When we studied the most successful brands on Teemill, we found a pattern. Many of the top brands do the same things well, so we turned these into fast and easy checks you can do on your site. It’s essential to make sure you have these four things covered before advertising, but even if you’re not launching campaigns yet it’s still worth having a little flick through to see what action you can take to ensure you’re covering all bases with your collection. Read on to find out the four things every great brand did along the way.
Pic Benjamin Davies c/o Unsplash
Ads have been the driving force behind the growth of the biggest campaigns powered by Teemill over the last few years and sooner or later, any serious online entrepreneur will discover them as a whole new way to keep growing. We built our platform, Teemill, to stop startups failing – and we really want to see you succeed. So we’ve put together this checklist to get you off to a head start by eliminating a few of the reasons why ad campaigns don’t work out the first time around for some brands.
1. Great products
To make money from ads, you’ll need to sell some products. It helps if your products are so awesome that loads of people want to buy them. This can be a bit enigmatic, but stay true to yourself and if you really love the stuff you’ve made, believe in it. If you have any doubts or know at heart your collection could do with another once over, do it now before pressing ahead with ads. Learn more about how to get design ideas.
2. Photography + merchandising
Free traffic from search or socials doesn’t cost you anything, but traffic from ads costs you money. So you have to be merciless with detail and quality when it comes to your store. Your products should be incredible, the photography should look on brand, sharp and fresh and your homepage and category descriptions should be captivating and engaging. Make sure your navigation makes sense and arrange the order of your products in your categories so the best stuff is up top and on the homepage. If you haven’t read it, learn more in this blog about conversion optimisation tactics.
3. Compelling descriptions
If you’ve been putting off making sure your product descriptions are amazing and your product titles are accurate and descriptive, now’s the time to stop and do it. Your descriptions and product titles are used by Facebook and Google to decide how relevant your content is and will appear as the advert text automatically in some ad types. Learn more about writing great product descriptions.
4. Setting up your campaigns well
You’ll need a Facebook advertising account with billing set up and ready to go. You want the branding of your page to look ace with a neat logo and page banner. You also want to look like a legit brand, so if you’re a new startup, get some likes, shares, comments and reviews going. You might get friends or family to help you out, it doesn’t matter. People just need to know your brand is the real deal.
Tracking pixels communicate back to advertising service providers that you’ve made a sale. With Teemill we’ve made a few apps for Facebook and Google that you can enable and put in your account IDs to connect to their ad platforms. These apps are available in your Teemill account and they’re free. To set them up it’s literally copy and paste.
By using the Teemill tracking pixel apps, you can monitor how successful your ads are. They also enable you to serve remarketing or follow-around ads to customers who have visited your site. Visit the apps page to enable these.
Before you dive in it’s a good idea to assess which type of ad will suit you. There’s loads of different types of ads and targeting options. It’s also a good idea to think about the type of words your target audience might use to describe that product, particularly if you’re going to be using Google’s search-based advertising options. Whatever you do, make sure your targeting is narrow. You want to aim to exclude anyone that is a “possible” and leave only “probables” in your targeting.
Set a sensible budget
Set a budget that’s business-like, but within your means. A fiver probably won’t cover enough of your demographic to give meaningful results, but equally committing £1,000 without a solid track record is not sensible. You must commit only what you can afford to lose. Stick to sensible budgets. You can always spend more but you can’t unspend once your budget is gone.
Have realistic expectations
Nobody is born an advertising pro. You will make mistakes and learn from them and it’s part of advertising that those lessons might cost you money. That money won’t be wasted if you use those lessons when you build your next campaign. If you’re a student remember that you can put this stuff on your CV too – either way, the lesson has some value if you use it.
We recommend setting up remarketing first. It’s limited in its potential as people need to have visited your site first, but it’s often the easiest ad set to get profitable as you are advertising to people who are already interested. It can help work in tandem with other ad sets too. If your first targeted campaign might not quite manage to convince the customer, sometimes folks come back a day or two later when they are reminded by the follow-around ads and it’s a better time or place for them to check out.
Monitor like a hawk
With the analytics and insight tools that are available from Adwords and Facebook, you should be able to get a pretty accurate handle on the effectiveness of your ad all the way from views to clicks to checkout to ROI. The reporting technologies may have some inbuilt variability depending on your customer’s browser settings and caching, and you do need to give it some time to brew. This is particularly true with any ad type from Facebook or Google that automatically adjusts demographics or bids, or learns using a neural network. Those technologies take time to optimise.
Pre commit to your ad spend over a given time. Check back in and if you get great results, pump up your budget. If you don’t see the increase in sales that you’d like, pause your ad and investigate.
One tip before you abandon a marginal ad altogether: Check back in a couple of weeks. We’ve found that as the tracking cookie is stored for 30 days, many customers bookmark or email an item to themselves, or add to basket for later – then check out. So you might find that conversions are underreported a little at the time, and coming back later the metrics can be better by 30% or more.
You can learn loads about how to make more money using ads on the Facebook ads learn page, and for Google, on the AdWords learn page. There is tonnes to read about as you get more into ads and look to ramp up your returns.