Updated: Nov 11, 2018
In one of our recent shout outs (which are available to our subscribers) we asked the question "do Facebook ads actually work"? The answer was yes, so long as you do it right. We also promised we'd follow up with a blog post on exactly what the "do it right" entails, so here we are...
Facebook ad types
First of all, let’s take a look at the different types of Facebook ads you can run and how they can be used. When you head to your ad center for your business account and hit create ad you'll find a few different options...
We all know how a few posts do better than the others on social media. When you’re driving people to your page, you will notice that they interact with some content more than what you have been posting so far. That’s your opportunity to target more customers from that segment. Using post engagement ads to boost the reach of your content on Facebook will also get you more likes on the page – a double whammy!
Local promotionWhile some businesses focus on global brand awareness, there are some that have location specific goals. These campaigns are set using the geographic location of your business and your potential customers. Local promotions are great for encouraging customers to visit your store, or for promoting your services within a specified area. Maybe you are a real estate agent or lawn mowing service and you have a specific area you can engage in? If so, then these ads would be a great focus for your Facebook advertising efforts.
If you’re new to the industry and are just starting to reach out to your customers, website click campaigns are your best bet. These campaigns focus on one thing: driving traffic to your website.
You could direct this traffic to your blog, product page, sales page, etc. The idea is to let the customer discover what you’re offering instead of pushing them towards a conversion right away. For businesses that have different things to offer, you can make use of carousel ads to send traffic to different links. Similarly, you can also experiment with canvas ads that share the story of your brand with customers and nudges them to visit your website to know more.
Even though most brand awareness campaigns result in driving traffic to the website, the website conversion ads are a different ball game. They are super-targeted and specific in nature. In short: they take visitors towards a defined call to action on a particular page of your business website (remember how we talked about landing pages recently?). In order to get maximum results from these ads, try experimenting with different call-to-actions. Perhaps you could try using the ‘learn more’ button to direct your users to a page where they need to sign up for a newsletter or a free trial of a product.
Lead generation ads
The general approach to online lead generation is to drive users to a landing page and have them fill out a form with their contact details. With Facebook leads ads you now have the opportunity to decrease the drop off from an ad to a landing page. Facebook lead generation ad campaigns allow you to collect a prospect’s information without forcing them to leave the platform.
Interactive content is what performs the best on Facebook. Promoting events and encouraging your target audience to participate is a great way to put forward your value proposition and get a chance to start a conversation without sounding too salesy. Do you have a webinar or Ted Talk you want to share with your potential customers? This is your opportunity!
Every business wants a chance to interact with their customers and highlight the value they can give deliver. This is why you see brands running promo offers or special discounts designed to appeal to their target market. Whether you’re offering something for free, a content upgrade (such as an e-book) or a simple discount coupon for first time purchases, these ad types will work for you. They will help you stand out from the vast volume of content being shared on a user’s feed.
Making Facebook ads work
Once you have chosen the goal of your campaign and the ad type you would be running, it is time to focus on how you can maximize the results.
Target your existing audienceAcquiring a new customer is 10X more costly than engaging an existing one. So why waste your advertising budget on getting clicks from cold traffic when you can use the same to nurture the warm traffic already following you on Facebook?
Your existing customers and followers are more likely to respond to an ad positively so aim at getting shares and spreading awareness with the help of word of mouth promotions by leveraging your existing audience.
Use graphics but limit your text
Ever noticed how even the biggest of businesses like Shopify use high-resolution pictures contextual to their campaign? With zero text on it? Facebook’s 20% text rule on ad graphics is a well-known rule amongst social media marketers. The lesser the text, the higher is the reach of your ad campaign. So when you’re creating A/B tests (we talk about this a bit more below), make sure one of your ad sets is using a graphic with no text on it.
Include social proofIf you want customers to believe that you will deliver what you promise, then social proof is necessary. Simply showing numbers from the results where you have helped others achieve can make a big difference. This could be a simple campaign that lets your audience know the value of using your product or service. You can also use customer testimonials that direct users to your case studies.
And most importantly, you have to test
Try to think of every variation there could be within your audience segment. A/B tests on the following elements to see what your audience responds to the most:
copy (long form and short form)
type (carousel, single image, videos, canvas)
Split testing on Facebook enables you to identify which ad is performing better in your audience segment. This way you can focus on boosting the ad campaign that is getting you maximum conversions.
Split test ad targeting
Besides the format and the copy of your ads, another way to test your market is to vary the targeting – even if it’s minimal. Be it the positioning of the ad, the bid you set, the demographics/behavior you add or subtract, make sure you create as many variations as you can. Try to think of every variation there could be within your audience segment.
Focus on A/B testing the following:
sociographic and behavioural targeting
From your testing you’ll be able to identify which ad set gets you maximum conversions and what specific demographic or strategy is making all the difference.
So what if your ads haven't been working so far?
If your campaigns haven’t been performing so far, perhaps its time to head back to the whiteboard and revisit your advertising strategy. Right from your objectives, to who you’re targeting, to the approach you’re using — dig deeper into understanding your target market.
But as a thumb’s rule, try to keep your ads simple. Be consistent in your messaging and make it easy to convert. The longer the conversion process is, the more likely people are to drop off between Facebook and your landing page. Lastly, be as creative as possible because monotony creates boredom and boredom kills conversions.
If you'd like us to take a look at your digital marketing efforts, or take a look at your current Facebook ad profile, contact us for a free initial consult today.