Facebook advertising: It’s one of those things it seems like everybody’s done and no one’s really been satisfied with the results. If you’re like many businesses who’ve advertised or boosted a post on Facebook, you know that you’ve reached your audience at a price that didn’t make you want to cry, but you ended up with not much to show for it, and probably left feeling a little disheartened.

Thankfully, effective Facebook advertising doesn’t have to be an inside joke you feel like you’re on the outside of. These are five of our tried and true tips to get more out of your Facebook advertising efforts.

Define Your Goals Before Launch

This is the first tip because it’s both crucially important and regularly neglected. The go-to answer to the question of “What do you want from this?” is often “more sales,” which is a good end point, but it will likely take more than running a limited Facebook ad to get there. To help you align expectations with your efforts, check out the categories below and pick the one that best defines your audience. As with all things marketing, none of this is written in stone and there are always exceptions, but you should be able to see some similarities that pull you toward one or the other.

Most of our audience doesn’t know who we are: If this sounds like your company, you’ll be mounting branding and awareness campaigns. It’s going to be awfully difficult to convince someone to buy from you if they’ve just met you. At this stage, you’ll want people to see your brand logo and/or products often, so that when it comes time to make a purchase decision, you’ll already have a trust and awareness that your competitors (hopefully) don’t. No matter the stage or size of your company, branding and awareness is always important. Just ask Coca-Cola and Nike. The goal of your campaign is to familiarize your audience with your brand and products or services.

Some of our audience knows who we are, but we want to increase the rate at which they are purchasing: There’s a lot of good news at this stage. Your audience has enough brand and product familiarity to consider you when it comes to time to make a purchasing decision. In this stage you will want to focus on delivering value propositions that resonate with your audience. The primary goal of your campaign is to win clicks from your audience. The secondary goal of your campaign is to win conversions, be that a sale, newsletter sign up, an event RSVP or a lead.

We have a large volume of one time purchasers that we would like to turn into more frequent customers: This is fantastic news. If the statisticians are correct, the cost to get this audience to convert again should be at around an 80% discount from what you’d pay to gain that new customer. The primary goal of your campaign is to win clicks from your audience. The secondary goal of your campaign is to win conversions, such as a sale, an appointment, or an event RSVP.

Test. Test. Test.

This will be most important if you’re running a campaign with clicks and conversions as your goals. The reason for this is because, unlike in a branding campaign, you’re looking for your audience to take action. The big question to answer in your campaigns is:

What wins a click with this audience?

Having to guess the correct answer to that question the first time out is an incredible weight to bear, and an unnecessary one. Make sure that you have a budget that’s large enough to allow you to learn what makes your audience respond so that you can communicate with them better. To that end, think of your Facebook marketing as a science (yuck, we know, but we promise it’s easy science!):

Make a hypothesis – “I think X is my audience’s pain-point”

Test – Run an ad offering a solution to that pain-point.

Evaluate – Review your results. Did your audience respond to your message?

Judging the success of a campaign is tough if you don’t know what you’re testing against. For that reason, we always recommend running one idea against another. If you want to see if people in New York respond better than the rest of the country, run those ad groups at the same time. If you want to see if an image of a dog gets more clicks than an image of a lawyer, run those ads at the same time.

To make sure that you’re learning what specifically drove your better results, we always suggest tests where you’re running (almost) the exact same ad but with only one changed variable. The variables can be (but are not limited to):

Headline
Image
Text
Call To Action
Link Description
Audience Gender
Audience Age
Audience Location
Audience Device (mobile vs. desktop, etc.)
As your ads run, you’ll inevitably have to decide which variable won out. How do you decide? You’ll know that you can safely pick a winner when one more click won’t make a difference to the outcome.

Budget Correctly for Your Audience.

Another obstacle that may be derailing your paid Facebook efforts is entering with too low of a budget to accommodate the size of your audience. While no one can seem to agree on how many times someone needs to see your ad in order to take action, it’s almost universally agreed upon that it’s more than once.To correctly budget for your audience, especially without a strong history of results, you’ll need to rely on some general rules of thumb:

Estimate that you will reach 75% of your potential audience. If Facebook says your potential audience is 10,000 people, you should estimate that you will actually be able to reach 7,500. The reason for this is because some of the potential audience won’t be using Facebook while your campaign is running. Another reason is because your ad is competing in a real-time auction for ad space, which means you may lose impressions to another advertiser competing for that user’s attention. If you stink with figuring out percentages, like me, you can rely on this percentage calculator to help with your estimates.

Estimate that you will be able to deliver 1,000 ad impressions for $10. This will almost certainly fluctuate, but I’ve found that estimating a $10 CPM generally puts my budgets in the right ballpark. If my estimated reach is 7,500 people and I want each person to see the ad once, I should have a budget of at least $75.

Aim to deliver 8 ad impressions to everyone in your audience within the campaign’s duration. With this estimate, if it will cost me $75 to reach everyone once, I need to multiply that budget 8 times for the correct hard cost spend. This means my budget should be $600.

If you find that your budget won’t allow you to execute properly on your audience size, the next step is to either increase the budget or decrease the audience size. A great starting point for reducing audience size is to reduce your geographic footprint. Perhaps your national campaign needs to be reduced to a single state, or your city campaign needs to be isolated to just the city, rather than the city +25 miles.

Track Your Results

Another easily neglected step that couldn’t be more important to your success is making sure that you’re reviewing your reports. Checking out your campaign’s results can be done by visiting Facebook’s reporting and clicking the “Create Report” button.There’s so much information that you may not know what’s important. Data overload is a very real thing, and you may be tempted to just toss the evaluation thing altogether. But it’s worth the extra time, and there are ways to know what metrics mean the most to you right now. Based on the goals we established in tip #1, here are the metrics that you should be checking:

Most of our audience doesn’t know who we are: The goal of your campaign is to familiarize your audience with your brand and products or services.

Metrics to follow: Reach (the number of people who saw your ad) and Average Frequency (the average number of times each person saw the ad). These details can be found by selecting “Delivery” from the “Columns” drop-down menu. You will then see your campaign’s Reach and Frequency.

Some of our audience knows who we are, but we want to increase the rate at which they are purchasing: The primary goal of your campaign is to win clicks from your audience. The secondary goal of your campaign is to win conversions, be that a sale, newsletter sign up, an event RSVP or a lead.

Metrics to follow:  Click-Through-Rate. This accounts for the rate that your ad was clicked on against the number of times it was shown. This is far more important than the raw number of clicks without any other context. These details can be found by selecting “Performance and Clicks” from the “Columns” drop-down menu. Scroll to the right and you will then see your campaign’s CTR (Link Clicks) and CTR (All).

We have a large volume of one time purchasers that we would like to turn into more frequent customers: The primary goal of your campaign is to win clicks from your audience. The secondary goal of your campaign is to win conversions, such as a sale, an appointment, or an event RSVP.

Metrics to followClick-Through-Rate and Conversions. This accounts for the rate that your ad was clicked on against the number of times it was shown. This is far more important than the raw number of clicks without any other context. These details can be found by selecting “Performance and Clicks” from the “Columns” drop-down menu. Scroll to the right and you will then see your campaign’s CTR (Link Clicks) and CTR (All).

Theoretically, your conversions (purchases, sign ups, RSVPs) will have taken place on your website and you will have access to those results as they roll in. Facebook also provides conversion pixels that your programmer can install on your site to track conversions.

Regular tracking of your results can help you not only account for the return on your ad spend, but it can also help guide future advertising efforts so that you can capitalize on what worked, and hopefully make it work even better next time.

Go beyond “One and Done”

The customer journey is a little more complex than “see the ad, make a purchase.” Think about it this way – how often have you experienced an unknown brand’s ad and immediately followed through with a purchase? If that has ever happened, it’s probably far more likely that you’ve clicked the ad, investigated the offer and brand, and then taken time to consider whether or not you want to proceed.

Consideration almost always comes before purchase in the customer journey. So, how do you nurture them through to becoming a sale? Through the magic of remarketing. If you’ve installed Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and Twitter code on your site, you likely have the ability to create remarketing audiences which will consist of people who have been to your site. By creating remarketing campaigns across these networks, you will be creating the opportunity to re-engage those visitors who have not converted and make them an offer, or message the deeper benefits of your product or service.

And finally, consider the audience who saw your ad, but didn’t need your solution at that moment. How do you reach them when they do find that they are ready to purchase from either you or your competitors? Most journeys will incorporate a Google search at some point. For this reason, it’s important to ensure that your website is optimized for terms that are likely to be searched by your potential customer. If you’re not sure, or if you want to give your brand more opportunity to “win the click”, we’d also recommend a paid search campaign, managed by a Google AdWords certified professional.

No one wants to have another lackluster campaign on Facebook. It’s frustrating and wasteful. By incorporating these tips into your next Facebook advertising effort, you’ll not only set yourself up for success, but you’ll also learn how to best speak to your future customers. And don’t forget that you have a team of certified experts (and enthusiasts) at Webolutions just waiting to take your digital marketing to the next level.

Key Takeaways:

  • Facebook advertising can be overwhelming and ineffective, but there are proven techniques to change that
  • Before launching a campaign, you must first define your specific goals (and not just ‘get more sales’)
  • Testing is key to success – to test effectively make a hypothesis, run the test, evaluate and repeat
  • Budget correctly – on average it’s $10 per 1000 impressions and you’ll want to get 8 impressions per viewer
  • Key tracking metrics will vary depending on campaign goals, but it’s vital you view reporting
  • Use the customer journey as a core for your ads

Facebook advertising is not rocket science, but it does take time, effort and practice to manage. Need an expert to create and optimize your Facebook campaigns? We can help. Our team of experts work daily optimizing performance and results for Facebook campaigns. Give us a call at 303.300.2640 or get started here.

 

About Tyler Jacobson

Tyler Jacobson

Lead paid digital marketing strategy and execution to meet client business goals and perform at maximum effectiveness. Stay attuned to developments in and provide subject matter expertise on paid tactics and strategies. View all posts by Tyler Jacobson →