In this edition of the Affiliate Buzz, host and Instructor of the Affiliate Marketers BootCamp, James Martell, is joined by Ashley Coombe, the Marketing Director of Prosperent and Content Marketing Evangelist at Shareist. During the episode they talk about how you can grow your affiliate marketing business with Facebook adverts.
Ashley Coombe is a social media expert who frequently provides her advice and knowledge during talks at Affiliate Summit and through contributions at Forbes and the Shark Tank Blog.
She never intended to have a marketing career. She started in the education sector, teaching English abroad before returning to teach at elementary schools.
The Move to Ecommerce
When she was 16 weeks pregnant with her eldest daughter, she was put on bed rest. This meant she was lying on the sofa for most of the time, but fortunately had a laptop with her. She found a damper bag website business for sale and decided to buy it with her mum as a fun project.
Ashley explains some of the challenges she had when she first started. In one instance, she wanted to know how to connect her website’s design to her domain name but didn’t know about hosting. It was a friend who had to explain this to her.
During these early months Ashley spent a lot of time reading how she could make her website rank highly on the search engines. She also went to conferences and learnt about blog comments, forum linking as methods to increase her Page Rank.
Ashley considers her first success was when her site out-ranked competitors on Google. Getting there took three to six months and gave her confidence in her SEO abilities. It wasn’t too long before she started her SEO consulting business to help small businesses rank highly for their key terms.
When asked about her biggest failures, Ashley talks about some of the shortcuts she had taken and how she wishes she never had taken them. This taught her a lot and she explains how others are making the same mistakes now. For instance, during the podcast she answers:
- What shortcuts had she taken during her early days?
- What are the equivalent shortcuts in today’s market?
- Are fake Facebook accounts worth the effort?
- What lessons can be learned from an online entrepreneur who builds 20-60 sites per month to gain a little money each time only for his sites to be blocked.
James has spoken in a previous podcast about how one of his students had overcome a Google penalty that resulted from similar tactics.
Best Practices using Facebook Ads
James has limited experience using Facebook ads, but has had some good responses with local clients while working on a project promoting digital products. He also states that he wants to use Facebook for building an audience but at the same time doesn’t want to find himself in trouble with the social network.
Ashley loves using Facebook ads. They are great for those who have small budgets for building audiences.
Ashley always uses her personal account but there are risks. For instance, one of her good friends, known as Coffee Nate (Nathan Smith) was banned from using his Facebook advertiser account when he created some work for a site that contained some gambling content.
Despite spending $20,000 a month through their advertising platform, he was considered to unimportant to grab their attention when he tried to contact Facebook.
After this, Ashley talks about how you can create a good Facebook advert. Part of the optimization tips she includes are:
- Don’t use the default text Facebook provides but create something that will be personal to the reader.
- Use the maximum number of ShutterStock images you are allowed to.
- Do video adverts if you have one to promote.
- Consider listening to Jeremy Schoemaker’s podcast on what images attract the most attention. Ashley has often found animals and babies work well.
- Always test your adverts to ensure you are only using the best copy and images.
- Build a custom or lookalike audience using email lists stored on MailChimp, Aweber or Constant Contact.
Ashley adds that she rarely uses the adverts on the right-hand side of the Facebook screen, but recently the social network has made changes and she may test them out again. James and Ashley also stress the importance of tracking and how that can be done for your Facebook campaign.
Then Ashley and James talk about budgets. Ashley states you don’t need much, even if you are spending just $1 a day. She has achieved page likes for less than a cent each.
Typically, Ashley has newcomers to Facebook marketing spend about $300 to $400 a month. Facebook does limit your initial budget to just $500; but once you start using their service they do raise that limit quickly.
Finally Ashley talks about Shareist, a tool she absolutely loves. She believes that it makes it easier to manage your social media and blogging output. It allows you to curate all your content for current and future use. You can drop content you are reading into an idea bucket that allows you to go back later to create new content or share content you’ve saved.
The tool also looks throughout the internet to discover what is currently trending.
The tool works very similar to programs like HootSuite and can connect to monitoring tools like Google Analytics, blog management programs like WordPress and newsletter systems like AWeber, MailChimp and Constant Contact.
Ashley fully recommends that listeners sign up for a Shareist free account.