I’ve written here before about Facebook – once about the right Facebook Insights to monitor, and another time about ways to sell with Facebook. I haven't written about Facebook advertising though... until now.
Facebook ads are extremely effective for many reasons. For a start, the targeting is extremely powerful. Secondly, they can be extremely cost-effective. And since your customers are spending their time there, they are a form of marketing you should definitely be putting some of your marketing budget into.
If you’re yet to create your first Facebook ad campaign and you’re looking for a few pointers before diving in, here are seven to get you on your way…
1. Know your objective
Before you even begin to experiment with Facebook ads, know what your objective is.
Do you want to increase page likes, get more traffic to your website, or are you trying to generate sales?
Have your objective clear in your mind before you create your first ad campaign.
2. Think about the copy
You need to put a lot of thought into the text of an ad before running it. It might only be a small amount of text, but you want to have some sort of value proposition as well as a CTA (call to action). Something such as ‘Hit like to A, B and C’ usually works well.
Think about what reason you’re going to give your potential customers to click before creating the campaign.
Download our free writing handbook to sharpen your skills and create the most effective ad content you can.
3. Think even more about the imagery
Good images are key when it comes to Facebook ads. This is what will stick out most in the newsfeeds of potential customers, so getting good images is pivotal to the success of the campaign.
Try different types of imagery (more about this in the next point): logo, generic stock image, own imagery…. whatever works best. Just make sure the imagery is extremely, extremely strong.
4. Choose your audience wisely
Facebook’s targeting is powerful. If you want to serve an ad to people who are between the ages of 18-24, live in Sydney, Australia, are iPhone users and are big Ed Sheeran fans, you can. Take advantage of this when creating your campaign.
In terms of cost, remember that the wider the audience, the cheaper the Cost Per Objective (Like, Click, Engagement) is going to be.
So if you want big numbers for a small amount of budget, create a wide audience for your ad to go to. If you’re aiming your ad at a smaller audience, your cost will be higher but your intended audience will be extremely relevant.
5. Know your budget and the right way to spend it
What budget you have will play a major part in how you run your campaign. If you have a big budget, you might want to run the campaign for a month. If you don’t, maybe you’ll just run the ads for a couple of days.
In terms of how to spend it, you can decide to do the bidding manually. However, from my experience it's always better to let Facebook manage your budget for you.
6. Test multiple ads
When creating your campaign, Facebook will allow you to upload six different images for the one piece of copy (text). Make sure to use all six options, using images that range from ones that show your tour or activity to ones that are simply your logo. But as you have the option to serve more than one ad… serve more than one ad.
In terms of choosing the images, you have the choice of using your own or picking images from a stock service - Shutterstock. This is free, so it's well worth exploring the image bank.
Two to three days after you’ve started the campaign, return to the advert set in Facebook to see which of the six ads are performing and which aren’t. Pause whatever ones aren’t working to put the remaining budget into the ads that are.
7. Monitor the campaign for the best performance
As well as seeing which images are performing best, you need to see which demographics are responding to your ads and on what device.
So if you have a campaign aimed at people aged 18 to 65, your ads can be seen in all places (mobile, right column, main news column), and two days later you see people aged over 35 aren’t engaging, tweak your targeting accordingly by only aiming the ad at those between the ages of 18 and 35. This will bring down the cost of the campaign as you won’t be paying to serve your ad to people who aren’t going to engage.
Do you use Facebook advertising? Have you seen a return? Let us know in the comments below!
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Written by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.