But that was just the tip of the iceberg. There’s actually a lot more to advertising on Facebook than you might think. So let’s dive deeper into the world of Facebook ads to gain a better understanding of how they work.
Facebook ads: an overview
As you know, Facebook is huge. In fact, it’s so vast that most businesses are seeing a significant decline in organic reach from their Facebook page. This refers to the number of people you can reach from your page for free.
According to Brian Boland of the Ads Product Marketing team at Facebook, “There is now far more content being made than there is time to absorb it. As a result, competition in News Feed is increasing, and it’s becoming harder for any story to gain exposure.”
If you’d like to know more about organic reach, check out Jayson DeMers’ article in Forbes Why Your Organic Facebook Reach Is Still Falling – And What To Do About It.
So what exactly are Facebook Adverts?
They’re a business tool that allow you to create targeted adverts to reach different audiences, and ultimately meet your business goals.
When you run an ad campaign, you choose the audiences you want to reach by a number of variables, such as location, age, gender, interests, behaviours and connections. This makes your ads more relevant for the people who see them, and hopefully brings you better results.
Facebook ads: what you need to know
As a company, the first thing you need to do before launching into ad campaigns, is to set up a company Facebook page and start posting from it regularly.
You should adopt an attitude of exploration. Your conditions are unique to your business and it’s your job to discover the sweet spots. Beware of marketing agencies who promise you a silver bullet – there’s no way they can magically find the sweet spot with your audience without exploration either.
One of our most important pieces of advice is: ads are only effective if the landing page is optimised. There’s no point having a great ad if it leads people to a mediocre or unclear landing page. Where do you want people to go? What’s the goal of your advert? How will you measure success? We always recommend a goal outside of FB, e.g. email signups, course registrations, booking a meeting, etc.
When choosing your audience variables, follow our essential targeting principle: the narrower your focus the better. Avoid going wide! Your advert will lose its targeted audience and simply won’t be as effective.
Don’t forget about retargeting. This is where you deliver ads to people who have visited your website within the last, say, 30 days. This usually has a much higher conversion rate, i.e. converting views to clicks. If you have low traffic to your site these ads will be low volume but high quality. It’s always better to go for quality over quantity, so don’t be put off – remember you’re an explorer.
The placement of your ad is important, i.e. mobile vs News Feed. Mobile-only delivery can be cheaper (at least for the moment), but remember your landing page has to rock on mobile devices – or else!
The design of your ad should not be overlooked. So get creative! You need a strong image or graphic and you need to balance this out with the text. Make sure you have a strong call to action. What do you want people to do? Make it very clear.
For more info on using text and images in your adverts, read the Facebook for Business Guide For Using Text in Ad Images.
How to get better results from your Facebook ads
Ok, so you’ve gathered the basics and might even have got started on your ad campaigns. Now check out our top tips for getting better results from your FB adverts:
- Commit to a minimum of 3 months’ experimentation. Remember you’re an explorer – this is expedition time!
- With all due respect to the social media giant, your aim is to give Facebook as little money as possible for the best results.
- Keep your ultimate goal in mind, e.g. email signups, and don’t get lost in the FB campaign data.
- Remember: the purpose of the ad is to send people to the desired page with the right expectation.
- Start by testing certain audiences. Measure these each week and update them, creating a new test each time. If you’re not sure of the results, then test for longer until you have more data and feel more certain of the results.
- You should also carry out A/B split testing on your ads. This is where you create 2 or more copies of your advert, but you change the age or gender of the audience for each one and test them to see which performs better. But remember: you can only change one variable at a time, or the results will be skewed. This article has detailed instructions on splitting your audiences.
Tweaking your Facebook ads
If you don’t feel your ad is getting the clicks it deserves, try investigating the following:
- Is your graphic right? Try changing it.
- Test different audiences.
- If you’ve tried these, then test the call to action. Is it clear? Is it compelling?
If your ad is getting people to the goal page but they aren’t ‘converting’, i.e. doing what you want, then you need to fix the landing page:
- Check that the expectation you set in your ad exactly matches what people find on the page. If people don’t feel you’ve delivered on your promise, they won’t hang around.
- Check the page on different devices, if relevant. Your design should be responsive so that the page works on any sized screen or device.
- Remove distractions and anything that’s not needed from the page, e.g. unnecessary website navigation or links.
- Check the page heading – is it clear and relevant?
- Check the copy on the page. Is it clear? Could a child or your granny follow the instructions? (No offence to grannies or children!)
- Check the call to action. Is it strong? Is it clearly visible?
As you can see, there’s a lot more to Facebook ads than you might think. Using them effectively to get the best results from your audience can be a fine art. It takes time, patience and curiosity, just like a good expedition.
By following our advice you should be well on your way to making the most out of Facebook ads to help grow your business.
Go forth and conquer, intrepid explorers!