How to Get Facebook Ads for Free… Almost

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  • Published on : Mar 4 2011

It seems like everyone has been talking about Facebook Ads for the past several years now, yet so many people are still on the sidelines or got scared away. Yes, Facebook Ads can be extremely tough to master and very frustrating with the ad approval process. Not to mention you can actually blow through a lot of money fast if you don’t know what you are doing. However, how can you turn your back on a ad platform that allows you to target over 600 million people all over the world based on their demographics and interests.

I always find myself coming back to Facebook and running new ad campaigns. Most lose money, but when you get something that works, it’s really great. Sometimes I even surprise myself with new ad creatives and targeting groups that I come up with, and also seeing what makes people click. I wanted to share some numbers that I’ve seen in the past month while playing around with a new campaign. The greatest part about this latest campaign, was the ability to create some really phenomenal ad copy that people loved, but more importantly… almost getting clicks for free, and the majority in the .01-.o2 range.

Facebook Ads Clicks for Pennies

Below are the stats from one of my top ad campaigns based on US only traffic. Demographics range from 13-27 years old, male/female and covered various combinations of demographics and interests. You will also see that many of these ads were pulling in click through rates of .40%-.62%, which is extremely well for Facebook advertising. Some creatives were even pulling 1% click through rates at times.

A final summary of the US ad campaign stats are shown below. With nearly 10 million impressions shown, the campaign ended with 29,836 clicks and only spent $213.63 on ad costs. That comes out to less than one cent per click!

Targeting the US is one of the most expensive markets you can go after on Facebook, but in the end it all comes down to click through rates. I copied the same success I had with my US campaign and played around with the demographic and interest targeting a bit more, then had the same type of success in CANADA and the UK. You can see the full stats below.

Facebook Ads Tips for Success

I’m sure all of you are wondering what creatives, ad copy and actual web site or cpa I was promoting. Unfortunately that would just be shooting myself in the foot and killing the campaign if I was to release that type of information. Instead, I will provide the exact tips and monetization I used to create ad copy with these numbers.

  • Target your Facebook Ads in very small groups. Yes, this is a pain, but it’s how you will achieve the greatest click through rates. If you don’t want to do break down a campaign by every age individually, break it out within three to five years, then that the first set of stats to see if it’s worth breaking down again. (ie: males 18-21, males 22-25, males 26-29 etc…)
  • Target by interest. This one is a no brainer, but it’s important to keep stressing your targeted interest in the ad copy. For instance, if you are going to target “The Simpsons“, try and use something relating to The Simpsons as your image, in your title and description.
  • Use Great Pictures. Facebook ads are all about the headline and the image, but which of the two really grabs your eye first… the picture of course! Try to use only the highest quality pictures that are sized correctly for Facebook ads placement, which is 110×80. If you can crop or design images, there are a ton of places that will do this for a few dollars. It really makes a big difference to have a great “call to action” image on your ads. (Dating = Hot Girls, Email Submits = Exciting Products, Travel = Landmarks)
  • CPC vs. CPM bidding. Using the statistics from the campaign above, I was mainly using CPM as my bidding model… however I did first test with CPC. Facebook Ads runs all of their inventory based on ad spend and user click through rate. If I initially setup these ad campaigns at a CPC model and put in .01 or .02 per click, Facebook would likely have never even given me any impressions. By bidding on the CPM model, Facebook knows they are going to make money no matter what. First test with CPC, get an idea on what people are clicking on, then back it out to CPM bidding.
  • Limit Your Losses and Ad Spending. When I first start a new campaign through Facebook Ads, I’m always anxious to get the first set of results. Sometimes the traffic comes in slow, and some times it’s an avalanche. Fortunately Facebook allows you to set a budget for how much you want to spend on your campaign per day. If you are adding a lot of new campaigns, be sure to set a low daily limit for each. As you learn which campaigns are making you money, make sure to increase your daily limits as this will determine the amount of traffic you will receive from Facebook.
  • Use Social / “Likes” to your advantage. Want to create a campaign or creative that people really like? Come up with something that people are truly interested in and will want to share with your friends. How many times did you “Like” a product, fan page or ad on Facebook because you saw one of your friends listed as liking it? I’m sure it had a big influence on your decision, as it has been proven to work time and time again. Create a killer product or service that people really like, and they will share it with their friends, while being seen as a “fan” of your product/service. You can also stop your ads from being seen by people who are already “fans” of your product, which you can’t do with generic Facebook ads.

Recommended Facebook Ads Posts & Case Studies

  1. Facebook Ads versus Google Adwords – An excellent post which goes into detail on the differences between Facebook Ads and Google Adwords.
  2. Split Testing with Facebook Ads – In this post I show off my results from a real Facebook Ads campaign, and how much of a difference a slight increase in click through rate can make.
  3. Facebook Ads and Banner Blindness – Your ad campaign will lose money if you keep showing the same ad to the same audience.
  4. Combine Several User Interests to Create the Perfect Facebook Ad – It’s not enough to choose one topic or demographic. You need to make the right mix to create a winning ad.
  5. Juice Up Your Facebook Ads Campaigns by Targeting Top TV Shows – A breakdown of the top television shows and interests which can be found on Facebook, along with how to market to each.
  6. Facebook Advertising for Lead Acquisition Case Study – An awesome case study from my friend DK. This post covers all elements of ad design… from color to pictures to wording. Great stuff here.
  7. How to Get Cheap Clicks on Facebook Ads – A great post my Mr.Green, which also includes country figures and costs to target different ages by country.
  8. How I Made $7818.80 in 1 Week and $60k Case Study – StackThatMoney breaks down one of his many profitable Facebook Ads campaigns.
  9. How to Quickly Make 100s of Images for Facebook Ads – A useful post from Justin Dupre on how to create images that are the right size for Facebook Ads.
  10. Facebook Ads Dating Case Study – Does the Picture Type Affect CTR? – Great breakdown of how different images (dating) and how they can affect the performance of your campaign.

Making Facebook Ads Work for You

No matter what type of Facebook ads campaign you create, if you follow these rules, you will have more success than just throwing up as many different ads as you can, and hoping for one of them to work. While it is tough to continually make money with Facebook ads, you need to put in the necessary work on adding new campaigns, targeting new niches and demographics. Follow these tips to improve your chances of success with Facebook Ads.

Zac Johnson
My name is Zac Johnson and I have been an online entrepreneur for the past 18 years and blogger since 2007. This is my personal blog and I welcome you to the site. In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that I am benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website.
Category : Uncategorized

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  • http://justicewordlaw.com Justice Wordlaw IV

    Zac this was an amazing post that you offered right there. Right now I am running a couple Facebook Ads and I needed a couple of these tips to get a great refresher. Narrowing down within groups is something that I have not yet done yet but I feel that would be a helpful thing to do since it would gain more views. I am going to bookmark this post because this is truly good. Thanks for sharing.
    My recent post Free WordPress Installation Service – Start Your Blog Today

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Thanks, glad you liked it. Keep testing and breaking down ad groups until you find some winning numbers. Don't forget to try a ton of different images and headlines.

      • http://justicewordlaw.com Justice Wordlaw IV

        Thanks, I will start doing that more. I just started to figure that changing the headline and picture really does make a difference in the clicks that you get. I never thought about paying for impressions since I was quite scared of running up a high bill with no conversions what so ever.
        My recent post I got over 300 Twitter Followers By Being Myself

  • http://addykho.com Addy Kho @ Malaysia

    I do agree that the Graphic does play a big part. But cost control and demo setting are equally important when come to making money on facebook ad
    My recent post The World 1st Live Internet Business Experience

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Definitely. In the end it all comes down to who you are marketing to and getting the best CTR.

  • http://www.dinovedo.com Dino Vedo

    How did you manage to get less than a penny per click with a ctr below 1? I have ctrs up to 3 percent and still have to pay like 10 cents or so… was that screenshot taken a year ago or something since Facebook has gotten a bit harder to get those cheap clicks!
    My recent post Are You Making Money Online

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      I can only imagine that you are targeting a very expensive demographic if you are still having to pay .10 per click and getting a 3% ctr. That is pretty high! These numbers are from the past month, and the campaign is still active.

  • http://www.mindfulsearching.com/ Marc Peterson

    Great post, I have a few colleagues of mine that have been making a killing by advertising on Facebook for their affiliate sites.
    My recent post Do You Know How To Use Google

  • Richard

    What an awesome post. Thank you so much. Totally has me rethinking the way I handle FB.

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Thanks, glad you liked it. Keep me updated on how you do with Facebook Ads.

  • Steve

    From my own experience, I found that by simply split testing and looking at which ads have a higher CTR and narrowing the target demographic it is actually extremely easy to get clicks in the $0.01 range. Not hard at all. Get an ad showing cleavage approved and it's almost guaranteed.

    What IS hard is converting those FB users into conversions and profit. That's where simply focusing on your cost per click can be misleading.

    I've found many times that in some markets men might click more and give you a lower CPC but it's the women who are buying the product.

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Yes, the game of clicks vs. conversions is always a fun one to play. Have to keep playing with the ad copy so it gives the user an idea what to expect once they click the ad.

  • Neo

    Great post Zac! ;) – Would you mind sharing what type of promotion you are doing, not the exact niche or targets but rather if you are promoting CPA offers/Clickbank/eBooks or own products? Squeeze Page or Sales Page?

    How are your conversions?

    Again thanks for the post.

  • http://www.affiliatepaying.com AffiliatePaying

    Fantastic post Zac! This information is really good and thanks a ton for sharing it. Will definitely follow your tips and see how it will help me. ;)
    My recent post Edward N on BLAM Ads Content Locking

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Great, thanks for reading!

  • http://www.ppcian.com PPC Ian

    Zac, really great post! There's a new info product I'm getting a lot of emails about from all the email lists I'm on that is supposed to teach you how to get Facebook ads for "free". I think you probably covered a lot of what that product will teach with this very post. It's really interesting to see some of your CPCs rounding down to "0". Great stuff and thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Thanks, appreciate it. I tried to cover the great majority of what matters, while offering it for free!

  • Constantin

    awesome post…any thoughts on the new interface or the mass bannings happening lately? approvals are getting tougher too. i want to be persistent but dont want to get my accounts banned.

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Seems like this happens every once in a while. Its always in response to new offers or advertising methods that come out. Just another day in the life of an internet marketer and having to adapt with the changes.

  • http://www.profitaddiction.com Profit Addiction

    Zac,

    Thanks a lot for plugging my post, I appreciate it!

    Nice compilation as a whole, too.

    Jeremy
    My recent post Are You Trying Or Are You Doing

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Np, thanks for reading. Your post is a great contribution as well.

  • Marlene McGuire

    Great post, Zac. Sad to say that I'm one of those who was discouraged with my first ad campaign. Ready to try again using your tips.
    My recent post IkumbaStyle- Life by Design

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Facebook Ads can be very tough and frustrating at first. Definitely give it another go.

  • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

    Start small, as you can set daily limits to spend around $5-$10 a day, which can still get you some nice information and stats to help with building and optimizing your campaign.

    I haven't been hearing too many good things about the GetFBAdsFree program. Seems like a lot of their buyers are unhappy, saying its misleading and that the product isn't finished.

  • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

    Thanks, appreciate it. Your post made for a nice recommended resource as well.

  • Dirty Marketer

    Thanks for the great tips you posted here , Zac ! I tested out some campaigns on FB ads, but coz there're already lots of big marketers who have dominated almost every niche we can imagine, I can't get the result expected. So i'm not with FB ads anymore, but use FB to build my email lists!
    My recent post Create An Internet Business – Something Many People Never Know

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      It's tough to find affiliate offers that work well on Facebook. Dating, installs and email submits still do well, but you need to get very high click through rates on your ads.

  • http://www.JoshRimer.com Josh Rimer

    That's very interesting about the CPM versus CPC… I always wondered why I'd ever bother doing CPM, but now I see the potential benefit. Thanks!
    My recent post YouTube adds a visual Like-Dislike Meter

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      It can make a huge difference once you figure out what works and what doesn't.

  • http://4hourworkweek.net Tim

    I tried you Skateboarding ad however I set it up in Australia rather than the U.S. and it worked very well!

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Great to hear!

  • http://www.premieretreeservices.com/ TreeLover

    This is a fantastic post. I will surely follow all the tips you have enumerated. There is no wonder why there are tons of marketing campaigns through Facebook because all of the campaigns work.

  • http://www.foredimanado.org foredi gel manado

    why this site is amazing? Ofcourse becasue article are the best.

    My recent post Foredi Gel

    • http://favouritehobbies.wordpress.com Mack

      Because content is the king so if we give best it will be amazing

  • http://www.indiadarshan.in Weekend Getaways

    Great info regarding facebook ad campaign. Almost everybody is using facebook and you need to do something different or additional to attract people to like your ad.
    My recent post Romantic Weekend Getaways

  • http://holidaysindia.in Holidays in India

    I do agree that the Graphic does play a big par.

  • http://www.childcarecolumbiasc.com Childcare Columbia

    Zac, thanks for these really good tips on Facebook Advertising. Up to now, I've hesitated to advertise on Facebook…I just didn't feel comfortable with it. But, with these tips, I think I will plan an advertising campaign out and give it a try. Thanks!

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Thanks, appreciate it. Set small daily limits and familiarize yourself with the system.

  • Drew

    Hey Zac,
    Thanks for the awesome post! really interesting to see.
    What do you use to track your stats through your facebook ads?

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Lots of different combinations. I will redirect if I can, but usually setup redirects and click tracking as well.

  • http://www.mindofallan.com/ Allan

    The amount of Detail and Value in this post is insane!

    Thanks for this Zac. Guess I need to look into Facebook advertising.
    My recent post The absurdity of Being a Pickup artist

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Thanks Allan, glad you liked it.

  • Mack

    But its that possible to maintain the free ad for long period

    • http://www.zacjohnson.com Zac Johnson

      Most likely… as people will continue to see your same ads.

  • http://www.intellectsoft.co.uk/iphone_applications_development.html iPhone app design

    I faced with the problem that facebook ads don't attract too much attention as they used to do.

  • http://le-ventre-plat.blogspot.com kmi

    definitly the graphic is important..
    My recent post Les avantages du Snowboard comme moyen dexercice

  • http://www.autorepaircolumbia.net Auto Repair Columbia

    Thanks…

    I've advertised on Adwords before, but I've never tried Facebook. Adwords is too expensive. I took written notes on this article and added it to my collection. I'm headed over to Facebook to try my luck.

    Again, thanks!
    Rick

  • Ralph

    Bullshit! Must be a facebook fan page.

  • Ari Herzog

    CPM, CPR, CTR, CTC, CMP, uhh, what Greek are you spouting, Zac? I have a sense but not sure. What guide do you suggest reading?

    And, have you determined which countries have a better return than others?
    My recent post Stop Producing Noise

  • http://www.dragonblogger.com dragonblogger

    Really well written article explaining how to leverage Facebook advertising, this is one area of Advertising I haven't experimented with yet. Can you advertise anything or is there some restriction like AdWords where you can only advertise off of a link on your own site?

  • http://fbadservices.com Kevin V

    Awesome post! Very informative and useful tip to promote and market on facebook in very cheap price.

  • Dan

    Hi Zac

    I have a question regarding "Target your Facebook Ads in very small groups":

    How small is a "very small group" in your opinion?
    Since I am living in a country which is pretty small, I have no clue if a small group means 300, 3000, or 3'000'000 people… :-)

    Cheers, Dan

  • http://www.groupasave.com Samuel

    Hi there Zac, what do you put at the cpc bid? between suggested bid amount?

  • http://www.server-support-company.com/ server support

    How do I send a thank-you message right after someone clicks “like” on my page? Can that be done from with the page admin?

  • http://www.frozenlemons.com/ Company Naming

    There are now several entrepreneurs and marketers start creating their own Facebook page in order to advertise and promote their products and sales online, they also use it to generate traffic directly to their website.

  • Pankaj Rattan

    Great article on facebook advertisement .Many time i try different trick to get facebook ad for free but never succeed .This time after reading your article i am sure that i will get the success.And i am totally satisfied that graphic does not play major role.

  • http://twitter.com/bigcitychennai @bigcitychennai

    I too agree that the Graphic does play a big part

  • http://www.doj.me/ Is It Down

    Facebook ads for free – where do I sign up?? Thanks for this advice, it really does seem like it'd work like a charm. I will definitely be looking into it for my own facebook ads. :)

    Laurie

  • http://doj.me/ Is It Down

    Wow – I had no idea facebook ads were so easy and inexpensive to come by!! I just might have to check them out myself. Is it still this convenient?

  • http://www.michaelsfurniture.com Sofa Los Angeles

    You make some great points here and I like that you added so many links to other posts to help give a broader view on the topic.

  • http://www.alexieaguildds.com/ Dentist Los Angeles

    So many people are on Facebook… it just makes sense to advertise on it. The more people that see your ad the more likely some of them will actually click on it.

  • http://www.drheckle.net Dr. Heckle

    This is a great article! It made me rethink how I'm running my ads. I was always too afraid to move to CPM, but this made me realize that once you have an ad that works it only makes sense to do it so that you're paying a lot less.
    My recent post Jim Gaffigan – Holiday Traditions

  • http://freevideotechsupport.blogspot.com/ Tom Jones

    Great info regarding facebook ad campaign. Almost everybody is using facebook and you need to do something different or additional to attract people to like your ad.
    My recent post http://freevideotechsupport.blogspot.com/
    My recent post AirPrint: Printing Made Easy On Your iPad – The Ultimate How To

  • http://www.techmadoo.com yash sehgal

    Quite insightful post for a beginner.I had recently ran a test campaign and got really low CTR but now I ll try to implement these steps and report back.Hoping to increase my CTR :)
    My recent post 5 Ugly Truths of Blogging that One Must Know

  • http://www.ecommerce-web.es Peter

    Great tips for Facebook ads

    thanks!!

  • http://powersbusiness.com Shane Powers

    Great post! Found this through Stumble Upon…Got some very good ideas to try on a couple of facebook campaigns I'm working on. Keep up the good work!

  • Claude Fullinfaw

    Thank you for sharing so much with me about creating adds for FB. I am right now thinking about how to go about it and your site has given me some insights. Thank you for the effort in sharing.
    My recent post Visiting Omaha in Nebraska USA after Usana Convention in Aug 2012

  • http://www.yesmelbourne.com Phil Edwards

    Hi, I am knew to affiliate marketing and I'm really keen to give this a go. I am 59 yrs old, a Security guard and I'm sick of working rotating day shift and night shift, the hrs are long(12 hr shifts). I was wondering if anyone has the time to help me through this step by step. I would start out small and hopefully build up. If you can help me that would be great. Facebook is where I'd like to run my ads. I live in Australia and my niche would be a a dating site, perhaps Match.com or eHarmony. If your interested you can email me at yesmelbourne@gmail.com. Thanks Regards Phil