Tips for building an effective Facebook Ad Campaign

Facebook is a behemoth for advertising. Why? Because it's probably the most effective way of reaching your ideal consumer. If you're not advertising on Facebook already, you should be. If you are, great! Either way, here are some tips (in no particular order) we use when setting up campaigns for our clients.

1. Define your ideal customer.

Sounds easy. But how well do you know your ideal customer? Facebook knows them very well. Building out a customer profile that paints a picture of who your ideal customer is, is a great way to start reaching the right people on Facebook. Age, Gender, Interests, Behaviors, Psychographic and Socioeconomic information is a great place to start. Looking at who the bulk of your current customers are and figuring out what they have in common is a valuable piece of information to have when building out a Facebook ad campaign. 

 2. Leverage your current customer data.

One of the most important things we ask for when setting up an ad campaign is current client data from your CRM. Who already does business with you? We can take this information, upload it to Facebook and do some great things with it. For example, we can take that data and super-serve your current customer's ads tailored to people who already do business with you. If you're like most businesses, a lot of your business comes from current clients, so super-serving them is a great way to maintain a relationship with them. 

3. Build on your current customer data.

One of the best features of Facebook advertising is the ability to leverage your current customer data to match with new customers on Facebook. Basically, we can take your current customer database, upload it to Facebook and build out a Look-A-like Audience from that. This is an audience of people who match characteristics of your current customers. This is extremely valuable information because it allows Facebook's algorithm to build out a customer list with characteristics of people that you may not think of. Simply put, this is a great way of putting your message in front of people who are similar to your current customers, but aren't doing business with you yet. 

4. Use the Facebook Pixel.

If you don't have a Facebook pixel installed on your website, then get one. The Facebook Pixel tracks all kinds of important actions taken on your website and you can leverage those actions to acquire new customers. Using the Facebook pixel we can run Conversion campaigns, Product Catalog campaigns and we can see which ads perform the best. Let's focus on Conversion campaigns for this example. Conversion campaigns allow you to serve ads to people Facebook deems likely to take a specific action on your website. These are called "events". There are 9 standard events - for this example, we'll use View Content, Add To Cart,  & Purchase. These are 3 important events that everyone who becomes your customer online goes through. First they look at your products (view content) then they add their desired product to their cart (Add-To-Cart), then they check out and purchase the product. If you could see how many times these actions are taken, it would look like a giant sales funnel. For example, say you have 10,000 website visitors per month, 5,000 of them view products (event 1), 1000 of them Add to Cart (event 2), 150 of them actually purchase (event 3). A conversion campaign lets us build out a campaign designed to achieve the desired event. Essentially, the more "view content" actions we can drive, the more products get added to carts, and the more purchases are made. Building a campaign that focuses on key events taking place on your website is crucial when designing a Facebook ad campaign.   

5. Get a product data feed.

If you don't have a product data feed, then get one. Most website platforms like Magento, Woocommerce, Shopify etc. all have plug-in apps that will create a product data feed. You can use this to run valuable advertising campaigns like Google Shopping campaigns, and Facebook Product Catalog campaigns (PCC) etc. We'll be focusing on the latter. Facebook Catalog Campaigns are a must if you're displaying inventory online. Simply put, these campaigns are how you can serve dynamic product ads to consumers on Facebook. Campaigns that focus on:

  1. Retargeting Add-To-Cart Abandoners with the product they added to cart but failed to purchase.

  2. Retargeting website visitors who didn't add a product to cart but looked at a particular piece of inventory.

  3. Up-selling products based on what pieces of inventory were viewed within a specific number of days.

  4. Cross-Selling campaigns to serve ads to people for products regularly purchased together

These are also campaigns we can run a Product Catalog campaign. As you can see, running Product Catalog campaigns with your product feed is a very powerful way to leverage Facebook Advertising. 

6. A/B Test Everything.

A/B/C/D/E-Z testing is important. You could have the best targeting set up but no sales because your ad stinks. Or you could have a killer ad and no sales because your targeting is way off. You'll never know unless you test it to find winners! The Facebook pixel lets us see which ad sets and ads converted into the desired action. Using this information, you can focus your marketing dollars on winning ads, and save yourself from wasting money on losers. 

7. Don’t go crazy using Facebook’s targeting parameters.

It can be really tempting to build out 1 campaign and pile in every kind of interest, behavior or characteristic you can think of. But resist that feeling! Doing this only makes your audience massive, and it takes away valuable data for A/B testing. You won’t know which interest or characteristic is driving the conversion. Typically how we build out a campaign consists of:

1. Type of campaign (Conversion, Traffic, Product Catalog etc)

2. Ad Sets – Here is the first step in A/B testing a single campaign. Using FB ad sets we can apply the overall budget to multiple ad sets. This allows us to A/B test ad sets with specific kinds of interest targeting attached. For example, if we’re looking to target people interested in a new restaurant opening, we would build out multiple ad sets that focus on 1 interest/characteristic each.

a.  Ad Set 1: People Interested in restaurants

b.  Ad Set 2: People interested in Fine Dining

c.  Ad Set 3: People interested in healthy eating

d.  Ad Set 4: People who demonstrate behaviors relating to Mid-Range Restaurants

So on and so forth. There are dozens of different interest/characteristic/behavioral targeting options. Don’t go crazy with them, segment them out and use this as your first layer of A/B targeting.

8. Use Social proof ads

Running ad engagement campaigns might not pay off with huge increases in web traffic or online sales, but they do tend to get a lot of likes, comments, and shares! This is super valuable! When you’re starting off a campaign, running an ad engagement campaign can get your ad(s) lots of these valuable likes, comments & shares. Later on, down the road when you kick off a conversion campaign or product catalog campaign, you can use these ads from the start of the new campaign. This lets you use a seasoned ad that has lots of “social proof” with it. Social Proof is when your ad has lots of comments from people saying, “this is great” or “solid company we love them”, with lots of likes or hearts and shares. This shows the customer viewing the ad that your company is for real and that people love it and that their experience with you will also be positive.

9. Use multiple kinds of ads.

Facebook offers multiple types of ads – use them! Carousel Ads, Single Image Ads, Video Ads, Product Catalog Ads – there’s a ton of ad styles you can use. Usually, we find the best success with Dynamic Product Ads, Video Ads, Carousel Ads and Single Image Ads. That’s not always the case though, we’ve had campaigns where Single Image ads win by a long shot. We like to A/B test ad types for campaigns as well so that we’re serving up the content that people engage with.

In Summary

These are just a few best practices we follow when setting up a Facebook ad campaign. There are many other best practices to consider as well when designing a winning campaign that we did not address. Bottom line: Facebook is an incredibly powerful tool for businesses of all sizes and provides a playing field that companies must consider when building a marketing plan for their business.