What I Learned by Spending $55,479.79 on Facebook Ads

In the last article I talked about how Facebook Ads and Google Ads are different.

In this article, I want to talk more about Facebook Ads.

I have spent exactly $55,479.03 in the past 3+ years of on Facebook Ads.

That’s around 37 Lakhs INR. (My ad account is very old and it was setup in USD when I started).

All my ads combined has reached 16,905,929 people.

That’s almost the total population of Netherlands!

I have created 492 ad campaigns so far.

And so far I’ve got a great ROI.

Many people cannot make Facebook Ads work because they approach it the wrong way.

The first thing to keep in mind while advertising in Facebook is that it is an outbound advertising medium.

Google Ads (Search) is an inbound advertising medium.

In Google search, people are looking for a product or service actively.

In Facebook, we are interrupting people with ads.

They are doing something else, and we are interrupting them.

The biggest advantage of Facebook is the targeting precision. You can reach the right people who are most likely to be interested in our ad.

That’s because Facebook has the biggest collection of user’s personal data in the world.

But just because we are reaching the right people, it doesn’t mean that Facebook users are looking to buy our products or services.

They might be interested. And that’s as far as we can get to.

So advertising a product/service directly to these users never works. It always backfires.

And people complain that Facebook Ads don’t work.

When you think about the buying funnel, you have a large number of interested people on the top.

People in the middle are in the consideration stage.

People towards the bottom of the funnel are at the buying stage.

Google ads helps you reach people at the bottom of the funnel. They are hot buyers waiting to buy a product or service.

That’s why the cost with Google ads is high. Because the competition is high. Because everyone wants people who are ready to buy immediately. People are impatient.

However, it is cheaper and easier to reach people at the top of the funnel.

There are many people in the consideration stage and interest stage.

There are many people are yet to be aware about the kind of product or service that you have.

Reaching these people is cheaper because the competition is less here. No one advertises to this audience because they won’t convert immediately.

And only a small percentage of this audience can be converted.

I am OK with that.

I am not competing at the bottom of the funnel where there is a shark fight going on.

Where everyone is fighting for the same hot lead who is ready to buy.

Instead of selling my courses to people who are ready to buy a digital marketing marketing course, I am convincing a LOT of people that they NEED to learn digital marketing.

That’s why I invested more than $1000 in buying LearnDigitalMarketing.com domain name back in 2015.

Right now the total number of people in the bottom of the funnel is limited.

And the competition is high.

The number of people on the top of the funnel is high. And the competition is low.

I am ready to wait for years before I convert this audience into customers. My competition is not.

Most of the competition doesn’t even understand the AIDA model.

They need to watch this video clip from the movie Glengarry Glen Ross.

So I cannot advertise my paid digital marketing course on Facebook to a new audience.

No one will care.

They are not in the decision or the action stage.

However, I can get their attention with a good offer.

That’s why I advertise a Free Digital Marketing Course.

I get as much as 1% of the people who see the ad to convert into my subscribers.

There are the people who have heard about digital marketing and want to explore more.

But they are not ready to buy digital marketing training. It’s OK.

The cost per lead is as low as $0.30 nowadays. Earlier it used to be $0.15.

Only 1-2% of these people will convert into paid customers. But that more than enough because it pays me for the ad cost and other business expenses.

But I am building a well-known brand.

Using this traffic I’ve also built one of the largest digital marketing learning group in the country with 87k+ members.

More people in my free digital marketing course means a better brand awareness which the other companies are losing out on.

There are many businesses that make much more revenue than me by selling digital marketing courses to people who are at the bottom of the funnel…

But this business will become unviable shortly because – people have come to know that these high priced courses are not worth the money.

And more businesses are competing for the buyers at the bottom of the funnel.

This shark fight for existing fishes will only get worse.

I am staying out of it!

That’s why I focus more on Facebook Ads than Google Ads.

One of the ad sets where I have spent the most money is actually being run for brand awareness.

I have spent $9,000 in boosting this post.

It has reached almost 10 million people.

And it has got 285k post likes…

And 7,816 shares.

I keep getting leads even if I stop running the ads… because now the organic reach is very high.

I have got enough leads from this ad. And enough sales from these leads… to pay for the ad cost and more.

It is surprising that more people are not doing this.

Because it takes time.

Sometimes it takes as long as 1 year for me to convert them into customers.

And I need to keep nurturing these people with good content – so that they don’t forget me.

If you are reading this right now, there is a good chance that you are already my customer. But if not, you are at least “paying” attention to me.

May be in the future, you will buy one of my courses.

Even if you don’t become a paying customer, you might share this article on social media.

From your share, more people will come to my blog, some of them will convert into subscribers. And some of those customers could convert into buyers.

It will happen in the long term. I am ready to wait long term.

No one is ready to wait that long.

I am.

I won’t eat that marsh-mellow now. (If you don’t know about the marsh-mellow experiment, read this Wikipedia article and watch this video).

That’s why the kind of brand I’ve built with free content is much more valuable than any other company who is making much more revenue than me right now.

The brand value is priceless.

It is 100x more worth than money in the bank.

I am casting a WIDE net with my strategy.

And waiting until the small fish grow into big fishes.

In fact, I am the one feeding the fishes.

When the fishes grow, they will not buy from someone else.

They will be loyal to me, as long as I serve them honestly. Which I will.

Others are targeting only the big fishes.

And they are fishing at different parts of the sea. It’s a shark fight over there.

I don’t want to be a shark.

I want to be the Blue Whale.

Big, graceful, not getting into fights.

Having my own territory, which I have built myself.

And the surprising part is that thought I am laying out this strategy out in the open, those sharks still won’t compete with me on this strategy.

Because they are too busy converting their hot leads into customers.

They have sales teams to manage. They have targets.

They are busy shoving the products down the throat of the prospects with multiple sales calls per week.

They won’t have time to read this article 🙂

So that’s the idea.

To build a good brand with Facebook Ads.

To build a good brand by getting people early on.

To cast a wide net.

And do it using good content (like this article) and Facebook Ads.

I hope this article gave you some insights about branding and Facebook Ads.

Do share this article if you liked it!

And comment if you have any questions.

Cheers,
Deepak Kanakaraju

P.S. I hope the image in this post now makes sense 🙂

37 thoughts on “What I Learned by Spending $55,479.79 on Facebook Ads”

  1. I just started freelancing 2 weeks back. Now I got one client which is into B2B business.

    They develop apps for ship or vessel tracking. Their TG is Shipping & Charters companies.

    My question is which channel is better for paid ads.

    Google AdWords or Facebook?
    Will Facebook work effectively for B2B?

    Coz in shipping companies many of the decision makers are of age of 55 to 60+

    They are not active on FB. They won’t see the ad itself!

    It’ll be very much helpful for me if you throw some light on it.

    Thanks.

  2. Branding is our boosting posts just to get likes and shares is worth doing. As it’s definitely going to build targeting audience for your next harder campaigns.
    I’ve implemented this too.
    Well nice read fella!

  3. I get it. Patience is very important and people are impatient these days thatis why there is less competition. Nice article.

  4. New way of business.
    It was totally a different road taken by you and very few have courage to take the road less travellled by many.
    It gave me a strategy which I was not aware.
    It’s fruitful learning from you.

  5. I did ads for a free course and people did turn up, but couldn’t convert them into paying buyers immediately. The bottom-line is that the “nurturing” is as important as bringing the leads! And yes,”patiently”.

  6. Great. I am waiting for you to make it participatory. No big fish eat small fish world. Instead, a collaborative model of growth and growth. Expand the ocean. DM , affiliate marketing are still like fishing nets . I believe, there is still a possibility, a humane model, where everyone benefits from assisting others. You are indicating towards that Deepak.

  7. Awesome!!.. deepak.. I am continuous reader of your letter also have done ..
    They show honesty…The Truth!!
    They are different.. from others…
    I also have done your free digital marketing course…. And i always spread my word of mouth to my every friend who is interested in digital marketing.

    Thumbs up!!..

  8. Dear Deepak,
    Great article once again,

    I would like to know if you are comfortable, after spending insane amount of money on FB ads, What is your ARPU and Average cost per lead. And generally what kind of conversion rate from free to paid customers.

    What are your few biggest mistakes in FB ads so that people can learn from it .

  9. Hello Deepak Sir, you are one of the top content marketer in India out there and you have been doing it from decades! But now, people are moving towards videos, so what do you think? Should a new business consider creating YouTube videos more over text based content/blog posts? What should they choose if only one option is available?

  10. Really it’s an amazing read. For the past 1.5 yrs or more I’m going through Deepak’s article. Now I have purchased one of his courses and also in a mood to purchase more from him.

    His approach is unique, may consume time in the process but will remain with the satisfied clients ( like me ) for the rest of their lives.

    Definitely I want to learn more from him and hope to do my best. Best wishes for him and his team.

  11. Thanks alot sir for guiding me .loved ur articles and will try to follow them and open a way to sucess.

  12. Hello sir, Thanks for your help… You are doing great job your contents are awesomely written. Got lots of new things to learn after reading your blog…. Hopefully we can also reach to the place where you are right now … If you provide us your awesome tips…

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