We’ve all been there. Advertisements are performing well… you’re products are selling… but then all of a sudden things start to fall of the cliff and your numbers begin to crash. There is a shelf life for all advertisements and products out there. You don’t want to lose all that hard earned profit by holding onto your baby too long.
In today’s post, I thought I’d share with you some things you want to do when you start to see the decline happen. Hopefully, I can help you save some of those losses or even better, turn it around and get back to those power house days.
As you can see in the image posted above, we are seeing this very thing happen on one of our stores. Now, I do admit… I haven’t touched this store or the ads running with it in probably 6 weeks. The money being generated is coming from 2 products that have pulled the way the entire run the past month and a half. I’ve been a bit busy on some new stores to stray off and do too much testing with this store. Plus, it’s not pulling in giant numbers for us, so it wasn’t a priority.
It was running pretty smoothly for the 6 weeks though with small ups and downs as you can see in the graphic right above, but it always bounced back when I looked at the numbers over a longer period than just 1-2 days. It wasn’t until this past week that I started to really feel the decline hitting us though.
This brings me to my first point I want to discuss when you start to see the decline in your advertising…
Sales can be a fickle beast… especially when it comes to Facebook advertising.
I hear a lot of people talk about a product is dying off for them but when I get into the details with them, they’ve maybe had 1 bad day… or perhaps the weekend was a bust. So they go off, make drastic changes and only make things worse.
You have to keep in mind that you’re not going to have good days every day. For a long standing product, you will have days that are really good and you’ll have days that are really bad. I try not to get too worried when I see a few days fall off on the numbers.
This could happen from a number of things. Your advertising platform might be doing some updates and causing your ads to be shown all over the place… maybe the weekend was a special holiday for your niche and they don’t want to buy… maybe you just had a statistically bad stretch which will be followed by a statistically good one. Freaking out from a small amount of data is always a no no.
By all means, pay attention to your day to day numbers and adjust as you need to… but don’t let 1-2 days determine that you have a loser on your hands or your product has died. Just looking at the graphic above, you can see we are in a range of $350 revenue in a day up to $1600 revenue in a day… all of this coming from the exact same ads and ad spend of about $200 per day.
If I shut off my ads after the first $350 revenue day, I would of missed out on a bunch of $1600 revenue days right after.
Now after a week of decline though, I felt it’s time to step back in and take a look at what’s going wrong and how we can fix it. So my first step is…
1 – Shut off your current running ads that are losing money and examine. Anything that isn’t producing profit, I have shut off. In this scenario, I just went ahead and shut off all the ads I currently have running. Since they’ve been sitting for 6 weeks without being touched, I’m just going to start fresh and get some new angles rocking.
So with the new ads I’m going to create, the question is… Do I need a new target audience or do I need a new ad creative?
Take a close look at your current reach and the potential reach of your audience for the ads that were producing. Typically, you’re only going to realistically be able to reach about 2/3 of a total reach of an audience considering a few factors when it comes to a total reach of an audience. Some people aren’t on FB often for example.
If you’re at the higher end of that 2/3 reach, then that initial targeting group that was working may be on its last leg. Here’s one of the ads I had running for this store…
As you can see, we are getting right at the 50% mark of potential reach… so theoretically, we probably have a bit more sales room in there. This particular ad set has started to really decline this past week though. So, it may be time to change up the creative to be able to convert that last group of people in this targeting group.
This also will depend on what type of niche you’re targeting… if it’s an ever green niche that continues to add new people each day… like newly engaged or newborn babies… then, these numbers won’t be such a direct response. You could probably shut off ads for niches like that for a few weeks, then come back and turn them back on a month later now having a completely new set of newly engaged folks to target for example.
I like to take a close look at the Frequency of the ad as well at this stage. We are at 1.89 frequency which is very low. If we were seeing a Frequency around 5-10, then I’d know that the rest of this potential audience really isn’t on FB that often and the 160k people we’ve already reached is the actual reach I’m working with here.
You also want to check out Relevancy of the ad itself since this plays a large part in your overall costs on an ad. I don’t pay much attention to CPC or CPMs since ROI is my overall statistic I look at. Sometimes high CPMs result in better ROI than low CPMs. One thing I learned a while back was that you need to stop advertising for clicks and start advertising for sales. CPM, CPC, etc are all stats that just get you closer to cheaper clicks and this doesn’t directly correlate with high sales all the time.
I look at Relevancy score to make sure we are showing the right type of product to the right group of people. This score alone will help keep my CPMs, CPCs, and stats like that in the right range… but again, I don’t pay much attention to those.
It’s always a good idea to look further into the demographics that are reacting well to the product too. In the pic above, you see we are targeting 25-54 year olds. When I look at the breakdown of that actual ad, you see some of these age groups are doing better than others…
In this case, they are all producing roughly the same amount of ROI, so my future ads will go along the same age range, but if you saw something that really stood out… for example, if 25-34 year olds were converting twice as well as the other age groups, you’d want to consider that in future ad sets.
So now that we have taken a closer look at what might be happening with our declining ad, it’s time to decide what to do next.
2 – Create new ad sets/ad creatives that fit what you’re missing. So in the above example, we see that we probably have another 50-100k people that we could reach with this targeting. This ad set has produced around 175 sales thus far, so that’s another 75-125 sales sitting on the table.
This ad set has started to decline itself, so there are a few options we can take… first off, we could go ahead and start up a new ad set that is very similar to this one and let FB re-optimize from the beginning. We know it’s a product that sells… we know there’s a group of people that haven’t seen it yet who would more than likely buy… the ad set itself may have just hit the cliff and it’s life is on the decline in the algorithm.
Starting up a new duplicate to this ad with a new post itself could give it the engagement it needs. When I say duplicate, I don’t mean you’ll have both of them running along side each other either… I mean you start something fresh from the start that is the same as this one.
This actually is probably the last thing I’d do with it but it’s an option that has worked for me in the past. In all likeliness, if I were to start up a new ad that targeted the same group of people, then I’d at very least change up the ad creative showing…
Perhaps, go with a video ad that displays the product better… maybe use a fan photo of them wearing the shirt to build that trust needed… I might change up the sales copy completely to be more of a story line to get them in… maybe add a discount offer or free shipping to entice them in… something different in the ad creative side of it would could be the change it needs to take back off.
If you have a product that has sold well over a period of time, then you should also start to consider testing different angles to the targeting. Don’t get stuck on just the initial interest group that worked in the beginning. You can begin trying different interests or if you’re lucky, broader interests.
For example, I like to start my product tests out by targeting the most likely buyers in the market by my best estimate. This includes interests that fall in line with other brands and products in the niche, magazines and publications, specific groups, etc… anything where people who already spend money in the niche are associated.
So for a cow shirt example, we’d target things like Dairy Farming magazines or Angus Beef Associations. We wouldn’t start out by targeting the interest “Cattle”. Anyone could like cows, but not everyone is buying cow related goods. The Dairy Farmers are a better estimate of people who would buy cow related goods considering they already spend money on cows daily.
Now that we know this product is a seller though, we can begin to broaden our targeting in a new ad set. Or perhaps instead of only targeting cattle related niches, we can start to branch out into Farmer related interests… or perhaps, start targeting Rodeo related interests… or perhaps start targeting Southern Girl related interests. You see where I’m going here.
Try to branch out and expand your initial reach of that 1 measly ad set into millions and millions of more people. If you’ve been making sales, then you have a post from the initial ad which has a bunch of engagement proof already on it. You probably also have some of the product sent out to the point where you can get reviews from actual buyers to help push new viewers over the top.
On top of this, you can begin advertising to Lookalike audiences. Create some lookalike audiences from the custom audience of folks who have purchased your product and now you have a few million new folks that you can show this winning product to. This is a great way to continue selling something that might of died off in your initial ads.
3 – Launch new products. As stated, I’ve only been running the same 2 products with these exact same ad sets for the past 6 weeks to this store. We’ve had some success with these two products, so we have some assets that have grown as well as a little bit of a fan base who enjoys those niches.
It’s time to start launching new products to these same folks. I’m usually pretty good about consistently launching new products on my stores, but like mentioned, this store hasn’t been my focus the past few months and I’ve let it just sit.
As I start to expand reach on these past winning products and launch ads to the more broad angles of the niche, I can take that initial “best estimate” group of targeting and launch a new product to them. This way, we aren’t overlapping who we are targeting with each product, but we give some diversity to what’s being offered to the market.
These both are simply t-shirts, so that offers us a large range of other products to try out. Custom merchandising buyers typically will buy a range of products that fit that passion the t-shirt did. So a new design on a coffee mug, a necklace, pillow case, cell phone case, etc could take off nicely… or even just a new t-shirt design might be something more they’d want.
You have a few assets that will make the next launches go better for you. First off, you know that you have a market that buys products. The initial targeting used in your first ads is a good place to start with your next product launch as I said. But also, you have a custom audience of people who have interacted with your initial product as well which are likely individuals to purchase or take another action.
Launching the new product to a custom audience of people who have already visited the initial product, added it to the cart or even purchased it is a great place to start to see if your new product is solid or a loser.
If you’re doing it right and following my LIKE A Boss Facebook training, then you don’t just have ads to help sell these new products either. You’ll have a solid fan page to begin testing your products with as well as email lists from those who already purchased. These two assets are some of the best to generate revenue without spending more money. That’s why they are so important to maintain!
So there ya go… that’s just a few things you can do to bounce back from a sour patch on your stores and with your advertising. These steps are exactly what I’ll be taking today on this store talked about to get it back on the strong side… and I’d bet it bounces back even stronger than before. Don’t do like me and not touch your store for weeks at a time lol.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post below in the comments… and if you want to check out a full walk through of creating a power house e-commerce store, then you should go join my E-Com Start To Finish Project. You’ll see every step I take to growing a lucrative Shopify store plus some.