Facebook ads best practices took years to improve. In fact, the first ads at Facebook were downright primitive according to early Facebook employees.
They consisted of what were called flyers, or banner ads that had no review process. Oh, how the times have changed. Mark Zuckerberg originally did not like the idea of using Facebook ads, yet last year Facebook earned $12 billion (most of it advertising).
So, the big question now is how can we can control the rising Facebook advertisers cost, and begin to profit from Facebook ads? With Facebook advertising costs rising, and complicated strategies like retargeting ads it is a brand new world for Facebook advertisers.
That is why we created a Facebook ads blueprint. Over the course of this article, we discuss Facebook ads best practices you can incorporate into your next campaign.
7 Step Facebook Ads Costs Checklist
Step 1: What is the goal of your Facebook ad? The first issue to address when you create ads on Facebook is to decide your ultimate goal. In other words, start with the end in mind.
Facebook now has so many different options for advertising your business that it becomes difficult for some businesses to profit. They go from ad to ad without deciding upon the final outcome. That only increases Facebook ad costs over time, while reducing your profits.
To reduce these costs, you need to understand your audience. If you already have an established fan base, check out the insights of your fan base to determine what content they respond to most in your updates.
If you do not have a solid fan base, then you might want to consider polling your fan base to learn more about their hot button issues. That way you can get more in-depth information that can help you determine the best path to choose.
Use tools like opinion polls to create interactive polls your user base appreciates. For example, the poll below by National Geographic is a great way to make the readers feel like they have a stake in the magazine.
Instead of having an editor publish the cover like they have done for the past 100 plus years, they ask National Geographic users to vote for their favorite cover on Facebook.
The benefit being that National Geographic made their audience feel more a part of the publication.
Use your audience response to create your Facebook advertising blueprint. Then you can refer back to it, any time you have any challenges with your approach.
Remember that all strategies work best when you thoroughly understand your audience.
Step 2: Best Practices to reduce your Facebook ad costs
Once you have a plan, create an ad that enhances your vision. If you have never created an ad before, then you want to follow these first few steps to get started.
First, go to Facebook.Com/Ads and click Create Ad. Follow their instructions to go step by step into creating that ad.
Second, when you decide to advertise on Facebook use the objectives of your plan and the needs of your audience to determine what type of campaign you want to run.
Whichever ad format you do use, it is recommended at this point that you not only create one ad. Instead, create 3-5 ads or more you can use to determine which ad has the best return on your investment.
When you do this, then you have the opportunity to create your ad. Throughout the rest of this step we discuss some of the best ways to improve your conversion rate for your content.
Then in the next step we discuss how to use the audience targeting features to focus in on your niche audience.
Ways to Improve Your Facebook Ad
#1 Visuals Matter- Did you know that 90% of the information the brain received is visual. In fact, visuals are processed 60,000x faster than text based information.
Therefore, it is crucial to use visuals to improve the conversion rate of your website. That is because most people use these visual keys to determine whether they like your pitch.
Consider Mad Lemmings campaign last year to increase her web design business.
To accomplish those goals, she created a short report called “How to Start Building a Website.” Her ad lead visitors to a LeadPage, where they could opt-in to receive her report.
This is a tried and true method of adding targeted prospects to your mailing list. However, you need to do your best to ensure you generate the conversions from your email list over time.
She tested out various images. The image below generated the highest click rate. The image engages users, because it is different and funny.
The results of the campaign are a 30% sign up to her free report. Now, she can convert them into long term customers.
#2 Follow Facebook’s ad policies- We mentioned when Facebook launched, the review process was a breeze or non-existent. Wow! Things have changed.
Not only are Facebook ads reviewed, they go through a strict process. For example, a few years ago, images were just a nice add-on to mark up your ad. Now, all images limit text to only 20% of ads.
That is because they believe that larger text ads take away from the Facebook user experience. If you are not sure your site will be disqualified, then check out the Facebook Ads Text Overlay app.
For example, while testing out the image below, you can determine that the image covers 40% of the ad.
In normal person world this might not make sense, because the ad does not cover the entire area. However, because of the grid system that Facebook uses, it would violate their ad policy.
This is just one policy among many that Facebook uses to determine which ads are accepted.
Have a clear call-to-action- The final component you need to focus on with any Facebook ad is making sure you clearly and concisely let the visitor know what you expect of them if they like your ad.
Remember we want to reduce your Facebook ad costs. Therefore, converting on your ads is a wee bit important for you to realize this goal.
Take this example from ClubW.Com. Their ad format is great for converting wine enthusiasts into Club W clients. They offer Facebook users a special. For $19, you get to select 3 bottles of their fine wine.
What a great way to stand out for a wine company. Give them cheap liquor, get them on your buyers list, and then promote to that list on a regular basis to keep them coming back for more.
Step 3: Facebook Ad Targeting Options
Remember how in the first step we said you need to plan ahead, and know exactly what you want to achieve before you begin your ad campaign.
That preparation pays off with the Facebook ad targeting options available to marketers. With so many different ways to segment your audience, Facebook is a remarkable tool for finding your ideal prospects.
For example, if you sold email marketing services you would want to create a Facebook ad that would be relevant to businesses in need of email marketing support.
This is the challenge that Digital Marketer had in a recent Facebook ad campaign (see ad below).
The ad they eventually used produced 7,422 conversions at $1.54 per lead. The ad works, because instead of creating a generic ad about email marketing they created one to help men write up an email marketing plan.
By studying their Facebook Insights, as well as their Google Analytics, they determined that 90% of their visitors were American men. Since it was the start of the football season, their ad revolves around Football images that tie in with email marketing.
By combining the offer with a great target marketing campaign, they increase their conversions dramatically at a relatively low $1.54 per click.
However, target marketing can work in other ways as well. Take a recent campaign to create birthday shirts for those born in 1974.
Cloud Income had the brilliant idea to target people born in 1974. Then he sold them T-shirts with their birth year.
The campaign generated over $400 in profit from a 7.6% click through rate, and also created a bit of viral marketing with over 1,400 Likes, 155 comments and 400 shares.
By starting with a specific target market, they worked backwards to create the perfect product for their audience. Facebook made it possible to promote to that audience.
Step 4: Segment your Facebook results
Once you create an ad and perfect your targeting, you need to segment your results.
In this case, we are going to use a few different tools to help do this effectively.
Even more disturbing for business owners is that many of those visitors will never return to your site on their own accord.
That is why you need to track them through retargeted ads. We discuss how to use retargeted ads more in the next section. For now, be aware that Facebook pixels are a great way to segment your marketing efforts.
The other way to do that is through email list segmentation. Using tools like MailChimp or InfusionSoft.
For example, Gael Bretton was able to direct his retargeted traffic to his squeeze page to get a cost per action on his email form of $.80. That means every subscriber to his list cost $.80 to join.
The only downside was that his costs for new subscribers that were not from his retargeted list cost $5.90 per subscriber. That could definitely be improved.
It also brings up a good point. Why do we want to focus on paid ads to get subscribers onto our list? It is because, email brings in 40x more customers than Facebook and Twitter combined.
While Facebook is a powerful tool to find customers, we still have to segment them and bring them into our own marketing mix. That means we have to take them off Facebook, and convert them on our own list and website.
Step 5: Retargeting
Not to spoil the surprise, but you probably guessed from Step 4 that retargeted ads can be very powerful.
We already discuss how to create a Facebook pixel on your account. Keep in mind that this pixel needs to be placed on every page you want to track Facebook traffic.
This means that if you want to increase your Facebook traffic from retargeted ads, you need to be able to put this on your website. WordPress users should use a plugin like the Facebook Conversion Pixel to ensure that it works on their website.
What are the benefits of retargeting exactly? As we mentioned before, approximately 96% of your visitors do not even consider signing up for your email list the first time they visit, despite many of them enjoying your content.
Therefore, you have to work on retaining those visitors, and get them coming back to your website. This is exactly what Empire Flippers did.
Over the period of six months, they created a retargeted marketing campaign that brought in over 610 subscribers at an average conversion rate of 16%.
While the cost per subscriber was over $9, remember that in real estate investing one deal more than makes up the difference in price.
The power here is that if you break down 100 people visiting your website, you can now keep roughly 20 (based on the 16% conversion rate) of them in your sphere of influence versus 4 of them before using retargeting.
Step 6: Conversions are all that matter to Facebook Ad Costs
We have spent most of our time building up the case that Facebook ads can be a great long-term tool for your business. Fortunately, Facebook is a great platform to help you track those results.
Between the power editor, Facebook Fan Page Insights, Ad Insights, and the new Video Metrics, Facebook provides a lot of analytical support to help advertisers convert their ads into conversions.
Anna Lise Kaylor used these metrics to convert big on her campaign. She turned a $100 ad spend in November, 2014 into $14,790 in business.
How did she do that?
First, Anna Lise created 30 plus ads for one landing page. By using the analytics at her disposal she was able to determine not only which landing page performed the best, but also the ad that had the highest click through and engagement.
That is the power of Facebook ads today, you can create an ad that not only drives traffic, but also converts that traffic.
Study your metrics to keep your Facebook ad costs down and your conversions up.
Step 7: Scale your Facebook ad campaign. The final step in the process is to scale your campaign. If you ever created an ad on a second tier platform, you know that while the results may be good it is not possible to scale the operation to work on a larger scale.
That is where Facebook is different. You can scale your ads to reach as many prospects as possible. It is the beauty of marketing your services to 1.3 Billion users.
The only caveat is that if you want to scale your operation, you need to continually test, test, and test some more the ads and landing pages that have the highest conversion rate.
To optimize your tests, take a look at the tools from TruConversion. We know we are biased, but that is because they are so useful for Facebook advertisers.
For example, if you want to drive visitors to a free offer you need to get them to sign up for your email list.
Using our analytics, you can determine what problems prospects have filling out the form and where they drop off in the sales funnel.
This is invaluable when you use paid ads. You know what works and what does not, so you can remove any obstacles on your prospects road to becoming a client.
As we mentioned in the introduction, Facebook has come a long way over the past decade to create a truly unique and formidable ad engine for marketers.
The key to using Facebook ads best practices is to follow their guidelines and create an engaging ad that fits in with the rest of your marketing campaigns.
That way, users can have a smooth transition when they look at your services.
If you are still looking at how to reduce your Facebook ad costs and increase your ROI, contact our dedicated support staff to learn how you can effectively track your Facebook ad campaign.