales of such items. You might have received a message from Facebook, or you might soon when some of your ads will not be approved, or your approved ads may get disapproved. The best thing to do at this moment is to fix your business model, stop selling counterfeit items, and stay away from shortcuts.
Use the right toolsIf you are someone who does not sell counterfeit items online but you think you have been mistakenly considered by Facebook of selling such items, then you can do a couple of things to get your ads approved. First of all, disintegrate your Facebook pixel from your website. Fix your website with the right products & messages, and then integrate the Facebook pixel again. This has worked for many e-commerce sellers and if you have been mistakenly considered as a counterfeit seller, this should fix your issues too. The best part is always to contact Facebook Ads team to look into the matter for you. Try reaching a human in Facebook.
Fact CheckMore than 70% of counterfeit products are sold online. Let us take the example of Amazon. The queen of e-commerce has found it difficult to have a strong grasp on counterfeit products making its way to their site. Even with the supposedly more secure Amazon Prime, fake products have found a way to get the ‘authentic’ mark on them. In April 2017, Chanel sued 24 Amazon sellers for selling replica items as the brand’s products. The judge awarded Chanel $100,000 in damages for each of the replica counterfeits.
7. No healthy data is a dead businessThe beauty about the Facebook environment is that it gives you enough data that you can build up your whole empire on. Imagine, if I know who my customer is, what are their ages, the gender, the income status, their likes, dislikes, the devices the get connected to, the times they get connected to, and their buying preferences, then this is simply a gold mine for me and certainly, it would be for you as well. Start studying the data. Find the patterns and focus on them in your marketing. This is one of the major mistakes that many entrepreneurs commit when they do not look into the data of the metrics of the campaign. They do not know where their sales are coming from, which ad sets are spending money and not performing, which ad sets they should focus on. You must learn the difference between the cash cows and dogs. Focus on your cash cows and kill your dogs. That’s the simplest method of success.
Data is KingLack of customer data will eventually lead to dead business. I mean if you really want to expand or be a successful business, you got to have healthy data. Without it your business will not run, not even a single day. More than 35% of people close their e-commerce store due to this reason. Don’t be one of them?
Dead business is like watering a dead plant