10 Tips from Facebook Power Users – Facebook Ads As a media buyer, it takes a relatively short amount of time to become familiar with the ads buying process. Nevertheless, it can be hard to develop an ads strategy that is truly successful without having significant Facebook Ads experience. There are a ton of tips and tricks out there that promise to help you tweak your strategy to yield higher engagement and higher conversions. Many of those tips, though, are written for more general audiences or do not address Facebook’s current ads structure.
That’s why we contacted a number of Facebook power users and asked them for advanced tips that may not be as obvious to seasoned Ads users. Then we weighed in on how these tips can impact the success of your Ads campaign.
1. “News Feed ads with photos generate more engagement.”
One of the things we’ve noticed with Facebook Advertising is that News Feed ads tend to work much better than other forms of ads, and they usually get more clicks and more engagement. In our experience, the best way to ensure you get the attention of Facebook users is to use beautiful, eye-catching images and videos.
But the most important thing is to check your ad analytics regularly to see if you’re getting the results you were hoping for – and if you aren’t, then be prepared to make the changes needed to get them there!
2. “Gather audience data.”
Don’t guess about your audience on Facebook. Click on the insights tab and find
out who your audience really is, what’s resonating with them and when – and target from that information. Make your content visual, lean, interesting and fresh. Track your posts in the analytics at the top of the page and boost those that are doing well with targeted promotions. And don’t let customer messages go unloved.
3. “Generate brand awareness rather than clicks.”
There are many objectives for utilizing Facebook Ads, and for most companies
it comes down to either increasing brand awareness through “Like” campaigns or promoting a campaign through Sponsored Posts. These ads are dependent on visitors to click through to “Like” a landing page, and each click requires a cost. While this won’t work as well for Sponsored Posts, there’s an easier, less expensive way to generate brand awareness inside the Facebook community: Create a series of ads that no one would want to click on.
There is a company that I have heard of that did this with great success, creating ads which no one would want to click-through on yet generating brand awareness. After a few months of spending very little money on ads that very few clicked on yet generating many impressions, the company started getting calls from people saying that they “see them everywhere on Facebook.” It’s important to note that, like other ad platforms, your ad will not appear as often if it doesn’t generate any engagement, but perhaps experimenting with high bids in hopes that very few users click on your ad is a high-risk high-return approach to potentially generating a lot of engagement for very little budget.
4. “Custom categories allow for better audience targeting.”
Tap into the power of Facebook’s partners’ data (Acxiom and Datalogix), which you can use to target Facebook users with more focus using the “custom categories” tool. This allows you to target ads to more categories of people – for instance, targeting Facebook users based on demographic info (home owner, renter etc) and on their purchase history (type, model and price of car; date of purchase and a whole lot more).
Using this feature will make your ads more relevant and powerful.
5. “Understand the true value of Facebook advertising.”
Facebook is a tremendously powerful and unique platform for acquiring users.
Other acquisition models negatively incentivize user acquisition & retention (for example, rewards programs for installing and trying new apps or games). This results in a large percentage of that audience un-engaged because they’re not truly interested in your product or service and joined simply to get that tchotchke. Facebook empowers the marketer to properly incentivize prospective customers and existing customers alike.
For new customers, targeted Facebook ads put the onus on you and your brand to sell prospective customers to like your Page or engage with your content. At the end of the day, the consumer is the one making the conscious and deliberate decision to “Like” your page and/or interact with your content for no other reason than to say, “I like what you have to say, and want to hear more.” That leads to an incredibly valuable proposition for your organization, in contrast to the weaker methods of acquisition I described before.
6. “A/B testing makes all the difference.”
Don’t think of your Facebook ads as “set it and forget it.” That’s one surefire way
to blow through your budget and limit your success. It’s important to not only monitor your ads’ initial performance, but also A/B test which variation of copy and imagery is converting the highest. I’d also suggest incorporating customer/buyer persona development research into your ads, which will help you tailor effective messages specific to each audience or recognize new targeting opportunities.
Though Facebook removed the option to set a Default Landing Tab for your Page with the implementation of Timeline in March 2012, having a landing tab set as the destination for your Facebook ads is still a viable option. A landing tab could elaborate on the initial ad’s value proposition and combined with a fan-gate (i.e. “Like” to see more) can be very effective in converting more paid traffic to fans.
7. “Native advertising is the goal.”
Craft your Facebook Page wall posts in as friendly and personable a way
as possible. Aim for short, concise narrative that catches people’s attention and ideally makes them want to share with their friends. Then, when these wall posts in the News Feed, you want your paid content to seamlessly integrate with personal posts that friends of your target audience share. As Mark Zuckerburg stated at the last TechCrunch Disrupt event, “I talked about our efforts to grow our business through improving the quality of our ads rather than just increasing the quantity. Our goal is to reach a point where the ads are as relevant and timely as the content your friends share with you.”
8. “Focus on amazing content.”
Facebook’s changes to their News Feed algorithm have changed the type of
content that lands in users’ feeds. If you are relying on targeting alone to get the job done, you’re missing a big piece of the puzzle. Teams that are agile in terms of creative development and armed with data to help them make targeting and budgeting decisions are going to be incredibly successful in the future. Think about it this way, you can have an amazingly-targeted ad, but if your content is dull compared to the content in a user’s feed, they’re going to scroll right by – especially on mobile. Your content (copy, image, etc.) needs to be as interesting as the stuff they’re seeing from friends, family, and other brands. Knowing what type of content resonates with your audiences and being able to make changes on the fly go a long way in the Facebook ad world.
9. “Leverage the platform accordingly.”
This value also means you have a great deal of responsibility as a marketer on this platform. And Facebook goes that extra mile to provide us with the tools we need to succeed at that job. For example, Facebook gives marketers the ability to track multiple different ads within a campaign and adjust spending parameters accordingly based on which ads are performing better. This allows you to A/B test a variety of different strategies concurrently, across multiple different campaigns (and even products & demographics).
But what good are the tools if you’re not leveraging them properly? It’s critical to strategize your campaign around well-defined goals and objectives. Don’t try to do too many things with a single campaign – know your goal and align your creative process around those objectives. Doing this facilitates decisive conclusions about the relative success or failure of a given campaign. Then measure those results in real-time, and don’t be afraid to modify the parameters of your campaign as needed to maximize its effectiveness.
10. “Start by setting SMART goals.”
Like with any other marketing activity, you need to start with a goal. Ask yourself “why am I spending this money on Facebook ads?” If you don’t have a clear answer, don’t do it. Your goal should be S.M.A.R.T.: Specific, Measureable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-bound. For example, I want to drive more downloads of my new app. Your goal, in this case, should be: get 1,000 downloads by the end of the quarter with a budget of no more than $10,000. When the end of the quarter comes, it should be fairly easy for you to determine whether or not you achieved your goal. And then set a new one.