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My #1 Facebook Ad Formula:How I Generated $2.8 Million with 1 Cold Traffic Campaign
Hey, I’m Ezra Firestone. I’m a marketing educator, and the Founder and CEO of a Shopify store that just passed $85 million in revenue.
And while a lot of people are struggling to get their Facebook ads to work right now, we’re having our best year ever.
Here are the results of a Facebook campaign we ran from Nov. 2019–April 2020 that generated over 36,000 new customers:
We spent $1.5M over four months and made $2.85M — all from cold traffic.
And we did it using one simple Facebook ad formula.
In this article, I’m going to show you our most profitable cold traffic campaign ever and give you the very simple formula we’re using to generate these ads.
Our Top-performing Facebook Ad: 20K Likes, 4K Comments, 3.4K Shares and $355,092 in Sales
This is the top-performing ad of the whole campaign, with over 3,000 shares and comments, 4,300 purchases and a ROAS of over 200%:
I’m going to tell you why this ad is so effective in just a second…
But first, I want to emphasize how amazed we were by the results of this campaign.
It’s not uncommon to see a high ROAS from ads targeting your most profitable customer segments, like repeat purchasers or abandoned carts…
But advertising to people who don’t know your brand? That’s hard.
Most businesses intentionally acquire customers at a loss because they know they can earn their money back during the customers’ lifetime.
And that’s not a bad strategy…
But if you can acquire customers without losing money (or even better, at a profit), then that’s a campaign you can build a sustainable business on.
With the video ad formula I’m about to show you, we were able to scale this cold traffic campaign to $22k a day in spend, acquire over 36,000 new customers and get a 189% return.
My #1 Ad Formula: “Love-Demo-Love”
The ad above generated about $355,000, while a dozen or so variations accounted for the rest of the $1.5 million we made with this campaign.
What’s amazing is that all these ads use the exact same structure in their videos:
- Part 1: Customer Testimonial
- Part 2: Product Demonstration
- Part 3: More Testimonials
I call this ad formula “Love-Demo-Love”. Here’s how it works.
Part 1: Testimonial (aka, “Love”)
Here are 3 of the top ads from this campaign – these are the exact videos we’re using on Facebook. And together they resulted in $700,000 in purchases.
And they all start the same way: with a face-to-camera customer testimonial.
Why do all of our ads start this way?
Most of the ads I see on Facebook focus on the wrong message, like the product’s features, ingredients, or size.
The key to advertising — especially to cold traffic that isn’t familiar with your products — is that you must communicate the ownership benefit.
What resonates with people is not what your product looks like, or even what it does; it’s how your product will solve a problem they have or otherwise change their life for the better. This is the ownership benefit.
We found that the best way to communicate this to our prospects is to find a customer who has experienced the ownership benefit for themselves, and let them do it for us.
That woman from my top-performing ad? That’s Kim, a real customer who my social media team found on Facebook. They saw how enthusiastic she was about our products, so they reached out to her for a testimonial.
The videos she gave us not only produced one of our best ads ever, they also provided sales copy that we’ve used in our ads and throughout our funnel.
(We just discovered a new way to get the best testimonials we’ve ever had at almost no cost. I’m about to tell you how.)
And in addition to resonating with your prospects, Facebook’s algorithm also loves this kind of creative. It’s an ad that doesn’t look like an ad (plus it gets a ton of engagement), which seems to help it get more impressions.
Part 2: Product Demonstration (aka “Demo”)
In part one we introduce the ownership benefit. In part two we actually show how our product delivers that benefit through a product demonstration:
In this example Kim’s makeup demo is quite long, almost 3 minutes. But as she demos the makeup, she continues to talk about the ownership benefits that matter to her: In her case, getting compliment-worthy makeup without spending a lot of time on it.
And you can use a video like this in multiple ads. Once you have several customer testimonials (part 1), all you have to do is swap them out to create new introductions.
That’s all we did to make our second best ad, and it generated $138k and got 12k likes, 1.7k comments and over 2k shares.
Note: In the video above, you’ll see that Kim’s product demonstration transitions to another, more-professionally made product demonstration.
But part 2 of your “Love-Demo-Love” ad only needs 1 product demo. The other clip adds story about our brand so we threw it in, but you don’t need that for a great ad.
Part 3: More Testimonials (aka, More “Love”)
Another name for this formula is “The Testimonial Sandwich” because each ad begins and ends the same way — with a customer testimonial.
The only difference is that we start with one long-form testimonial (as seen above) and end with multiple short-form testimonials:
Each of these testimonials is only 10–20 seconds long.
Why? Well, the testimonial from part 1 is meant to communicate the ownership benefit, but these testimonials are meant to show your prospect that a lot of people like your brand. So it’s better to keep them short and include more of them.
And to make the creative process easier when building our “Love-Demo-Love” ads, we usually keep parts 2 & 3 the same and just switch out the testimonial in part 1 to create new ad iterations.
And that’s the whole formula: a long-form customer testimonial, followed by a product demonstration, followed by several short-form testimonials! This year marks the 10-year anniversary of my business, and thanks to “Love-Demo-Love” we’re off to our best start ever.
Now, like I promised, I’m going to show you the new method we discovered for getting amazing customer testimonials (that costs you almost nothing).
How to Copy These Ads for Your Brand
The secret to these ads is user-generated content (UGC): testimonials, product demonstrations, and other images and videos made by real customers.
These are probably the most valuable marketing assets you can ever create for your brand — if they’re high quality.
The problem is that most of the UGC people get from their customers isn’t very good (if they can get it at all).
For example, we used to send a post-purchase email asking our customers for selfies and video reviews in return for a gift card. But while this generated a lot of content, the quality was low.
We also tried inviting our customers to a professional photo shoot. This produced much better content, but it cost $100,000 and was a ton of work.
But then we found a better method for getting UGC, one that produces some of the best content we’ve ever seen and doesn’t require a lot of time, money or energy…
And that’s through an Ambassador Program.
See, the women in my ads aren’t regular customers (though they were at one point) — they’re brand ambassadors.
In a nutshell, an Ambassador Program is a system for incentivizing members of your community to create content that promotes your products and your brand.
We find ambassadors and send them a box of products to try (see image), and in return they send us testimonials and product demonstrations. Simple, right?
This system does two things to help you generate better UGC:
- An Ambassador Program helps you find the best content creators among your customer base. (Not everyone is a natural, unfortunately.)
- An Ambassador Program helps you develop relationships with these customers, so you can give creative input on the content they create. (Very important!)
And once you set it up, you’ll have an endless source of high-quality creative to use in your “Love-Demo-Love” ads, as well as in your emails, landing pages and throughout your sales process.
Over the last year, we’ve gotten our Ambassador Program down to a science. It worked so well, in fact, that we decided to show people how to copy it. (While these programs are easy to run, setting one up can be tricky without some help.)
That’s why we just launched our Ambassador Blueprint.
Get Step-by-Step Training on How to Set Up Your Ambassador Program
Our Ambassador Blueprint is an in-depth, 18-video training that shows you exactly how to build and run an Ambassador Program.
The Ambassador Blueprint Will Teach You How To:
- Mine your community for brand ambassadors
- Use our application process to find the best candidates
- Onboard ambassadors quickly
- Give ambassadors creative guidelines to help them produce the best images & videos
- Turn their content into “Love-Demo-Love” Facebook ads
- Leverage their content organically (via blog posts, emails & social)
- Manage this project so it runs like clockwork
Templates & Resources: My Best Ad Copy Templates; Legal Contracts; Pitch Deck for New Prospects, Brand Ambassador Application Form; Swag Box Contents & Design; And More
Bonus: To help you get the most out of your Love-Demo-Love ads I’m throwing in a 4-part training on Facebook advertising, including videos on ad copy and creative, and a targeting masterclass with Molly Pittman.
Does This Ad Formula Work For Your Business Model?
Whether you’re in eCommerce, info products, coaching, consulting, services, software, you name it — I’m certain that this formula works for every business model.
Not only am I using it myself in most of these business types, but 100+ of the 7- and 8-figure brand owners in my mastermind are using it to great success as well.