Why Run Facebook Ads?
When it comes to advertising on social media, Facebook is king. When comparing the revenues of Snapchat and Twitter and Facebook, it’s easy to see where people are spending their advertising budget. Facebook is the one social ad platform that more and more businesses are turning to for answers. In early 2017, Facebook reported that 1.27 billion users logged in at least once a day, which is an increase of 3.9% from 2016.
It’s impossible to know if your campaign is as profitable as it could be without an effective tracking system in place. If you follow these simple steps, you will be able to give new life to your campaigns and get even better results.
1) Look At Your Current Tracking
There is no secret to knowing if you have a good Facebook campaign or not. You have to run the numbers, and if you don’t have the right tracking set up, you’re not going to have the right numbers. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- How much did you spend?
- What was your cost per click (CPC)?
- How many impressions did that get you?
- How much revenue did your ads bring in? (Tracked through Facebook pixel)
All of those KPI’s are great numbers to keep an eye on. The great news is that Facebook will automatically track your ad spend, cost per click, and impressions. But if you don’t have a Facebook pixel capturing purchase events on your website, you won’t know how much revenue your ads brought in. If you don’t have this tracking set up yet, here is Facebook’s directions. It’s important to set up pixel capturing so that when a user clicks on your Facebook ad, goes to your website, and makes a purchase, Facebook will be able to track and report on it.
If you haven’t already, get your pixel installed as soon as possible on your website so that when you run ads it can be a “mature” pixel. Basically, when a new pixel starts to understand which users make purchases and which users don’t, it can begin to optimize your ad spend by selecting users who would most likely convert on your page.
Once you have the correct tracking, it’s time to optimize your audiences and ads.
2) Find the Best Audience
Picking your audience is something that most advertisers rush into without a second thought as to why they are picking that audience. As an advertiser, you want to first test your audiences, then test your ads. This is because you will get nowhere if you have the wrong audience to begin with.
Once you know an audience is made up of good buyers, you can begin to optimize your ads. It’s important to produce a couple different audiences and test how well they respond to your ads. At Big Leap, we see most novice advertisers target users by their interests. While this can be a great way to find users, there are cheaper and more effective audiences. We’ve found the following audiences to perform best.
Email List Audience
If your business uses email marketing, you have an email list. This is a great audience to advertise to on Facebook because they already know your company and your product, and are therefore primed to buy. Here’s how you upload your email audience into Facebook:
- In Facebook Ads Manager, select your Audiences tab.
- Create a Custom Audience, from customer file
- If you use MailChimp, you can integrate your list directly from that. You can also upload a CSV file or simply copy and paste the file with all the emails in one column.
- Name your audience
Facebook will then match the information you uploaded with users already in the Facebook database and create a Facebook audience made up of your list.
A great tactic is to upload a list of past customer purchases (using the same steps outlined above). The main difference here is you can select the customer audience and tell Facebook to make a “lookalike” audience based off your customers. Facebook will look for common attributes of your customers and then find more people with those attributes, and it’s surprisingly effective. You can also try creating lookalike audiences of users who like your page, or even users who visit your website. If you are not already advertising to these 2 audiences, we would recommend testing them with your brand.
Mature Pixel Audience
If your pixel has tracked 20 or more conversions in the last month, it can self-optimize and become a great audience all by itself. The idea is to build an ad set targeting everyone possible with the only stipulation to have your pixel optimize for conversions or link clicks. Because the mature pixel knows who will be best, this can return great customers at a low cost per conversion.
Better Targeted Interests
I know we said interest-based targeting often isn’t the best, but if you don’t have an email list, customer list, or mature pixel, targeting users by interest is your best option. If you have a Facebook business page with a sizeable audience, you can look at those audience insights to see what their common interests are and target them in your ad set. By using “Audience Insights,” you can learn more about your key demographics and their interests. Use those insights to your advantage in Facebook ads. Below is a snapshot of the insights based on the users who like the Big Leap page.
Image Source: AdEspresso
3) Optimize for Cheaper Conversions
One of the biggest mistakes we see are that novice advertisers make assumptions of which picture will work better, or which version of ad copy is better to use in the ad, and never actually test it. Never assume anything in Facebook advertising until it has been tested! Often times I am surprised to see an ugly, weird picture performing better than a beautiful ad that you would expect to see on a billboard.
The best way to test ads within Facebook Ads Manager is to put them in the same ad set. Facebook will automatically put more budget to the better performing ad. We recommend to have at least 3 different ad variations to every ad set. Here is a test we’ve ran and learned from:
After testing these 2 ad images head to head, there was a clear winner. Both reflect the same idea, but if you don’t have an eye-catching image then your costs will likely be higher.
When it comes to testing, you can see which images and ad copy work best, but don’t forget to test the new features that Facebook periodically comes out with, which leads us to next recommendation for Facebook advertising nirvana.
4) Explore Facebook Features and Ad Types
Facebook is constantly making changes and coming out with new features and new ad types. When Facebook Live Video rolled out, those users who used it first got amazing reach, engagement, and views. Facebook tends to give priority to those who use their new features before they become popular. Here is a screenshot of what’s currently being offered on Facebook.
A good question to ask yourself is, “How many of these campaigns are relevant to my business that I haven’t tested yet?” Users react differently to different ad types. One user might convert when shown a Facebook leads ad, but not convert when taken to a landing page with a leads form. Because of this, it’s important to give every new ad feature a try.
Once your ads have been running for a couple days, you will be able to tell what’s working and what’s not. All you have to do is turn off the ads or ad sets that aren’t working, and craft up some new ads based on the ones that are working. At this point you’re ready to wash, rinse, and repeat.