Facebook is the most robust platform when it comes to social advertising. With 2.23 billion monthly active Facebook users and generally low cost-per-click, you’re bound to get a good return from your ad campaign - right?
Not necessarily. Despite the constant development of the platform, many marketers struggle to get Facebook advertising right.
Whether you’re new to Facebook ads, or you've tried (and failed) before, it’s worth asking yourself a few questions before your next campaign goes live.
1. Have I set the right objectives?
When you set up your Facebook Ad, the first thing you’re asked to select is your marketing objective.
Think carefully about what you want your ad to achieve. Is it direct conversions you’re after, or do you want to build up your audience? If you get it wrong at this stage, then the rest of your campaign is unlikely to reach the right people.
2. Am I targeting the right audience?
If you don’t narrow down your targeting then your audience will be too broad, thus using up budget but returning a low relevance score. Likewise, if your audience too small, you won’t reach enough people to get the click-throughs you need.
Knowing your buyer personas is the first step, but for the rest, Facebook will help you to narrow down your target audience.
I find that playing around with different audience metrics is a good use of time. Building custom audiences can help you to narrow down your criteria, whereas lookalike audiences will expand your reach.
- Custom audiences – This lets you create your own targeted audiences
- Lookalike audiences – Facebook finds you new audiences that are like your existing contacts
- Interest-based targeting – Narrow your audience by interests such as fashion or sport
- Demographic-based targeting – Define your audiences by demographics such as age, location and gender.
3. Have I set the right budget parameters?
Getting your budget right takes a bit of trial and error - from the outset, it’s hard to predict how far your dollar will get you.
And the bidding process is notoriously tricky. It’s easy to bid on the wrong kind of campaign, bid so low that your ad rarely appears, or change your bidding so often that the ad never gets a chance to “bed in.”
As a rule, it’s a good idea to start low – say $2 a day - and see how your ad performs over the course of a week. You may need to raise the budget for your ad to run properly.
And a couple of tips: local campaigns are generally cheaper than national ones, and Sunday and Monday are the cheapest days of the week.
4. Have I got my ad placement right?
Facebook offers several options on where you can place your ad - from the News Feed, to the right-hand column, to Facebook Stories.
Where you place your ad can make a big difference to your cost per click. As an example, News Feed placements are around twice as expensive than those that appear in the right-hand column, while Stories ads tend to perform well, though with smaller audience reach.
Make sure you consider where your ad will appear, what it will look like (using the preview panel) and how that represents your business.
5. Is my creative grabbing attention?
The basic creative elements used for Facebook ads are images and video.
According to Consumer Acquisition, images account for between 75-90% of Facebook Ad performance. If your image isn’t strong enough, people won’t click on your ad.
So, before you activate your campaign, make sure you look at your design, and consider the following:
- Have I used a high-resolution, original image rather than a stock image?
- Is my creative in line with my brand?
- Does the ad send a positive message to my audience?
- Will my ad grab the attention of Facebook users?
Airbnb are pros when it comes to their ad creative, and coupled with their keenness for user-generated content, ads like the below are great examples of effective Facebook ad content:
A word of warning: Facebook’s 20% text rule means it favors image or video ads with the least accompanying text.
6. Is my ad relevant to my target audience?
Your Facebook Ad relevance score is a good barometer of whether your ad is appealing to your desired audience. Scored on a scale of 1 to 10, the lower your score, the higher you’ll pay.
To make your ad more relevant, you need to address two things:
- Make sure your design/copy/offer suits your target audience
- Fine-tune your targeting so that your ad is seen by the right people
7. Have I got the copy perfect?
The purpose of your ad copy is to position your brand so that people will be compelled to click through to your offer.
But many Facebook Ads fail to get this right.
If you want to avoid copy pitfalls, then ask yourself these questions before you go live:
- Does my heading speak to my audience?
- Is the offer appealing enough?
- Does the copy sound trustworthy?
- Have I used correct spelling/punctuation/word-spacing?
- Is it succinct enough?
- Have I emphasized the benefits?
Look at how Tastecard packed in a ton of benefits, as well as spelling out the offer in large font, front and center:
8. Do I have a compelling call-to-action?
So, your design has grabbed people’s attention, and your copy has convinced them of the benefit of your product. Now your CTA will take them through to your website.
Your CTA is how you tell your audience what to do next, whether that be buy a product, sign up to your newsletter, or download your eBook. But with nearly half of Facebook Ads failing to provide a CTA, too many ad viewers are left hanging.
According to AdEspresso, the most successful CTA wordings are:
- “Sign Up” for best conversion
- “Learn More” for click-throughs.
A/B test your CTAs to see which design, wording, and placement provides the most click-throughs and conversions.
9. Is my landing page optimized?
Once you’ve persuaded people to click through from your ad, it’s critical you get your landing page right - your landing pages play a crucial role in this chain and should not be overlooked in your process.
"Message match relates to the textual, content and offer parts of the ad. If the text of an eCommerce ad promotes a sales event, but when clicked, you land on a product page that promotes a new product... Where’s the sale? It’s a total mismatch in terms of the message being conveyed. Chances are most people who clicked on the ad did because of the advertised sale, but when they arrived at the destination and saw nothing mentioning the sale, they left."
Take the time to assess your landing page. Does your heading correspond to your ad heading? Is the copy expanding on your ad message? Is your offer the same?
10. Am I changing up my ad mix enough?
One key reason that Facebook Ads fail is that the same audience see the same ad too regularly, leading to “ad fatigue.” The more audiences see the same ad, the less likely they are to click on it.
Thankfully, Facebook provides “frequency” metrics so you can see how many times each person in your audience has seen your ad. According to Spiralytics, seeing an ad 4 times or more will likely lead to ad fatigue.
As soon as you begin to see your CTR fall as your frequency rises, then you’ll know it’s time to change up your ad.
Using Facebook as an advertising tool is definitely worth the time and effort - it’s user-friendly, popular and, when done well, can provide excellent ROI.
But don’t rush it. Take the time to explore all that Facebook advertising has to offer. Before you send your ad live, ask yourself the above questions, and go back through your campaign to get it right.
And if your ad campaign isn’t working, don’t sweat it. Just tweak, test and repeat. Before you know it, you’ll get the winning combination bringing you the clicks and conversions you need.