With 2.7 billion monthly Facebook users and more than 100 million active Instagram users, social media ads are one marketing opportunity you don’t want to miss out on. While there’s no denying the benefits of Facebook ads, it can be tricky to create successful campaigns that drive the results you want. If the thought of creating a Facebook ad leaves you feeling overwhelmed, don’t stress! We’ll be breaking down the three major aspects to take into consideration and share tips that even a novice can execute on.

Targeting

Perhaps the most important characteristic of a Facebook ad campaign is knowing who you’re targeting. While that’s paramount to any marketing campaign, with Facebook ads specifically, your campaign budget is determined by cost per click (CPC). You want a narrow enough audience that those who click are quality leads that may actually convert, but not too narrow that your CPC is outrageously high. Results-driven Facebooks ads master the delicate balance between cost effectiveness and high engagement & conversion rate through strategic targeting. Here are a few ways you can do the same:

1. If you’re a local business, use location targeting.

It might seem obvious, but if your product or service is local to an area, be sure to set geographical parameters. Facebook ads allow you to select a radius of your choosing around your business, whether it’s 1 mile or 30 miles. Critically consider where your audience lives and to which areas your business is accessible. If a person in San Francisco sees your hardware store’s ad for a huge sale and clicks on it only to find out you’re located in Pennsylvania, you’ve both frustrated that user and paid for a click that has a 0% chance of converting. While it may seem tempting to get your name out to everyone, it’s more important to be sure you’re targeting an audience that has a legitimate chance of becoming a customer. Which brings us to…

2. Don’t just target people who like your product, target the ones who can actually buy it!

Your business may have a million fans, but how many of those are paying customers? While they make like your business, not everyone has the disposable income to spend on your product or service. This especially applies if you’re a business offering a higher-end consumer good. Defining who your audience includes if they can afford you or not. An easy way to target for this is to use a high-value customer to create a lookalike audience. Create a custom audience based off of your most valuable audiences to reach new people who share similar characteristics.

3. Reach people who have already interacted with your business.

This strategy is called retargeting and typically results in higher conversion rates and lower CPCs. Since you’ll be targeting an audience that has a pre-existing familiarity with your business, they’ll be more likely to interact with your ad—and convert. There are a couple of ways that Facebook allows you to retarget:

  • Through people who are on a list you upload
    This allows you to target email subscribers, a specific sector of customers, etc with ads that are timely and relevant. Consider using this feature for exclusive sales or to promote a new product that may be of interest to an existing customer base.
  • After people have visited your site, watched a video, etc
    Retargeting this way allows you create ads that show after a user completes a specific action, similar to autoresponder email series. You can create a dynamic ad, for instance, that shows a user a product they previously looked at to encourage them to follow through on purchasing.

No matter the approach you take to creating your audience, the biggest takeaway is that the more relevant an ad is to users, the higher conversion rates you’ll have.

Purpose

There are a handful of reasons why you might choose to create a Facebook ad campaign… Do you know the purpose behind your ads?

Perhaps you’re a new business and your main goal is to get eyes on your website or social media channels. In this case, the purpose of your ad campaign is awareness. The ads you create may not necessarily convert users because it will likely be the first time they ever interact with your brand. But the goal with these ad campaigns should be impressions, and you can continue to build a relationship with these users through the retargeting approach aforementioned. After the first interaction with your business, whats ad can you trigger to show to allow users to learn more about who you are and what you do?

If you’re not sure where to begin with an ad campaign focused on awareness, consider storytelling through video. While users may scroll right on past multiple lines of copy, they’re likely to stop scrolling to watch 20 seconds of a video ad. A branded video is a prime opportunity to quickly share exactly what your company does (and how you might do it differently than competitors!) in a really engaging way. Just be sure to include your logo and company name at the beginning to start building a sense of familiarity for viewers.

Another reason you may choose to do a Facebook ad is for engagement purposes. Not all Facebook ads have to direct customers to your website or to complete a purchase—you can create an ad campaign for the sole purpose of starting a conversation and boosting your social media engagement rates. Whether it’s bringing your customer base in to help make decisions on a new product (such as choosing their favorite of print options, etc) or inviting them to share their favorite menu items, sparking a conversation builds brand loyalty and increases the number of comments, likes, and shares your posts receive. Just like an awareness campaign, this style of ad campaign probably won’t result in a lot of clicks but will rather serve as a gentle reminder of your company and brand personality.

When creating ads with a conversion purpose on your mind, your goal is completely centered around users completing a desired action, whether it’s subscribing to your blog or purchasing a product. A great tool to use for these types of ad campaigns is Facebook Lead Ads, which pre-populates a user’s name and email on a form, all within the Facebook platform. Lead ads allow you to collect information directly from prospects in just a couple of easy steps on their side. If you need more information or have a specific action in mind that you want users to complete, opt for directing them to a landing page instead. In this case, be sure the landing page makes it as easy as possible for the desired action to take place. In other words, don’t add a bunch of other information or links onto the landing page!

Design

With platforms as visual as Facebook and Instagram, it would be remiss not to discuss the design dos and don’ts of your ads. From the copy you write to the images you use, there are a lot of elements to consider when creating your Facebook ad. Here are our top three recommendations:

1. Keep them native.

Great ads shouldn’t disrupt a user’s experience on Facebook. Choose images that match the images typically shared on the platform and avoid anything that looks gimmicky or scammy. The goal with the ad is that it should flow naturally with the rest of the user’s feed so that they feel more like they’re interacting with content they like rather than with an ad. As Facebook increases the feedback tools for users regarding ads, this is becoming even more important! The last thing you want is for a valuable prospect hitting the “Hide ad” button on your ad!

2. Minimize text on images.

Facebook advises against using any text overlays at all but many advertisers find it effective to include a short message. When considering whether or not to use text on an image, consider the above point of creating content that feels native to Facebook. It’s not often that you scroll through and see a handful of images with a text overlay. If you do feel adding a short message to your ad helps sell your value proposition, be sure it’s clear and concise and use Facebook’s tool to test whether your image will be approved or not.

3. Nail the headline.

The headline is the first thing your audience will read and one of the most effective ways to boost conversions. Headlines that drive results stem from an understanding of who your audience is, but there are a handful of strategies you can consider when writing your headline:

  • Create a sense of urgency

Give your audience an extra boost of encouragement to click on your ad by making them feel as if they might miss out on a great offer!

  • Have a call-to-action

Actionable ad headlines help to increase clicks. What’s your audience’s motivation for clicking their ad? What do they get when clicking your ad? Use the answers to these questions to guide your CTA copywriting.

  • Keep it short

Facebook allows up to 125 characters but most data shows that headlines with 100 characters or less perform better. Keeping it around 100 characters also ensures your full headline will be visible on mobile ads that tend to truncate headlines.

Conclusion

Facebook ad campaigns can be overwhelming, but these tips make it easier to lower your ad costs and increase your conversion rates. Prefer to leave it to the pros? Let’s talk!

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