Facebook reported over 2.5 billion monthly active users in December 2019 — that’s nearly one-third of the entire world’s population. This makes it an invaluable resource for entrepreneurs and business owners looking to cast a wide net with their pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements.
The downside is that the Facebook advertising space is crowded. The social network recently reported (subscription required) ad revenue of $17.4 billion on the year. This implies that Facebook runs millions of advertisements every day, so it’s important that you make your ads stand out.
As the CEO of two digital marketing firms, I’ve managed PPC marketing campaigns for years. For nearly a decade, I’ve refined our Facebook ad campaigns to maximize our return on investment (ROI) and make our ads convert for our clients, even in a crowded and competitive market. In this article, I’ll discuss some of my top tips and tricks for designing a Facebook ad campaign that generates leads and pads your bottom line.
Step 1: Consider Your Ad Type
Facebook runs several types of ads on its platform, including the following:
• E-commerce carousels
• Dynamic ads
• Messenger ads
• Story ads
Although each ad type has the potential to convert, I’m finding that mobile-optimized video is quickly becoming one of the most effective mediums for social media advertising. With that said, the best Facebook ad strategy is one that incorporates as many ad types as possible. A diversified approach will ensure that you create the largest number of impressions possible. However, be sure to include video content to capitalize on its high engagement rate.
Step 2: Define Your Purpose
Your Facebook ad campaign has to have a definitive purpose. When you create a new campaign in the Facebook Ads Manager, one of the first questions you’re asked is on the objective of your campaign. Therefore, before proceeding further you should ask yourself two questions:
1. At what stage of the marketing funnel are my ads directed (e.g., awareness, consideration or conversion)?
2. What is the specific goal of the campaign (e.g., brand awareness, increase traffic, generate video views, improve sales)?
For many Facebook ad campaigns for small and medium-sized businesses, the end goal is to increase engagement in the form of page likes and overall responses to the posts themselves.
Step 3: Optimize Your Images, Videos And Copy
Your Facebook ads won’t be effective unless they’re tailor-made for the Facebook platform. For starters, let’s go over a few ground rules for creating video ads for Facebook:
• Utilize a vertical or square video format (not widescreen).
• Add subtitles, since Facebook videos autoplay on mute.
• Make text legible by overlaying it on a neutral-colored bar at the bottom of the screen.
• Keep your videos short (ideally, 15 seconds or less).
• Don’t say too much — stick to one overarching message or one product showcase.
Many of the principles that apply to Facebook videos also apply to images and ad copy. The trick is to capture your audience’s attention with brevity. Cut right to the chase, and include a strong call to action at the end by encouraging viewers to comment their thoughts below, to visit your website or to share the video with at least three friends or colleagues.
When it comes to image ads, it’s got to look right at home in your audiences’ news feed. Here are a few of my tried-and-true tips for creating highly engaging image ads on Facebook:
• Include an image of people using your product, not the product on its own.
• Create multiple images that vary by demographic (e.g., one for men, one for women or one for older audiences).
• Create a sense of urgency in the call to action (e.g., “Shop now for 20% off!”).
• Don’t include excessive text — let the photo do the talking.
• Include social proof (e.g., real-life customer testimonials or product endorsements).
As a rule, all image ads on Facebook should be created and uploaded at the recommended image size (1200 x 628 pixels), and they must be saved in JPG or PNG file format.
Step 4: Enter The Facebook Ads Manager
Let’s assume you’ve already created a Facebook business page. Once you’ve logged into your account, open the Facebook Ads Manager, where you can create a new campaign, assign it a name and create a custom audience based on your ad’s specific demographic target.
The key to a successful Facebook ad campaign is to target your audience properly. Not only should you select a target audience by gender, age and location, but also by interests and behaviors. For example, if you sell sunglasses, consider targeting active individuals who are interested in outdoor sports, or who frequently drive, since these are the people who are most likely to invest in your product.
Placement And Budget
Next, it’s time to decide on your ad placement. You can choose to let Facebook automatically determine its placement, or choose based on demographic preferences. For instance, you might want to place your ad on Instagram feeds and “Explore” sections if you want to target a younger audience, and Facebook Marketplace if you want to target an older one.
Last, you have to let Facebook know what you’re willing to spend on the ad campaign. To prevent cost overruns, it’s best that you define a strict budget over a defined time period — after which the ad will stop running, and you will not be charged.
Don’t Forget To Track Your Ads
You aren’t finished once your Facebook ads are live. If you want to master Facebook PPC advertising, it’s important that you track engagement metrics, such as “likes” and conversions. Only by paying attention to performance metrics will you know what’s working and what isn’t. With this information, you can continually refine your ads to grow your engagement rate and eliminate ads that aren’t performing.