Author Topic: Facebook Ads - success with them?  (Read 684 times)  

Offline Redgum

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Facebook Ads - success with them?
« on: May 08, 2019, 12:28:13 am »
I have a FB page as many authors and I've had mostly bad results from ads. What are your experiences with them, and do you prefer to boost posts or promote posts or use the Ads Manager? One useful tool now on FB is the Info and Ads section which allows you to see if a company, or in this case author, is running any ads, and I've been surprised by the number of ads some authors have.

In one case I counted 35 in the drop down menu - 35 different images and yet every one linked to the same novel. What would be the point of running 35 different ads at the same time and in the same territory all directing to the same book? I'm asking because I need some help with FB advertisement.

Thanks :)

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    Offline SM Royall

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    Re: Facebook Ads - success with them?
    « Reply #1 on: May 08, 2019, 12:41:34 am »
    I've not used ads on Facebook but my guess would be that the case you are talking about there is someone refining their ads to see what works, I bet if you looked next month there would be a lot less being used as they weed out the less effective ones.
    One day something worthwhile will get put in this space.

    Offline Redgum

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    Re: Facebook Ads - success with them?
    « Reply #2 on: May 08, 2019, 12:48:50 am »
    I've not used ads on Facebook but my guess would be that the case you are talking about there is someone refining their ads to see what works, I bet if you looked next month there would be a lot less being used as they weed out the less effective ones.

    Ah, sounds like that could be it. The ads in question are all different pictures and different blurb but all click through to the same book. I wondered if I was missing a trick. They are not boosted posts though, which is all I have ever done. Do you (or anyone) know how to create a nice little ad without just boosting a post in this way? Normally I post a link to my book then "boost" it, but these are not on the author's timeline and have been created elsewhere.  I'm hopeless with FB.

    Offline bookguy

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    Re: Facebook Ads - success with them?
    « Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 04:04:46 am »
    Boosted posts don't usually work that well. Using the ads manager to create an ad campaign brings in better results. The first ads you run probably won't convert all that well so you'll need to test different audiences, copy, and images, until you find one that works for you.

    Offline chrisstevenson

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    Re: Facebook Ads - success with them?
    « Reply #4 on: May 08, 2019, 10:15:04 am »
    I haven't had any luck with either FB boosts or direct ads. Just very lean results. Twitter is even worse. I'm trying to find something with some amount of return on investment. I keep hearing the BookBub is a very popular resource. Unfortunately, I don't quite know how that bidding thing works or how to successfully fill out the ad form.
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    Offline jm2019

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    Re: Facebook Ads - success with them?
    « Reply #5 on: May 08, 2019, 11:02:59 am »
    I've tried FB with mixed success, but ultimately it was an acceptable loss because my book is a debut and those are always a hard sell. FB got me my first sells so I'll always appreciate that.

    I'm trying Bookbub now (been only 2 days), experimenting on a very low budget. My CTR is crap (.3%) and CTC is high @ 0.6. But it's OK, I'm just trying to figure it all out, and at this point it's a little early to say which one I'd stick with. There's definitely the attraction of Bookbub in the sense that the audience is already kind of pre-defined and attuned to books, but if the CTC is too high then one would never make a profit. On the other hand, the argument I've heard is it should be good if you're later in the series so you have a pull-through effect (which doesn't matter in my case as I have nothing to pull)

    I tried BargainBooksy, and learned that hard way that it was a total waste of $. I think those platforms work better when you have a healthy series and have more reviews on the book that compels people to try. But gotta try and learn I suppose.

    Offline Indy_Author

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    Re: Facebook Ads - success with them?
    « Reply #6 on: May 08, 2019, 12:29:40 pm »
    I've tried FB with mixed success, but ultimately it was an acceptable loss because my book is a debut and those are always a hard sell. FB got me my first sells so I'll always appreciate that.

    I'm trying Bookbub now (been only 2 days), experimenting on a very low budget. My CTR is crap (.3%) and CTC is high @ 0.6. But it's OK, I'm just trying to figure it all out, and at this point it's a little early to say which one I'd stick with. There's definitely the attraction of Bookbub in the sense that the audience is already kind of pre-defined and attuned to books, but if the CTC is too high then one would never make a profit. On the other hand, the argument I've heard is it should be good if you're later in the series so you have a pull-through effect (which doesn't matter in my case as I have nothing to pull)

    I tried BargainBooksy, and learned that hard way that it was a total waste of $. I think those platforms work better when you have a healthy series and have more reviews on the book that compels people to try. But gotta try and learn I suppose.

    I second BargainBooksy...overrated in my humble opinion.

    Offline Redgum

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    Re: Facebook Ads - success with them?
    « Reply #7 on: May 13, 2019, 04:36:29 pm »
    Thanks for all the insights here, everyone. I've only ever boosted on FB and I have to say it's not a great return. In fact I'm about to cancel one boosted post today because even after a few weeks it's done nothing. I've not used Twitter but heard even worse about it. Some more questions have arisen from reading this thread, and some other research I've done.

    1. I've noticed on FB some authors running ads followed by "this ad has multiple versions" and the little "i" for info reveals that "this ad uses dynamic creative, a process whereby advertisers upload multiple image and text options and the best performing combination for the audience is automatically selected". Does anyone know if this works, and if so, how is this done - via the Ads Manager (which terrifies me)?

    2. Bookbub - I tried this once years ago and back then at least I had to submit my novel for them to graciously accept or reject for advertising. They rejected it and I never went back. I'm getting the idea from this thread that it works differently now - is it tricky to use and is it worth it? Personal and anecdotal experience is fine with me!

    Thank you :)
    « Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 04:38:39 pm by Redgum »

    Offline Kenneth Rosenberg

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    Re: Facebook Ads - success with them?
    « Reply #8 on: May 13, 2019, 05:48:31 pm »
    2. Bookbub - I tried this once years ago and back then at least I had to submit my novel for them to graciously accept or reject for advertising. They rejected it and I never went back. I'm getting the idea from this thread that it works differently now - is it tricky to use and is it worth it? Personal and anecdotal experience is fine with me!

    I don't know about your first question.  I've got a few ads running on FB currently and I agree that the whole system is quite confusing and not at all intuitive, creating a campaign, and then an ad set, and then an ad.  I've never had much luck in the past with them, either.  Right now I'm running a few that I just started recently (because AMS has stopped being cost-effective for me).  My current FB ads seem to be working better than before, but at best I am breaking even overall.  I can't say how many of my sales are actually from the ads and how many are organic.

    As for your question #2, I think you previously tried to be accepted for a BookBub feature.  That hasn't changed.  They are still very hard to get.  I've applied probably 100 times and never been accepted. What people are talking about above is different.  BookBub also now has ads, similar to Facebook ads, that run at the bottom of their emails.  These are cost per click ads and you do not have to be accepted.  You just create an ad, but they tend to be expensive on a CPC basis and I've never had much luck with them either.  Lately I feel like all of the advertisers are getting rich and we're starving out here, providing all the content for zero gain...

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    Offline f2b4

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    Re: Facebook Ads - success with them?
    « Reply #9 on: May 14, 2019, 12:57:48 pm »
    Lately I feel like all of the advertisers are getting rich and we're starving out here, providing all the content for zero gain...

    Welcome to the new world order.

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