Of all the social media platforms available, Facebook is clearly still reigning supreme. Not only is it one of the most popular with 1.44 billion monthly active users, but it also has one of the strongest advertising platforms of any social network. Facebook ads even rival Google ads in regards to sheer effectiveness and ROI.
If you’re new to working with Facebook ads and haven’t had much luck, don’t worry. It doesn’t mean that Facebook ads will be useless to you. It just means that you have to rework your Facebook advertising strategy to make the most of it. These core fundamentals will help you get started on the path to advertising bliss. Sure, you can always find good advertising agencies to help, but you should know what results matter to you and what are some of the best practices to achieve these results.
Let’s get started and do feel free to take notes!
Choose the best audience
What makes Facebook so great for advertising is its ability to target specific types of audiences and then target them with the right messages. It allows you to reach out to new customers and market directly to your followers and customers on your emailing list. If you haven’t had much luck with Facebook ads, the best thing to do is to start tweaking who you’re marketing to.
Facebook makes it easy to upload your email subscriber list so you can market to your subscriber list with targeted ads. Since most people use one email address, you can bet that most of your email addresses match up with users on Facebook. Using Facebook’s Custom Audience function, simply upload your list.
You can then further segment your email subscriber list to deliver even more targeted messages. For example, if your unisex online clothing boutique is having a sale on dresses, then it’s unlikely you would promote that content towards your male subscribers, right? Likewise, you might avoid promoting boxers to women.
If you’re looking to attract new customers, you can also create Lookalike Audiences that will look similar to your current audiences. You can set certain well-known parameters such as age, gender and location or you can go after more specific customers, such as those who:
- Just celebrated a new job or other life event
- Like a certain type of food, hobby or celebrity
- Are in relationships, married or divorced
Don’t forget to use your email list to exclude certain subscribers. After all, what’s the point of introducing an item to someone who is already very much aware of it?
Keep your goals as the central focus
What tends to derail many Facebook advertising campaigns is the lack of goal or direction. If you don’t have a goal in mind when you start a campaign, how will you ever know if you’re reached it or not?
Some of the most common goals for Facebook campaigns are:
- Increase interaction on posts
- Get more people to like your page
- Encourage people to download or interact with your app
- Get people to sign up for upcoming events
- Claim an offer you’re promoting
Choose one of these goals before you create your ad so you know what you want to accomplish.
Hit them with the right message
Once you figure out who you’re going to target, you need to send out the right message to attract viewers. The most important thing to know – no matter what your audience or strategy is – is to remember that not all of your followers or viewers know your product as well as you do. If you’re too specific about your ad, some viewers might miss some very important context surrounding you ad, and they might just skip it altogether.
There are a million different types of ads you might write, but whatever you’re writing, remember these three cardinal rules of Facebook ad writing.
- State your message as clearly as possible. Don’t leave it up to the viewer to investigate what you’re talking about, because they simply won’t.
- Don’t forget a compelling call-to-action (CTA). This message compels viewers to take action, whether it’s like your page, claim a discount or subscribe to your blog. Make it clear how you want viewers to act. Here’s a brilliant guide to creating a CTA button within Facebook ads.
- Get a second opinion. Just because you understood your ad doesn’t mean that others will. Ask a coworker to read the ad first before you decide to run it.
Of course, it should go without saying that you need to check and double check your ads for grammar and punctuation errors, but you know that, right?
Always always A/B test. Always!
No ad campaign gets everything right on the first try. Some have too much text. Others are too vague. Some fail to convey the message accordingly. All of this is okay; very few marketers target the right audience with the right message on the first try. For most of us, it’ll take a few a few tries to get everything about an ad and an audience correct.
That’s where A/B testing comes in. Each audience reacts differently to certain ads. A/B testing helps you find out which of those ads they respond the best to. For example, let’s say your software company wants to know which deal consumers prefer: a two-week free trial of a product or a 10 percent discount. You could run an A/B test on Facebook to your audience and see which one they prefer overall. This will give you a better idea about how to market to your audience and what they value as consumers.
Though you may have success with one type of ad, it’s important to remember that ads have trends like fashion. What works today might not work tomorrow. If you want your ads to continue doing well, then you need to keep up the A/B testing. Run your successful ad against another ad type to see if you get the same results.
This is the best way to keep improving your ads and make sure you stay current with what your audience actually likes. It’s also an easy way to test what your customers appreciate (free trial versus discount in the example above). Keep A/B testing to make sure that your ads are in line with customer values.
Track your progress
So many marketers get frustrated with Facebook because they feel like they haven’t made any headway with ads. The truth is that most of these people who claim that Facebook is useless probably haven’t been tracking the progress of their ads very well. Facebook easily allows you to track your ad’s progress as people click on it and click through your landing page. You can compare the success and failures of your ads and see what’s working and what isn’t.
Facebook advertising has a lot to offer your company, but if you don’t play around with it, you won’t be able to reap the full benefit of the site. Keep these tips in mind when starting your Facebook ad campaigns and you’ll be off to a better, more effective start.
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