For those who are not familiar with Timo Herttua he is a Helsinki based Growth Marketer who is the current CMO at Plan Brothers. Timo took time away from his busy schedule to come to Turbiini and teach our pre-startup teams a method for validating customers using Facebook Ads. This post outlined some of the theory we learned during the workshop as well as the actual process involved. If you are in the early stage of building your idea using Facebook Ads to validate customers is an inexpensive and fast method.

Timo demonstrated that by using Facebook Ads it was possible to utilize the powerful targeting capabilities of the Facebook platform to easily reach intended customers in our first step towards customer contact. The great thing was that once you learned to use the platform the actual implementation is pretty straightforward and can be easily repeated again. Also since the process is not very expensive; our teams were able to reach their intended audience working with an advertising budget of well under 20€. On the other hand the approach does not offer qualitative data and it does require some basic analytical skills. The technique described by Timo gave us a powerful customer engagement technique that could be added to our ever growing arsenal of startup related knowledge.

The process in more detail

In order to start using Facebook Ads to validate customers you must get Facebook Business, it is easy to set up and you can quickly get going. Then you need a concrete goal and objective so that you can build the type of advert that can be used to target customers. Bellow I have outlined the process of using Facebook Ads to validate customers.

Step 1: Create a Facebook business page.

Step 2: Create goals for your Facebook ads.

Step 3: Choose an objective for your campaign.

Step 4: Choose your target audience and ad spend.

Step 5: Choose how you want your ad to look.

Step 6: Place your order.

Most of the participants had concrete startup ideas they wished to test, but it was also possible to create fictional companies that offered products or service which were not yet ready for launch. Our goal and objective were to gauge public interest by analyzing how many people saw the advert and responded to the call of action, which was to enter an email in order to learn more about the product or service being offered.We also had to decide the audience type (demographic, interests etc.), all of which affected our reach size. For many teams making the actual add was the most challenging but also the most rewarding at the same time. It certainly was not easy to be spontaneously creative in a way that would satisfy the advertising goals of the group and make the rest of the team happy. However, after some time, most teams selected an appropriate picture from the stock photos available or uploaded one of their own. Next, came the accompanying text and the marketing message of the ad. The final objective was to select text that matched the photo and get people to click on the ad, and feel comfortable to sign up on the form provided.

We initially wanted to run the advertising until all the groups reached the spending limit of 20€, but due to popular demand from some of the teams we extended the time and ran the adverts for an extra half a day. The results varied from team to team depending on how well the advertisement was made and how niche the product advertised was. Generally speaking most people got something out of the exercise because the results spoke for themselves about the effectiveness of the campaign. In a way this was the first real test for all the groups about venturing into the unknown and trying to sell the product. We felt we accomplished a great deal without even setting foot out of the building.



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Author: Misa Bakajic