Welcome to the first part of our 2-part series on answering the question “how long should it take before I see results on my ad spend?” Most companies come to us with this question because they are usually struggling to kick-start some growth through their paid ads, tired of spending too much just to not get a return on the investment, or just lost on what adjustments to make on their ads, when, and why.
Now, you may have just decided to offload this “guessing” and hire an agency or media buyer to help you scale your ads, but still wonder how to know for yourself. For whatever ad “situationship” you might be in, we want to help you understand what the heck is going on with your data and how long it should take for you to see results.
Some Background to Understand
Before we dive deep into the golden question, it is important to understand paid ads in terms of all the different account types and structures out there. For both Google and Facebook, or any other media platform, with a good flow, high Conversion Rate, high Repurchase Rate, high Average Order Value, perfect shipping time, and wonderful reviews, scaling paid campaigns are EASY and super fast. It should take around 60 days max to see results.
Now, remember, 99% of most businesses are not ready for scale, and the things we learn along the way that are broken and off, usually help to increase those metrics. Media Buyers, like Rubato, tie in what is on the paid media side into the business side to get more revenue for clients.
Every account on Facebook is different and we see this as an agency. This is why most experts in the industry will tell you “it depends” because sometimes, it really does! The algorithm handles each account differently. We have seen this through CPM (Cost Per Thousand). Facebook will sometimes give an account as low as $6 and another as high as $20, even if they are in the same vertical. However, there are still ways to adjust your account for success.
Which Account Type are You?
To answer this question in a way that suits your account, you’ll need to start off by asking yourself a few questions.
Note: This segment is mainly for eCommerce-like products and courses rather than lead generations (i.e. people come to a page and choose to fill out information or not).
- Is Your Account Brand New?
If it is, it typically takes 6-12 months to really ramp things up to full maturity and performance. However, you don’t have to wait for the entire time frame to actually see some results. Many clients come to us with horror stories of waiting for more than 6 months and still not seeing any scale. This is definitely a red flag!
You can, and should, start seeing results as fast as Day 1 if your account is truly optimized.
The speed at which you see your results may play into your sales cycle. If you are in the CPG food business or have a food brand, typically your customer isn’t thinking about food that long. They will either buy it or not. If your product is more expensive or requires lots of decision-making, you can expect a longer cycle.
These cycles should give you a benchmark for how people are getting through your flow or sales funnel. You’ll want to keep this in mind when seeing if your scaling is taking “a long time”.
- Do you have a Low to Medium Size Order Value, then What Is Your Cost Per Add to Cart (ATC) Rate?
For Low ( as low as $10 Avg. Order Value) to Medium – (as high as $3,000 Avg Order Value), a Cost per Add To Cart is a great metric to look at. For Average Order Values that are on the higher side, let’s say $3,000, ideally, your Cost per Add To Cart is usually lower, like $200 or less.
- For high ticket items, anywhere from $500-$5,000, it is good to have previous benchmarks on these items even if it’s just Cost Per Product Page View. It is better to work with diluted data than none at all, which can come from waiting on that first set of sales data hundreds or thousands of dollars later.
- For low ticket items, the Cost per Add-to-Cart comes in smoothly and quickly. Cold audiences across most accounts typically have a similar Cost per Add-to-Cart rate. This metric combined with Conversion and purchases is about the same.
If you understand your Add-to-Cart to purchase percentage, then you can hone in on your ATC level and optimize your campaign. Then you don’t have to wait and see how this shows up on your ROAS. This is great for optimizing campaign spend on ads!
Ex: If your ATC rate is 20% (1 out of every 5 customers add to cart) and you have 10 Add to Carts, you know 1 will purchase. So if you have 2 Add-to-Carts, and they cost way more than usual (4-5x), drop them because they’re not in range. You won’t have to wait for 5 Add to Carts to see if it’s working or not.
This will help you, the advertiser, know if your outsourced agency is doing good work for you. These are early indications of success/or non-success. If it’s not working, or you are not getting any traffic for ATC, there is either (or both):
- Something wrong with your site or lack of clear value
- Lack of quality of traffic, Lookalike campaigns, or Targeted Interest campaigns
Don’t let your agency be too timid or too aggressive!
How long does it take to scale on new Facebook accounts?
Initial Results: Breakeven happens around the 60 or 90-day mark, and 90-days bring in a small profit margin
Good profit margin: This begins to happen at the 180-day mark
Scaling: To reach a strong performance with high Conversion Rates, Flow, and high Average Order Value, this comes in at 6-12 months. Here you are building for scale.
Some clients are on either side of this. We’ve never seen a client take more than 12 months or have reached the 12-month mark and not have a substantial paid program. Some clients even hit 5x-10x ROAS on the first day! Not most though.
For new accounts, if you do not see upward progress in the first 60 days, you’re off track.
How long does it take to scale on non-new/mature Facebook accounts?
With really nice structure and good creative messaging it typically takes 15 to 30 days for progress. If your account needs restructuring and has bad learning on the algorithm, in the first 15-30 days there should be some positive movement, but most see results in 90 days.
For matured accounts, if you do not see upward progress in the first 30 days, you’re off track.
Again, there is always something in the data that will let you know what is going on. It’s just a matter of reading. If you missed our last blog about diving into month-to-month periods, check it out here!
For Part 2, where we explore Google, check out this blog.