Alright ladies & gents, I’m sharing what I’ve learned about running Facebook ads in hopes that I can help you avoid wasting your precious advertising dollars. When we decided to start offering this as a paid service, I went a little cray cray learning everything I possibly could about how to run and manage ads on Facebook. We are talking everything from where to manage the ads, how to create a segmented audience, what kind of copy to use, to how to optimize your ads over time.
I had no idea how complex (& amazing) Facebook advertising was. My mind is blown. I also had no idea that Facebook has a huge repository of free training (another blog post coming on this later), which you can use to prepare to take a certification exam.
Where to Start: Facebook Business Manager
Business Manager is a free Facebook platform that helps advertisers integrate Facebook marketing efforts across their business and with external partners. You’ll be able to run and track your ads, manage assets such as your Pages and ad accounts, and add an agency or marketing partners to help manage your business.
Step one, set up your Facebook Business Manager. Business Manager gives you tons more flexibility and insight for designing ads and analyzing ad performance. Business Manager accounts are created with your personal Facebook profile to verify your identity so you must have a personal Facebook username and password to sign into Business Manager.
Now that you have access to Facebook Business Manager, you can add your page or pages to manage all of them in one place. Learn how to add or request access to a Page or give someone access and permissions to manage your Page here.
Next Up: Facebook Ads Manager
Ads Manager lives inside of Facebook Business Manager. This is the enchilada for highly optimizing your ads. Ads Manager allows you to create and run ads, segment, set your budget, see how ads are performing, and see your billing summary.
Audience Insights is one of the tools inside of Facebook Ads Manager. With the Audience Insights tool, you can find tons of information about the various audiences on Facebook. One of my favorites is the ability to see what type of people already like your page. You can identify their demographics, hobbies, interest, and behaviors. Lookalike audiences are amazing (and a little creepy). Knowing this information allows you to better segment when running ads.
You can even create a customer audience based on a current customer file. Facebook will pull information about your customer and create an audience that matches. You can use this same process to create audiences from your website traffic, app activity, and engagement on Facebook. Talk about relying on date to make decisions!
Facebook Ads Manager also is where you can get the Facebook pixel. The pixel is a snippet of code you can embed on your website to track what happens after someone clicks on your Facebook ad. The pixel grabs the info and tosses it into your Ads Manager.
For example, if you want to track people who click through your Facebook ad and then purchase an item, you can! All with pixels. Magic! We could go really, really deep on pixels and setting up custom conversions, but I’ll save that for a rainy day when I’m racking my brain for a blog post idea.
Automated rules are another magical feature of Facebook Ads Manager. Automated rules allow you to send alerts or take action when certain things occur. For example, you can automatically turn off an ad set if the cost per conversion is higher than a certain dollar amount, helping you spend your ad dollars more wisely!
Running & Managing Ads
Okay, you get how great Facebook ads are and how you can really, really narrow down your audience to someone who is most likely to click on your ad & benefit from your products and/or services, so in reality, how do you go about capitalizing on all of this inside of Ads Manager? Let’s walk through creating an ad that is going to convert.
First off, please stop boosting posts. When you boost a post you don’t have any flexibility to change/modify the ad. Instead, start from scratch inside of Ads Manager. This gives you the most options to take advantage of every customization opportunity.
Keep your ad copy simple, direct, and transparent. Be really, clear about what the visitor can expect when they click-through. Use little to no text on the image in your ad. Facebook dings images with text, especially ones with text covering more than 20%. Using too much text will hurt your delivery and reach. Facebook has an extensive advertising policy that can lead to your ads getting disapproved. I recommend reading the parts that may apply to your business. For example, side-by-side weight loss pictures are not allowed in Facebook advertising. Who would have thought?
Next, stop creating generic audiences. Do not, I repeat, do not boost your ad (or run an ad from scratch) where the audience is “females, age 25-60, in the US.” This is WAY too broad and you aren’t going to see the engagement you hoped for. Facebook has the most detailed demographic, interest, and behavior data on the Internet. Use that to your advantage. If your customer is interested in tiny horse figurines, there is probably a way to segment down to them.
- Utilizing retargeting! This is where the magic happens. You can set up a series of ads that act as a sales funnel. The likelihood of someone clicking through your ad the first time they see it is low, but once they start seeing your brand on the regular, they may feel more inclined to learn more. You can set up audiences in Facebook Business Manager that are automatically populated as Facebook users see your ads. You can then market fresh, relevant content to those audiences. You can do the same thing for website visitors or those who like your social media pages!
- Moving on, Facebook ads is a long-term game, so don’t treat it like a one time shot. I see so many people set an ad to run for 3 weeks and forget it. Run your ads continuously versus a set amount of time, and make a commitment to view the analytics regularly and act on them. Make adjustments. If certain age groups are viewing your ad but not clicking through, segment them out. You can do the same thing with other segmentation data.
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Facebook ads are a powerful, low cost way to reach your target market. That said, there is a lot that goes into creating an ad that most do not realize! Feeling overwhelmed? I’ve been there. We are here to help you create, run, manage, and analyze your Facebook ads. Learn More here.