There is no doubt that in this day and age, social media is a part of nearly every businesses marketing strategy. But, early in 2016, Facebook marketers saw a 52% decline in organic reach on their posts. This means as marketers, we need to put more effort into reaching our audiences than ever before. To achieve that reach, 93% of marketers are using Facebook Ads on a regular basis. Whether you’re part of that 93% or not, we’re here to help you learn how to create a solid Facebook ad and optimize it to perform at its best.
The first thing necessary for creating a great Facebook ad is to follow Facebook’s steps and make informed decisions when choosing the different elements of your ad. So before we move on to optimizing your ad and making it as powerful as it can be, let’s go over the basics.
Facebook’s Ads Manager allows users to organize their ads and specify them by breaking them down into three different components.
After selecting “Create an Ad,” you’ll first be asked to create a campaign for the ad, which lays the groundwork for your ad by asking you to choose an objective you’d like focus on.
The Ad Manager gives you options to focus on everything from lead generation and traffic to brand awareness. By choosing one of the ten options available, you help Facebook better understand the goals of your ad and present you with the best options to customize and optimize it further.
For example, let’s say you choose to create an ad looking for conversions on a specific action. First of all, you will need to use a Facebook pixel to track your conversions, which you can read about here, but the next steps in creating your ad are different and slightly more complex than say, creating an ad for brand awareness, where the only specifics are planning your audience, placement, and budget.
How to Optimize Your Campaigns
Choose the Right Objective
As I mentioned before, your campaign objective gives Facebook an idea of what your goals are for your ad. You’re essentially telling Facebook how to automatically optimize your ad. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think long and hard about your campaign goals and select the best possible objective.
For example, if you want to increase awareness for your brand by reaching people who are more likely to be interested in it, you might consider choosing Brand Awareness as your campaign objective. Or, if you want drive more sales leads, such as email addresses, from people interested in your brand or business, you should choose Lead Generation as your objective
It is It is crucial that you choose the right campaign because it determines how your ad is delivered and how Facebook charges your cost-per-result.
If you’re confused about which campaign is the right choice for your ad, Facebook offers helpful descriptions of each campaign when hovering over the small “i” next to them.
2.) Ad Sets
Let’s say you have chosen Traffic as your objective in order to send people to a destination either on or off Facebook. The first option you’ll be given is to specify what kind of destination you’re driving traffic to, and whether or not you want your ad to include some kind of offer.
Once you’ve chosen these parameters, you’re ready to create your audience. This process can vary based on your ad objective, but Facebook has an excellent overview of the process and the different ways you can go about it. We’d explain it here, but Facebook already did a great job and we want to get to what comes next!
Once your audience is created, it’s time to set up your budget. You’re able to set up either a specific daily budget of a certain dollar amount spent each day, which Facebook will may use all of but never more, or a total lifetime budget amount that Facebook will also not exceed, but will spread across the ad’s runtime in a way that will give you your best results.
If you’re new to Facebook’s Ad manager and want to learn more about the advanced budgeting and scheduling options Facebook offers, they have great support here.
Optimize Your Ad Sets
When it comes to advertising on Facebook, or anywhere for that matter, a lot of finding what works best is just testing and failing until something finally returns the results you’re looking for. Here are some things you might try in order to see better results on your ads.
Split Test Your Ad Sets
When creating a Facebook ad, you are given the opportunity to create a split test where you can create different ad sets for your ads, and decide on a variable to change between the ad sets.
Facebook gives you three options to change as a variable: Delivery Optimization, Audience, and Placement. They only offer these three choices because if you change many aspects of your ads at once, how will you know which part(s) are working?
Play With Your Scheduling
You might think it’s best to create your ad and run it 24/7 so as to reach your target audience at all times of the day and night, but there are some days and time frames that seem to perform better for Facebook ads.
You can sort through your campaign reports by selecting the “Breakdown” menu on your Ads manager homepage and filtering down to “by time” and then specifically by day, week, month, etc. In this breakdown menu, you can see which times and days have worked better for your ads in the past, and you can set your future campaigns on a custom schedule so you are only spending your budget to reach your audiences at the best times.
Doing this also helps decrease ad frequency. Your audience is less likely to get bored with an ad they see frequently if it’s posted less.
Choose the Perfect Placement
The placement of your Facebook ads can also have a serious impact on your costs.
Go into your breakdown menu and choose to see your top performing ads by placement. This will tell you the breakdown of results by placement (ex: Facebook Desktop News Feed, Instagram Mobile News Feed) where your ad was shown.
Now you can optimize your ads based on performance by editing your custom placements in your ad sets.
Now that you’ve gone through all of the number crunching and thinking, it’s time to get creative and develop your actual ad! What should your ad look like? It really depends on the original objective you chose.
There are many different types of ads and different ways to use your creative assets to work towards your campaign objective. You can read more here about the different visual options there are for ad creation and the advantages they each offer.
Optimize Your Ads
Split Test Your Ads
We’ve already discussed the ways you can split test your ad sets within Facebook’s pre-made options, but there are also different ways to split test the options you’re given in creating your actual ads.
You can try different approaches to color choices, headlines, copy, value offer, call-to-action buttons, and more.
AdEspresso and HubSpot partnered up to create some best practices in terms of the visual aspects of your ad, and what has been statistically proven to attract your audience.
- Keep headlines to a maximum of 4 or 5 words.
- Keep post text and link descriptions short, sweet, and to the point.
- Give reader more specific information as they read the headline first, then post text, then link description.
- Words that perform well in ads for attracting audiences: You/Your, Free, Now, New.
- Use highly specific numbers as social proof. Specific numbers are more likely to catch the reader’s eye and read like a true statistic.
- Use low-commitment CTAs like “Learn More.” While CTAs like “Apply Now” are more proactive, audiences are more likely to click through if they are not worrying about making a decision right away.
Make Auto-Optimization Rules
Facebook Ad Manager offers a feature called Facebook Automated Rules.
This feature allows you to create rules and add conditions to trigger those rules. For example, you can pause any ad that reaches a certain amount of frequency. Say you have a specific frequency goal and want to cut down on campaign spending by ending your ad when the goal is met, you can create a rule for that. You can even create a rule to simply notify the ad manager (yourself) when something occurs, like a new conversion or lead.
You can read more about setting up an automated ad here.
There are many different ways you can optimize your Facebook ads. Have you tried any tricks that we didn’t mention here? Let us know in the comments!