Facebook Ads are one of the best ways to reach your target market, no matter what market niche you happen to be in. With billions of users and an advanced targeting system that makes it easy to dial in exactly who you want your message to find, it would be a mistake to overlook the potential contained in this platform.
That doesn’t mean success with Facebook Ads is going to come easily, however. Many of your competitors are surely using Facebook for marketing as well, meaning you’ll have to work hard to find ways to inch ahead of their campaigns and grab as much attention for your brand as possible – all while keeping your ad spend under control.
Let’s use this article to dive into the topic of improving the performance of your Facebook Ads. Even making small improvements in this area can wind up having a powerful impact on the performance of your business, so it’s a topic that is well worth your time and attention.
Core Concept: Ad Campaigns Are Never Finished
Before we get into some tips and ideas for your Facebook Ads efforts in the coming months and beyond, we’d like to reiterate a point that many of you probably already understand. No matter how well your current ad campaigns are working – both on Facebook and other platforms – they are never finished. Simply put, an ad campaign is a living thing, and if you neglect it, death is right around the corner.
There are a couple of reasons why you can never leave your ad campaigns alone and expect them to thrive. First, you need to look at the competition. Your competition is always striving to find new opportunities for improvement and growth, so you have to do the same in return. If you are standing still while they are working hard, the outcome is inevitable.
In addition to your competition always changing, your target market is forever changing, as well. Markets are dynamic, and what was working yesterday may not work today or tomorrow. Monitoring market conditions and customer preferences is going to help you stay ahead of the game instead of falling behind.
Now that we have that groundwork laid, the rest of this article will be a list of key points to keep in mind while working to extract maximum value from Facebook Ads.
Test on a Large Scale
It’s tempting when you get started with Facebook Ads to use the powerful targeting tools to narrow down your audience to just the sliver of Facebook users that you think will be most likely to buy from you. And while there is something to be said for that approach, it’s also worth noting that taking that method might put a limit on what you can accomplish on this platform.
The issue here is one of data collection. If you narrow down your target audience too tightly, your ads won’t be shown very often and you’ll only collect limited data about their performance. Since a larger data set is always more informative than a smaller one, the information you do collect won’t be particularly useful. Even if you do manage to make some sales and achieve a pretty good ROI, the size of your campaign might always fall short of expectations.
The answer here is to start out with a wider focus for your campaigns and gradually bring them in as time goes by. This way, you can aggregate a lot of data about how Facebook users are interacting with your ads. What you’ll likely find is that while your true core market is interested, there may be other categories of users who are also interested and you didn’t expect. Being pleasantly surprised by how your ads perform with certain groups will enable you to tap into parts of the market that you might have totally ignored if you start out with a tighter focus.
Patience is a Virtue
One of the noted benefits of using paid ads to promote your business online is the speed with which you can get results. Technically, you can start running a PPC ad in the morning and have new paying customers before the workday is done. That’s certainly exciting, but expectations of fast results can sometimes lead to poor decision-making.
One problem you may run into if you are impatient with your ads is not allowing the Facebook algorithm a chance to learn your ads and your brand to optimize performance. If you only run ads for a day or two before you make sweeping changes because you don’t like the results, that problem is just going to continue into the future. You need to establish an ad set that you like and that fits your budget, and then just let it run for a while. It might be hard to remain patient in the early stages, but you should be rewarded later on with better performance if you can stick it out.
Of course, just because you are being patient doesn’t mean you should just ignore the ads entirely and be okay with whatever happens. You still want to actively monitor performance and note how things are going so you are ready to adjust after a period of time has elapsed. If you see that your ads are only trending in the wrong direction as the weeks add up, making a change will then become inevitable and you should explore other ways to get better results.
For those who have been running ads online for a long time, video ads might still seem like the “new kid on the block”. Of course, that’s not really the case, as video ads have been possible and popular for quite some time now, and that popularity is only going to grow.
If you haven’t done it yet, now is the time to dive into the world of video advertisements on Facebook. Fortunately, you don’t have to go over the top or do anything cinematic to achieve success with your Facebook Ads videos. Just a simple webcam that you talk into and explain your products or services could be enough to get the job done. Video makes a personal connection in a way that just isn’t possible with words alone, or even with still images.
You can easily test the performance of video ads just by using your own camera and producing the videos by yourself. If the early results indicate that this could be a winning strategy, you can then think about stepping up your game through the use of a professional video production team, or even just a freelancer who specializes in this kind of work. Doing so would not only lead to higher quality videos – which might convert at a higher rate – but it could also save you time to get back to working on other core functions in your business.
It’s natural to want to maintain as much control over your business as possible. This is especially true in small businesses, where the owner or owners may like to maintain a tight grip on everything that goes on within the company. There is something to be said for the knowledge and insight that can be developed this way, but sometimes the best thing you can do is loosen your grip and let technology take over.
This is the line of thinking that you may want to use with Facebook’s Advantage+ campaigns. Rather than needing to manually control all aspects of your campaign settings, you let Advantage+ do that work based on the knowledge that it has of the system. It can be hard to relinquish control and accept that the computer might be able to do as well, or better, at managing your ad campaigns as you and your team can do, but test it out to see the results for yourself.
In all likelihood, you’ll get at least similar results to what you would have gotten otherwise, and your results may in fact be significantly better. And, if you can get the same or better results without having to actively manage campaign settings, that would certainly be considered a win. Anywhere you can save time while optimizing operations along the way is something that you need to look at carefully. Of course, if it so happens that Advantage+ doesn’t work out for your brand as it has for others, you can also switch back later. So, you have very little to lose by trying out this approach, and potentially quite a lot to gain.
Establish a Brand Style and Be Consistent
It’s not breaking news that you want to be consistent with branding in your business. For instance, when someone lands on your website, you want the styling and colors you use to be consistent not only across the site, but it should also match with other digital assets like social media accounts. And, going a step further, if you have physical locations and operate in the “real world”, the styling you use there should match, as well.
This is a concept that extends to Facebook Ads. It’s quite likely that a potential lead will need to interact with your ads more than once before deciding to take action. So, if the branding and style are consistent from one ad to the next, some trust can develop and you may wind up making more sales in the end. Decide how you are going to style your ads early on and then stick with that approach to avoid confusing your target audience.
For some brands, this means developing a formal, official tone and style that is very corporate and business-like. That will work in some niches, while it might fall flat in others. You could also opt for a casual take on advertising, which is the direction that many brands opt for in the modern marketplace. In this case, you might make video ads that feel like there were filmed randomly on someone’s phone, and barely edited at all. Whatever the case, stick with it and allow your audience to get familiar with the style you are going to employ.
It’s easy to get excited about the possibilities when you start to work more intently on your Facebook Ads strategy. By optimizing your campaign and eliminating some basic mistakes, you can get more return on your investment and hopefully leave your competition fighting for second place. None of that will happen if you don’t jump into action and actively work on this project, so get started right away!
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