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How Not to Lose $1 Million on Facebook

Written by: Brian Bowman, CEO, Consumer Acquisition

Brian Bowman is the Founder/CEO of a full-service growth agency specializing in transparent Facebook advertising and mobile app installs.

Our first $1 million spent on Facebook advertising would have been more efficient if we took the money to a parking lot, lit it on fire, shot a video of the cash burning and then posted it to YouTube. At least consumers would have shown up to our site as a result of the video going viral. We’ve heard it hundreds of times – “Facebook doesn’t work for performance advertising.” We finally figured out how to make Facebook wildly profitable, and Nanigans is at the center of our success.

Facebook advertising can be hard to run efficiently. Really hard. For any marketer with an SEM background, the most challenging aspect of scaling Facebook spend is adapting to the reality that ads “burn out” in seven days or less, creating an endless churn of ad creative, testing, management and inefficient media spend. When advertising on Google you can set it and forget it, but to make Facebook advertising “work” at scale, marketers need to obsessively analyze real-time ad performance, adjust bids on an intraday basis, and endlessly build and launch new ads and interest clusters (Facebook’s version of keywords) – think about day trading on a stock market that never closes.

To help us scale, we turned to Nanigans for three primary reasons, and each reason is rooted in automation. Our fundamental belief is that machines should automate as many tasks as possible, while marketers manage the tasks that require a human or creative touch. Nanigans’ Ad Engine platform offers powerful automation in the following areas:

  • Ad launches – with just a few clicks, we can launch hundreds of ads. This is the best and most simplistic way to launch quality ads at scale (that we’ve seen).
  • Analytics – with Nanigans efficient reporting interface, we can  access critical data that we can’t get on our own. For example, we can easily drill down to hourly performance for an individual ad, or we can pull back and measure account performance by day of week.
  • Intraday bidding – to us, the most valuable feature offered by Nanigans is intraday bids that are processed as often as every 15 minutes. Automated bidding allows our marketers to focus on ad production and analysis, while its automated bidding process consistently delivers on our financial targets and also outperforms our manual efforts by 40% or more.

With Nanigans’ automation across campaign creative, targeting and optimization, we’re able to more efficiently manage ad campaigns at scale. The platform alone, however, isn’t enough to guarantee that a marketer will make Facebook “work.” If we continued to deploy the strategies that caused us to burn our first $1 million, we’d tell you that “Facebook doesn’t work for direct response advertising.” The reality is that Facebook advertising does “work” in a massive way, but we highly recommend partnering with a fully-transparent agency that will show you how to reach profitability much sooner than your first $1 million.  An exceptional solutions provider should also leverage your Facebook accounts to build your account history, train your team on best practices and share the interests, clusters and keywords that work best – after all, it is your money!


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