Facebook advertising has revolutionised the marketing world.
Since 2016, the number of monthly active advertisers has increased from 3 million to over 7 million and its only set to increase.
Because they work. We’re now at an all-time high for online users, and with over 2 billion users worldwide, Facebook has the largest data pool going. You can now know everything about your audiences from location to interests to age to whether they spend more time on their mobile or laptop.
Facebook has cut out the guesswork and created an effective platform for showing the right ads to the right people at the right time. Whether it’s for reach, awareness, conversions, or likes, Facebook can get you there.
Whilst advertisers have grown substantially, users haven’t. Mostly, this is because Facebook is already an incredibly popular service with less of a potential audience, but this is equally due to the increasing popularity of platforms such as Instagram (also owned by Facebook).
However, as the number of advertisers increases and the number of users stabilisers, the laws of supply and demand means that advertisers are having to pay more to show their ads, increasing the necessity for knowledge in order to make the ads as effective as possible for minimal spend.
People don’t mind being advertised to. Nowadays, it’s the norm. If you want to be social online, you have to expect to be advertised to. Did you know that only around 10% of people notice the ‘sponsored’ tag on an advert?
Facebook ads are different to other ads. They’re not obnoxious, they’re not overwhelming, and they’re made for the audience, not for the company behind them.
How many times have you gone onto a low-quality website only to have an advert take over your whole screen or a video starts playing loudly without your permission? Conversely, Facebook ads look like every other post. They’re smooth, sleek, and inviting.
On the ad itself, the elements we have to play with are:
The page name/logo
Some text above the image
An image (or video/other formats)
A CTA (Call to action)
A further small sub-heading (Newsfeed link description)
And with these elements, we want to create something:
Thumb stopping: It needs to make the scroller stop what they’re doing and become interested.
Relevant: If the user can’t attach themselves to the ad, then they’re just going to keep scrolling past. It needs to be personal to them.
Easily accessible: An ad is just an internet portal. You need to minimise the steps they take between where they are now to what you want them to do.
Once you know how to make an effective ad superficially, you then need to know how to leverage Facebook properly and take advantage of its algorithms.
At the end of the day, Facebook is merely a lot of ‘content’ space that is organised by an algorithm. There is nobody curating your feed, nobody manually inputting ads that seem relevant to you - an algorithm is behind all of it.
And with this algorithm comes gold in the form of data. People are hard to understand, but once you’ve worked out the algorithm and understand the data, you can effectively target ads to any audience and understand how to run marketing campaigns unlike any you’ve done before.
In order to make your ads successful, you need to remember three things:
Aim for the sweet spot - Don’t go too granular and don’t go too broad. You want to aim at the happy medium 90% of the time and only aim for the extremes when necessary.
Work with Facebook - Facebook will reward you if you play by its rules so make ads that make people want to be on Facebook.
Patience is key - If you make an ad and change it day after day, Facebook can’t learn what works. You need to take a step back and let it run for at least a week in order to gain some proper learnings to improve your ads going forward.
The most important factor behind determining whether an ad is working is ROAS or Return On Ad Spend, and every industry will have its own ROAS. If you’re dealing in low-cost products that people can buy in supermarkets (drinks, sweets, etc.), then your ROAS will be smaller than other industries because your product value is lower and also, people can purchase your product in other ways.
For higher-value companies such as clothing and jewellery, the ROAS will be higher because their product is higher value and people are more likely to buy from the retailer directly online.
The reason this is important is that there’s only so much you can expect to increase your ROAS. If your industry baseline is 2x, you’re going to struggle to get to 16x.
There are six key levers that we have identified that you have control over when it comes to your ROAS. This levers and how you use them are fundamentally how you can optimise campaigns and deliver the best results you can from your Facebook advertising.
Audience Selection: There is an almost unlimited number of options for audiences (Interest, Demographic, Behavioral, LAL, Custom) and you’ll never be able to test them all. Instead, you have to use your current understand mixed with your ad learnings.
Format Selection: Facebook has a limited number of options (Image, Video, Carousel, Slideshow, IG Stories, Collection Ads etc). Some will be relevant for your audience and brand and some won’t - ensure you test them, listen to what the data is telling you and create assets specifically for the formats that are giving you the best results.
Creative selection: It’s easy to become paralysed by the sheer amount of options available on your creative selection, but you should start with what aligns with your brand and then test a few different styles. Organic feeds are great for this as you can test your ideas, see the engagement, and then shuttle the ideas into ads to engage like-minded cold audiences.
Copy Selection: Most people will look at the image and the headline first before reading any substantial copy, but it’s still important. Short-form copy tends to work better for ads, so try to condense as much information as possible. Though, you can also trial long-form content and see whether that resonates more - especially with hot and warm audiences.
Landing page selection: As previously mentioned, reducing the time it takes for your audience to see the ad and make the action you’re after is key to conversions. The longer or more steps it takes for somebody to commit, the less likely they are to do it.
If you’re trying to sell a particular product, then make sure the landing page is for that product. If you’re going for brand awareness, then try sending them to your homepage or ‘about us’ page.
Big Strategy/Settings: There are a lot of options within a Facebook ad campaign. Two of the most important ones are below, and you need to ensure you are split-testing different options to see what gets you the best results:
Choosing the right objective (Conversion, Traffic, Reach etc).
Choosing the right bid strategy (Lowest cost, controlled ROAS etc).
When it comes to experimentation, make sure to note down what works and what doesn’t, eventually blending the factors that work until you have the most effective ad. An example of this might include:feas
The world of Facebook is incredibly simple on the surface, but far more complex underneath - that’s why social media agencies such as Spin Brands exist.
If you’re looking to learn more about how effective social can transform your brand’s marketing, then get in contact.