Facebook advertising case study: $3,848 from a new POD idea in 4 weeks

At the beginning of June, I decided to focus on ramping up my FB ads game with the aim of getting up to $4000 in sales for the month. 

While I was shy of my $4k target by around $150, what I did learn was a valuable way to test my print-on-demand products successfully. As my goal has been to sell my store for $50,000 this year, my estimates show that I need to be at around $300 in daily sales to reach this goal.

I decided that the way to do this effectively without testing product after product in the search for a winning product, was to start off with a Blitzkrieg-like strategy. 


Blitzkrieg is a German warfare strategy which involves taking the enemy by surprise and launching a co-ordinated attack, using concentrated force and the element of surprise against the enemy. 


Business is like war, and some of the best business books to have been written draw some parallels between business strategy and warfare strategy. Applying Blitzkrieg in business means moving so fast that you dazzle your competitors before they have a chance to catch up.

For this store, Blitzkrieg meant I had to keep an ear to the ground and follow trends closely. As long as a trend dropped and it looked like lots of people were passionately engaging with it, I hopped on it and dropped multiple new products on the back of it. Here’s how I did this:

How to launch a print-on-demand campaign based on a trend

Create the unicorn(s)

To stand out from your competitors, you need to show your engaged audiences fresh, new products. If your competition has been in the industry a lot longer than you have, and the target audience that you share isn’t being exposed to new products regularly, you can use this to your advantage.

For this campaign, I wanted to capture the target audience’s attention by showing them products they had a strong interest in, but had never seen before. Surely, this could be achieved by just releasing one product? But what if one product was not enough to make a scroller stop and click? 

So I decided to offer multiple products in a carousel so that if the first one didn’t stick, customers had the option to keep scrolling within the ad pane, rather than onto the next item in their feed.  


Don’t gamble on just one new product – it is definitely not enough.  As long as you target your audience right, everyone who sees your ad is a potential customer. Why not maximise the exposure the ad space that you get. If the scroller doesn’t fall in love with the first product they see, give them another product to fall in love with – and if that doesn’t happen, give them another, and another, and another. And if they still get their wallets after exposure to 7 products, enter phase 2: retargeting.

Here’s what Facebook Carousel ads look like:
[image]

How to create a new print-on-demand product quickly

To drop all your new design ‘missiles’ at once, diversify the creative process. Having different creators working on your designs will significantly cut the amount of time to get your graphics back.

I reached out to 4 – 5 t-shirt designers on Fiverr with my artwork specifications. I focused on t-shirt designers because this meant not having to worry about your designs being rejected on quality grounds. Use dedicated t-shirt printers with a strong history to automatically eliminate this problem.

Once you are satisfied with your artwork, create mockups. Without a mockup, you will need to :-

  • Send your design to a printer
  • Wait a week for delivery
  • Take pictures
  • Launch your ads

With a mockup, you can bypass all these steps and get digitally-generated photos of your product and launch your ads within immediately.  Most mockup software is very advanced and generates images that look like the real thing – so you won’t be sacrificing quality for speed.

My favourite software to use is Printful’s integrated mockup feature. Not only is it free to use, but Printful’s mockup feature also is not Printful’s main product. Printful is an amazing site for creating and fulfilling POD orders, which allows you create a range of products, product mockups that you can push to your store. For this campaign, while I did not use Printful to fulfill all my orders due to Covid-related delays, I did still set up my products on Printful as:
– the free mockup generator was worth it- I might choose to fulfil through Printful in the future when the Covid disruptions ease up
The “line” was a hit, with at least 2 of each product being sold at one point or another. One product clearly outperformed the rest so I decided to create a special ad for this. 

Here’s the exact method I used to sell $4000 worth of merchandise in my revived store. 

Created 7 designs using Fiverr. Once I had picked a trending topic, I contracted 4 designers on Fiverr to create the designs for me and all designs were returned in around 3 days. By using a variety of designers, I could test various design styles to gauge which was best received by my audience and I could also cut down the delivery time significantly  by giving everyone a little to work on each time. In the end, I received 4 different designs in 3 days and used these designs on a variety of good selling items. 

Preparing the  Creatives. Once I had received the artwork, I created some mockups using Printful. Even though they have had massive problems during the Coronavirus period, Printful is still one of the best  PoD companies I have used till date. I might need to do another post highlighting my favourites.

Campaign type and marketing objective

I wanted people to purchase my goods, and I had data on my Facebook pixel, so I ran these ads for Conversions > Purchase. This works best if you already have data on your Facebook pixel – previous customers email addresses, previous interactions recorded by the Facebook pixel etc. Because I had data, I felt confident enough to run this ad.

I made this a CBO campaign running on a £35 budget with 6 adsets for this budget

Choose a marketing objective – Facebook Ads
Purchase Conversions objective


Targeting
Then I had to pick who to target, or to put it more simply, what audiences to show my ads to. Again, because I had pixel data in my store and a healthy customer list, I created Lookalike audiences for the following: View Contents, Adds to Cart, Purchase, Initiate Checkouts.

The ideal lookalike is actually the Purchase lookalike, but you need 100 purchases from 1 country to be able to create this. If you haven’t gotten 100 purchases from 1 country, don’t worry. You can do either of the following

  • upload your customer list and create lookalikes from your previous customers.
  • create lookalikes for the next event with enough data

Then target these audiences with your ads to increase your chances of getting some results.

Ad placements

This just defines where Facebook shows your ads to potential customers. When I thought about where I wanted my customers to see my ads, I didn’t want them seeing my ad if there where reading an article or watching a video, as when I’m reading an article or watching a video I don’t feel compelled to buy anything from ads I see.

Rather my greatest compulsion to purchase something comes when I’m scrolling on Facebook or Instagram because I’m bored and on my phone. What applies to my buying habits also probably applies to other people’s buying habits. Therefore, I selected Manual placements > Facebook feed and Instagram feeds.


Creative

I explained earlier why I chose to create image ads rather than video ads, although video ads do have a certain advantage to them. As I’m selling apparel with no functional features, I decided to use images rather than video. People have been purchasing clothes from magazines and catalogues for years, so it is justifiable that using still images for creative shouldn’t be a problem. 

So I
LifeStyle image 
Headline: [Name of Product]
Description: Fast shipping from USA

Ad structure :- 
Time – All my ads started at midnight
Budget – $4.50 minimum spend per adset within a CBO campaign. FB and instagram placements to begin with a view to optimise once the data started coming in.

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