Facebook Ads is a powerful social platform to advertise your business. With over 2.9 billion monthly active users and its ability to reach Instagram, it’s no wonder why most businesses continually invest in it. But often, the platforms’ sheer complexity overwhelms most beginners and stops them from entering into it altogether, or they run the ads but with dismal results because they have not taken the time to learn how it works.
Like in a movie where there are main characters, side characters and passersby, if you want to understand the plot, focus on the main characters. This is because they are the most important part of the movie and why the movie exists. Similarly, within Facebook Ads, we will discuss the 5 “main characters” or things that are all that matter at the end of the day.
The main things in Facebook Ads
The whole point of Facebook or social media advertising is to present your business (in the form of ads) in front of a target audience and hope they click and buy your product or service.
It is essential to know that users on Facebook will not see what’s inside your Business Manager, or your Catalog, or your Ads manager. All this back-end stuff is for us, the advertiser. And the user? All they see is your ad, which is the final product.
They don’t care who you target in your Ads manager, how much your campaign budget is, or if you have switched to CBO (Campaign Budget Optimization).
So it is no surprise that you see the first 2 points later relating to your ads. Your ads are so crucial to your Facebook Ads success that you should take special time to master them.
1. Your ad creatives
Your ad creatives are the graphical or visual part of the ad. It is the bread and butter of your Facebook Ads. It is also the first thing and often the only thing users see before deciding to click or continue scrolling. Users’ attention span online are short, and they lose interest quickly. Their eyes go to the image or video; if it’s appealing, they will continue reading or watching. If not, they will scroll off.
When it comes to ad creatives, you want to devise a strategy for it. How are you creating them? What kind of creatives are you using? Are you using multiple ad types such as single image, video, or carousel? Are you using catalog ads for your site products? What colours are you using? Do you have a brand style guide?
Getting the visual part right is the first part of running successful ads on Facebook because that’s what your users will see first.
2. Your ad copy
Your ad copy is the next immediate area users look at after looking at your creatives. You can have the best, eye-catching creative, but it will still fall short if the copy fails. You write your copy on the primary text area, which usually shows up first in feeds and stories. Then you have a headline and CTA that appears below the ad. Before you write anything, thoroughly understand the product and service.
Learn to write to your customers from their point of view, because they are the ones who are deciding to buy or not. You are not buying your own product, so why write what you like to hear?
Write what they care about, and keep it short and precise. Avoid essays as nobody is on social media to read stories. They are here to catch up with their friends and families, socialize and “kill time”. Most of them are in an idle mood.
3. Your audience targeting
Your audience targeting determines who your ads get shown to. Of course, you can have the best creative and copy, but if your product is a shampoo for young women with hair loss, then targeting men or older audiences will waste your money. Fortunately, Facebook gives users many options for targeting audiences. You can either go with custom audience targeting, and these are your users, or detailed demographics, where you go prospect mode and reach new users.
Understanding your options for targeting audiences is essential to the success of your ad because it determines who your ads get shown to. However, be careful not to target too narrowly and always enable audience expansion, as Facebook’s machine learning can often find more profitable users outside of your target audience.
4. Your Conversion tracking
You have your ads and targeting worked out, but you are still not ready to go because conversion tracking has not been set up. Conversion tracking is how you teach the Facebook algorithm about what’s working and whatnot. This is likely to be the most challenging part of Facebook Ads for most beginners. But if you don’t set up conversion tracking correctly, you will feed the algorithm with incorrect data, which will jeopardize the success of your ads.
Facebook Ads works with machine learning algorithms, so you have to tell them what is valuable to your business. For example, if you want users to come to your site and submit an application form, set the conversion event to trigger after the form is submitted.
If you set it to a page view of the form page, then you may have 100 page views with 5 submissions, but Facebook will think that they brought you 100 conversions. This is because the algorithm, now being fed with wrong data, now optimizes for more page views without giving a care about if the user will complete your form or not.
5. Your Account settings
Lastly, your account settings. This is probably the easiest one out of all. Are you aware of using the best practices by Facebook? To know this, you need to keep updated on their platform changes. It would be best if you regularly stayed in the news.
Are you using CBO (Campaign Budget Optimization)? Are you setting automatic placements so Facebook can find your conversions at the lowest cost? Are you simplifying and consolidating your campaign structure? Did you turn on audience expansion? Are you overly narrowing your audiences?
Read up on Facebook Power 5 article to learn more about the recommended steps you can take on Facebook.
As we all know, Facebook is a social media behemoth. The Facebook Ads platform has evolved into an incredibly powerful tool. Unfortunately, this powerful tool comes with great complexity. There are hundreds of choices, from your Business Manager to your Ads Manager. The sheer amount of things you can do commonly stifles beginners and they boost their posts directly from their Page instead. Boosting may be easier in the short term; however, it is not a long-term strategy if you plan to market your business on this platform seriously. Trust us, the Ads manager will be your friend in this scenario.
To remind you again, the top 5 things on Facebook are: your ad creatives, your ad copy, your audience targeting, your conversion tracking and your account settings. Knowing and prioritizing most of your time on these 5 main things will move the needle of your ad performance the most and gives you the best odds of succeeding in Facebook Ads.
Cyrus is a search advertising professional. He is currently certified in Google Ads, Advanced Google Analytics, Analytics For Power Users, Tag Manager, and Data Studio. He is also a Google Partner, which is awarded by Google to agencies who have achieved a high level of competency in driving their client’s results with Google Ads.
In his free time, he likes to write and research on different advertising techniques and ad pioneers.