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Popular Mistakes Your Startup Will Make With Ads

Matt Mroczek
written by
Matt Mroczek
last updated
July 15, 2020

Finding your first 20 customers is not easy and companies often turn to Facebook or Google Ads to solve this problem. Over 60% of small business owners believe their ads aren’t working and it’s common for them to blow through their entire budget without seeing a single sale.

This week we discuss what to look out for when running paid ads and how to know when is the right time for your business to turn them on.

Transcript Below:

Matt Mroczek: OK. Rapid Fire. I’m going to give you a scenario and you tell me what the problem is or where people can improve.

You send out your ads, you get a lot of views, but no clicks. What’s wrong?

Matt Lo: The ad content. You’re not being concise and persuading the user to click it.

Matt Mroczek: You’ve got a lot of views. Now you’re getting a few clicks, but no revenue. What’s wrong?

Matt Lo: You most likely need more data.

So you might need to increase your CTR rate to at least like 3 to 4 percent and then you can start looking at the landing page to see what could be improved there.

Or looking back at your audience segment to see is the right people going to the right place at the right content

Matt Mroczek: You’re seeing sales now but a lot of refunds, returns, charge-backs, and things like that?

Matt Lo: False advertising.

1871 is pretty close by to us. Tons of new startups are starting out of there.

Plus you have incubators like mHUB and Tech Nexus. All of them are starting a company, they build the product. They create their landing page on Webflow or Squarespace and then they are waiting for traffic…and then they say, ‘hey we’re not getting enough traffic.’

So they start out with a marketing campaign.

Alright, PPC is one channel and SEO would be the other…so they’ll blog and create ads.

When they start creating ads, they run into this problem of the traffic is bouncing.

What would you advise them to fix immediately or what would you ask them to do to see how they can improve those landing pages?

Matt Mroczek: Well especially in the startup world, you need to think about…what are you sending them to and what are you hoping to accomplish from there.

And maybe your expectations are what need to be fixed first. A lot of the times in the early startup…in the early startup world people are trying to build an email list and they’re trying to build beta users and so forth.

So when they send them to the web site and nothing happens…well that’s because you didn’t really give them anything to do.

Maybe the simple win is just to get an email subscribe, but then what’s going to convince somebody to subscribe?

Do you have supporting content that they find interesting, that they find value in. Because if not, if they can’t already see it there, they’re not just going to expect that you’re going to somehow start doing it.

You have to give people a captivating reason whether that sign up now because we’re solving this intense problem or we produce amazing content don’t miss out.

Matt Lo: So say you’re a startup and you have great content. Your ad is matching exactly what’s on the landing page and you’re still not getting sign ups or conversions. What do you do?

Matt Mroczek: I think then at that point I would switch it and instead of trying to send ads there; I would be jumping into communities and then start promoting my content there.

Just trying to start identifying who the audience is because maybe if you do want to try paid or not. It’s about trying to understand your targeting.

Are you sending the right message to the right people…and that’s probably a big reason why you’re spending a lot of money and seeing no results is because you’re not talking to the right person.

Knowing that people see Facebook ads and if it’s a video they watch for less than six seconds with no volume. If it’s an image, it’s a chance for a quick scroll past.

Matt Lo: Absolutely.

For example, you might pose a question to a relatable problem in the ad. So you can form a story right round around where they clicked that headline one…headline two. Right around where they read it…and they click it.

Well then the landing page starts talking about that problem. Then it starts talking about who’s trying to solve it, but are failing to solve it.

Then you talk about your product. So you can have sort of a concise story around this sort of common problem that we all have.

Matt Mroczek: One thing that I know I’m guilty of or it’s happened to me and I know a lot of people it’s happened to.

You drop a ton of money into Facebook ads, you see the next morning that you got a hundred…five hundred views and no sales. Your immediate reaction is like I must be doing something wrong, I should turn these off right away. Is that what you’re supposed to do or what should you do?

Matt Lo: Well first before you get pages views, you see like 10,000 impressions. So you know once you get a comma in there…with another or anything over five figures like you’re impressed already that you got a lot of impressions.

So you think something’s working and then you get a lot of clicks. So you think that’s working too…and then you think huh…and then I’ll get a lot of sales. So it must be something wrong with the page, right?

Because these things are working. People were impressed, they clicked it, and now they bounce from the page. So the immediate reaction that comes into mind for me when I was first doing this…is fix the page…maybe it’s landing page optimization.

No one ever thinks that maybe what you’re advertising is a mismatch of the page or maybe the price is too high or maybe the assumption of what people were coming in was not correct.

So those are usually the true problems. But yeah, first thing that comes to mind is like oh everything must be working but this should be an easy fix! I’m almost there!

Matt Mroczek: You run ads to make money and make money right away.

Whether it’s SaaS or E-Commerce, why would either of those companies or those types of companies want ChipBot on their site when they’re running paid ads to the landing page?

Matt Lo: Mainly to figure out if the landing page is working or not.

We mentioned a few indicators such as interactive widgets or you know they actually went up…or a failed onboard or an abandoned onboard. Those indicators are a little bit late.

Maybe a widget…It’s pretty early…like if you have a widget that you know for example like a mortgage calculator…if you get people entering that in…you might have some indication like hey this landing page is working.

ChipBot allows any website to measure the success of any landing page just based on the interaction. Oftentimes you go to any landing page you’re not going to address every customer’s question.

So the first thing I want to do is like…ask for help.

So ChipBot allows you to see…like huh…it opens up… people ask their question and you can capture that question. You can see what they’re specifically asking and unlike live chat…it’s structured around purely off questions.

No conversation, no lead…no potential for lead generation, you’re landing page is what’s supposed to do the lead generation, not the bot.

And it allows you to really get an insight what the users or the customer…potential customers are asking this question maybe we need a structure a landing page to be around this problem instead of what we assumed what the problem was.

How much money should a startup spend on ads?

Matt Mroczek: It depends.

Matt Lo : All right. So we’ll say it’s a B2C startup, they have zero customers right now. So it’s at the very early stages…

Matt Mroczek: and product is ready to sell…on the way?

Matt Lo: MVP…MVP is released.

Matt Mroczek: Okay…funded or not?

Matt Lo: No funds, total bootstrap.

Matt Mroczek: I would say hold off on ads until you find your first 10 to 20 customers and sell that in person.

Because you’re going to get a lot of feedback right away that you’re going to be able to understand who that is and what they care about.

Where with an ad the only data you’re going to get is if they viewed it or not if they clicked it or not. And that’s going to tell you what’s going wrong, but it’s gonna be harder to pinpoint and get feedback on what you need to change.

Matt Lo: So is it safe to say the secret for ads for startups is don’t use ads in the beginning?

Matt Mroczek: Very much so!

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Matt Mroczek
Matt Mroczek

Matt Mroczek recently left the marketing agency world where he was overseeing national campaigns for some of your favorite household brands. His scrappy, can-do attitude is what drives and pushes him to successfully growth hack any situation.



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