The majority of our sales so far have come through word of mouth and content marketing.
We gave paid digital advertising a go a few months back, without much success, the main reason being lack of experience + we thought the visuals we had at that point would not be enticing enough to potential customers.
Bootstrapping the whole thing, the budgets we had available were minuscule, but the idea was to test out a lot of ads and target groups and see if something indexes and creates a positive ROI (Return On Investment) enabling us to scale it. However, that didn't happen, so we stopped our paid advertising efforts and patiently waited until we have better visual assets to play with.
By organizing our latest product shoot, we were able to step up our visual game, both on the product images, as well as the website in general. So, having a better arsenal of images and some videos, we started experimenting again with paid advertising and here's what we've been doing so far, plus any lessons that might help anyone thinking about investing some $ in digital advertising, and by that I mean mainly Facebook (which included Instagram) and search engine marketing.
Now, data and history show that many companies built their whole business on Facebook ads, so in case you/we are not killing on it, the platform and the tool are not to blame, but the execution itself.
Since we don't have much experience with the Facebook advertising product, we wanted to start learning by using it and creating the ads ourselves with a minimum budget just to test out the waters and try out different combinations of ads.
We've been doing that for the past 10 days, measuring results at the end of each day and tinkering with the format of the ad, the copy, the targeting, as well as the visuals that we use.
We'll keep iterating and testing out many different options until we see that something starts indexing well and brings back a positive ROI, which would mean that for every €1 invested, we get more than that in revenue. In our case, an easy to measure metric would be for every €60-90 we should be getting at least one conversion (purchase), keeping in mind the profit margins, but also the cost of first customer acquisition.
Another interesting idea that we got from a guest on our podcast was to use Bing to learn and see how SEM (Search Engine Marketing) works, given that it's a lot less competitive than Google and you can start gathering some data points with just a few bucks per day, in our case €5.
When it comes to Bing, we are seeing that the search volume is not that high (not many people use it), but we do see the trends and phrases that people use to search for similar products as ours. Also, it's getting about 15-25 clicks per day to the website for about €2,50, so that's fair enough.
The prices for those keywords in Google would be a lot higher and with our budgets, the testing aspect of this process might not be as optimal. So basically what we are doing is learning the process on a cheaper platform and from there we can transfer the learnings and go to a more promising platform with bigger budgets.
Hopefully, in a future blog, I'll be able to share an ad formula (combination of the ad itself and the platform) that works well and has a great ROI, but in the meantime, we'll be looking for it ourselves ;)