How I skirted around Facebook's ad blocking algorithms to sell a vape-related product


#1

So you’ve had problems using Facebook Ads to market your business? So have we, but there are ways around it. Here’s how we are doing it at VapeMentors.

To give you some background first…

We have an online course for e-liquid brand owners called the “E-Vapor Symposium Replays”. The replays are from our E-Vapor Symposium we hosted with Keller and Heckman in February in Washington D.C… The symposium covers everything from using the FDA’s e-submitter to marketing your product ethically.

We needed to get the message in front of as many E-liquid brand owners as possible and we knew FB ads would be the way to go. We had data from our email list that we could use to create custom audiences in Facebook’s ad platform.

FB’s policies SHOULD allow ads for this type of information since it’s not directly related to selling “tobacco products”, however, we continually get shut down when we try to run ads using our VapeMentors FB page. We knew we would get denied, simply because we have the word “vape” in our name.

So, we discovered a work-around:

We setup a “FDA Laws” Facebook Page and a landing page using the URL “fdalaws.us”. Here they are for your reference:


Then, we ran this ad using the FDA Laws FB account.

So far we’ve reached 12,000 people and received 86 link clicks. The ad links to this landing page, where they can download a free guide when they submit their email to us.

Lessons Learned -

  • Facebook will allow FB ads if you don’t have “Vape” in your name (or any vape related term)
  • The landing page does not explicitly mention vape products and does not endorse the sale of vape items
  • The URL of the landing page does not have “Vape” or any vaping related term

How To Apply Your E-Liquid Company

You can still learn from this strategy, even though it’s not quite the same application as selling your E-Liquid brands online.

Here’s how you can do this in your own business:

  • Setup a micro-site with a non vape-related URL
  • Use Wordpress to create a blog-like news site.
  • Post articles and content that are agnostic to vaping
  • Write a blog post with a headline such as “7 Ways To Spice Up A Food Tasting Party”
  • In one of the “7 Ways”, mention vaping as a cool way to pair flavors with food
  • Have the link go to your website, where they can purchase flavors
  • How do you get in front of potential vape buyers? Upload your customer list and create a “lookalike” audience in Facebook.

Pros and Cons

CON: This will be an inexact ad campaign because many people who click on the article will not care about vaping, so the conversion rate will be low.
PRO: This will only be a problem at first, however, because the traffic that clicked on the link will be recorded in your Facebook pixel, so you can retarget them later with slightly more relevant content.
CON: It does require a little web development
PRO: Wordpress or even sites like WIX or Squarespace make it easy to make little microsites to get this done.

Q & A

Please let me know if you have questions about any of this or would like advice and guidance on setting it up.