Dahna Borg is our go-to genius for anything and everything Facebook and Instagram ads. A long-term business bestie of mine, I’ve been trying to get her on the OrigamiGlobe blog for years… I finally pinned her down for an interview to extract as much of her amazing ads knowledge as was humanly possible in an hour-long Zoom session.
You’re definitely going to want to make notes.
First up, who are you and what do you do?
I am Dahna Borg from Bright Red Marketing.
Bright Red Marketing specialises in Facebook Ads for eCommerce businesses and we like to focus on fashion and beauty clients with the occasional pet product, because who doesn’t like looking at cute puppies and horses?!
For those who don’t know you as well as I do, what does that actually mean?
Put simply, we take care of all of your Facebook Ads so you don’t have to.
That means you no longer have to worry about what Facebook is up to this week, how the algorithm is changing, creating your ads, testing your copy and creative etc. We do all of the nitty gritty stuff so that you can focus on running your business, while we send you more customers!
How did you get into Facebook Ads in the first place?
My interest in marketing started when I was still in high school, helping out with my family’s business. I started a Bachelor’s degree in Business at university early because I was just obsessed. After I finished uni, someone asked if I would like to take over their marketing clients because they were heading overseas and I said “Sure! Let’s do this!”.
I got into Facebook Ads when I was still doing general marketing. After experimenting with and learning the ins and outs of Facebook Ads, I saw it was a marketing activity I could do for my customers that would drive direct results and return on investment.
Ten years and hundreds of clients later, we now specialise in Facebook and Instagram ads only and get spectacular results for our clients! I love being able to tell my clients that they spent $10 on ads and made $100 in sales. Most of our clients’ ads run at between 8-15 times return on their ad spend (or ROAS).
Dahna’s favourite part of her job is making her clients money…
How important is it to know what you’re doing with Facebook and Instagram ads?
To get great results, you have to be in your Facebook ads everyday – updating, testing, uploading new creatives, researching new strategies – and most business owners get caught up in the day to day of running their business, which is totally understandable.
The problem is, it often means they go a week or two without checking their Facebook or Instagram ads and all hell has broken loose – which is when you can lose a lot of money, very quickly.
So with that in mind, can you share your biggest tips for running Facebook and Instagram ads?
- When you’re just starting out with Facebook and Instagram ads – invest the time in learning how the platform works, how to set your ads up properly and look after your ads initially to understand the process. Facebook ads are not set and forget.
- Next, you want to use those learnings to move to a testing phase – even with a small budget, you’ll want to test your images, your copy, your audiences, your formats (for example video versus photo) to work out what works best for your business. When you find an image, for example that works, make an assumption as to why it worked so well – was it because the image is bright and colourful or dark and moody or because it had a splash of text on it? Then for your next round of testing, use three or four variations of that image around those theories to confirm your assumption. That will really improve your education process as to what’s working and what’s resonating with your customers.
- You’ll also need to understand specifically what makes your customer buy your product. Facebook is such a crowded market place that you can’t just post a picture of your product, explain the features and expect people to buy it. You really have to understand why someone wants to buy your product, what they like about it, tell your story and find what resonates with your customers. Again that comes back to testing and then making sure that messaging is consistent across all of your marketing, because if someone clicks on your Facebook or Instagram ad and goes to your website and the story doesn’t match, you’ve lost them as a customer.
- Another of my favourite tips is to keep a ‘swipe file’ of ideas, so anytime you see an ad that you like and resonates with you, grab a screenshot and save it in a folder for when you’ve got a thousand other things on your plate and you need new ideas for your creative or copy tests. On this point you can also use the Facebook Ads Library to stalk other businesses for inspiration or see what your competition are up to. Note how I say for inspiration, not to copy. Just because they’re running and ad, doesn’t mean it’s working, use their ads for inspiration and ideas to test for yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out to an ads agency or freelancer once you’re around the $50 a day mark, because we can do some incredible things with $50 a day. It can be really good to reach out even just to do a free strategy session to work out where you’re at, what’s going right, what’s going wrong and make some tweaks now so you’re not wasting that $50 a day. You can also get an indication of next steps moving forward.
- Set up a custom dashboard! We have a very useful blog post with a video to help you with this.
“You can get really good results on $5-$20 a day budgets – don’t let anyone tell you that you need to spend more than that in the beginning.”
Dahna Borg, Bright Red Marketing
What are the most common mistakes you see people make with their Facebook ads?
- Not having pixel installed because they’re not ready to run ads yet. Install your pixel straight away so your audiences will be ready to go as soon as you are.
- Not looking at their ads enough – as I said before, you’ve really got to be in there every day, seeing what’s going on, understanding what’s going on and making changes.
- The other big mistake we see is not testing. I’m repeating myself a lot here but so many people get this wrong and it’s so fundamental to successful ads. If you have one campaign, one audience and one adset and the ad isn’t working, you have no idea why. On the other hand, if you have one campaign, 4 different audiences and 4 different ads, if one of those combinations works better than the others, that gives you a lot of insight into why it has worked and why the other ones didn’t work as well, so that you can learn and make improvements.
- Thinking you have to spend a lot of money from day one. You can get really good results on $5-$20 a day budgets – don’t let anyone tell you that you need to spend more than that in the beginning. Obviously when you’re ready to start scaling and hiring agencies or freelancers you will need to start spending more, but in the early days, you can do great things on small budgets.
- Finally, another mistake we see is leaving ads that aren’t working to run for longer than they need to. Just because you’re running a month-long test with four ads, if after a week or so an ad isn’t doing what it needs do, don’t be afraid to turn it off and rethink your strategy.
Which of your clients have inspired you the most?
One of our fashion clients went from $20,000 sales months to $200,000 sales months and that’s been incredible to watch them grow.
That has been a joint effort with their web development company (as I said earlier, the messaging in your ads must be reflected on your website to get good results) but with the ads specifically, we’ve helped them reach new audiences that they had previously assumed wouldn’t be interested in their product and helped them move from just serving rural towns to going into major metropolitan cities.
It has been really exciting, both for them and for me, to see their business evolve as a direct result of the Facebook and Instagram ads we’ve worked on.
Do you have any specific wisdom when it comes to running Facebook Ads for competitions?
Yes – 1000% promote your competition with Facebook and Instagram ads!
We all know that organic is not as powerful as it used to be and the point of a competition is often to introduce your business, products and services to new people, rather than just relying on organic promotion and simply encouraging your current audience to spread the word about your competition – pushing it out on paid socials is huge. You can get some spectacular results and cost per leads by using Facebook/Instagram ads.
Try running some ads to lookalike audiences of past customers, or even lookalike audiences of people who have entered previous competitions you’ve run; interest-based audiences to reach people interested in companies and businesses similar to yours – and don’t be afraid to test broad audiences… Facebook’s algorithm is very good these days!
Enjoying these tips from Dahna?
There’s a lot more where that came from! Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for more guest posts, tips and tricks and giveaway goodness.
What’s your marketing super power?
My superpower is looking at a business’ Facebook Ads dashboard and working out what is going on, what’s not working and where results can be improved very quickly.
This is what I do in my free strategy sessions, I pull up different columns and tell you exactly where the problem is – whether it’s your checkout process, your ad creative or your copy. The Facebook Ads dashboard can be so complicated if it’s not your superpower and usually people say “Wow! How did you work all that out so quickly?!” and it’s really because I’m a little bit of a data nerd… only slightly less of a data nerd than you, Suki!
Speaking of free strategy sessions, how can people get in touch with you if they want to know more or work with you?
Book in a free strategy session with me to see my superpower in action: https://www.brightredmarketing.com.au/free-strategy-session or sign up to my newsletter to get regular tips and tricks for running your Facebook Ads straight to your inbox.
You can also follow me on Instagram at http://instagram.com/brightredmarketing.
Dahna Borg is the Owner and Chief Strategist at Bright Red Marketing.
She runs Facebook and Instagram ads that help you scale, reach new customers and keep existing customers engaged with epic ads that deliver sales, so you can focus on your business.
Find out more about Dahna at www.brightredmarketing.com.au.