With more than 2 billion monthly active users, Facebook has grown into one of the largest online advertising platforms in the world. From mega brands such as Unilever and Amazon, to media companies like BuzzFeed and The New York Times, to small local mom-and-pop shops, marketers spent just shy of $40 billion on Facebook ads in 2017 alone. With the potential to get your product or message in front of so many consumers, there are few businesses that haven’t yet embraced the world of social media advertising.
The Facebook powers-that-be recognize how much advertisers rely on the platform and have made it as easy as possible for the average marketer to spend ad dollars on the site—including walking you through, step-by-step, everything you need to begin running your own Facebook ads. The downside to this quick setup is that marketers aren’t pushed to use some of the more effective targeting options that often yield better results. Here are four easy tips that you can implement today to increase the effectiveness of your Facebook ads without increasing your ad spend:
1. Target Your Facebook Ads to a Custom Audience
As with most social or digital platforms, Facebook collects data on its users, which allows marketers to easily build targeted ad audiences based on criteria like location, age, gender, hobbies and interests. Want your ads to reach women ages 35-50 who live in Colorado, have teenage children, listen to classical music and like to go fishing? Facebook’s data can find those people for you. But what if you want to target your existing customers with whom you’ve already begun building a relationship outside of Facebook? This is where Custom Audiences come in.
Facebook’s Custom Audience tool allows you to find and target your existing customers and prospects, helping to drive those people further down your sales funnel. A Custom Audience lets you serve ads to customers who are on your existing marketing contact list; prospects who have visited your website; or consumers who have engaged with your brand on Facebook or other offline channels – all targeting options that aren’t available through regular Facebook audience targeting.
2. Design Facebook Ads for Mobile Display
Most marketers design and set up their Facebook ads with the desktop News Feed in mind. But, considering that recent numbers show that 90% of Facebook’s ad revenue comes from ad placements on mobile devices, it’s more important than ever to optimize your ads for mobile display.
Make sure images are cropped to the correct dimensions to avoid any distortion with resizing, and skip small text on images that will become illegible on smaller mobile device screens. Also, keep headlines and copy short, as mobile character limits are lower than desktop and will result in clipped text.
3. A/B (Split) Test Your Facebook Ad Elements
Marketers know that what resonates with one customer might not resonate with another. Rather than guessing which images or language will be most effective in reaching your target audiences, use a small portion of your Facebook ad budget to test different elements of your campaign to see what works and what doesn’t. This is a cost-effective way to get data on your ads, which should then be used to drive the strategy behind your entire Facebook ad campaign.
For example, instead of setting up a single Facebook ad, build multiple ads with the same messaging but different images, and see which one receives the most clicks (see image below as an example). Or, use the same image in all of the ads, but change the headline or call to action on each one, and see which drives a higher engagement rate. If your tests reveal that certain images or messaging far outperform others, use that data to focus your dollars on the ads that show the best results. Just remember to test only one variable at a time, otherwise you might not be able to accurately pinpoint what your customers are responding to.
4. Continuously Monitor and Adjust Your Facebook Ads
Unlike many other digital advertising platforms, Facebook offers real-time results and reporting for any ads that you’re running. Yes, you could set up your ad campaigns and walk away, leaving Facebook to do the rest. But, you run the risk of wasting your valuable advertising dollars on campaigns that aren’t working. Having real-time data and 24/7 access to the Facebook Ads Manager tool gives marketers greater control over their campaigns. This is why it’s important to continually monitor the performance of your ads and ad sets, and adjust your campaigns based on the data and results you see.
Some Facebook ad metrics to keep a close eye on include:
- Frequency (the average number of times someone sees your ad)
- Results (the number of times your ad received your desired outcome, such as a click or like), and
- Cost per result (the average cost per click, video view, engagement, etc.).
If any of these numbers are not showing the results you want to see, adjust your ad messaging, audience or placements to get your campaign back on track.
Whether you’re looking to build your own targeted ad campaign that leverages all Facebook has to offer, or just want someone versed in the platform to offer specific solutions for maximizing your social ad budgets, Maccabee’s team of social media experts is here to help. Contact us today to get the conversation started.
This article originally appeared on the Maccabee blog; reprinted with permission.