It seems like every blogger on the internet has ranted and raved about the power of Facebook advertising. Why not? It’s relatively intuitive and houses billions of active users. The problem is that while the platform is extraordinarily popular, many marketers go in guns blazing only to find that their campaigns are filled with blanks. With so much competition and so many users, how can you run a campaign that will actually generate real leads and conversions for your business?
If you’ve had it up to your ears with wasted ad spend and hours of pointless campaign tweaking, look no further. We’ve put together a list of the top seven tips that will help get your campaigns on the right track.
Warm Your Leads First
One common problem among novice Facebook marketers is that they don’t consider the conversion funnel when setting up their ads and campaigns. If you’re marketing to new consumers who have never heard of your brand before, you can’t just throw your ad in their face and expect them to whip out their credit cards.
Instead, you need to warm your leads with something less blatantly promotional. If you’re targeting new consumers, you should promote informational content that will spark an interest in your products or services. For example, you could run a brand awareness campaign with ads for a popular blog post, video, or infographic. The idea is to get them interested in your brand before you proposition them.
Use Buyer Personas
One of the best parts about advertising on Facebook is that it has tremendous targeting potential. But in order to get the most out of all the unique targeting conditions, you need to create a buyer persona for your idea customer. Creating a buyer persona will help you see the abstract consumer as a real person with unique interests and behaviors, which will give you a better idea of which audience filters you’ll need to reach them. Some essential elements you should have in your buyer persona include:
- Location: Are you trying to reach national customers? International customers? Perhaps you own a surf shop, and you only want to reach customers who live or vacation near the coast.
- Interests: What kinds of common interests do your ideal customers share? For instance, for our surf shop example, you’d probably want to include an interest in surfing or watersports.
- Behaviors: Facebook allows you to target by specific consumer behaviors, such as buying a new car or a recent engagement.
- Pain Points: What kinds of pain points does your ideal customer have and how will your products or services help them deal with it? This information will help you when designing your creatives and ad copy.
Use the Audience Insights Tool
If you need more data before creating your buyer persona, Facebook’s Audience Insights tool is a great place to start. Start by uploading a list of your current customers, and Facebook will find those that are on Facebook and provide you with a host of data that’ll give you some better insight. For example, you’ll be able to see what the most common age group is, the top incomes and job titles, and even their purchasing behaviors.
Create Layered Audiences and Diverse Ads
Like we talked about in our first section, it’s important to create ads that match the consumer’s stage in your conversion funnel. To ensure that your ads best appeal to the people viewing them, it’s a good idea to break up your audience into segments. This enables you to be less generic with your creatives and create more relevant and engaging ads. For instance, let’s go back to our surf shop example. You could create separate ads and audiences for men and women so that you can show the right apparel in the ad.
Use the Retargeting Pixel
Facebook is an entirely fantastic tool for retargeting campaigns, and it’s relatively easy to do. First, you need to make sure that you have correctly set up your Facebook Pixel on your website. Then, Facebook will track user activity on your site. Not only will this help you keep track of how many purchases are coming from your Facebook ads, but it also allows you to advertise to users based on their URL history.
For example, say a user looked around your site, added a surfboard to their cart, and then left without checking out. You can set up an ad for that particular surfboard (and maybe a discount code for added incentive) and help push that consumer toward conversion. Retargeting ads on Facebook are incredibly efficient and an excellent way to help you close sales that you otherwise might’ve missed.
Get Creative with Video & Carousel Ads
Instead of sticking with the traditional image ads that all consumers are pretty used to seeing, try getting a bit more creative with the video and carousel formats. These formats typically achieve higher engagement, and they allow you to create ads with more information. For example, because a carousel ad allows you to display multiple pictures or videos, you can show off different products or different uses for a single product all in one ad. Some advertisers have gotten really creative with this format, using the gallery-like feature as a storyboard that entices consumers to click through the content.
Use Lookalike Audiences to Find New Customers
Lookalike audiences are an impressive feature that is unique to the Facebook advertising platform. To use it, you first need to add a list of existing customers, and then Facebook’s algorithm will use that information to find new consumers that are most likely to be interested in the products and services that you offer. Considering how difficult it can be to whittle down the billions of active Facebook users on your own, the Lookalike tool can be a big help. It’s important to note, however, that you will need to have at least 100 consumers in your list in order for Facebook to create a Lookalike audience. (Editor’s note: the more the better – starting with 1,000 would create a better lookalike audience.)
Andy Beohar is the Chief Inbound Marketing Strategist at SevenAtoms Inc, a San Francisco inbound marketing and AdWords management Agency. At SevenAtoms, he manages and develops inbound marketing and Google AdWords strategies for companies with the goal to substantially increase their online visibility, grow their brand and bring in more leads and conversions.