Facebook advertising is possibly the most powerful paid advertising opportunity the world has ever seen.
Its power comes from data: for the first time, advertisers can see the direct results of their work, and invest in retargeting for people who show interest. That means the best advertisers on Facebook aren’t usually the artists; they’re the analysts. Good analysis means that your advertising spend actually gets more valuable over time. This magic is in the retargeting.
Here’s How Retargeting on Facebook Works
Let’s say you spend enough to put an ad in front of 1,000 people.
Now let’s say 80 of those people click through your ad, because they’re interested in learning more.
You record those 80 names—maybe through a Facebook pixel or an opt-in to your email list.
Your next ad is shown to only those 80 people who you know to be interested. This is retargeting, and it’s the important part.
Your ad to those 80 is less expensive, but far more valuable, because you already know they’re interested.
A few of the original 1,000 people might have taken some action. 3 or 4 might have booked a No-Sweat Intro. But a much higher proportion of the retargeted audience will take that same action. And you can retarget again and again, so ad spend goes down while conversions go up.
There’s No Secret Funnel Anymore
Facebook now has Page Transparency. That means you can can go to any business’s Facebook page and see every ad they’re running, including pictures and copy. That’s right: you can see who’s targeting YOU, and the exact ads your competitors are running.
Because Facebook knows: successful advertising is about the analysis, not the art.
You can copy your competitors. You can copy anyone. Facebook wants you to be successful so you’ll spend more money. And that’s great news.
Why Facebook Is the Most Powerful Paid Advertising Platform for Gyms
Let’s look at the alternatives.
In 2008, there were only 8 CrossFit affiliates in Ontario. We actually got every owner on conference calls to talk about marketing! Our best ideas were billboards, door hangers, newspaper ads, radio spots, and–if we could raise enough money–television.
Thank goodness we were too spread out to actually make any investment in these. Because “old” media advertising didn’t really work. Or maybe it did–but no one could tell. It was impossible to measure the effect of your marketing.
“Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half.” – John Wanamaker, around 1900
“Wanamaker was wrong – the vast majority of advertising is wasted.” – George Bradt, Forbes, 2016
Selling advertising in the past was really easy, because no one could prove that it worked. Undoubtedly, companies spending millions on half-time shows were measuring their ROI. But gym owners who purchased a banner at the local football field had no idea if their $250 got any return at all. So it probably didn’t.
Measured against any other paid advertising–newspapers, booths at the town festival, or banners at the football game–Facebook is far more powerful, because it’s measurable. You KNOW who has seen your ad, and who might want to see more.
The Future Challenges of Facebook Advertising
Your ad spend is going to go up.
If you’re in a major urban area, and there are people in your niche who are spending a lot on Facebook ads, you’re going to have to spend more.
If you’re in a small rural town of 5000, you can spend far less to make a meaningful impact.
But either way, your ad spend is going to go up over time.
You’ll have to account for advertising differently (for example, the 4/9 calculation for staff pay is calculated off gross profit instead of gross revenue if you have a high ad spend. But don’t worry about that–your mentor will explain it when it becomes important to your business)
You’re also going to get copied. If you can see your competitors’ ads, they can see yours. You need to decide if you’re okay with being copied; you need to stay ahead of the curve with new material; and you need to stay on top of changes.
The Worst Ways to Learn Facebook Advertising
Facebook Advertising can’t be taught in a book, because the book would be obsolete before the first copy was printed.
It can’t even be taught in a course, because the real value comes from analysis of the data.
It can’t be brainstormed in a Facebook group, because no one is going to share their copy or pictures with you (our Facebook Marketing group is the only exception–we share stuff in there all the time.)
The Best Way to Learn Facebook Marketing Is Through Mentorship
We have a separate team of trained mentors to guide you through Facebook Marketing.
In our Incubator program, you’ll do 1:1 calls with experts to set up your marketing, including your funnels and retargeting campaigns.
In our Growth program, you’ll participate in our Facebook group, get our updated materials, and book 1:1 calls each month.
Common Questions Gym Owners Ask About Facebook Marketing
“I spent over $100 already, and only got 10 leads! Why isn’t my Facebook ad working?” Because your first ad is only reaching a cold audience. Your ads will increase in value as you separate the interested from the not-interested. Stick with it. Retarget.
“I got 10 people to click on the ad, but only 1 showed up for their appointment!” You need to nurture them. Booking an appointment can be an impulsive activity. At 11pm, with their guard down and half a pint of ice cream melting in their lap, people can make big decisions easily. But in the cold light of dawn, they might rethink the appointment. It’s your job to call them, reassure them, encourage them and get them to show up. As mentor Kaleda Connell says,
“For every minute you spend on Facebook Ads Manager, you should spend 20 on lead nurture and sales.”
“I posted my first ad, but it’s not working!” Book a call with your mentor. Review the results of your first experiment. Try something slightly different, and measure the results.
“I got 7 people in the door, but none signed up!” Your ads are working fine. You need to learn how to sell. We teach the “help first” model (you don’t have to use bait-and-switch strategies or feel like a slime ball.)
“300 people clicked on my ad, but none of them booked an appointment!” Your website is bad…or something else is stopping them. Read more about “clogged funnels” here.
Facebook marketing has an incredible ROI. But almost no one gets it right on the first try. Just like top athletes learn to watch the tape and review their performance with a coach, top Facebook marketers all have mentors to help them analyze and correct. No one needs to guess what’s working anymore.
Need more advice on common problems? Click here to book a free call with a certified Two-Brain Business mentor.