Owner of Criterion.B, overseeing client strategy and company culture.
When talking with a new marketing client about Facebook ad budgets as well as the additional cost of your business managing their campaigns, it can feel as if you’re walking on eggshells. This is especially true when the client has yet to run a full Facebook ad campaign.
Despite the social media age we exist in, there are still many business owners who don’t fully understand what it takes to run a successful Facebook campaign, and nothing is worse than spooking a new client with a budget recommendation they see as astronomically high because they don’t understand all that is needed.
However, there are a few things you can do to ensure a smooth process. Here is how we recommend a Facebook ad budget and get a signed contract every time.
The Kickoff Call
Setting up a kickoff call with the sole purpose of discussing Facebook is critical to a smooth launch process. We say this with confidence because when our team doesn’t initiate one, there are always problems down the line that could’ve been completely avoided with proper communication from the beginning.
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The meeting invitees should be the client’s decision-makers and your team members who are managing the account, as well as all of the individuals who will have a hand in the creation and management of the ads. For example, we always have our creative director and two members of our social media team on all ad kickoff calls. If it’s a big client, aim to loop in your CEO to be the authority you often need.
The kickoff call is not for discussing final cost or even setting a number; it is for the important exchange of both questions and information from both sides.
• The questions: Going into the kickoff call with a list of questions aimed to help you gain a better idea of the client’s mindset, goals and prior knowledge about Facebook ad campaigns is crucial to minimizing miscommunication.
Here is our standard list of questions for kickoff calls:
• Have you run a full ad campaign before, and if so, what were your results?
• Do you have a defined target audience, or will our team need to perform competitor and audience research?
• What are your main goals for this campaign?
• In your mind, what is the best possible outcome of this campaign?
• What is your stretch goal for the first six months of this campaign?
• Is there an unchangeable timeline for this campaign?
• Is there a specific budget you have to work within, or are you looking for us to tell you what to spend?
There are so many different things you can ask, but it is important not to get too down into the nitty-gritty — there will be opportunities for that on other calls. By sticking to questions like the ones above, you can get what you need to come back with a defined plan.
On the other side, the client will likely ask you a lot of the big questions about money, expectations and predictions. The answer to many of these at this point should be “We’ll get back to you on that.” Remember that this response is completely okay, and honestly much better than prattling off a statement that hasn’t been fully thought through or researched.
• The information: During the kickoff call, you will also want to provide the client with any background and insider information that will help set their expectations for the campaign as well as increase their understanding of how involved a Facebook ad campaign is.
This can include any new ad regulations Facebook has implemented, changes to the algorithm, recent trends in ads and so on. You’ll also want to give them a verbal overview of everything your team will do throughout the creation and management of the campaign. This will help broaden their understanding and lessen any surprise that may arise when you deliver your recommendation for the ad budget and management cost.
Lastly, while this is not the ideal time to talk about money, you can provide them with the general minimum you recommend for all of your clients. For example, we always recommend a minimum of $500 a month for a full-blown campaign but encourage spending more. Additionally, because we are confident in the work we do, we also share what we charge for campaign management, but you can decide when to share that information.
The next step we take is performing some internal research and gathering any data or information that the client asked for. This is usually regarding past results with ad campaigns for similar clients or clients from the same industry.
By displaying this information along with our budget recommendation and management cost, the client can have accurate expectations about the campaign and feel more confident about spending the money.
Aim to do all the research you need within a week of the kickoff call. You want to be able to return to the client with a defined proposal as promptly as possible.
• Strategy outline: If you can put together an ad strategy outline to present to the client along with the recommended monthly budget and management cost, it can help ease concerns about the price. It really changes clients’ immediate reaction to the total charge when they can already see how your team is working for them and what the plan is.
Once you’ve gathered the research and planned the strategy, set up a follow-up call with the same group and present everything to the client as a full package. You want them to see the whole picture rather than just a number, hence why we recommend against discussing price too much during the kickoff call.
If you can properly communicate the expectations for a Facebook campaign, past results you’ve experienced and your plan for the client, the price can be an easy yes.
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Author: Jon Simpson, Forbes Councils Member