Essential Tips for Effective Facebook Advertising
Facebook's reputation has taken quite a sustained hit over the past few years as it seems unable to detach itself from political controversy. However, as marketers, we rely on platforms like Facebook to help us reach the audiences who still use them in their millions and sometimes billions. Because of this, it’s hard to ignore the importance of this kind of advertising and the potential returns it can produce for business and clients. With that in mind, understanding how to provide the best possible experience to users while advertising on these platforms is essential.
That said, when advertising on Facebook vs other advertising channels there are some universal truths. In this article, we are going to be discussing what you need to be aware of and how you can best optimise for this kind of advertising in the long run.
Creative Matters for Facebook Advertising
This cannot be understated! Your creative is going to be the first thing a potential client or customer is going to see. You have probably heard this a thousand times by now, but users are going to make a split-second decision when they see your ad. And if your ad doesn’t stand out or look intriguing to your audience they are going to just keep scrolling. It’s becoming easier and easier to avoid ads and customers are becoming more and more desensitised to and far better at ignoring them. With that in mind you need to not only stand out even more but also provide some kind of value over and above the norm in your ad.
One way you can do this is through investing in good photography and graphics. It is thought that users engage with ads that seem familiar so trying to make your ads feel as if the user already knows you can be a useful tactic. Moreover, keeping your ad copy punchy and clear will also help the ads perform better.
If you don’t have access to a design team to create great graphics for your ads there are some great solutions to try, even if you aren't artistically gifted! Why not try some of the free platforms available, such as Canva and Animoto? These intuitive services offer a huge variety of ready to use templates that can be tailored and branded just for you. We would also recommend investing in the Adobe Creative Cloud suite as this will help enormously when creating Facebook ads.
Don’t Spend a Fortune
It can be easy to fall into the trap of spending a fortune on campaigns, but often increasing a budget isn’t going to make a failing campaign better or deliver the right ROI. In fact, there are many ways you can create low-cost campaigns which perform just as well if not better than high-cost ones.
When creating low-cost campaigns, you can try engagement campaigns. These are often cheaper than goal orientated campaigns and will increase the footfall to your page or site. However, another good alternative is a traffic-based campaign if you are wanting more footfall to land on your site.
Engagement campaigns - These campaigns encourage platform users to like, share, comment on and contribute to your brand narrative. These are usually measured in terms of engagement metrics, likes, shares, comments etc.
Goal-orientated campaigns - These are campaigns set specifically to achieve a specific goal. They are usually limited time, aimed at a very specific target market and designed for a particular niche purpose.
Traffic-based campaigns - These are campaigns designs primarily to drive traffic in volume to a website or app.
It’s important to recognise when using low-cost campaigns, you will often need to make fast decisions in the moment, as you don’t have the budget to fall back on and test new options. If you are seeing a drop off in key metrics or something not working properly you will need to iterate quickly. This could be updating your targeting options, writing new ad copy or testing new landing pages. Being able to do this means you'll need to watch the campaigns closely.
Be Careful with Lead Ads
Lead ads often sound like a great idea, they allow users to quickly and efficiently complete a form which will give you lots of new leads/contacts. However, they can be a bit too easy for the user. Because there is so little effort involved, the quality of leads you collect is likely to be relatively poor and so ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) is likely to be reduced, as well as clogging up your CRM, and your sales teams' time, with low value, likely cold, data.
Ensuring your targeting is precise as possible to get the best possible leads is vitally important.
You can review your lead quality by keeping track of your leads through whatever CMS (Content Management System) you are using. Tools such as Zapier can connect Facebook to a CMS will mean you can optimise for quality as well as volume. There are a variety of CMS platforms available, some free, some not. We recommend the free version of HubSpot which can be upgraded as your database and requirements evolve.
Another tactic to ensure you get the most out of your leads is to use custom conversions for qualifying leads. Custom conversions allow you to create rules for events or URLs. The rules let you measure more specific customer actions. You can also use custom conversions to optimise your ad delivery and reach people who are most likely to take the actions you care about. Not only does this allow you to see what ad groups and campaigns are providing the best leads, it also facilitates optimisation in the future.
Let the Facebook Pixel Work for You
The pixel isn’t just a tool for your remarketing lists, it’s a brilliant tool which is able to optimise your campaigns for the most appropriate audience. When you set up the pixel ensure you are giving it as much data to work with as possible. This means the pixel should optimise delivery of your ads according to what it sees on your site.
Best Practice Isn’t Always the Best
Most of the time best practice is to be advised. However, you shouldn’t constrain yourself in order to use best practices when they don't complement your objectives.
Some common best practice examples are as follows:
- Nurture cold traffic through sequence ads before making the sell
- Video is far more engaging to audiences
- Split ads by placement, demographics and device for better relevancy
- Don’t rely on conversion ads as CPM's (Cost per Thousand/Mille) tend to be higher
Although the examples above are usually invaluable to creating an effective campaign you shouldn’t stick to them if they are going to adversely affect your long-term strategies.
If you’ve got a small or limited budget, then you’re going to need to react quickly to changes and to optimise your campaigns, to not only focus on giving the users something in return but also providing an enjoyable experience; be it through creative graphics and images or a well-thought-out customer journey that develops with the user.
If you would like help developing your PPC or social strategy and optimisation of your account, the Innovation Visual team would be happy to help! Contact us today to talk to an expert.