Whether you’ve been running Facebook ads for years or you’re launching your first ads, you need a Facebook ads strategy to make the most of your investment.
Organic social media reach and engagement are in the garbage. Your page with eight thousand followers reaches at best five hundred people. It’s discouraging. Especially when you know billions of people tune in to social media every day. Instead of lamenting the old days of publishing posts and reaching all our followers for free, we’ve decided not to fight Facebook’s pay-to-play model. Instead, we’re using Facebook’s tools and data to grow our clients’ businesses.
Walk through these tips before launching your next social media ad campaign to improve your ROI and bottom line.
Ads Manager vs Boosted Ads
We’ve written a lot about the difference between Facebook Ads and Boosted Posts. The short answer is to decide whether you’re better off paying to promote a post directly from your Facebook page or if you’d benefit from using the ads manager. The ads manager allows you to create multiple ad sets aimed at different audiences and using various creatives all within one campaign. Yes, it can get complicated, but it doesn’t have to be. The Facebook ad manager prevents you from cluttering your social media page with ads, which in turn improves your page’s engagement rate.
Once you know if you’re using boosted ads or the ads manager take a minute to think about your goals. Common goals include:
- Improving top-of-mind awareness
- Increasing sales of a specific product/service
- Increasing walk-in traffic for your brick and mortar
- Increasing website traffic
- Generating leads
Your goal will determine your campaign type. If your goal is to get your company’s name in front of as many people as possible, you’ll want a reach campaign. Facebook then shows your ad to as many people in your target audience as possible within your budget. If your main goal is to drive traffic to your website, you’ll choose a traffic campaign. Facebook shows your ad to people within your target audience who are more likely to click on your ad and go to your website.
Facebook knows a lot about our habits. They want your ads to succeed because it means you’ll spend more money with them. Therefore, they share your ads with people most likely to take the action you want inside your target market.
In addition to choosing the type of campaign you want, your goal setting lets you know whether or not your ads are successful. Goal setting is the bedrock of any successful advertising campaign whether you’re spending millions of dollars on a television ad during a major sporting event or you’re shelling out twenty bucks to boost a post from your Facebook page.
Another basic building block of any advertising campaign is your audience. We’re looking at more than just the age and income bracket for your target audience. Where do they live, work, play? What are their other interests? What celebrities or major brands are they likely to follow online? You can narrow your target audience by choosing relevant hobbies and interests in addition to the usual demographics. Plus, knowing your target audience’s hobbies and interests help you to create graphics and images that catch their attention. This brings us to our next point.
If you’ve been running social media ads for a while take a look back through your ads from the last year. What graphics received the most engagement, impressions, or reach for the least amount of money? Facebook often categorizes ads as “above average,” “average,” or “below average.” Which of your ads performed the best against this metric?
One of our longest-term clients has two images that consistently perform well in ads. They are seasonal images and we’ve put them up against similar images with the same wording and they continue to out-perform other images every year. We keep using them because they work.
We also do a lot of advertising for medical clinics. Best practices say to use images of healthy people because that’s what patients want to see. They want to believe when they visit your facility they’ll leave feeling better. What we’ve found is that during cold and flu season our images of people in bed with a fever perform better.
Your pictures and graphics grab your audience’s attention and may be even more important than any words you use.
Always include a CTA in your ad. What do you want people to do when they see your ad? Facebook gives you plenty of options including “Learn More,” “Download,” “Sign up,” “Call Now,” and “Get Directions.” For our brick and mortar friends (who make up the majority of our clients), the Call Now and Get Directions CTAs work really well to increase engagement and drive people closer to the business’s end goal.
Finally, always include your website in your ads. Even if you aren’t using a traffic or conversion campaign setting, you’ll still drive some traffic to your website. Make sure to use a link that is relevant to the ad’s topic, not just the front page of your site. One of the worst things you can do is send people to an outdated or poorly functioning site. If your website isn’t easy to navigate or has outdated information on it make sure to update that BEFORE running your social media ads. You wouldn’t want your customers walking into your store before it was ready, would you? Take time before creating your social media ads to ensure all aspects of your digital marketing are ready for the increase in visitors.
If you’re struggling to create a real strategy for your social media ads or your website isn’t ready to convert your ad traffic, we’re happy to help. Contact us today for a free consultation.