eCommerce Lifestyle
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Ad Costs Rising!

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It’s hard to believe that we’re quickly approaching the busiest online shopping season of the year! The good news is that this means an increase in sales for almost all eCommerce stores. The bad news is that it also means an increase in ad costs.

In this episode of the eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast, Anton shares what to do NOW to keep your ad costs down throughout the end of the year.

As always, if you have any questions and suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Don’t forget to share this with someone who needs to hear it.

What's Covered in This Episode:

  • 1. Plan Promotions Now

  • 2. Select The Correct Campaign Type
  • Automatic & manual advanced matching
  • Account simplification
  • Campaign budget optimization
  • Automatic Placements
  • Dynamic Ads
  • 3. When in Doubt, Schedule it Out
If you liked today’s show, please subscribe on iTunes to The eCommerce Lifestyle Podcast! The podcast is also available on all major podcast players including, Stitcher and Spotify.

Links From This Episode:

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Transcript

What's up everybody? Anton Kraly here from e-commercelifestyle.com, and welcome back to the podcast. This is our show that comes out every single Monday and Thursday morning. And every episode is designed to help eCommerce store owners to increase their revenue, automate their operations and become the authority in their niche. And I would recommend, even if you don't own a store yet, still stick around, listen to this episode, because this can help you prepare and actually show you that even if you don't have a store built yet, this is a great time to do so. Because at the time I'm recording this, we still have about a month to prepare to make sure we are in the best shape possible to end the year with a bang.

So, I'll also say with ad costs rising now, which they are going to be, they're getting there now, but it's going to get a lot more prevalent in about the next month or so, this is something that happens every single year, right? Why does it happen? Because at the end of the year, we go in to Black Friday and Cyber Monday and people buying for the holidays for Christmas, and then everybody's having New Year promos. So, every single year we're getting into this point, right about now, from about mid to late October through the end of the year, you'll see ad costs go up because everybody knows, all retailers, everybody that sells online knows that that is the busiest shopping season of the year. And everybody that runs an online business wants to capitalize on that.

And I should say, it's offline businesses too that are advertising online during this period. But basically everyone's trying to maximize their revenue. So everyone is spending more, which means auction systems costs go up, right? So what can you do now, again, at least a month before this starts happening to make the most out of it? Well, the first thing that we do and that I recommend you do as well, is plan your promotions now. So again, the time I'm recording this it is September 10th, the date I'm recording this. So we're getting to the point where Black Friday is what? Two months away, over two months away. But with that being said, we're still planning our promotions now for our businesses, for Black Friday, for Cyber Monday, for the weeks leading up to Christmas. So that it's not a scramble when it gets there like, "Oh, let's have a Black Friday sale or let's have a Cyber Monday sale. Oh, what should we offer? Should it be a bonus gift or a percent off?"

So, plan that now. It shouldn't take you that long. Spend a few days, if you're a member of any of my programs over at e-commercelifestyle.com, specifically my program Get Money Now, or if you're a member of Drop Ship Lifestyle and my program Drop Ship Blueprint, you already know how we plan promotions. So again, do that now, like today, when you're listening to this. Hopefully, you're not listening to this the day before Black Friday or Cyber Monday though. Now, once you have your promotion planned, it's time to get better at ads. And I'm saying that like, Oh yeah, click a button, whatever. And you're better at ads. No. But what you should do if you're not doing this already, specifically in your Facebook Ad account, is simplify your account structure so that you can give Facebook's algorithm more control.

Again, I know that sounds scary, but the way that Facebook works right now, it's night and day compared to where it was even a year ago. And the part of the algorithm I'm talking about, is once you have data in your account already, once there is some history with your Facebook Ad account spending money, it gets really good at doing what you want it to do without you having to manipulate a million different things within that account. So, I'm going to post the link in the podcast description, that's going to go to a part of Facebook's website and their business section about their Power5 structure. I've talked about this in the past, but a brief overview of it is, you're turning on automatic advanced matching at a minimum. If you can figure this out technically, then manual advanced matching works great too. We do that as well.

But first of all, what that does, is make sure that when Facebook is sending people to your website, or even when Google is sending people to your website and Facebook knows who they are because the Facebook pixel is there, it's going to start gathering more information about those people to give you a better chance to know who they are to be able to re-market to them later. Also, just simplifying your account structures. So right now, if you log in to your Facebook Ad account, let's say during or after this episode, and it doesn't even make sense to you how everything is configured and all the ad campaigns you have, I'd recommend cutting down and trying to combine as many as possible.

What we do typically, is have a Facebook Ad campaign that is more for like interest targeting. Then we have a Facebook Ad campaign that is for a lookalike targeting. And then we have a Facebook Ad campaign for remarketing. So, not 50 campaigns, but really three sometimes more, and then multiple ad sets within those campaigns. So, I would recommend that. If you're not already leveraging campaign budget optimization, I've talked about this for years now, I recommend you do that. I also recommend you're using automatic placements for all of your ads. Meaning Facebook will have the ability to show your ads on Facebook in the newsfeed, or in Facebook audience network, or on Instagram or any of the placements available.

And the reason this is really important to do now, is because, let's just say, you have an ad campaign on Facebook that is currently targeting desktop newsfeeds, which usually is the most valuable because that is something people will see. They're on the desktop computer. It's big, it's right in the middle. So typically, that is where we want to be. But if you have your ad campaigns now set up to only target that, what's going to happen is, as everybody else starts bidding on that, again, maybe eight, 10 weeks from now, the costs are just going to skyrocket for you. But if you leverage automatic placements and costs start to go up there, then Facebook can start showing you in the right hand column, and on the audience network, and again, on Instagram, and in stories and in marketplace ads. So, it really gives you the potential to have Facebook decide, where can we get this person? Meaning you, the best results for the best price.

And as ads start to scale up and ad costs start rising, yours will not rise as much as everybody else's that's not using automatic placements. Also, Dynamic Ads. This is something if you're more experienced with Facebook Ads and you've been doing them for a while, then I would recommend using dynamic ads as well. Now on Google, what should you do with ads there? At this point, same thing, try to simplify what it is you're doing so you have a clear picture every day of how things are working, but also I recommend scaling now. So, let's just say, hypothetically, you are running, just say between all your Google campaigns, right? Between search text, Google Shopping, Google Display Network, Google Discovery Ads, you're spending, it's going to choose a easy number, $10,000 a month, right? And that's what you're spending consistently on ads, and you're doing $100,000 in sales every month. And that's been stable.

Well, I would recommend literally today you start testing scaling. So don't wait until costs go up, start scaling now. Because what that is going to allow you to do, is scale at today's prices, at today's auction rates, because all of these ad platforms are auctions, we're bidding against other people. So, if you go to scale now, what's going to happen is your cost per acquisition, your cost to get a customer might go up slightly, but you're also going to get a lot more traffic. And this is the key, both with Facebook, the reason we're trying to simplify our campaigns now and scale them, and with Google, the reason we're trying to simplify our campaigns literally right now, I mean this, do this today. And scale them, is because as we do this and we're paying today's auction rates, we're going to have more clicks, more website visitors, more people pixeled, meaning that when the time comes to run promotions, again, in about eight to 10 weeks from now, you're going to have these bigger audiences and then you can use your remarketing campaigns and rely heavily on them.

And what that means, is you're going to be paying less, because it's always cheaper to target your remarketing campaigns. It's always a better return on ad spend when you're targeting your remarketing campaigns. And if you do this now, you're building those audiences, so that, boom, the time comes, your audiences are bigger than they would have been if you just do what you're currently doing for the next eight to 10 weeks. Right? So, hopefully that makes sense. We're on the same page there. And finally, I want to give you one more tip that is not directly related to ad costs rising, but it's directly related to planning your promotions and making sure you get the most out of this holiday season. So again, Facebook and Google, more and more advertisers are upping their budgets as we get closer to Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, that whole season.

So, what you want to do now as you plan your promotions, is also create the ads. So, if it's an image ad, make that image ad now, if it's a video ad, make that video ad now. And go a step further and actually create the campaigns now. So even, let's just say, next week on, I don't know, September 17th, you upload literally to Facebook Ads and Google Ads, your Black Friday campaign, your Cyber Monday campaign, your three weeks before Christmas campaign, two weeks, one week, your New Year's eve sale, do that now, and just upload them and then turn them off or pause them. And what's good about this, is for the time it takes for Google and Facebook to review ads, they do that even if the campaigns are paused. Meaning that if you upload it now, everything can get approved and you don't have to worry about any delays or any possible rejections.

And then you can either just set a rule inside Google and Facebook, or you can do it yourself manually. A few days before Black Friday, go in there, turn it on, everything's already been approved for weeks now. And boom, just like that, it starts spending and you can capitalize on this holiday season even while the majority of people are like, "Why are my ad costs so high now?" You'll already be well aware of it. And you've already had eight to 10 weeks to prep. So, that's basically what I wanted to cover in today's episode guys, that's exactly what we're doing now. That's exactly what we do every year. It always does lead to us not overspending. And it leads to extremely profitable holiday seasons, which by the way, I think this is going to be one of the most profitable seasons we've had in a long time. Simply because ad costs have been low for so long.

And a couple of other points I'll make, if anybody's like, "Oh no, ad costs are going up." Again, this happens every single year, especially this year, because now we have the election. So we have political spending going out of control plus the holiday, just a rush of everybody spending online. But just know when we go into the beginning of Q1 of 2021, ad costs are going to nose dive again, things get back to normal. But even with that being said, it's not like you should worry about it now, because do what I just said. And this is an opportunity for you to have the best couple months in sales that you've probably ever had.

Also, I want to say for anybody listening, that does not have an eCommerce store yet, don't freak out and think like, "Well, I might as well wait six months." There is still plenty of time to go to dropshipwebinar.com, that's where I have my free training class. Go through my Drop Ship Blueprint. I give you my 21 step launch plan, where within 21 days you're up and running. And that still gives you plenty of time to build your audiences for remarketing. So, at the time I'm recording this, again, you can definitely do that this year. You can still have an extremely profitable holiday season, but be sure you don't wait on it. Just go to dropshipwebinar.com. You can get my free training there, and then I'll make you a special offer for my flagship program, the Drop Ship Blueprint.

So, if you got value guys from this episode, as always, I would really appreciate it if you can go to Apple podcasts or whatever podcast player you use, give it a review, ideally five stars, and let me know what your main take-away was. And if you know anybody that's running an online business, do them a favor and share this episode with them so that they're not overspending and freaking out for the next couple months. So, appreciate you guys. And with that being said, I will talk to you in the next episode of the podcast. See you.

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