The sheer number of options available, [and the number of steps required to actually create an ad in the Ads manager platform] can mean it’s an intimidating landscape for rookies.


My number one piece of advice? Guys, we GOTTA stop overthinking it.


Is your first ad campaign gonna be perfect? Of course not. Ads, as with any bit of any digital strategy are a living, breathing evolution. They’ll probably start out, well, a bit shit. Then? You’ll get a bit of a grasp on what you’re meant to be doing, and your campaigns will start to evolve.




Anyway. Pep talks aside, here are my top 5.


  1. Get inspired with your creative.


There are many reasons an ad may not perform quite as expected, but VERY frequently? It’s because your creative elements aren’t hitting the mark with your audience. The creative options in Ads manager are- literally- quite endless, so, how do we get inspired with creative that’s going to perform well?


My tip? Have a look at your organic content, and what’s performing for your audience there. Do you have one content theme that outperforms all the others? What is it about that you think appeals to people?  Look at your 5 best-performing pieces of organic content. What kind of tone do they use? What type of visual assets? Harvest the best bits of them and use them to weave some ads magic!


  1. Don’t fear the data.


Nine out of ten times, the highest value audiences across the campaigns we run are data based. [That is, audiences created from the data Facebook is continually harvesting on our behalf.]  If you’ve got data like an email list, or great engagement from your socials, or solid website traffic, leverage it! Manually targeting audiences is a great option while you’re in the learning phase, but we often see the best returns when we use audiences based on real data gathered from your website and socials.


You can use these custom audiences [or warm audiences] to advertise for conversions, or go one step further and use them as source audiences for high-performing lookalikes to get your content in front of potential new customers.


  1. Placing a geographic restriction on your Lookalike Audience


There’s no denying that lookalike audiences are an incredibly powerful tool for reaching new customers. The sticking point, currently, is how we can’t restrict our Lookalikes to certain geographic areas within a country, given that lookalikes are currently only available at a country level. Inconvenient if you have a delivery radius to work with, or you’re only present in major cities.


Fortunately, there’s a way around this, using the Saved Audience feature. By creating a saved audience from the Lookalike audience you’re wanting to restrict, you can add a geographic [or any other] restriction to your Lookalike to help it perform with greater relevance to the people you’re hoping to reach. As my nan would say, bingo.


  1. Ditch the CTA.


Controversial, I know, but for ads in the consideration objectives like brand awareness and reach? We want them to appear naturally in the feeds of our audience. The best performing ads are the ones that are conversational, and don’t *look* like ads, so ditching the CTA button will make them appear less like an ad, and more like a native post.


  1. Perv on your competitors.


We’d never advocate for religiously stalking your competitors, but sometimes it’s useful to have a sneak peek at their content, especially if you know they’re selling to YOUR audience. Fortunately, in the interest of transparency, Facebook last year quietly gave us the ability to spy on the ad creative being run by pages at any given time, so you can have a little [and we mean little] perv via the Info and Ads section of any given page to see what type of ads they’re running.


So, that’s it. My hot take on overcoming your analysis paralysis, rolling up your sleeves and getting started.


And, if you’d like some solid, strategic advice? Come sit with the cool kids [that’s me, or the excellent Todd or Michelle] and complete one of our Facebook Ads Intensive workshops. Because, seeing your faces light up with the power of new knowledge?


Dead set the best bit of my job.