How to Make Your Facebook Advertising Work Harder
When many companies start placing Facebook ads, they quickly become frustrated. The user interface is new and unfamiliar. The campaign structure is a little wonky. And the difference between a great ad and a terrible one is often small and hard to identify.
No wonder so many marketers give up and decide to stick with Google ads. But if you’re willing to invest a little time in learning the platform and getting more familiar with the tricks and tips that make Facebook ads perform better, it can become one of the most effective marketing tools in your arsenal.
This highly customizable platform offers exceptional targeting at a low cost per thousand. But both beginners and experienced media experts struggle with the Facebook Ads platform from time to time. That’s why we’re sharing six tips (and one bonus tip/insider’s secret!) to help you energize your Facebook ad efforts, increase click-through, boost engagement, and lower CPM.
Expert Tip #1: Test Multiple Versions
Facebook has all kinds of tools and procedures that make it easy to test multiple versions of your ads. No matter how small your budget or how confident you are that you know what works, you should ABT (Always Be Testing.) It’s important to set up these tests in ways that test just one variable at a time, so you know exactly what is making the difference between success and mediocracy. There are so many elements to test, it’s hard to know where to start.
Test Multiple Images
Do people click more if a person is looking into the camera or looking away? Is it better to show your product in use or in the package? Do bright colors get more clicks than high-contrast black and white images? Think about what you’re testing and what you’re trying to learn. Over time, you’ll begin to see patterns that help you consistently create strong ads.
Test Alternate Headlines
Should you say, “Click Now for Free Shipping” or “Free Shipping on All Orders”? Small differences in wording can convert in dramatically different ways. Facebook currently allows the option to test two different headlines on each ad and will continually allocate redirect funding to the better-performing headline.
Just like in any other marketing medium, you want to measure which offer works best.
Do women 18-24 click more than men 18-24? Do people interested in dogs like your product more than people interested in cats? Do people in Alabama click on your ads more frequently than people in Arkansas? Set up tests and carefully track results. Each time you test and learn, you’re increasing your brand’s abilities to attract more qualified audiences.
You can choose from a variety of ad placements including Newsfeed, Messenger, Instagram Stories, and many, many more. While it may be tempting to guess which one will work best for your brand, testing each platform may deliver some surprising results. Make the effort to test and learn, to see which placements work best for your product or service.
Expert Tip #2: People Love Video, but it Doesn’t Always Convert
People like to watch videos, but videos don’t always convert well compared to images. However, every product and business is different, so before you make up your mind about which is best for your company, test the power of video against strong photography. We used to say that video is king, but the truth is that a powerful photo often outperforms a weak video. Think through your options and goals, and test, test, test.
Expert Tip #3: Retarget Your Web Traffic
Facebook allows you to put tracking code on your website and create audiences based on pages visited. That means you can send one ad to audiences who visited your luxury vacation page and another ad to the users who visited your vacation deals page. Think about what each page on your site says, who it targets, and create a Facebook ad to help that customer move further down your sales funnel.
Expert Tip #4: Get to Know Lookalikes
Facebook allows businesses to upload email lists of a certain size (usually 1,000 or more) and market to them as a group. This alone is a powerful tool, but Facebook can also create a “lookalike” audience. These duplicated audiences look, act, and behave the way your email list does, but at exponentially larger numbers. That means if you have a list of 2,000 people interested in petroleum engineering, and you upload it to Facebook, it will create a lookalike list of 1 million people or more.
Expert Tip #5: Consider Mobile-Only
As more and more people access apps like Facebook on mobile, mobile ads have become more effective than ever. Although the Facebook ad planning tool will recommend that you don’t advertise on mobile-only, we’ve found the advice is a bit self-serving (and very rarely the best advice for advertisers.) At the very least, test two sets of ads–one for mobile placement only, and one for both mobile and desktop. We suspect that the mobile-only ads will considerably outperform ads on desktop.
Expert Tip #6: Small, Targeted Audiences Work Great (but Don’t get too Targeted)
Facebook has so many targeting options with cool and sometimes unusual qualifiers. It’s tempting to create very targeted audiences, but it’s easy to get too targeted. When your audience size gets too small, Facebook tends to slow down the distribution of your ads. Facebook doesn’t want to flood users' newsfeeds with ads, so if an advertiser has overspent to reach a small audience, Facebook will slow down distribution, and the advertiser will end up with unspent media money and unseen ads.
Instead, use Facebook’s handy-dandy audience evaluation tools that are part of the ads manager. They will tell you if your audience is very broad, very narrow, or just right.
BONUS Insider’s Secret!
Not only is testing one or more versions of your ad a good idea, but it will also help your best-performing ad perform even better. In test after test, Cup O Content has measured the performance of ads running solo vs. ads running with at least one additional version in the same campaign and budget. When Facebook ads have another ad to compare with, the top performer does even better.
So the next time you’re running a campaign, include at least two ad versions. Don’t pause the underperforming ad, or it may slow the performance of your more successful ads.
Want to Make Facebook Advertising Work for Your Business?
It takes a lot of love and care to maximize the performance of your Facebook ads. In fact, about 20-50 percent of your social media budget may go to planning, placement, and optimization instead of media costs. That’s because a well-placed and optimized Facebook ad can outperform ad campaigns with much greater media budgets.
When it comes to Facebook, invest in a seasoned partner who knows how to give you all the benefits this advanced ad platform has to offer. Contact Cup O Content today and let’s set up a time to discuss your business needs.
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