This is the fourth post in a short series on building a minimum viable funnel to validate an info product idea. You can go back here:
Pros of paying for traffic to test an info product idea
When you want to validate an idea quickly, paying for traffic to test it has a couple key benefits:
- You will reach a conclusion much more quickly.
- In the case of Google (search) ads, you will collect a significant amount of data that can be repurposed and leveraged into your SEO strategy, should you develop one for this product at some point.
- You get to choose the targeting options. This shows you the constraints and possibilities when you think about who you want to reach.
- It forces you to hone the messaging around your value proposition. Unfortunately, many a product fails due to poor communication of the value of that product. I’m reminded of the late great sci-fi series, Firefly, promoted as a silly action comedy, instead of the dark space Western dramedy it was.
- It allows you to compare the effectiveness of a few directions in terms of calls to action, engagement, and sales.
- Once you’ve spent your ad budget, you have an accurate enough cost per acquisition to help determine your next move.
Cons of paying for traffic
- Competition on ad platforms is fierce. If the costs per click are inflated due to competitors bidding on your same targeting options, then a “valid” product may see an artificially high cost per acquisition through an ad channel.
- People are affected by ads differently:
- Tech savvy target market will have a disproportionately high usage of ad blockers, meaning they’ll never see your ads.
- Younger people are disproportionately prone to “ad blindness,” meaning they ignore your ads at the cellular level.
- Those that click on Google Ads do not necessarily click on Facebook ads and vice versa.
- Some benefits of ads (awareness, branding, illusion of the majority) only come after a significant amount of time and budget is spent (above and beyond our test)
An aside on reliability and validity
-or- why you should test multiple channels
At the very least, you want your test to reach “statistical significance” with a high confidence interval, meaning you can trust your results.
To choose a budget that will allow you to reach a point of confidence in your results, you want to look at your funnel ratios, particularly for your click costs. You can get some cost-per-click estimates from online tools.
We are not A/B testing here, simply trying to run a campaign test that will have results we can trust.
“I trust him about as far as I can throw him”
Trust here doesn’t mean blind trust, it simply means you understand the pitfalls in your data. No matter what happens your data will be useful. If the ads receive low click through rates, that’s good to know!
What is reliability?
There are a few types, but reliability is the idea that your test is repeatable.
Retest reliability – The type of reliability most important to us is retest reliability, or the accuracy of our test as it would be repeatable with very similar results.
This is tough in marketing, some campaigns do better certain times of year, times of the week, etc., there are a lot of extraneous factors we have little control of in the wild.
What is validity?
Validity is generalizability. It’s the idea that you can generalize your findings to the bigger question. If you are asking, “is my idea valid?” then you should know that validating or invalidating through a Facebook ads test does not necessarily mean your idea is valid or invalid, just that the specific test campaign you ran on Facebook supports or doesn’t support your question.
What is triangulation?
Triangulation is the solution to common pitfalls in running a validity ad campaign. It simply means bringing in more data points to answer your research question.
It’s not a specific method. You are gathering different types of data in different ways from, often, different sources to determine which way the wind is blowing.
If you run a display ad campaign, a search ad campaign, and a Facebook leads ad campaign, and they all show promising results, you can be more confident in determining validity than you would have been with just one channel.
Next we’ll talk about picking an ad channel and ad formats in Facebook vs Google (search) Ads for Validation