“My ad costs have spiked, what do I do now?”

That’s a question I’m hit with consistently these days, especially in the wake of iOS 14.

But let me be clear: you can’t just blame it all on iOS and choose to do nothing.

That’s not going to solve any of the issues you’re having.

You still have to get leads. You still have to get sales. You still have to grow your business.

The solution is to FIX what you’re given.

Team Hirsh has narrowed down two key actions to take when ad costs begin to rise that bring them right back down. Every. Single. Time.

I’m sharing those two key actions with you in today’s episode!

Despite iOS 14, we’ve been able to cut costs down 3X less than they were after spiking just by following these two steps.

They’re not complicated, but they do require you to put in some work. Roll up your sleeves, step up to the challenge, and tune in to uncover the exact steps you can take to reduce your ad costs with ease!

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Emily Hirsh:

Hello, my friends. I hope you guys are doing amazing. When this comes out, we’ll be back in Texas, which I avoid Texas in the summer. I’m kind of getting used to it. I have to just go for a walk at like 7:00 AM because what kills me is if I can’t get outside and I do not go outside when it’s 95 degrees out and it feels like a hundred because it’s so hot. So the summer sucks, but you know what? The summer creates the opportunity for me to go and hang out in California. I’m going to be hiking in Colorado. So I’m grateful for it, and moving here, I knew that was what we were going to be doing. We’re also going to be remodeling our house. I’ve talked about it a little bit, remodeling our house really soon. So I cannot wait. 

It’s funny. Once you start to choose updates in a house, you kind of hate everything you have even more because things will break and you’ll be like, there’s no point in fixing that and because we’re about to replace it. We have drawers that broke, or a cabinet door that broke off its hinges and we’re just ignoring it, so it’s getting annoying. I can’t wait for them to rip everything out and update and I cannot wait. It’s going to be incredible. It’s also so cool because I’ve never done this before. This is the first house that we’ve owned and I love owning my own house and being able to make it our own and work on it. My husband and I love doing that and he works on it a lot in different ways, the yard, whatever. So it’s super fun and that is what we’re doing this summer. I cannot wait, also, for Colorado because I love, love, love hiking, and I’m going to be hiking every dang day while we’re staying in Colorado. 

So today’s episode was inspired from a team conversation. I always like to spy and listen in on my ads team going back and forth and talking about various things they’re seeing in accounts because we have an amazing, incredible viewpoint at the vantage we sit at with 50 clients and what’s happening and what’s working and what’s not working. As iOS and things change, I try to stay really on top of that. We also have some insider Facebook reps and support and that’s very helpful as well. One thing that I’ve seen, number one, our team talk about, and then number two, a lot of questions come in around this, which is my ad costs have spiked up, what do I do? 

I have people in our Not For Lazy Marketers Club who are asking about this. I have Ignite students who ask about this and it seems like everybody is not knowing the next actions to take and what to do. So I thought that we had talked about this because one thing that my team pointed out was something I hadn’t thought about before with iOS and kind of that response. Then we’ve had a few clients who have seen that rise in costs, and then our team obviously got it back down and kind of what we did and how we handled that. So there are two things essentially that we’ve summarized of what you can do if your ad costs go up. 

One of them comes down to kind of my mantra, if you would call it, of like when in doubt start a new campaign, new creative because Facebook definitely rewards that, the algorithm rewards that. When something is not working, don’t wait days to just do something new. New messaging, you could change the headlines, you could change the copy, you could change the graphic. You can even just relaunch a campaign and change a few audiences. So when in doubt refresh. That’s one of our mottos because it works a lot of time. 

The frustrating part is when it works for two days and then it goes up again. Finding that stability can be hard and it takes finding the right combo. I also really do, Facebook hasn’t said this, but it’s clear in some of our optimizing that if your campaign launches and within the first day or two it doesn’t get much momentum, you’re pretty much penalized for that because Facebook deemed your ad as people don’t want to see it, people aren’t engaging with it. I feel like it’s hard to pull out of that without starting fresh, without getting new creative and changing that up because there’s something there in the algorithm where if you start out the gate with that lower conversion and lower engagement, Facebook’s like, “oh, our users don’t want to see this so we better be careful about showing this ad.” That is one thing. So when in doubt, refresh. 

The two things that our team talked about that you can do are check your audiences and refresh your creative. Now, checking your audiences. This is an interesting one that has come from iOS. We’ve seen some look alike audiences that actually have gotten way smaller. So for example, the ads I’ve run, we’ve used those audiences for a long time. Now with iOS, we’ve lost data within those lookalike audiences. You need to go check that because if you had a lookalike audience that was a potential reach of 2 million and now it’s 500,000, it may not be working very well anymore. So check in your audiences that you created prior to iOS, maybe it was a couple of months ago, maybe it was a month ago, making sure that didn’t happen to them. Our team started there because we have found some cases where that happened and we had to get creative and find new audiences, or stop using that audience, or change that up. That is an impact of iOS that we were kind of waiting on is losing that data in lookalike audiences. I think we are going to see that more now. 

A note on data and iOS though, a lot of people are very worried about it. In my opinion, Facebook has so much data already that we’re going to be fine on that front. They already have so much information, it doesn’t matter that people are opting out of tracking. They already have so much information from the years that they’ve been gathering that information. So it will impact, on a small level, like some lookalike audiences and of course, your tracking, and the accuracy of your tracking is going to be impacted potentially. But long-term, Facebook ads, I think they are going to be fine and are one of the better ones because they have the most data. They are the social media king. iOS is impacting all of these platforms and they’re going to lose data from here on out, but I think that overall Facebook’s going to be just fine. I think that they’re going to figure it out on the backend and they’ll be okay.

But the one action that you need to take, if your audiences did spike in cost, especially if you’re using an audience that historically worked for you, or you’ve had it worked before, go and check that audience size and make sure it didn’t drastically drop down and stop working because that is an indication that you need to update it, find a new audience, or change it up because something happened.

The next thing is the creative refresh, which goes to what I was saying in the beginning, when in doubt, refresh your creative. Let’s dig a little bit on that and why you should do that. So there’s a couple of reasons. Number one, Facebook, for sure the algorithm favors fresh creative. They want you putting out new things. They want you putting out something that they know. If you align yourself with Facebook’s goal, it’s to create engaging great content for its users so that people stay on their app so that people don’t go, “Oh, this is terrible,” and get off, right? That’s what they want. So they are rewarding you for creating content that people click on, that people comment on, that people engage with, that people click read more. 

Think about every time you do that, you’re kind of rewarded in the backend with their algorithm. So when you launch fresh creative, it’s fresh in the feed, and Facebook’s like, “oh, we got to figure this out. Is this a good ad, is this a bad ad? Let’s push this out.” It usually brings your cost down. Now, if you didn’t hit the mark on your creative and it doesn’t get engagement, it doesn’t get clicks on your ads, you’re probably penalized within the next couple of days and you’re going to see your CPMs, your cost per impression, go up, which impacts all of your stats. You’re going to see that, and refreshing the creative is going to help you. 

Now, obviously, it’s not sustainable to be refreshing creative every two days. You need to get to a place where you found creative that actually works, but sometimes that takes some iterations. So when in doubt, refreshing it and relaunching it in a fresh campaign, that’s really important. You really don’t want to go add creative into an existing campaign, especially if you’re using dynamic creative. It will throw everything off. Just do a fresh campaign. You can use the same audiences if those have worked, or you think they will work, or you don’t want to change that variable. But you need a new campaign for that new creative so you start and have the algorithm work from there and optimize from there. 

So refreshing that creative, and then hopefully you can find a version of this creative that will stick and that will work, and the cost will begin to optimize and it will improve. That might take some iterations, or you might have creative that’s running for a couple of weeks, and then it starts to rise and you’re like, “oh no, what should I do? My ads were working.” Just do refresh creative. Use the same audiences, same campaign if they were working. Put a new body copy, create a new image, record a new video, refresh it. I almost can guarantee that your cost is going to go down. 

I’ve talked about this a little bit on the podcast and also to our Not For Lazy Marketer Club members, but I do think that there is a little bit of this happening where somebody’s ad costs go up right now, and instead of owning, I’ve got to refresh creative, I’ve got to do this work to optimize it, or I need to take this action, they just blame it on the iOS. Because it’s easier to do that and be like, “oh, iOS, it’s ruining all my ads. My cost has gone up,” when the way to get costs down has not changed. So the way you get costs down is you either improve your audiences or you refresh your creative. That is still true right now. You might have to do it a little bit more, you might have to do more work, you might be paying a little bit more for your ads. That’s the reality of iOS, but how to solve the problem of ad costs that are not working or stopped working is still the same as it was six months ago, 12 months ago, two years ago, that those are the variables that you can actually change in your ads. 

I think iOS is exposing cracks. It’s exposing businesses with poor messaging, with a lack of strategy, with ads that are on the fence of good or bad, or getting good engagement or not. It’s exposing that. So it’s easy to blame it on iOS, but then what’s the solution, right? Is the solution to just not market? No, we have to get leads. We have to get sales. We have to grow our business. The solution is to fix it with what you’re given, and the way you do that is audiences are creative. 

So if your ad costs got went up and you’re frustrated about it, go write some new powerful ad copy, change your headlines, go outside and record a video, make a Reel, download it, use it for your ads. Take action on it instead of being like, “oh, iOS sucks. My ad costs went up. What do I do?” That’s what you do. So I gave you the actions of what to go do. I promise this will help. It helps every time in our client accounts, and if you’re consistently not able to get results that stick, then I suggest going deeper with your messaging and really figuring it out because maybe you’re not hitting the nail with that messaging. Maybe you need to go deeper on pain points on ways that you can connect with your audience on their frustrations, on their emotional fears. 

A lot of us are staying too surface level. A lot of us are not speaking the language that our audience would say, and therefore we’re not standing out in the feed. So if you’re continually struggling with your ad results and your costs, then you probably need to go even deeper. In our world, it would be one of those messaging workshops that we do with our clients now, or our messaging workshop in our Ignite Academy program, where we’re going way deeper on the actual backend messaging, understanding of the ideal customer and the emotional connection to them. 

So those are my suggestions if your ad costs went up. Not complicated, very simple. Does take work, but is possible to get that ad cost back down, and/or adjust your expectations to what you’re accurately going to be paying if you’ve had a big shift in that. But that’s what our team is seeing on the backend. It’s worked every time for us that we’ve done this in client accounts, we’ve cut costs down in three times less than they were after spiking just by following this process. So I hope that was helpful for you guys. Thank you so much for tuning in today, and I’ll talk to you next time.

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