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Waiting to see results from my marketing

When will I see results from my ads?

This isn’t the answer anyone wants to hear, but it’s the truth. And for some it’s a hard pill to swallow.

This question is almost impossible to answer with any degree of accuracy. Yes, I know that sounds like a cop-out, but there is so much to consider and so many variables that need to be taken into account.

Some ad campaigns, maybe 20%, blow up on day 1 and there are leads in your inbox or sales in your Shopify store the very next day. It’s rare but it happens. There are a couple of scenarios when this can happen…

  1. You’ve been marketing for some time and already have a strong following, brand, a ton of useable data and warm audiences for retargeting. In these cases, your campaign isn’t REALLY going gangbusters from the outset, because the hard work has been done previously. Audience targeting has been refined through branding ads and other campaigns that, maybe, didn’t get such great results. Different offers have been tested to find what resonates with your audience. Different images, headlines, copy, video, ad placements etc have been used before and there is enough data from these previous campaigns to make some educated guesses. With some data analysis and patience you can often get a good result from the start.
  2. You’re offering a massive (and usually unsustainable) incentive to kickstart your longer term sales strategy. You can sell pretty much anything if you’re willing to sell it at 80% off. However, unless you’ve got massively inflated margins this isn’t really going to work long term. it’s OK for a short period once a quarter to get a few extra conversions from your list, and can work as an initial acquisition strategy. For example, you could offer a huge discount on the first month of an ongoing subscription. Or offer it to the first 5 people to take up a new offer as a way of getting attention, and then use their results as a case study. Typically though, it will have such a negative impact on your profitability that you can’t do it long term. If you’re employing this strategy make sure you have a plan to leverage those extra sales at the back end.
  3. Luck. Yep, sometimes you just hit the right nerve with your messaging first go, the timing is right and BOOM! This is the most frustrating one because it can SO hard to replicate.

 

In the other 80% of cases, it takes more time. It’s not uncommon for campaigns to be unprofitable for the first month and sometimes the second one too. Depending on your industry and how competitive it is, how long the sales cycle is, your profit margins and other factors it can take even longer.  This is especially true of new campaigns with untested offers and audiences. The thing to remember here is that you’re in business for a long time. In the overall scheme of things if it takes you three months, six months or even twelve months to get it right does it really matter? The dividends this will pay over the next 2, 5 or 10 years will be astronomical compared to the cost of getting it right to begin with. Good marketing relies on good data and good data takes time (and money) to collect. So when you first start advertising you’re essentially spending money to gather enough data to make the adjustments needed to start making money. Make sense? Some of the data you’ll need to gather is…

 

  1. What audience targeting is going to work best for my ads? (No, the AI powered targeting like Facebook’s Advantage + won’t help if it doesn’t already have data in the ad account to work with. Trust me, we tried!) You’ll need to find your demographic sweet spot, what interest based targeting works, what geo-targeting works best. Sometimes you’ll find better responses from different areas. Cities for example might get a different result than regional areas. Sydney, Australia has a strong beach and outdoor culture and a strong asian influence on it’s food scene. Melbourne has a strong pub ans sporting culture and strong European influence. This makes a difference and  all this takes time and split testing to figure out.

     

  2. What offers resonate the most with my tribe? We’re not talking about discounts here, we’re talking about your free offer (lead magnet), upsells, downsells and core offers. You may need to test several before you find a winner. Maybe an ebook works well, maybe it’s a webinar or 5 day challenge. What specific services you offer are the ones that are going to get people excited to work with you. It might not be the ones you think. Once people have bought from you, how can you generate repeat sales, or sales of your higher ticket products or services to grow the value of each customer. Again, this can take time and you may have to try different things.

     

  3. Copy and creative (messaging). How you talk about your offers in your copy and in the visuals you use can make a massive difference to your success. Arguably the biggest difference. You might need to try positioning your offers differently to find what works best. That means talking about different pain points you can solve to find the one that is most important to your customers. Like your offers, it might not be the one you think. Which one of their dream outcomes is the one that’s going to motivate them enough to actually buy from you? Remember, in your messaging you need to talk about the benefits of what you’re offering. If you’re like most people, your offer will have a whole range of benefits and you’ll need to uncover which of those are the most important to your tribe. Maybe you hit the nail on the head first go. Maybe you don’t.

     

  4. What ad objectives work best. Yep, this can make a difference. Some people like using messaging apps. Some like lead forms and some like to check out a landing page or website. It’s not uncommon to find the exact same offer, the exact same copy and creative performs vastly differently when the ad clicks through to a messenger chat than when it opens up a lead form or a landing page. Sometimes this is related the average age of your target market, and sometimes not.  It can take time to figure out what method gets the best outcome from your target audience. There’s a science to testing, measuring and optimising but there’s no science to predicting what the outcome will be. Sorry.

 

So, you can see there are a load of things you might need to test before you find a winning formula. It’s no wonder so few campaigns get it right from the start.

 

So how do you know when it’s the right time to just walk away?

The one thing to remember is this; marketing ALWAYS works. It’s just a matter of having the determination to persist. If you’re in it for a quick buck, you may well be disappointed. If you’re a committed business owner looking to create something strong and resilient and long term growth, advertising and marketing can deliver mind boggling results. The key is just not to give up till you get it right. This doesn’t mean you should keep doing something that isn’t working. Keep an eye on your stats and analytics. Are you getting ANY conversions? A conversion could be someone downloading your free offer, signing up to your challenge, or making a purchase. Are people clicking on your ads? Is your website traffic increasing? These are all signs you’re heading in the right direction. If you’re just not seeing the results it could be time to get some professional help from a marketing specialist.

 

“There are no guarantees with marketing except this: If you quit, you are guaranteed to fail.” 

 

Looking to short cut the process? Working with an agency can help. We have experience with how to test things more quickly, how to recognise the good (and bad) signs and we can move faster to make changes.

Grab a free brainstorming session with one of our marketing superstars HERE

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