Alex Greifeld, who specializes in conducting Facebook Ads audits for clients recently stumbled upon a fascinating revelation. Despite the mixed reputation of Facebook traffic campaigns in the advertising world, there are still 'Facebook experts' who firmly endorse them.
Greifeld begins by acknowledging her initial skepticism regarding the efficacy of Facebook traffic campaigns. She had previously offered some best practices by implying that these campaigns were rarely effective. However, a lively discussion in the comments section led her to reconsider her stance. It turns out there are specific situations where Facebook traffic campaigns can indeed contribute to a profitable customer acquisition strategy .
So, the question here remains: Are traffic campaigns the right or wrong way to go?
Why Have Traffic Campaigns Garnered a Bad Reputation Over Time?
Well, for many performance marketers, Facebook advertising is primarily about acquiring new customers for eCommerce businesses. Their focus centers around the balance between the cost of acquiring customers, the average order value, and the customer's lifetime value. But, not all businesses adhere to this model.
For larger brands, there's a different mindset at play. They're not solely fixated on immediate conversions; instead, their goal is to accumulate a specific number of impressions. The underlying belief is that a portion of these impressions will eventually translate into online conversions. In essence, they aim to create upstream awareness.
This distinction highlights the idea that the right approach to Facebook advertising depends on the nature of the business and its overall advertising strategy. Larger brands, with their multi-channel advertising strategies, often find value in the impressions theory. For them, Facebook is just one part of a broader strategy working to foster brand awareness.
However, when it comes to smaller brands that primarily rely on Facebook as their advertising platform, this approach may fall short due to their limited scale.
Now, let's delve into the somewhat tarnished reputation of traffic campaigns. These campaigns have been viewed skeptically because they are frequently recommended by Facebook's own advertising representatives when an account is underperforming.
The suggestion often goes as follows: If conversion objective ads aren't yielding the expected results, the solution is to employ traffic campaigns to fill the sales funnel. This advice, while it might suit larger brands with diverse advertising strategies, doesn't always align with the objectives of smaller, performance-focused businesses.
In some circles, the mere mention of traffic campaigns has become synonymous with how disconnected certain Facebook representatives can be from the challenges faced by small businesses in the real world.
Nevertheless, traffic campaigns occasionally find themselves in the role of a "hack" for achieving lower-cost conversions. The underlying principle here is that it's less expensive to drive website visitors with a traffic objective than with a conversion objective. However, a word of caution is warranted because traffic campaign audiences might not be actively looking to make a purchase, making them less likely to convert.
When Should You Avoid Traffic Campaigns?
When it comes to avoiding traffic campaigns, there are several common scenarios where they tend to be misused. However, it's essential to keep in mind that some unconventional brands manage to succeed with setups that defy conventional wisdom. So, feel free to explore these strategies, but be ready to pivot if they don't yield the desired results.
Low Daily Budgets
Some marketers and brands attempt to employ traffic campaigns as a workaround for their limited daily budgets. Yet, regardless of the advertising objective, Facebook ads need to reach a specific scale in relation to your Average Order Value (AOV) to be effective.
For example, imagine a boutique online jewelry store that sells handcrafted necklaces, with each piece priced at $80. To achieve a 2x return on ad spend, they would need to spend an average of $40 to acquire a customer successfully. However, if the store's daily budget is less than $40, it becomes extremely challenging to acquire customers efficiently. In this scenario, they might struggle to generate even one sale per day, which can significantly hinder Facebook's ability to target qualified customers effectively.
The brand might think, "Traffic campaigns will attract more website visitors for the money, potentially leading to more conversions." However, the audience garnered through a traffic campaign typically isn't in "shopping mode." As a result, more site visits are required to generate a conversion, driving up the cost per customer acquisition and lowering the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS).
For businesses starting out and planning to make Facebook their primary acquisition channel, it's crucial to allocate a budget that can generate at least 3-5 daily sales. This budget can be calculated based on the site's AOV (or the price of the flagship product) and an estimated ROAS ranging between 1 and 2.
Over-abundance of Messages
Retailers who sell electronics, such as smartphones, laptops, and accessories, often encounter a challenge. They regularly introduce new products, have specific lines for different gadgets, and run various promotional campaigns, resulting in a flurry of marketing messages every month.
Sometimes, due to budget limitations, brands find it challenging to allocate enough funds to promote all these messages effectively. As a solution, they turn to traffic campaigns to increase the visibility of each message or make up for messages that didn't perform well in conversion campaigns. However, it's essential to remember that this approach may prioritize measures like impressions over strategic goals.
The ultimate goal is to encourage audiences to take action, not just view the messages. Traffic campaign audiences are less likely to take action, so it's more efficient to use Facebook to promote the messages that are known to convert well, while exploring lower-cost channels like email to disseminate the rest.
To Build Awareness
Sometimes, marketers talk about "building awareness," but it's important to ask how they plan to measure it. Often, there isn't a clear measurement plan in place. While activities at the top of the marketing funnel are supposed to create awareness, not every traffic campaign accomplishes this, especially when there are budget constraints.
The phrase "We need to build awareness" can sometimes be used when a business hits a plateau in Facebook performance. At times, using a traffic campaign can help, but it's crucial to consider whether the issue might actually be with the product itself rather than the marketing. When trying this strategy, having a strong system to measure its effectiveness is essential.
Seasoning the Pixel
According to , the concept of "seasoning the pixel" has reemerged in recent discussions. It means running traffic campaigns to your website to quickly gather data on what people browse and buy. The goal is to use this data for better ad targeting and more efficient campaigns.
This strategy is usually suggested for brand-new businesses that lack past data. But a simpler and cost-effective approach often involves broad targeting and investing in high-quality ad content to get better results quickly. In the end, making the right choice about using traffic campaigns in Facebook advertising depends on understanding your business's unique needs and circumstances.
Knowing When to Use Traffic Campaigns
Now that we've explored when to steer clear of traffic campaigns, it's time to dive into the exciting part: when they're your go-to strategy.
Broad Appeal & the Impulse Factor
Traffic campaigns introduce you to a broader audience that may not be actively shopping. Yet, converting these users is still possible, especially if your product has a widespread appeal. What defines broad appeal? It's a product that addresses a common problem, appeals to both men and women, and comes at an accessible price point.
Moreover, impulse buys often lead site visitors into a shopping spree. You've likely experienced this yourself—heading to a store with the intention of buying just one item and walking out with a much larger bill. These are the impulse buys, typically involving affordable items with visual allure and a tantalizing hook. You can easily envision these products becoming part of your daily routine, and their price tag reduces any hesitation.
Mega Budgets Over $20-30k
While managing mega-budgets might not be everyone's forte, Facebook Ads experts like David Herrmann and Jake The Ad Nerd recommend traffic campaigns as a valuable addition to conversion campaigns when daily budgets hit the mid-five figures. With such substantial spending, a little extra firepower can help maintain the efficiency of your conversion campaigns.
Brands operating at this level have usually fine-tuned their ad creativity and landing pages to perfection. This meticulous optimization improves the chances of converting users at a reasonable cost per conversion. Additionally, most brands in this league employ third-party attribution models, granting them a clearer view of what their traffic campaigns genuinely achieve.
When Conversion Campaign Traffic Gets Pricey
You've followed best practices, ensuring top-notch site speed, user experience, landing page design, and creative elements. Yet, for some mysterious reason, the CPMs (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) for your conversion-focused audiences are exorbitant. This could be due to factors like scale, seasonality, or the specific nature of the audience you're targeting.
In such situations, it's time to explore alternative options. Objectives like "add to cart," "landing page view," and, yes, "traffic" should all be considered and tested. Sometimes, taking a step back up the marketing funnel can help reduce costs and enhance efficiency.
In summary, the effectiveness of Facebook traffic campaigns is a matter of context. They can be a valuable tool for businesses with broad-appeal products and larger budgets, but they may not align with the goals of smaller, performance-focused brands.
The key is to understand when and how to use them effectively, considering factors like daily budget, message diversity, awareness goals, and the unique needs of your business. Success hinges on your ability to adapt your strategy to suit your specific circumstances in this dynamic environment.
SO, WHERE DO YOU FIND THIS PARTNER?
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