Nail your Facebook ads with Cat Skreiner

Cat from Seeking Digital chats all about how to nail your Facebook ads. Cat shares what are FB ads, some of her best hacks for running ads, and some of the things that can go not so well so you can make sure you don’t make these mistakes!

In this Episode:
02.07: What is Facebook Advertising?
04.12: Facebook ad success stories
06.01: Mistakes to avoid when using Facebook ads
14.52: Lessons learnt from using Facebook ads
19.11: The biggest hacks for getting results in Facebook ads
22.24: How to get started on Facebook ads



Cat’s Bio

Cat has worked in the marketing space for over 20 years, working directly with brands such as L’Oreal, TFE Hospitality and AGL with a specialist focus on digital marketing for the past 14 years.

A self confessed tech nerd, she now focuses on Facebook Ads strategy and digital analytics, and thrives on helping businesses optimise their performance. 

She has a natural flair for teaching and a genuine love for providing people with the skills to manage [and analyse!] their own digital marketing in the ever evolving digital landscape.


I’m dropping another bonus podcast episode this week to help you learn while you are at home in isolation. Now is a great time to be learning. One of my favourite sayings is by Brian Tracy, which is “If you want to earn more, you need to learn more”. My guest to day is Cat from Seeking Digital and she is coming on the podcast to chat about how to nail your Facebook ads. Cat shares some of her best hacks for running ads, and things that don’t go so well so you can make sure you don’t make these mistakes.


You’re listening to the Clare Wood podcast, where we talk all things business, finance, marketing, and mindset for entrepreneurs, sharing practical tips, and actionable advice to help you take your business to the next level. Introducing your host: me! I’m Clare Wood, I’m a numbers geek, a travel lover, and a reality tv addict, and I’m here to empower you to create an extraordinary business and an amazing life, because I believe you don’t have to choose between the two. Now let’s dive right in to today’s episode.




So welcome to the podcast, Cat from Seeking Digital.




Thank you Clare!




For anyone that doesn’t know you, can you say who you are and what you do?




Sure. I’m Cat from Seeking Digital and I’m a digital strategist. I focus on Facebook advertising and help people understand their digital analytics and how that affects their business.




For anyone new to Facebook advertising or not 100% sure what it is. Can you explain how it works?


What is Facebook Advertising?




Absolutely, so when we say Facebook advertising we are referring to Facebook and Instagram advertising. It is based on an auction system, similar to Google ads. You compete against other advertisers for ad space and inventory and essentially when there is more advertising volume, and more people on the platform, the price you get charged, the price per impression, goes up. An impression is your ad being in front of someone on the platform. With Facebook advertising, it differs from Google ads, in my opinion, in the targeting ability. Facebook is hugely powerful when it comes from targeting, because of all the information we the users give Facebook by way of our profile, how we interact with the platform, the pages we follow, the pages we interact with. That data gets collected. Facebook also has the Facebook Pixel which is a bit of code that sits on your website and helps to track the usage of your website from Facebook. So that data gets used in Facebook advertising as well.




What a fantastic explanation. Facebook ads are such an invaluable marketing strategy. We are so lucky to have a platform to do such targeted advertising.


You and I worked together for a while on my Facebook ads, and in that time some things have gone well and some not so well. So I’d love to share some things that did go really well when it came to my Facebook ads.


Facebook ad success stories




The key tactic was building your email list, and that we have done that with great success. Facebook is one of the platforms that allows you to get your message and product and service in front of your target market, but sometimes that comes with a little testing and learning which audiences perform best. Particularly when you are list building, you try and get that cost per email lead down as much as possible. We did see some great success and got the cost down as low as possible. We got your messages out to high value audiences that responded well and built that list.




I’m so grateful because I’ve worked with a few different ad managers and it has been a real challenge, but we were able to create a strategy that worked. Thank you!


With the sunshine comes the rain as well, and we definitely had some challenges. Could you share some of the things that didn’t go well?


Mistakes to avoid when using Facebook ads




One of the challenges we faced, and a lot of businesses face, is with Facebook ads, you want to get to a sweet spot where your campaign where it is running at a great cost per purchase/action, then you start to scale or increase your ad spend. Technically you should increase your spend and ideally you are able to maintain the cost of the leads you are getting. One of the issues we had was that you had a healthy realistic budget to spend to increase your list, because it was important for your launch, but Facebook didn’t want to play with us. So when we got a little more aggressive with our spend, the cost would blow out, and that’s really tricky to manage. At one point we stopped and did a reset and looked at new audiences to bring that cost per lead back down to a more acceptable level. One of the challenges with managing ads and big budgets is that you need to be paying close attention, it requires a lot of monitoring and you need to be across lots of elements of the campaign. Once you do start scaling that ad spend and you find yourself in a situation where it’s hard to maintain stability.




So for anyone listening, if they wanted to ramp up for a launch etc, would you recommend they did it more slowly and considered rather than the fast ramp up we did?




I think so, the main thing at play when you do increase your budget quickly, and sometimes it is necessary to do that if you have a short timeframe, but typically you should try and increase budget daily, slowly, to give the algorithm time to settle into the new budget. Sometimes when you increase it too much too fast, Facebook forgets its learnings and doesn’t know what to do with the increase in budget. Slow and steady is ideal if you have the time and really monitor the ad sets and the audience responding to that. And turn off those that are blowing out.




Great advice!


There was another thing that happened during this launch, if you could share it with the listeners. A former client of mine contacted me and said I just found a picture of you on Tinder. I’m happily married so she was a bit shocked to see it there. And then, we realised there was writing underneath that that said “sponsored”. Can you explain what happened and how people can avoid it happening to them?




It is one of those lessons that you constantly need to be reminded of. When you are choosing where you want your ads to appear on Facebook you can select the placement. Typically you will run them into Facebook and Instagram if you have a presence there. The other options are audience network and messenger. Now there is an area within the ad campaign setup where you have it set up to automatic placements, or you can edit those placements. We had one particular campaign that had been setup and I admit, in haste, it was in the middle of launch and we were trying to get some great results quickly on the board for you. Due to that oversight, I didn’t edit the placements for that particular ad set, and those ads ran into the audience network. The reason they were on Tinder is because the audience network for placements was essentially a case of… Facebook has syndicated sites and apps that they run inventory within, so your ads can appear on places like Tinder or websites or blogs that run advertising. Typically with audience network, if you are going to us it for your advertising you can apply filters and block lists so they don’t appear on dating sites, political sites, gambling sites etc. But, in this case, that one slipped through the cracks so unfortunately I’d missed the changing of the auto to editing but we were able to quickly stop that running, one we were alerted. Easy to fix.




In Cat’s defence, I was making so many changes and it was all happening so fast through the launch process so I totally agree that you were under a lot of pressure at the time. A lot of times when these things happen to me though, there is such a great learning out of it.


A previous company I worked for, a very high end product, I saw their ads in my Solitaire game! I had to flag that with our ads manager, because I didn’t think it was a good look for the brand. So I think it’s a good takeaway and something you need to check.


Weirdly, because my business is my name and it was just my picture, it really looked like I was on Tinder. If anyone did see it, for the record I’m not actually on Tinder, it was a mistake. But the great things that happened by using Facebook ads definitely have outweighed the negatives.


I’d love to learn next from your experience as a Facebook ads manager. What have been the toughest lessons?


Lessons learnt from using Facebook ads




One of the toughest is, it’s not a predictable platform. Whilst it is hugely complex until you get your head around it, it is still constantly changing and based on an auction system, so it really reflects what is going on in the market.


One of the other things that happened during your launch was Marie Foleo also launched her B School, so there was cross over with audiences. That’s not to say she was driving our cost up, but it is to say that there was so many factors that come into a successful campaign it’s not just about what you spend and what your ad looks like. It’s about who you are targeting and where you are sending them too, because Facebook is looking at the landing pages and end URL’s and they really do run those things through their systems to check them. 99.9% of your listeners will be doing the right thing in terms of Facebook advertising there are some people that are out there and making mis-leading claims and ruining it for the rest of us, but Facebook do really crack down to make sure it’s not a spammy link.


The biggest challenge is keeping across the moving parts and trying to pin-point where the bottle neck might be in the ads or the campaign, because there are so many different elements that could affect the success of a campaign. It might be audience targeting, the end landing page… use the analytics that Facebook gives you, there is so much of it, but you just need to know where to look. So trouble shooting those issues is challenging but also absolutely necessary.




I love that you touched on that they aren’t predictable. We’ve had an ad that was performing really well and we’d be like “cool, let’s put more money into that ad”, and then the next day it would bomb. The same ad. The same creative. There is a big takeaway from that, that you need to keep an eye on it, and that’s the great thing about an ads manager, they can help you with that.


Another thing you touched on was the wording, and it is so important. If you find you are getting ads pushed back from Facebook, it’s just them trying to protect their end-users.




You need to be creative, move quickly, and change up the way you are trying to communicate your service or offering, so it’s compliant and gets traction. It’s a tricky balance, but it’s about testing what works and what produces results.




Exactly. I’d love to get into some of the juicy stuff. What are your biggest hacks for getting results in Facebook ads.


The biggest hacks for getting results in Facebook ads




I’m a big advocate for testing. A lot of people do jump into running a campaign and try and quickly get an ad up, and it’ll knock my socks off.. which is a lovely place to want to get to, but what a lot of people neglect to do is some basic testing. Whenever I setup a new campaign I’m always testing it to at least two audiences, and always testing at least two ad creative. So even if that campaign doesn’t perform to expectation, you’ve learnt something. When you just start out, it’s hard to know how your ads will perform and what to expect because it can come down to how much you’ve got to spend, the quality of your audiences and other factors. A lot of people ask me how much should I spend, and what will be the campaign that will do well? Testing will at the very least let you learn about the people you are running your ads in front of, and what they respond best to.. and if nothing works, you go back to the drawing board and come at it from another angle.


You really need to know your audience and done the work around your ideal customer. Ideally Facebook ads isn’t a silver bullet, it’s not there to fix your business, it’s there to amplify it and create new leads, not fix something that isn’t already working. So you need to do that work first, rather than turning on the tap and spending that money.


Persevere… it’s a long term strategy, it’s not something most businesses can turn on and have immediate success with. I have one client in ecomm that did spend the time and got a great website setup, spent the time to get the copywriters to nail the tone, the brand identity was strong, so when it was time to start advertising on social media, all things came together and it was really successfully. It’s a holistic approach as well.




If anyone listening is brand new to Facebook ads, how would you suggest to get started?


How to get started on Facebook ads




Most people, if they aren’t an ecomm business, would be trying to get people to subscribe to an e-newsletter or get people off a social platform onto to their own asset and engage directly with the brand. One of the most effective ways is that re-targeting, so maybe they have landed on your website but not have done exactly what you wanted them to. So if you are aiming to get people to sign up to a newsletter, you can do a basic re-targeting ad, ie target the ad at people who have gone to your website but exclude those already on your email list, and you can remind them about your sign up and freebie you might have available. The other campaign to consider is, have an always on campaign where you promote your page posts… essentially the same as boosting your post, but done through business manager and it’s organic style content that adds value and gets you known, and that can help start things rolling with your paid strategy (ie an offer). The third thing I recommend, whether you are ready to advise now or in the future is to have an ad account setup and a Facebook pixel associated with that ad account, and make sure that pixel is installed on your website. Then at the very least you have some data ready to use down the track that you can start to leverage.




Thank you for joining us today. What’s the best way to connect with you?




The best way is via my website or @seekingdigital and I’d love to hear from you!




Thanks Cat!

Thank you so much for joining me today, if you enjoyed this episode, please make sure you subscribe to receive future episodes, and I’d be so grateful for a review on apple podcast! If you’d like a copy of the show notes or any of the links mentioned today, please jump over to and remember that Clare is spelled CLARE, have a wonderful week and look forward to chatting to you again soon!


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