Before you go ahead and create your first ad, it’s very important to understand the keys to success in Facebook advertising.
Many beginner advertisers dive straight in and it’s no wonder they struggle to get the click throughs, conversions and desired ROIs.
By reading this blog post, you will be able to avoid those mistakes and really understand the 7 things you have to focus on in order to create successful Facebook Ad campaigns that will grow your business.
This video is essentially a crash course in Facebook Ads, so I highly recommend you take notes because this is going to save you a huge amount of time, money and frustration.
The first key to success with Facebook advertising is Targeting and targeting simply means getting your ads in front of the right audience.
This is not only the first key to success but also the most important one, where I recommend you put most of your attention.
The simple reason targeting is so important is because there is such a massive audience on Facebook.
There is over 2.4 billion monthly active users and over 1.6 billion daily active users on Facebook.
This is a trend that is not going to change any time soon as we continue to ride the waves of the information era.
You need to be really laser focused in who you put your ads in front of, because remember, at the end of the day, Facebook is an advertising company and if you had the advertising money, they will spend it.
So, it’s really on you to get the ads in front of the right people if you want to get the best results.
The great news is that there is bunch of great ways to target your audience on Facebook and I want to give you a quick overview of them right now. There are three ways to choose your audience on Facebook.
The first way to target your ads, which I consider as entry level in Facebook Ads targeting, is Core Targeting.
Facebook Core targeting helps you select the right recipients for your ad in just a few clicks.
Whether you want your ad to be shown to people based on location, age, gender, hobbies, prior purchase behavior or something else, Facebook can help you connect to people who are likely to be interested in what you offer.
Core targeting can be as broad or well defined as you like.
When this came initially it was revolutionary and gave Facebook huge advantage in online advertising space. When we created our profiles, we gave Facebook all the data which is why that information is so accurate and such an amazing privilege for advertisers when it first came out.
However, the game has changed now and there is a new type of targeting that is even more powerful – it is called Custom Audiences, and if you are not using them, your advertising is like it’s 5 years ago.
Facebook Custom Audiences are built from customer data that you have on hand, making it easy to reconnect with the people who have already shown interest in your business.
Foster relationships and drive sales by targeting your existing connections on and off Facebook.
Custom audiences really allow you to target people on Facebook who you already have a relationship with, and as you can imagine, that’s a lot easier way to get sale. Instead of hitting up somebody who is cold and hasn’t heard about your business or maybe targeting someone who’s already been to your website has much better chance to get a sale.
There are many different types of Custom Audiences but the general thing that links them together is retargeting or remarketing.
Retargeting to people who already engaged with your website and creating custom audience based of those people is more advanced level of advertising.
You need to have a Facebook Pixel in place in order to do that, which I’ll show you exactly how to do that step by step.
You can create a custom audience and retarget people who are on your email list, who engaged with your Facebook Page, who have engaged with your app (you need to have Facebook SDK installed in your app which basically is a Facebook Pixel for mobile apps).
And you can also create custom audiences even from people who watched a video you put on Facebook and retarget them with ads. It is extremely powerful and extremely flexible, and I’ll actually show you how to set up each of these custom audiences later on in the course.
Now look at this case study to better understand Custom Audiences.
The French family concept store called Smallable, won sales from across the globe when it used the Facebook Pixel to power retargeted dynamic ad campaigns.
The Facebook Pixel they implemented helped them in several ways, such as to optimize ad delivery to people who are likely to take action, and to create Custom Audiences from website visitors.
Once people started to view products on their website as a result of seeing the ads, providing feedback from the Pixel, Smallable could then start retargeting dynamic ads that showed people the products they were interested in.
The ads showcased their product range with the carousel, collection and single image formats.
As a result, the Facebook Pixel combined with dynamic ads helped Smallable achieve an impressive 124x return on ad spend.
Almost unbelievable, right? So that’s just one example, you can do it in a ton of different ways, but I hope you can see the power of retargeting using these Custom Audiences over just targeting people by interest who may be interested in your product but haven’t even taken the step to visit your website.
Now the third and final way to target on Facebook is using Lookalike Audiences.
These are really the marketer’s best friend because it allows you to scale your marketing efforts extremely efficiently.
Facebook Lookalike Audiences helps you connect to people on Facebook who are similar to your customers.
Use the insights you’ve gained from marketing on Facebook to increase your chances of reaching people who will be interested in your business.
Lookalike Audiences are a fast and effective way to connect with more people who are likely to respond to your ads. Lookalike Audience helps you reach people who are like your current customers, website visitors or Facebook fans.
What Lookalike Audience actually does is it uses source audience (one of the custom audiences that you created) and then uses it to find similar people on Facebook.
For example, you are able to scale the source audience of 10.000 into larger targeted audience of 1.000.000 people who are similar to that audience of 10.000 people who have visited your website.
In expanding audience using Lookalike Audience feature, Facebook uses its own algorithms that work on Artificial Intelligence principle, which is why this targeting option is so powerful and efficient.
So, how would you start from scratch?
You might say: “Ok, that’s great but I don’t have any people coming to my website or using my app yet.”
The process would look like this: you might run an ad starting using Core Targeting – interest, demographic and that type of stuff.
Then you get those people maybe come to your website or have a look at your mobile app.
You would create a Custom Audience of those people and then on the back of that you would create a Lookalike Audience.
So, it is a process you could build up and take advantage of all these types of audiences, even if you’re just starting from scratch. That wraps up the first key to success which is Targeting and now we’re looking at the 2nd key to success which is Funnels.
Every brand can sell on Facebook, but the key to selling, though, isn’t to just put a ton of content out into the digital world – instead, you need to have a Facebook sales funnel in place.
But what exactly is a Sales Funnel and how does it apply to Facebook Ads?
Here is a screenshot from inside the Facebook Ads Manager where you create your ads and here you can see these 3 columns – Awareness, Consideration and Conversion.
This is essentially a funnel where people firstly become aware of your product, then they actually consider taking an action like watching a video or going to your website, and finally they convert – make a purchase or sign up for free consultation or visit your physical store.
A Facebook sales funnel is designed to capture users’ interest and nurture them until they’re ready to purchase.
The idea is to use relevant messages that appeal to users at different stages in consideration for purchasing to slowly move them closer to conversion.
Facebook platform and Facebook ads are actually different from Google platform and Google Ads.
The major difference between Facebook Ads and Google AdWords is user intent.
AdWords targets users who demonstrate buyer intent when they search in Google search box.
Facebook has no such intent.
Instead, Facebook Ads match with user’s interests.
Facebook has huge selling power, but not without a sales funnel.
Users log onto Facebook for recreation, to connect with friends and to watch some cute cat videos, not purchase random products they’d never thought of before.
Facebook Ads can then serve advertisements to people who might not be searching for your product or service, but that you think might match your customer or client profile.
These ads will let these people know that you exist, make them more aware of your brand and start to move them further down the funnel towards sale.
Bottom line, Google users are driven, while Facebook users are browsing. Therefore, Google Ads are in most cases more expensive than Facebook Ads.
Here are few examples of Facebook funnels you could set up.
Let’s say, for example, you want to get sales for an Ebook or online course, or something similar.
Firstly, you would want to drive some traffic to a landing page where you would offer a free Ebook in exchange for an email address.
People pop in their email address and then you start sending email follow-ups to get sales.
That’s one example of Facebook funnel.
Another thing that you can do if you’re an online coach or local business, a lawyer or something like that, is you can create a lead ad.
Once again, give a PDF or an option for a free 15-minute consultation.
People would pop-in their email address and phone number, you do the free consultation over the phone and try to make a sale at the end of that.
You could also set up a funnel where people watch a video where you show new features of a mobile app you just released and then you could remarket to these people who watched 95% of the video to install the app.
Those were the few examples, but the key thing is to think about the funnel and where people are in that funnel – are they even aware of your product or brand, have they moved to consider taking an action or are they ready for the sale.
3. Ad formats
Moving on to the 3rd key to success with Facebook Advertising which is Ad Formats.
The key thing here is to match the ad format to the campaign objective.
There are a lot of different ad formats on Facebook, such as image, video, carousel, collection, slideshow, etc.
So, here are some basic rules or proven strategies you can follow:
If you want to drive traffic to your website or landing page, you should use an image or carousel.
If you want to get video views, use video ad format.
For lead generation the best ad format to use is lead ad form.
If you want to get conversions and sales, having a link rather than showing a video is way better because people would go straight to your preferred destination (website or landing page) instead of staying on Facebook watching video.
Remember, if you want to run conversion ads you have to have Facebook Pixel installed on your website, and if this isn’t making sense at all right now, don’t worry, you can learn everything about Facebook Pixel by clicking here.
Finally, if you’re campaign objective is post engagement, for example if you’re promoting some giveaway, usually just a simple image would do the work.
4th key to success with Facebook Ads is certainly Budgeting where the most important question is how much does it cost to advertise on Facebook?
A budget is the amount of money you want to spend on showing people your ads.
It’s also a cost control tool.
It helps control your overall spend for an ad set (or campaign) the same way a bid strategy helps control your cost per result.
You can set your budget at the ad set or campaign level.
Whichever level you choose, there are 2 types of budgets:
- Daily budgets, which is the average amount you’re willing to spend on an ad set or campaign every day, and
- Lifetime budgets, which refers to the amount you’re willing to spend over the entire run-time of your ad set or campaign.
Facebook has some requirements regarding minimum budget you need to meet in order to deliver your ad consistently.
Minimum budgets are calculated as a daily amount but apply whether you’re using a daily or lifetime budget.
If, for example, you’re using a lifetime budget for an ad that’s going to run for five days, the budget must be five times the minimum daily budget.
The minimum ad spends are as follows:
- If you want to get impressions and just make people aware of product or brand, there is a minimum ad spend of $1 per day. That would just be a simple image ad.
- If you want people to click, like your Facebook Page, watch a video or engage with your post, then the minimum daily ad budget would be at least $5 per day.
- If your campaign objective is something like app installs, then the ad budget would need to be at least $40 per day.
Those were the budget minimums, now let’s have a look from another perspective through matching budgets to your goals.
A big disclaimer here – these numbers are only guidelines for what to expect when creating your own Facebook campaigns.
I cannot guarantee you the same results, it’s just for you to get a picture of what are the optimal numbers you should go towards.
For expanding your Facebook Page Fan base, you would want to budget around $0.50 per fan.
Email subscribers will cost you around $1 of your ad budget per subscriber.
An optimal ad spend for website visit vary from $0.30 to $0.40 per website visit.
Product sales depends on the type of product but an optimal budget for product sales is around $30 per conversion, and optimal budget for mobile app install is around $2 per install.
So, the results may vary depending on many factors, but these are just rough guidelines to work towards.
5. Ad creative
Fifth key to success with Facebook Ads is the Ad Creative and this is what people actually see in their Facebook newsfeed.
Your Facebook ad creatives and copywriting are among the top ad elements that decide whether your ad campaign succeeds.
If a Facebook user is scrolling through Facebook and your ad doesn’t catch their eye, they won’t click on it, end up on your website and they definitely won’t end up converting.
The ads design will affect your CPA (Cost-Per-Acquisition) and CPC (Cost-Per-Click).
So, to help you create winning ad creatives that will bring you clicks and conversions at a low CPC, I made a list of my favorite Facebook ad design hacks.
In order to make great converting Facebook Ad creatives, first it needs to be visual.
Keep your ads colorful, so that they’ll immediately catch attention, and if possible, in contrast with the newsfeed.
Remember, there is going to be a lot of competition for eyeballs – bright colors and faces would really stand out.
In this example, we can see the ad is pretty visual and red background color sort of pops out of the usual Facebook blue background.
It’s relevant, because the image is really related to what the ad is about.
The ad should include the enticing offer, something that will catch the viewer’s attention, such as mega savings on all sorts of flights, like the one from Sydney to Asia for just $149.
That’s a pretty enticing offer. At the end, it’s pretty important to have a strong call-to-action that will guide viewer in your desired direction.
6. Split testing
We’ve come to the 6th key to success with Facebook Ads and that is Split Testing.
Split testing lets you test different versions of your ads so you can see what works best and improve future campaigns.
For example, you can test the same ad on two different audiences to see which ad performed better.
Or, to test two delivery optimizations to determine which selection yields better results.
It’s really all about maximizing the return on your ad spend.
To get the most accurate results from your split test, you’ll only have the opportunity to test one variable at a time.
For example, if you test two different audiences against each other, you can’t also test two delivery optimizations simultaneously because you wouldn’t know for sure which change affected the performance.
This is just one example of many different ways you can do this – if you have 2 images, you want to test which one gets more clicks and eventually more sales.
Many students have asked me how long the split testing period should last in order to get the most reliable results, and my answer to them is around 4 days.
In general, your test should run for at least 3 days and no longer than 14 days.
Tests shorter than 3 days may produce insufficient data to confidently determine a winner, and tests longer than 14 days may not be an efficient use of budget.
In terms of the ad objectives you can test traffic objective, lead generation, app installs, video views, etc.
You can split test target audience, placements (does Instagram works better than the Facebook newsfeed).
In ad creative you can split test different headlines, different images, descriptions.
And there are other things you could split test such as ad type (image vs. video), bid type and much more.
The key thing to understand is that testing is a big part of Facebook Ads and it’s crucial in advertising success to find out what really works best for your business.
7. Tracking and reporting
Finally, the last key to success with Facebook Ads is Tracking & Reporting.
Facebook Tracking & Reporting shows you how your advertising is helping you achieve your business goals across Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network.
Use Facebook tools to analyze your campaign results and learn more about your audience, your product sales, your campaign’s reach and much more.
With this data, you can make more informed decisions when building your campaigns and ultimately improve your results.
Ads Reporting allows you to create, customize, export, share and schedule reports on your ad performance based on a set of parameters that you choose.
In Ads Reporting, you can get the information you need to manage your campaigns and create recurring emailed reports.
You can also create custom reports from scratch or from templates, as well as use breakdowns, filters, sorting and other advanced functions to customize your reports.
Before you dive into reports it’s important to define success for your business – what is the campaign goal.
There are a lot of different metrics in these reports like CPM, CTR and CPC which will be explained in detail in this section, but your main focus should be on Cost Per Desired Action – for example, the cost to get Facebook like, if that’s what you want, or cost per sale or email subscriber.
That’s really the key thing to focus on.
Final thing, if you want to track conversions and for example, see how many people from Facebook Ads bough a product on your online store, you need to have a Facebook Pixel set up and Google Analytics as well for some advanced tracking.
In terms of tracking & reporting, testing over and over again is the foundation key.
You want to use reporting as a feedback loop to improve next campaigns.
I would encourage you to set aside budget to experiment and don’t expect massive results from the 1st campaign.
It’s going to be a little bit a process until you find your rhythm.
To recap here, the 7 keys to Facebook Ad success are targeting, funnels, ad formats, budgets, ad creative, split testing and tracking & reporting.
This is just an overview of keys to success with Facebook Ads.
This was a little longer blog post, but I hope you got the picture what you should focus your attention on in order to create and manage successful Facebook Ads campaigns.
If you have any questions or would like to get our help in creating and running Facebook Ads for you (or consult you on existing campaigns of yours), don’t hesitate to schedule a free consultation with us.