Social media reaches more people daily than any other media type that’s ever existed. There are over 3 billion active social media users, and every single second, there are 11 new social profiles created. That is 660 profiles a minute and 39,600 an hour. It is almost a million a day. And the numbers are still creeping up. Facebook has dominated this landscape for some time and shows no signs of slowing down.
Any marketer that isn’t prioritising their Facebook marketing approach is behind the times—and doing their client a disservice.
Facebook is an absolute boon for marketers because the platform’s popularity extends to nearly all demographics and tracks incredibly detailed user data. What this means is that when you’re creating Facebook ads, you can reach targeted audiences with a level of precision that’s unprecedented.
You might imagine that Facebook advertising is costly as a result, right? Well, prepare to be surprised: Facebook’s CPM (cost per thousand impressions) is lower than most traditional media platforms.
Of course, the targeted nature of Facebook ads paired with the relatively low cost of Facebook marketing means that you’ll be facing a great deal of competition. You’ll face competition not simply from other ads. After all, most people aren’t on Facebook to view ads. They want to check out their nephew’s 2nd birthday bash photos. They want to see Aunt Melinda’s new rescue kitten. They are hoping to find out where this weekend’s hot frat party is going to be. So, you’ll need to use some savvy when creating Facebook ad campaigns that not only have reach but also capture the attention of your audience.
Define Your Goals
The first thing you need to do is consider your actual objectives and the audience you want to target. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to veteran marketers. It’s true for all successful marketing campaigns, regardless of the medium. Internal research into your data can help you pinpoint the audience you’re trying to reach. The targeting tools that Facebook supplies in its Ads Manager will help you achieve that audience.
We like to classify goals into one of three categories:
- Brand Awareness
There are brands that you’ve known for as long as you’ve been alive, most likely. Do you know when you first became aware of Coca-Cola? McDonald’s? Nike? You get the idea. There are probably also local brands that you are familiar with, but that friends from out of town might not know.
Brand awareness is important because it’s been shown time and time again that consumers are more willing to purchase—and more willing to pay a premium—for brands that they recognise. If you are looking at two laptops, and one is an Apple brand Mac, and one is a Mango brand Tarc, even if they have the same specs, at the same price, which would you buy?
Being known is valuable.
Being known is excellent, but you also want your potential customers to interact with your brand. We call this “consideration” or “engagement.” Engagement will take different forms depending on what your product or service consists of. A few things that contribute to engagement include:
- Increased traffic to your website
- Increased engagement on your webpages, posts, or events
- Increasing leads
- Higher views on videos
- More app installs and engagement
- Increased interactions with messages, comments, likes, etc.
Being recognised and being engaged are crucial to building your brand’s presence. But when it comes to the bottom line, what you want are conversions. Conversions “convert” awareness and engagement into sales.
- More sales from your website. Customers don’t just make it to your splash page. They purchase something.
- Increased app conversions. Interactions with your app lead to sales.
- Increased catalog conversions. Customers don’t just request your catalog—they buy something from it.
- More visits to the store, which lead to more sales.
- More offline conversions—word of mouth, etc.
Choosing The Right Ad Format
Some ad services offer a static format, which may or may not be the best for reaching your target audience, depending on the product or service you’re marketing. But Facebook is different. It’s continually evolving and offering new ad formats so that you can tailor your campaign to reach your goals. Right now, there are five main formats:
- Images: A picture is worth a thousand words, after all! A compelling image encourages potential customers to follow a link to your app or site.
- Videos: Video ads have grown in popularity over the past few years, as many demographics have begun to prefer video ads to images, depending on the product or service.
- Slideshows: A compromise between image and video, slideshows offer you a new way to “tell your story” and intrigue your customers.
- Carousels: Properly executed, carousels are useful for showcasing multiple products, which allows them to reach a slightly broader (but overlapping) target audience and pique their interests.
- Collections: Does your brand offer its target customers added value by providing an extensive catalog? You can customise this catalog to each target group and increase the potential for conversion.
Design Tips And Tricks For Facebook Ads
Regardless of which format (or formats) you choose, we have collected a toolbox of professional marketing tips to help you make the most of your Facebook ad campaign.
Test, And Test—And Test Some More
Once again, we know that veteran marketers are nodding along! Testing is so important when marketing online. It’s much more affordable to test your ads on Facebook than to run tests with print ads or ads in other media. Many amateur marketers believe they “know” what their target audience wants, and there’s often a lot to be said for these hunches. However, the proof is in the pudding.
That’s what makes Facebook’s split testing feature so useful. Also called “A/B testing,” split testing allows you to run two ads at the same time, with a minor difference between them. You can test many different variables, including:
- Product/service sets
- Ad placement
- Targeted audience
Something as simple as a tweak to your call to action might cause one of these similar ads to perform significantly better than another. By continually tweaking your ads and testing them, you’ll help your campaign evolve into its most effective form. We suggest testing one variable at a time so that you can correctly identify the source of the different performance results and allow the ad to run for up to two weeks. Then you can scrap the underperforming version and continue perfecting the versions that are most efficient.
Mobile design used to come second, emphasis on “used to.” Up to 95% of Facebook ad impressions take place when users use mobile devices. Mobile content has unique consumption patterns. So, when you’re designing for Facebook—you need to design for mobile. Research ad dimension guidelines and effective character limits and cut-offs. Also, check your ad out on a variety of Apple and Android smartphones and tablets to make sure your ad is displaying correctly.
Keep It Simple
Attention spans are changing, along with the way we consume content. We can attribute many of these changes to how people use their mobile devices. On average, mobile browsers spend less than 2 seconds with any given piece of content. Your ads need to be optimised to grab their attention effectively within those two seconds.
This means your copy needs to concise, hard-hitting, and snappy. Your message needs to be conveyed by the accompanying images and video. When writing your copy, the goal needs to be to get consumers to quickly click.
The goal of any ad is to encourage the viewer to take action. That might be a purchase. It might be signing up for a newsletter. It might be getting them to browse your site so that your brand identity is recognisable to them the next time they see it. That’s why it’s so important to include a hard-hitting CTA, or call to action, in your ad. And you need to write your CTA with your particular goal in mind.
Offering a limited time discount code, for example, sends a clear “Shop now!” message. If your message is “Sign up!” that needs to be clear as well. It’s crucial that your call to action correctly identifies what you want your customers to do, or the transition won’t be a memorable user experience.
Simple doesn’t mean boring. Do you have a flagship product that’s visibly and immediately different from others in your market? Do you see a price point that’s shocking for the quality? These are the points you want to emphasise in your images, videos, slideshows, and carousels. Choose the information and images with the most impact, even if they’re simple.
The best way to create an optimised Facebook ad is to get your feet wet. The cost of entry is low, so you can begin your A/B testing with your best ideas now—and make them better day by day and week by week. Why wait – see our Brisbane Facebook marketing team today.