One of the most significant challenges as a marketer or agency responsible for growing a business with paid advertising is answering:
“Where should I invest my time, energy, resources and cash to maximize the profitability of a campaign?”
Every business deals with the same challenge when bidding on online ads: limited resources, competition, and imperfect data.
You and every one of your competitors have limited resources.
From a growth standpoint, there are limits to time invested into a growth campaign, ad spend, cash on hand, team members, and attention to other functions of your business.
But what if you could have the ability to be laser-focused on the specific elements that drive growth for your ad campaigns?
And more importantly, what if you could identify what elements to ignore?
In this article, I’ll cover the 7-stage ad scorecard methodology and how to use it to optimize a Facebook funnel.
Introducing “The Ad Scorecard” Methodology
The purpose of the ad scorecard methodology is to define exactly what to focus on with your digital facebook ads, what to completely ignore, and how to best distribute your limited resources.
In short, the ad scorecard methodology includes 7 key steps and mastering these steps is imperative in designing a world-class advertising campaign
While most advertisers jump into the nuances of an ad platform, the ad scorecard methodology prescribes a holistic approach to growth and scale for an advertising campaign.
But only focusing on ad platform nuances is a HUGE trap. So what are you to do?
The 7 Steps of “The Ad Scorecard”
While this 7 stage framework can apply universally to all advertising, for the sake of simplicity, we are going to use a specific campaign type to explain the concept.
Imagine you’re creating an ad for a webinar campaign for a coaching business. Your goal is to attract leads through Facebook ads, drive them through the Facebook funnel to watch a webinar, and then convert them into paying clients.
Keep that scenario in mind as we get to work and breakdown each dimension of the Ad Scorecard!
1) Design a Killer Offer
Without a great offer, it’s going to be hard to sell anything. So the first step of the scorecard method for our scenario is to decide what you’re going to be offering in your webinar.
The offers in a webinar can be simplified into 3 categories:
– Ad level offer: At this stage, the webinar training is the offer. You’re offering your visitors a reason to watch — such as ad with the headline “5 Step Blueprint to Add $2k in MRR.”
– In-Webinar offer: Once a visitor has watched your webinar, your goal is to convert them into a paying customer. An offer for this part of the funnel for our example is an application for a program based on the concept you introduced in the webinar.
– Over the Phone offer: Don’t undervalue the power of a phone call. As a final step, you’ll want to call your leads to close the deal. You’ll already have an audience that has clicked your ad, watched your webinar, and signed up for your list. Now you’re trying to close a sale and convert the person into a client.
Notice the massive difference in the nature of the offer made on the ad vs. on the webinar vs. over the phone. The level of awareness, the detail provided of the offer, and the sophistication of the offer vary at each stage.
2) Create an Avatar
Most businesses have one core, dream avatar that is the most profitable for the organization. The challenge is usually that dream avatar is hard to target, or that they are not the majority of the market.
For most businesses, there are 3 distinct types of avatars:
- Dream avatar: in most cases, this will be the most profitable client.
- Ideal avatars: the various mass market avatars that exist in the marketplace.
- Unqualified avatar: the person you do not want to attract with your marketing dollars.
3) Master the Facebook Funnel
Understanding the funnel and the expected benchmarks for each friction point is critical to optimization using the ad scorecard method.
Defining the friction points and deciding on the largest gaps allows your team to focus your attention on the stage of the funnel that has the highest leverage.
The funnel stages (aka friction points) in a Facebook webinar application funnel are:
- Ad click ➡ Landing page
- Landing page ➡ Opt-in
- Opt-in ➡ Webinar show-up
- Webinar show-up ➡ Staying until the offer
- Staying until the offer ➡ Visit the application page
- Visit the application page ➡ Completed application
- Completed application ➡ Sales call
- Sales call ➡ Verbal yes
- Verbal yes ➡ Completed purchase (you get paid)
If you have never tracked any of these metrics before, this may feel like a lot of touchpoints. When our media buying team does daily tracking, these numbers are critical data points and help define where resources should be invested.
4) Nurture Your Leads
While most organizations market to their leads, there are levels of nurturing. Here are the stages of an advertising campaign that can be nurtured with additional advertising:
- Nurturing customers to buy upsells, down-sells, or cross-sells from launches
- Nurturing applications ➡ purchases
- Nurturing leads ➡ applications
- Nurturing visitors ➡ leads
- Nurturing video views ➡ ad clicks
The great majority of companies focus on only one of these methods above. By broadening your toolbox of methods, you’ll be light years ahead of your competition.
5) Build an Ad
The elements to creating and optimizing ads include deciding on:
- Facebook ad type (ex: video ad, carousel ad, link ad)
- Media type (image or video)
- Copy & headline
- Call to action
Keep the 4 elements above in mind as you decide on the copy & headline for your ad. While it’s easy to choose an image and write some text randomly, great marketers understanding the 4 dimensions above and use them to transform their approach to paid advertising.
6) Optimize an Ad
This is the core of platform-specific advertising. In the case of Facebook funnel advertising, there are a variety of elements to test with their robust targeting methods. You should try adjusting these elements on Facebook ads to best target your audience:
- Ad objective
- Custom Audiences
The critical factor for digital marketers to improve Facebook conversion is to isolate variables and performing ongoing (and persistent) testing.
7) Report on Your Results
For organizations already spending money, this is where to start when auditing an account with the Ad Scorecard.
Most marketers don’t know the metrics in their advertising campaigns.
There are three types of metrics we collect:
- Total metrics (ex: total clicks, total leads)
- Cost per metrics (ex: cost per acquisition, cost per lead)
- Ratios (ex: click to lead ratio, lead to application ratio)
Now that you’ve got an understanding of what to track, what are you to do? Keep reading to find out.
How to Implement The Ad Scorecard
If you are spending money on advertising, I recommend that you keep the following things in mind as takeaways:
- Focus on Reporting: You’ll want to aim to answer these three questions:
- Isolate Metrics: Once you’ve answered the 3 questions, isolate the metrics in your business that you may be struggling to answer.
- Troubleshoot: Look to see if there is an issue with the offer, avatar, funnel, nurturing, the ad or the optimization. You should have clarity on whether or not there is after the first part of this project.
- Look for Hidden Data: Prioritize the dimensions of the scorecard that need the attention based on the highest leverage activities that have the greatest impact on your scale or profitability.
- Plan Ahead: Create an action plan to optimize the first dimension of your plan with clear next steps.
- Choose 1 Metric: Find the metric or metrics that show if the implementation made a difference.
- Rinse and repeat: Revisit steps 5-6 for every dimension of your strategy.
That’s it! Now get to work on implementing this method into your own campaigns.