There is no doubt that Facebook advertising is a powerful tool for creating brand awareness and engagement. But as with any form of marketing, it is best to approach it with a solid game plan. Although Facebook have done a lot to make life as easy and intuitive as possible for advertisers, here are ten top Vu Online tips to help you hit the ground running.
1. Segment your Market First
It is tempting to jump straight in to Facebook advertising to segment your market but that would be putting the cart before the horse. Before spending money on trial and error, use your own business data and free/low cost research tools (industry databases, market research reports) to build up a clear picture of your customer.
Armed with this knowledge, you are now in the best position to use Facebook’s laser sharp targeting capabilities to create an effective first ad campaign. This is all done through ‘Ad Manager’ (look on the Facebook sidebar under Explore).
2. Use Facebook’s Powerful Targeting Feature
Over its 13 years of existence, Facebook has amassed a vast wealth of data on its near 2 billion users. This information is also incredibly rich, going way beyond traditional categories such as age, gender and nationality. As an advertiser, you can choose to target users based on a mixture of demographics, interests, behaviours and life events. For example, if your product appeals to young students from the south west who are single, play sport and tend to upload lots of photos then you can set your parameters to reach people who meet these criteria.
3. Spend Time on your Headline and Text
You design your ad online in Facebook’s Ads Manager which uses a simple-to-use grid system. Facebook gives you the opportunity to replace the default headline with one of your own and you should definitely take them up on that offer! This is your only opportunity to grab attention so spend as much time as it takes to come up with a suitably impactful and concise intro. The text itself shouldn’t be too wordy – 250 words maximum – and should reflect the light and casual tone of social media. Don’t be afraid to be creative. Quotations, caption competitions and ‘fill in the blanks’ are just some examples of how ad writers have encouraged engagement.
4. Don’t Skimp on Images
Facebook ads with images hugely outperform text-only ads so make sure you include at least one, probably more, in yours. To appear in news feeds, images need to be at least 600 pixels wide with 1200 x 627 pixels the standard size. Some ad formats may need slightly different sizing but this will be made clear in the online design process. Text in image ads is restricted to 20% of the available space but shifting your design around a bit can sometimes make things fit together better.
5. Seal the Deal (Part 1)
Your headline, text and images should all lead visitors to one objective which you determine when setting up your campaign by selecting the relevant option (e.g. visit to website). This is your ‘call to action’ (CTA) and it must be absolutely clear what the visitor can expect when clicking your image, link or button.
If your campaign’s objective involves attracting prospects to your website (as opposed to getting Facebook likes, etc.) you will need to create a ‘landing page’ with a second CTA.
6. Work on your Landing Page
Well done! You have successfully enticed a prospective customer away from the Facebook space and into your domain. However, here is where many advertisers mess up and waste their budget. Instead of directing visitors to a focused ‘landing page’ they direct them to the home page. The customer gets distracted by the various menus and options, loses focus and ends up drifting away. We have written a full article on why PPC ads should always go to a landing page but, in a nutshell, landing pages maintain momentum, can be tailored to specific personas and enable accurate measuring.
7. Seal the Deal (Part 2)
Just as your Facebook ad had a CTA to get your prospect to your landing page, your landing page should have its own clear CTA. This could be to prompt a sale (‘Buy Now’) or to generate a lead. Lead magnets are tailored offers designed to elicit an email address in return for something of value like a piece of software or an eBook.
8. Top Tip #1: Split Test
Whatever the objective of your Facebook Ad campaign, the final three top tips will maximise its success. Facebook Ads Manager offers you the opportunity to split test ads by altering one variable at a time. Your targets will be randomly served one or other of the variations and the engagement of each version reported back to you via email.
You can then choose the most successful version as your new ‘control’ and change another variable to test next time.
9. Top Tip #2: Measure
Facebook Ads Manager also offers a number of tools to help you measure the success of your campaigns. These include various types of response tracking (e.g. modified links or cookie-like ‘Facebook pixels’), audience insights and APIs (code that can ‘fetch’ data for use in other applications).
10. Top Tip #3: Optimise
By following the advice above, testing different versions of your ad and drawing insights from Facebook’s measurement tools your campaigns will become gradually optimised over time.
In this way, your campaigns will become ever more efficient, saving you money and time and ensuring your social media marketing strategy delivers.
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