Facebook ads are like Marmite. You’ve either ridden the wave of investing, testing and learning, reaped the rewards and LOVE them. Or you’ve dabbled, tried a few things, got frustrated and now shudder at the thought.

Whatever your feelings towards them, there’s no denying that Facebook ads have the power to propel your business forward and get you seen by the right people.

Whether you’ve tried them and succeeded, tried them and been disappointed or not yet tried them at all, there’s always more that you can learn as Ads Manager is ever evolving.

But before you spend another penny, make sure to follow my 6 top tips and start off on the right foot with Facebook ads:

 

1. Know your Facebook Advertising Strategy

Without a strategy in place, you can’t move forward with planning your campaign. You need to know:

  • What you are trying to achieve
  • Who you are trying to reach
  • What’s the customer’s journey (there may be versions for those that know you already, and those that have never heard of you and your business before)
  • What your targets are and over what time period
  • What’s your monthly budget

Your strategy can simply be a one page document with short statements – nothing too fancy, but having it in place will help to guide your campaign planning and build, making your life a whole lot easier.

 

2. Research your Target Audience(s)

So you know who your target audience is but do you know enough about them? Facebook has thousands of targeting options available allowing for really in-depth, granular targeting. This can be wonderful for those who know precisely who they’re trying to reach, or horribly overwhelming for those that don’t.

It can be tempting to plug in a variety of different interests, demographic data or behaviours based on intuition but do try to avoid this. Build a persona profile of your ideal customer including where they hang out online, what other pages they are fans of and their purchasing behaviour.

Delve into your page insights, nose at the [limited!] demographic data available in Google Analytics and research your competitors. The more data and insight you have, the more informed your targeting will be.

 

3. Get familiar with Custom Audiences

There are two main ways to target audiences on Facebook, one; interests-based targeting as discussed in #2, and two; custom audiences.

Custom audiences are groups made up of people who you already have a connection with. They may be an existing customer, they may be on your newsletter list, they may have visited your website previously, or even engaged with your Facebook page.

We all know it’s easier to sell to existing customers than to convert new ones. Facebook custom audiences help you to do this. You can also expand these groups, using them to help you reach potential new customers through lookalike audiences.

In order to utilize Custom Audiences fully, I recommend installing the Facebook pixel on your website – a must have if you have allocated budget and want to see the best results!

 

 

4. Consider your Customer Journey

Make sure you’ve mapped out the journey you want to take users on. Once they see your ad on Facebook, what are you asking them to do, where do they go and have you provided a good experience?

It might be that you take users to a landing page, they sign up, they receive an email and they download a lead magnet. Consider each step of the journey when planning your ad campaign, ensuring each one is supported.

Be sure to also meet your audience where they are in their journey. You may be reaching some who have heard of your business or offer before, and some who are a completely cold lead. Each group will require specific messaging so ensure you create your ad plan based upon different stages of the customer journey.

 

5. Create Quality Content

Take time to get the messaging of your adverts and the media creatives (images, video) just right. Once you’ve decided on the different audience groups you are targeting, you can create messages that are tailored to them.

Would you serve the same advert to someone who had already purchased from you, AND someone who had never heard of you? No. Equally, you may not use the same imagery for a younger male audience group as you would for an older female audience. Keep the end user in mind at all times and think about what they would find interesting, engaging and informative.

 

6. Test and Learn

The biggest mistake I see business owners making when it comes to Facebook advertising is not leaving themselves enough time for testing and learning.

If you expect amazing results overnight, you will be sorely disappointed. Even Facebook ad geniuses won’t get a new campaign right straight-away, so factor in at least 1 month to test different variables within your campaign. These can include audience groups, images, messaging, ad objectives and more.

Test one variable at a time so you can monitor which element helped you achieve better results and then combine your findings to create one killer ad campaign!

 

And lastly, one extra bonus tip – be patient and consistent.

It can take an average of 3 months for a campaign to perform well, and up to 6 months before you really start seeing the ROI. So if you want to get the most out of your Facebook ad efforts, be persistent and jump in knowing that you’re in it for the long haul.

 

Want to learn more about Facebook ads? Rebecca will be discussing how to maximize spend on social media at the Cambridge Social Media Day 2018, so be sure to catch her talk at 2pm!

Rebecca is a Social Media Strategist and founder of RF Social. She specialises in helping businesses with strategy development and Facebook ads. She’s worked with a variety of education and lifestyle brands, having managed communities of millions, and holds training sessions around the South East.

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