How I used Facebook Advertising to generate £169,200 for my client with £3k ad spend
When marketing your franchise to prospective franchisees, there are a number of marketing channels that could be effective. From in-person events such as exhibitions, trade shows and workshops, to online such as social media, SEO, email, directories and paid advertising. You’ve probably tried them all at some point.
If your franchise leads are coming from a number of different sources, it makes it difficult to not only refine an effective marketing funnel to ensure your sales process is efficient, but to track results. However, digital marketing, combined with a strategic funnel framework, can be the most powerful way to grow your franchise. In particular, Facebook Advertising is the most under-utilised and cost-effective tools at your fingertips.
The difference with Facebook Advertising from any other form of marketing, is you can directly capture those people who you know ft the profile of an ideal prospect. If you dig deep into the reasons why someone decides to invest in your franchise, that’s where you can really leverage Facebook Advertising.
How we used Facebook Advertising strategy to generate franchise sales:
I have been working with a national franchisor in the children’s entertainment space. They came to me with an underperforming franchise recruitment drive, with a close rate of 2 franchises per annum and an average lead time of 6 months for a low value franchise package (under £5k).
They had previously tested the water with Facebook Advertising, but like so many business owners, didn’t really have the knowledge to execute and optimise campaigns successfully. As a result, good quality leads were simply not being generated and the ROI was pretty low.
I want to share with you how we built a highly successful Facebook ads strategy to grow their franchise.
Step 1: The Audience.
The process started with what we call Audience Mapping. The key here is to really understand who your ideal prospect is, not only to be able to reach out to them, but to speak to them in all your communications.
As an advertiser, you are able to see the interests, demographics, and behaviours of your ideal audience, and then build a custom audience to target.
For my client, there were three personas which we mapped out and, using Facebook Audience Insights, we were able to establish a footprint of each of their online profile.
We targeted the following audiences on Facebook:
• A cold audience using age, location, interests and behaviours.
• A lookalike audience based on client’s current franchisees.
• A warm audience of people who had seen one of our ads, and entered the sales funnel but had not yet signed.
Step 2: The Hook.
Once the audience was mapped, I had to dig deep into the psychology of why someone scrolling Facebook would suddenly stop to respond to an advert for a franchise opportunity. What was their current pain-point, and how would the franchise opportunity address it.
A good way to track the performance of ads is the relevance score. This gives you a good indication as to whether or not your audience is responding well to the advert; the closer to 10, the better. If you are getting a score of 5 or below to a cold audience (that is, someone who is not aware of your brand/business), this could be a red fag that the ad copy or the landing page is not resonating well with your selected audience. A low relevance score will also drive up the cost of your campaign, so it’s important to keep an eye on it.
We tested out a variety of hooks including special offer, pain-points, FOMO (fear of missing out), and case studies, and now regularly have a relevance score of 9 or 10, even to a cold audience. This not only drives down the overall costs but most importantly it drives more qualified leads and has allowed us to scale.
Step 3: The Objective.
We tested a number of different campaign types for our franchise client, but we’ve found that the most successful is the conversion objective. This means that Facebook will show the advert to people more likely to ‘convert’ – i.e. complete an initial registration form. We use the term convert/conversion in different contexts throughout the funnel, but with regards to Facebook advertising, the conversion is whatever ‘next step’ your audience will take. In our case this is a prospectus registration form.
Be aware, that in order for the algorithm to optimise the campaign accurately, your pixel needs to be collecting at least 50 conversions per week – in our case at least 50 registrations per week. If you are not generating that many conversions, opt for a traffic objective instead, focussing on click-throughs to your landing page.
Once the pixel has found it’s stride (usually at around 8000 impressions), you can optimise for the conversion objective. You might find your CPM (cost per 1000 impressions) will increase, but your CPL (cost per lead) will decrease.
In order to allow the pixel to collect data and optimise, you will need standard events set up on your website through your pixel, so that it can track when different events take place on your website; this includes leads, page views, purchases, etc, to allow you to use data from each step of the funnel, and also allowing you to retarget and create lookalike audiences based on your standard event metrics.
Step 4: The Funnel.
I established quite quickly that the sales funnel – that is the point from which leads are generated, through to closing the sale – was quite convoluted and inefficient. There was little or no automation in place, and the systems that existed weren’t really working as they should.
So we mapped out a more succinct journey for the potential lead to travel through. This involved Mailchimp integration with their website, email nurture sequences, automations, retargeting stacks, and the use of a Messenger bot.
The main consideration for each of the elements of the funnel is the mindset of the prospect at each point throughout the decision-making process. You need to ensure that the message and method of communication addresses your prospects reservations while highlighting the outcome.
By explicitly addressing their key concerns, you ensure they move through the funnel towards the end goal (i.e. sale). For example, offering finance options at the point when their consideration of funding may be an issue is a great example of how to reduce a bottleneck in your funnel.
Step 5: The Budget.
In order to calculate how much to spend on Facebook Advertising, you need to reverse-engineer the costs and metrics.
• Calculate the LTV (lifetime value) of a sale.
• How many leads are required to close one sale? Each lead should come in at around £20.
• Your lead cost multiplied by the number of leads required gives you a target acquisition cost; this is usually around 30% of the LTV.
Next, calculate your on-page conversion rate (i.e. how many people out of every 100 who land on your page, go on to complete a registration form?).
Using these metrics, you can calculate how many link clicks are required in order to generate enough leads that will convert to a sale.
Bear in mind your budget in relation to these costs. For example, if a lead costs £20 and you need 100 to make a sale, be prepared to spend £2000 in ads to make 1 sale. If you’re only spending £5 per day on ads, it’s going to take 400 days to make that sale!
Step 6: Retargeting.
The magic of Facebook ads is the ability to retarget visitors for much cheaper than the cost of acquiring their attention in the first place. For instance, you can retarget people who visited your website after clicking your ad, but exclude those have completed a registration form. You can speak very specifically to people using your ad copy, based on the fact they have shown interest but not committed with a registration.
We also have a Messenger campaign in place for people who showed intent without making a next step, which invites them to contact a representative directly with their concerns/questions. This strategy is very much a long game. It may take 30 days or more for Facebook to start working with the data, but once set up, can generate consistent leads on a rolling basis.
How we optimised our campaigns:
Using urgency: our average link CTR (click through rate) was 1.24% but using urgency in some of our ad creative, certain ad-sets achieved a link CTR of 2.5%, meaning we were able to acquire more leads for the same overall cost.
Pre-qualifying leads: the landing page I designed posed questions/statements about key requirements from the outset, leading to leads that are pre-qualified and more likely to convert to a sale. This lead to a lower on-page conversion rate of 13% but a much better sales conversion rate overall.
Testing: we ran a few different test audiences with a variety of hooks that would appeal to them specifically. Once we’d determined which one resonated the most, we scaled that campaign. The idea at this stage is to test different creatives and headlines, and then scale the best performers. Look out specifically for good performers with high link CTR and low CPL, and switch off ads/ad-sets which aren’t working.
Over the course of 12 months, the results were incredible:
This shows with an ad spend of £3019, we generate 1156 leads at a cost per lead of £2.61.
The data from my client shows that they signed 18 new franchises, which generated (LTV) revenue of £169,200 56 times or 5600%!
The nature of the sales process means that it is very difficult to directly attribute sales to specific channels, and there are a number of factors to consider when calculating attribution results. Although my client did not undertake any other trackable digital advertising such as Google Adwords, they attended trade shows and exhibitions as well as in-person workshops, which were advertised to their email list and on social media.
Some leads take more than the average of 12 weeks to convert, so it is possible that some of these sales were generated from leads acquired during the previous period. Equally, some leads generated in this period may not convert until the next time period.
You can collect data offline and then upload it into Facebook using what’s called offline conversions – this will allow Facebook to attribute sales that occur offline to ads online. There is a small percentage of inaccuracy, but it will help to give an overall picture of performance.
A few things to remember:
• Check the current guidelines and ensure your ads and landing page comply with Facebook’s guidelines, especially when it comes to money-making claims and opportunities.
• People don’t want to be sold to on Facebook; instead, add value where you can to build your audiences and nurture a relationship.
• When starting a new campaign, keep your daily budget under £100 and then scale gradually in order to feed the algorithm. Don’t be too aggressive in your spending, and keep an eye on the metrics to ensure you’re campaigns are optimised.
• As difficult as it is, allow at least a month or two to begin to see results.
I hope this has given you some ideas of how Facebook advertising could work for your franchise, and how to tackle it. Take the time to map out a funnel and then test, test, test! With all the different targeting options and ad formats, you can really tailor a campaign to suit your audience, so be prepared to persevere to reap the amazing opportunities that Facebook advertising offers.
To book your free strategy call with Jess, visit jab-marketing.uk/how