Facebook Advertising has been thrust back into the spotlight of late with everyone lamenting the constant algorithm changes that seemingly make it impossible for small businesses and insisting that you simply *must* advertise to be seen on Facebook.
Algorithm changes throw curve balls at us all the time and it can be frustrating, but what they actually do is keep us on our social media toes, innovating with content [organic and paid] and seeking new and different ways to connect and engage with our audience’s on the platform.
All Facebook ads are not created equal, there’s boosting posts, and then there’s #gewd Facebook Ads.
So what does a ‘good’ Ad Campaign look like?
First up, you’re crystal clear on your objectives
Being singled minded about what you want your ad to do for you is the first key to success. Is it a sale, a lead, to build your website traffic so that you can further retarget these people in future ads?
Whilst you don’t need a sophisticated ‘funnel’ [marketing bingo anyone?!] if you have a number of stages in your path to conversion you’re going to need a few different types of ads running to hit the mark and your overall objectives.
You’re leveraging a little bit o’ that Facebook pixel magic
The more technical side of Facebook ads can scare people off, but the Facebook Pixel is just a little bit of powerful [magic] code that sits on your website that allows you to do things like retarget visitors to your website, people who’re on your email list and have engaged with your business on either Facebook or Instagram.
It also allows you to run dynamic ads, track true conversions – and get a REAL handle on how much a sale costs your business to make. It’s an absolute must for all campaigns!
You use your campaigns to find out more about your audience
Get clever with your audience targeting – and don’t be lazy. It’s easy to set up a campaign with a strong objective but if the audience targeting is just too broad or you’re not comparing apples with apples when it comes to the creative, it can be hard to measure what went well, or not so well.
Facebook targeting options are literally endless, and often this overwhelm leads to underwhelming results if you play it too safe and generic. One generic message won’t hit the mark with all your potential customers in just one campaign, so take the time to differentiate and tailor your messaging!
Use your paid activity to continually test and learn what your different audiences respond to, who your most profitable customers are and how you can reach new people to introduce your business to.
Your creative is authentic
Running paid Facebook activity is not an invitation to be all sales’y and promotional, ok? 😉
Being overtly promotional is not the way to capture your audience’s’ imagination, or get them to fall in love with your product [D’uh!]. The ads that stop me in the newsfeed are the ones that typically don’t look like ‘ads’ or sponsored content. You *should* design your organic content to be authentic and engaging, your paid ad creative is no different.
Don’t use a completely different [or worse, more formal] tone in your paid activity, it screams promotion and is a real turn off. Ensure your tone is on brand and that you vary your copy for your niche audience. We’re big on humanising your brand on socials, this goes for paid activity too.
Play around with longer and shorter form copy and test what works for YOUR business because it’s not all about a show stopping image or video. But how long is too long?
I’m sure you’re familiar with the standard #bizcoach rags to riches ad formula and the ads that seemingly go on and on [and on and on]. These are are WAY too long, but don’t be afraid to test using more digital storytelling in your ads. Storytelling is what helps you to connect, and connection builds loyalty and trust.
You’re always learning
Facebook campaigns that you set and forget [or run for months on end] will rarely fall into the ‘successful’ category. Ad campaigns are a little like your favourite Fiddle leaf – it needs constant attention, the right conditions and just the *right* amount of optimisation to make it thrive.
In the beginning you’re usually figuring out what works to make sales, who your best performing audiences are and how to get the best bang for your buck. If you’re a few campaigns in, you’ll ideally have some great learnings and a list of elements you’re itching to test. Hello, #DigiGeek!
A lower cost per click / sale / acquisition or a higher conversion rate, there’s always something we’re chasing on behalf of clients. In every campaign we run, we’re always testing something and then we take these learnings and carry them forward to future campaigns.
Test, optimise, refine and evolve ALWAYS!
Great paid campaigns are about being smart and strategic with your advertising dollars, and those dollars don’t need to be huge to be successful.
You don’t NEED paid activity to get seen on Facebook [so please step away from that boost button!]. We prefer to use paid activity as a powerful tactic to complement organic activity on Facebook [or Instagram] and really boost our overall business objectives on socials, which for us, even as a service based business, is about sales.
Great Facebook ads *will* work hard for your business, but you need to work at finding the right combination of tactics, targeting and creative that work for you. No two businesses are the same, and there’s no such thing as ‘one size fits all’ for FB Ad Campaigns.