Facebook is essentially the pinnacle of social media advertising. The original and the best. The OG!
Between itself and its sister app Instagram, businesses are able to rack up big bucks through creating effective ads that pop up on users' news feeds. Every business uses a different tactic for their advertising; some people bombard their audience with ads and some use a more calculated approach.
In Facebook's latest Graph and Marketing API update, they’ve announced that they will be placing limits on how many ads a business page can run at once.
But, why would they do that? Aren’t they just dropping their own revenue?
Facebook has said that they’re willing to take the hit to make sure that their advertisers are using their ad accounts more effectively. Their official statement reads, “we’re implementing ad limits because very high ad volume can hinder an advertiser’s performance.”
So, what does this mean for Facebook advertisers going into the new year?
The Facebook Ads Rundown
Firstly, let’s dive into the basics of Facebook advertising.
If you have a Facebook business page, you can set up your Facebook business manager, in which you will find your ads manager. This is where you’ll create your Facebook ads and navigate the crazy world of ad specs, parameters, audiences, ad types, budgets and all the rest!
Facebook ads allow you to target your ideal customer persona through very specific targeting. You can also target people similar to your current customers, or people who have visited your website and haven’t become customers.
Take Advantage Of Split Testing
Many people think that the best way to attract customers to their business, they must churn out a bunch of ads and hope that something sticks. This is not a calculated approach nor is it very effective, which is why Facebook has implemented the limits in the first place. They’re simply just sick of people using their ad accounts wrong and spending loads of unnecessary money in ineffective ads.
Arguably, this could be why they implemented split tests in 2017, and continue to refine these tools. They continue to refine these tools, knowing if you get better results you’ll likely keep running your ads.
Split testing is essentially a way to compare different versions of your ads so you can see which one works better. You can use the same image with different copy or the same copy with different images. You can even make them entirely different; it all depends on what you want to know.
You’ll find out which one has the most desired effect and be able to run with it. Hell, you can even split test the best ad with another ad if you want to!
Develop A Hypothesis
We recommend keeping your ads almost identical but changing one variable as sometimes that’s all it takes to optimise your advertising.
With that being said, you still need to know what you’re comparing or wanting to achieve. Consider what the purpose of your ad is and what your goal is.
Do you want more likes/comments? More conversions? Higher reach? A lower cost per result?
Facebook ads don’t just have to be about selling something, and it’s important to recognise you’re trying to achieve.
So, when it's time to send those slightly-non-identical-twin-ad-babies out into the world with your goal for them in mind; think of a measurable hypothesis. A sort of “if/then” statement.
Obviously, this is not a 10th-grade science class so it doesn’t have to be super-specific. However, something like “if I change this copy, then I might get more likes,” is adequate enough to know what you’re measuring.
You can develop this over time and make it into a rule of thumb for your advertising if it turns out successfully.
Choose Your Parameters Wisely
It’s all well and good to know what you want to achieve, but if you’re not targeting the right people in a timely manner, well, you’re screwed, basically. It is so incredibly important to pick your target audience wisely. If you’re a marketing agency like us trying to find clients, don’t go targeting stay at home mums between the ages of 30-45. They aren’t going to need your business or care for your ads and you’ll waste your time.
As a business owner, you should have some idea of who your primary target audience is or who specifically you want to see your ad. Make sure your target audience pertains to the right demographics you aren’t being hasty with your advertising decisions.
Facebook recommends running your split tests for 4 days in order to gain the most reliable results. In any case, ads shouldn’t be tested for less than 1 day or more than 30 days, but 4 is a good starting point. Once you’ve looked at the data and deduced which one you prefer you can run the successful ad separately for your desired timeframe.
Create More Effective Ads
It’s a no-brainer that making decent ads is going to dramatically improve your performance. You’ll eliminate the need too “over-advertise” and create a bunch of ads in hopes of bringing in more traffic by focusing your energy on quality over quantity.
Use highly visual images or video
What's an ad without being eye-catching, thought-provoking or fun? Make sure to choose appropriately on brand but attention-grabbing artwork or video content for your ad. Use colour, text, graphic design, imagery, catchy headlines, subtitles, voice-overs; anything that will make your ad pop on an overcrowded newsfeed.
Use the right Facebook ad specs
As you’ve probably gathered by now, Facebook likes to make rules that control how people advertise on their platform. Because of this, your ad will not perform well if it has too much text in it. Never mind how amazing it looks or how much effort you put into it, if it’s too wordy, computer says no.
Your ads will be penalised by not running or having poor reach when it does run. This is why we always use the text overlay tool by Facebook to make sure your masterpiece is debarred from Facebook’s wrath, before bothering to create an ad out of it.
You’ll also have to make sure that your Facebook ad has the right image size for whichever type of ad your running. For a single Facebook ad, the image size needs to be 1,200 x 628 pixels. And those guidelines apply to several different ad types, each of which has different parameters.
That’s not all. There are also character limits on your copy. You can refer to the Facebook Ads guide for all of the do’s and don’ts of Facebook ads.
Create the right message
Just because you write something super catchy and cool, doesn’t mean it will resonate with your audience. Your copy is just as vital to your ad performance as your content is and there are also guidelines around what you can and cannot say. It mostly pertains to explicit words, but if your ad is rejected, make sure you check Facebook's ad policies for potential breaches. You should be able to work out a solution this way.
Anyway, back to the copy, your wording needs to be able to suck people in yet serve a purpose. Your opening headline is usually the money shot and will ultimately decide if someone stops to contemplate your ad.
Depending on the context of your ad, you can be direct and powerful or fun and playful, but try to avoid being too sales-y. If you’re offering a discount then be sure to mention that in your first few words; everyone is a sucker for a saving. If you’re not sure what will work, go back to your split testing and see what works!
Don’t be too “ad-y”
Do You Want The Best Advertising Advice You Will Ever Get In 5 Easy Steps?!?
No, you don’t, because whoever wrote that sentence sounds like a bonafide narcissist. You can just picture someone sitting in a dingy little wood-panelled office, smugly churning out advertising cliches and thinking to themselves, “wow, I’m a sales genius.”
I don’t know about you, but I am so repulsed by those ads that I rarely give them the time of day. They’re scary and pyramid-schemey and just downright cringe-worthy. Be personable, and approachable in your ad’s text and convey your message with dignity and conviction. Sales pitches don’t work on a modern audience and are much better left to infomercials and those lame shopping segments on morning shows.
Facebook Ads cost money and the more you’re willing to spend, the more people will see your ad. However, you don’t have to ball out to have successful ad campaigns and quite frankly, you wouldn’t want to.
If you’ve followed all of the right steps to create a good ad, your ROI will be equally as good. You can spend $100 a day on a crappy ad and get no conversions, or $5 a day on a brilliant ad and get plenty of conversions.
Plan your budget according to what you can afford to spend and use the tools we’ve given you to optimise its performance.
You should also implement Facebook tracking pixels. This allows you to not only measure your conversions from Facebook but also allows you to retarget your site visitors. You can create landing pages to add to your ads and encourage conversions, sign-ups or give your audience more info.
Alternatively, you could just hire us to run your ads for you. Instead of researching, practising trial and error and agonising over your ads manager, hand it over to professionals!
We are educated and trained in digital marketing and know how to get results right out the gate. Our team of marketing professionals, designers and copywriters collaborate to make amazing ads every day! Book an exploratory call with us to see how we can help you.