Facebook advertising is a complex game. Facebook ads campaigns can be highly effective, but there is a lot to learn before you can expect to garner an impressive return on your investment. Facebook users are not directly looking to buy a product or service and can be regarded as more of a cold audience than Google users. With this in mind, it is vital to grab the Facebook user’s attention and, in most instances, to warm them up slowly by driving awareness and interest before trying to make a sale.
A good analogy for making a sale via Facebook is comparing it to a romantic relationship. You wouldn’t propose to someone on the first date, would you? First, you need to build a rapport and connection. The same goes for driving sales on Facebook, don’t instantly push for a sale; look to build a relationship first.
In 2010, two former Google engineers found Wish.com and the Wish shopping app. Wish.com passed $1 billion in revenue in 2020. It is thought that they did this by firstly focusing on rock-bottom prices and secondly, harnessing the power of Facebook Ads. With strong creative, precise demographic targeting and a well-planned customer journey and acquisition strategy, Facebook Ads can produce unbelievable returns. On the other hand, an impulsive, isolated ad campaign with poor targeting and creative, can do absolutely nothing and produce zero revenue.
Facebook Ad Creative
One great way to target users and also test the effectiveness of different ads is to have several other creative formats running at once.
A study by Facebook concluded that having two ad-formats running at once – e.g., a video ad, a carousel ad, a single image ad – resulted in a 16% increase in conversions on average. Other Facebook consultants have suggested that having multiple formats running at once can lead to up to a 50% increase in conversions.
Each ad format’s effectiveness will vary depending on the quality and relevance of the creative and the demographic being targeted. For example, small business owners may respond more readily to carousel ads, while students may engage more with video ads.
Within each campaign, ads are contained in “Ad Sets.” To start with, it can often be beneficial to test 3 or 4 different ads with different ad formats. When you have enough data, you can then see which type of format and which type of creative performs best. For example, if your video ad performs the best in the first week of testing, then in the following week, pause the worst-performing format, and add in an additional video ad. However, before you make any changes, ensure that you have enough data to make a robust decision; you want to make sure that the difference in performance is statistically significant.
Once you have decided which format performs best, you can duplicate the ad and experiment with different elements, including the headline and call to action. Testing is key to Facebook Ads’ success. Test everything – creative, format, headlines, calls to action!
Understand the Sales Funnel
The sales funnel may be a little cliché. Still, it’s essential to understand the fundamentals, especially when dealing with a cold audience such as Facebook users who have yet to engage with your brand in any way.
Awareness – before this stage, a prospect or user has never heard of your brand. You might catch their attention with an ad or a tweet or a listing on a Google results page. It is hard to convert anyone into a sale at this point in the funnel.
Interest – the user is doing research; they are aware of you and what you offer. At this stage, you want to display your expertise and trustworthiness.
Decision – at this stage, the user or consumer has done the research and is ready to buy. He or she might have 2 or 3 providers in mind.
Action – the consumer makes a purchase or signs up.
Not all sales follow this pattern. Many people will buy low-cost products impulsively. However, it is important to keep this funnel in mind when you are designing Facebook Ad campaigns. You can, for example, target people in the awareness or pre-awareness stage by making a high-value offer, such as an informative ebook or webinar. This will warm up cold leads into warm ones – and following this; you can showcase your authority with case studies or another offer before finally remarketing with Facebook Ads and pushing for a sale.
Optimize Your Landing Page
If you get lots of leads and clicks on your Facebook Ads, that’s great, but it’s only half of the story. It’s no good getting lots of traffic from any source if you send them to a vague and poorly designed page on your website.
You don’t want Facebook users to browse your website; you want them to convert on the same page you send them to via an ad.
Facebook users should be sent to a specific page on your website (also called a “landing page) with a single action in mind. For example, if you offer a service, have a large form prominently displayed on the page. Include trust metrics such as memberships and awards logos and badges, social proof like review scores, and customer testimonial videos.
Reduce distractions and clutter on the page. If the item you are selling is high value – for example, if you are a real estate agent, then include a prominent phone number and a form. If answering the phone might be a problem, consider using a phone answering service like Moneypenny to handle any overflow or to offer 24/7 contact.
Facebook ad campaigns can be highly effective, but before spending any money on your first campaign, it is advised that you set aside time to research the best practices. With Google Ads, you can assume (to a certain degree) the user intent is based on their search terms and search behavior. Facebook ads need to entertain, educate, inspire or catch the user’s attention, to begin with, to make them aware of your brand and your product or service. The key is to target your ads as precisely as possible and test everything from the ad creative, the ad format, the demographic targeting, and the elements on your landing page.