You’ve spent dozens of hours crafting your online course. You’ve wrestled and struggled, trying to figure out which modules to put where and the most effective way to teach the materials. And you really believe in what you’re teaching. You know that it’s incredibly valuable information.
The day comes for you to finally publish your course. You hit the “publish” button and wait for the sales to come in.
Except that they don’t.
Maybe you get one or two sales from friends. Maybe your mom enrolls in the course because she feels sorry for you.
You check your sales numbers every morning and come away feeling like a failure.
But you don’t know what to do.
What if I told you there was a way to consistently sell your course? What if I told you that you could get your course constantly in front of your ideal audience? And what if I told you that you could do this all relatively simply?
Because you can.
It’s called Facebook Ads.
In this post, I will walk you through a simple tutorial on how to create powerful Facebook ads that help sell your course like crazy.
A Facebook Ads Case Study: Over $12,000 in Sales For an Online Course
As a Facebook Ads consultant, I get to work with a lot of different businesses. However, one market that I see struggle the most with paid advertising are course creators.
I recently worked on a campaign with a woman who sells on an online course on personal development – how to do more with less. While we got off to a slow start with her campaign, in January of this year she sold $21,460.81 of her products with just $1,701.97 in ad spend, or a 1,261% ROI!
Today, I’ll be giving you a behind-the-scenes look of this exact campaign and showing you step-by-step on how you can create similar campaigns for your online course.
Why Facebook Ads?
You might think, Why should I spend money on Facebook ads? Can’t I just post on different social media platforms and get the same results?
Here’s what you need to know about Facebook.
They make money by keeping people on their site for as long as possible. When you post a link to your course, you are sending people off Facebook, and Facebook doesn’t like that.
Truth be told, they don’t really want people checking out your course. They want people watching videos and hitting the “Like” button as much as possible. They want to maximize the time people spend on Facebook.
In light of this, Facebook’s algorithm won’t show your post to many people. Honestly, no matter how many times you post about your course, you won’t be able to reach that many people. It’s just the way it is.
And let’s be honest. How many of your Facebook friends will be interested in taking your course? It’s probably not a huge percentage., your friends list is pretty diverse, including people from high school, your college roommates, etc.
However, by running Facebook ads, you can get your course in front of a massive audience of people who will be genuinely, passionately interested in the course you’re selling.
The simple truth is that Facebook ads allow you to reach an audience you couldn’t reach otherwise. This audience is made up of the people most likely to buy your course. That, in a nutshell, is why you should run Facebook ads for your course.
Getting Started With Facebook Ads
Now that you know just how powerful Facebook ads are, let’s talk about how to get started creating them.
First, you need to have a page, not just a standard profile to run Facebook ads. You can’t use your normal Facebook profile to run ads.
To create a page, follow this simple tutorial put together by Facebook.
Once you’ve created a page, you will head to the Ads Manager to get started. Facebook Pages provide an option to create ads from within Facebook’s normal user interface, but it is not nearly as powerful or robust as the entire Ads Manager.
You may have heard about ‘boosting’ your posts to get them more exposure. This isn’t what Facebook Ads really is. In some ways, this is simpler than using the Ads Manager but using the ‘Boost’ tool is not nearly as powerful as the Ads Manager.
Creating Your First Facebook Ad
Once you’re in the Ads Manager, it’s time to create your first Facebook ad. Thankfully, Facebook makes it really easy. Click the “Create” button to get started creating your ad.
Select Your Objective
When creating ads, Facebook gives you many “objective” options. Facebook wants to know what you’re trying to accomplish with your ad. It’s important to choose your objective carefully.
Why? Because the objective you choose is what Facebook will optimize your campaign around. For example, if you select the ‘Engagement’ objective, Facebook will show your ad to people most likely to engage (like, comment, and share) with your post.
Although there are several ways you can promote a course, for the sake of this post we’re going to use “Traffic” as our objective. We want to get as many eyeballs on your course as possible. By selecting traffic, Facebook will show the ad to people who are likely to click on your ad and go to your course landing/sales page.
Once you select your objective, it’s time to name your ad campaign. For the tutorial, we’re simply going to call the ad “Course Advertisement #1”
Create Your Audience
Now it’s time to create your audience. This is where you get to determine exactly who sees your advertisement. It’s also where you really get to unleash the power of Facebook’s advertising platform.
Facebook has over 2 billion daily users, and they have thousands of data points on each of their users (yeah, it’s a little freaky).
The good news is that you get to use that data to help you sell your course.
Scroll down to the “Audience” section of the page and select the key demographics of your audience. Be as specific as possible. The more specific you can be with your audience, the greater the chances of someone clicking on your ad.
If your book is intended more for men in the United States ages 25-40, you can narrow your audience to only include them.
I would recommend setting up what’s called a split test. A split test is when you create multiple ads that are geared toward different audiences. You then run those ads and see which ones get the best results.
Create multiple campaigns targeting different age ranges and genders and see who responds best to your ads.
Facebook also provides an option called Detailed Targeting, where you can input Interests that Facebook provides.
You can create an audience that shares specific interests related to your course. For example, if your course is about being an entrepreneur, you can specify that in your audience selection.
You don’t want your audience to be too broad. The more characteristics you can give Facebook, the more granular and specific you can get with your audience.
For example, if your audience is also fans of Tim Ferriss, then include that as well.
Just like you can create split tests around different demographics, you can also create a split test testing different Interests. For example, instead of having both “Entrepreneur” and “Tim Ferriss” in the same ad set, you could split them up into their own, individual ad set.
Then you see how each performs individually and adjust your results based on that.
As you choose your audience, Facebook will show you how many people you can potentially reach with your ad. Ideally, you want the arrow to be in the green, which means your audience is big enough without being too big.
Next, you will set the budget for your ad. This can either be a daily budget or a lifetime budget.
An ad with a daily budget will run indefinitely and spend the amount you’ve specified each day. An ad with a lifetime budget will run for a set period and will use up all the budget over that time.
Almost all campaigns I set up using a daily budget of around $10-$20 per day. Why? Because if the ad isn’t performing well on a small budget, it makes little sense to throw more money at it. That won’t make it perform any better.
It’s far better to start small and work your way up if the ad is performing well.
Create A Compelling Ad
Now it’s time to actually create your ad. This is where you get to flex your creative muscle. First, you need to select an image for your advertisement. Choose an image that applies to your course. If your course is about fitness, choose a fitness-related image. Facebook has a library of images you can use if you don’t have a royalty-free one available to use.
You could use a video if you wanted, but for the sake of this tutorial, let’s stick with images.
If you plan on adding a text overlay to your picture, there’s one important thing to note. Facebook doesn’t like images that are over 20% text. Just make sure that the text you add doesn’t cover more than 20% of the image.
Once you’ve selected your image, it’s time to create some compelling text to go along with it.
This is where you need to get creative. You want to create a compelling, clickable headline that really grabs people’s attention. Then underneath, use your skill with words to draw people into your ad.
Do whatever you can to make your ad as eye-catching and clickable as possible.
Next, put in the link that you’re sending all the traffic to. This will be the page where you’re selling your course.
Finally, put in a headline and newsfeed description. It’s important to note that this is what is displayed under the image, not above it. Really, your text above the ad is your headline. This headline should simply reinforce what you’ve already said in the text.
Once you’ve filled out the Headline and Newsfeed description, it’s time to publish your ad! That wasn’t so bad, right?
Testing The Results
After your ad has finished running, let it finish its course and then analyze the results. The simplest way to determine whether it was effective is to look at the number of sales you had while your ad was running. Did your ad generate clicks and did those clicks lead to sales?
If the ad didn’t garner many clicks, it’s a sign you need to get more creative with your ad and change things up. Try experimenting with multiples images or even video.
If your ad generated a lot of clicks but few sales, it probably means that the landing/sales page for your course isn’t particularly compelling and probably needs to be altered.
In either case, don’t be afraid to experiment. Your first ad probably won’t be a home run. You’ll need to test different versions of your ad and sales page until you find the right combination.
But one thing you can be sure of is that the more ads you run, the more exposure your book will get. The more exposure it gets, the more sales it’s bound to generate.
Creating a course involves so much work that you would be crazy to not want to get it in front of as many people as possible. That’s where the power of Facebook ads comes into play.
Facebook lets you use their incredibly powerful advertising platform so that your course can get the exposure that it truly deserves.
So what are you waiting for? Create those ads!
Lucas Lee-Tyson is a Facebook Ads consultant and serial entrepreneur. He is also the owner of Growth Cave, a place where marketers and entrepreneurs alike can learn how to create and manage their own profitable Facebook Ad campaigns. You can also find him on Twitter.