In a prior tutorial, I discussed the steps to creating a standard ad on Facebook. Today, I’m going to cover the strategies associated with how to create a successful Facebook ad campaign.
Set Your Strategy
Before you even create your first Facebook ad, you need to determine your goals. What are you looking to accomplish? Do you want to uncover new fans? Are you looking to drive sales? Don’t try to do it all with one campaign. Zero in on a specific goal that you can focus on as you create your ad. This will also help shape the direction of your landing page.
Make certain that the copy you use is clear and compelling. Keep it short and simple, eliminating jargon that may not be understood by all. Make sure it’s well written with proper punctuation and spelling.
Provide a reason to like your page. Users need some motivation. An ad with a simple explanation of who you are isn’t enough. What’s in it for them? This is where it helps to dangle discounts, promotions and exclusive offers that are only available if someone likes your page. Create a sense of urgency that the user needs to like your page, but don’t bully them.
Finally, every good Facebook ad needs a call to action. More often than not, it’s a simple “Click Like!” or “Like This!” The most successful ads have this. It’s closing on the sale, and it’s easy!
While it’s the copy that convinces someone to become a fan, it’s the photo that grabs the user’s attention to read the ad in the first place. You could have the best copy on the planet, but without an interesting photo it won’t be read.
What is an engaging photo? It depends. It should inspire a reaction. It should be clear and easy to make out (photos are small, so make sure you use a close-up that is high quality). Most often, it involves human faces and interaction.
Will a logo work? Sometimes. But in most cases, it’s only if that logo is highly recognizable. Otherwise, faces are almost always the best place to start.
Make sure your ad is appearing on pages of your potential fans. If you are running a page for Justin Bieber, you probably don’t need to include the 85-year-old woman demographic in your targeting (or maybe you do, I don’t know — he may be big with that audience).
Ultimately, you want to target enough so you are going after people who are most likely to be interested in your brand without being so targeted that you’re also eliminating a valuable group. It’s a balance.
Should you target heavily or light? You can do both. That brings me to…
Run Concurrent Campaigns
Don’t stick with one ad. Try multiple versions, using various photos, ad copy and targeting. You can also run multiple campaigns with varying images and copy for the same audience so you can figure out which ad works best for each audience.
While running ads at the same time is essentially competing with yourself in the bidding game, it can be valuable. Run various ads at the same time to the same audience to determine what works best.
Should you target to a small audience? Should you leave it open-ended and just hit everyone? Try both! An example is fans of the Milwaukee Brewers (yes, I will use them as an example repeatedly, get used to it). You could target people from the Milwaukee area who have indicated the Milwaukee Brewers are an interest. Or you could just target people in Milwaukee in general, knowing the likelihood is that they are Brewers fans. Or you could target Brewers fans anywhere in the world because… well, it doesn’t matter where they live.
The point is that there are multiple approaches that work. Don’t limit yourself to one.
Bidding and Budgeting
First of all, focus on cost per impression (CPM), and don’t even bother with cost per click unless this method fails. More often than not, you will get a better CPC by using a good ad under the CPM model. If you notice you’re spending more than the suggested CPC bid rate, then certainly switch it up.
In terms of bidding, I’ve found little difference in whether I bid on the low end or the high end. The thing is that if you bid high, that’s just your maximum bid. If you don’t have competition, you’ll still get the lower price. The disadvantage of bidding too low is that your ad may not get into circulation.
But I’ve been successful with both methods. I tend to have more success bidding on the higher end of the range, getting the guarantee that my ad will be seen.
So how about that daily budget? Glad you asked…
A big mistake people make is going in with a determined budget and blowing it early. Don’t.
If you’re new to Facebook advertising, start very slowly. And really, even if you’re a veteran. Try a few ads out. Run them at only $1 or $2 for an entire campaign that lasts just a few hours. Don’t waste money on ads that don’t work.
But when you start slow, you’re learning. You’re learning which copy works and which copy doesn’t. You’re learning what photos are successful. You’re learning about how much you need to target, and which groups work best. And you’re learning about how much you need to bid and budget.
I’ve heard people say you should check on your ads every couple of days or once per week. That’s crazy. I micro-manage the heck out of my ads, and I suggest you do as well. If you don’t know what’s happening with your ads as they’re running, you will ultimately waste money or leave money on the table.
Accelerate What’s Working
Now take those learnings and use them! Have an ad that is far outperforming the others? Ride it! Ride that baby into the ground. Up the budget for that campaign and run it until it begins performing below the level of the next best campaign.
Keep in mind that this ad will begin to drop in performance. During the first couple of days, people may only see your ad a handful of times. Eventually, they’ve decided whether your ad is going to convince them to like your page. Showing it again won’t change anything.
The life cycle is different from ad to ad and campaign to campaign, depending not only on the brand and quality of the ad but the number of times a person is seeing it. But consider yourself lucky if your ad maintains a high level of performance much beyond three days.
Know When to Hit “Stop”
Even if you found yourself a golden ad, the success won’t last forever. Don’t wait around for it to rebound. Know that at some point you need to stop it and try something else.
That doesn’t mean you can’t bring that ad back to life at another time. But they often need some rest. Shake things up and show some other ads, and then feel free to come back to old faithful later on.
The biggest key to finding success with Facebook ads — as with most things in business — is to experiment. You won’t know what will work and what won’t without experimenting. So you’ll definitely fail with some ads. But the key is to recognize those failed ads early, stop them and learn from them.
These are my guidelines for running a successful Facebook ad campaign, but what has been your experience? What have been your biggest successes? Biggest failures? We can learn from them all!