Pro Tips for Better Facebook Advertising
As we reported in June, using Facebook as a means of free advertising is no longer a viable tactic. Marketers and business owners are begrudgingly embracing the fact that reaching their target market on Facebook now requires an advertising budget.
We asked Facebook marketing experts to give us their expert tips on how to increasing your Facebook advertising ROI.
Target and Test Ads
Mike Poller of Poller & Jordan Advertising, says, “Don't just set it and forget it. Facebook allows you to choose targets based on many factors. One week, target women only. The next week, target men only. Compare the results, compare daytime ads with evening ads, etc.”
Emily Harris, content marketing manager at Rockhouse Partner, agrees. “Don't be afraid of limiting who will see your ad based on gender, age, location, or interests. You're better off hitting 1,000 people who might be interested in your product than 10,000 who probably aren't.”
Nicole Martins Ferreira, author of The Marketing To Do List, advises, “Create several ads at $5 to test different phrases and pictures to see which is most effective.”
Courtney Spritzer, COO of SocialFly, says, “Let the ad run for five to seven days before making any tweaks. Testing on Facebook is very important and you need to give an ad time to perform. After [the test period], pause all ads that are not performing well and let the most successful ad run. If you do not like the results for any of your ads, start over.”
Use Your Existing Email List
According to Josh McCoy, SEO lead strategist at Vizion Interactive, “While Facebook provides interest and category targeting, your lead/email list of contacts may be an opportunity for even finer advanced targeting. By utilizing custom audiences in the Facebook Ads Manager platform, you have the ability to upload files of your desired contacts, or if you are using MailChimp you can also import your email list from this service.”
Target People Who Like Your Competitor
Debbie Lamb of Lamb Consulting says, “Include people who ‘like’ your competitor's pages in your target audience. If someone has taken the time to like their page, it’s likely they will like yours also. If there aren’t any competitors with a Facebook presence yet, choose other businesses your clients typically use or might frequent."
Make Your Image a Standout
Travis Joyal, partner at Page Communications says, “Use an image that is colorful. Facebook users scroll through their newsfeeds at a quick pace, so use an image full of color that will pop among the user's newsfeed noise and force them to take notice. If you sell used cars, use a photo of an array of colorful cars rather than one with neutral colored cars.”
Nicole Cobuzio, account executive at Lotus823 says, “Keep your images bright and vibrant in color. Avoid blues that blend in with Facebook’s design, and include friendly faces.”
What, When, and How to Post
As Terry Moore, marketing manager at Outer Banks Blue, reminds us, “Not every ad needs to be about getting a sale. Spend time on ads that make people fall in love with you as well. People go to Facebook for relationships, not to buy things, so it's important to spend money on relationship building and helping people fall in love with your company.”
Jordan Smith, digital advertising analyst at Tier10, adds, "The time of day you post to Facebook contributes to the number of people who will see and engage with your posts. Earlier in the morning and after 7 p.m. are usually the best times to post. In the Insights tab of the admin panel, you can see what time most of your fans and visits to the page happen. Avoid too much lengthy text in the copy and in the photo itself. Facebook disapproves ads with more than 20 percent text in the image.”
Use Website Custom Audiences
Chelsea Hejny of Shortstack says, “If you take advantage of one thing Facebook's advertising platform has to offer it should be its Website Custom Audiences (WCA) feature. WCA allows brands to target their website's visitors through ads on Facebook. There are a lot of ways to optimize the effectiveness of WCA-targeted Facebook ads. One pro tip is to create multiple WCAs for specific pages on your website, including your confirmation page. By making a WCA for your confirmation page and excluding it from your ads' targeting, you will be able to create ads that only reach people who have recently visited your site and left without making a purchase.”
Take Advantage of Facebook’s Metrics Tools
Mark Osborne, vice president of sales & marketing at CitizenNet, says, “Using Facebook’s free Audience Insights tool, marketers can examine the profile of any interest group. For example a business that sells T-shirt printing could look at fans of a large school or a fraternity/sorority to see the profile of that audience, then customize their targeting based on those parameters.
Targeting audience clusters along several dimensions further refines the audience and improves response rates and ROI.”
Build Custom Landing Pages
Ron Holt, CEO and founder of Two Maids & A Mop, says, “build a conversion site that is separate from your primary website. Clicks to a homepage have little chance at conversion, so dedicate the necessary time and money to build a dedicated website that is designed to create an immediate action.”
Kyler Patterson, marketing coordinator for Hostgator.com says, “You can squeeze more into an ad created in Facebook's Power Editor than in the default ad creation tool. Longer headline and longer post. Sometimes bigger is better.”
Note: Power Editor is only available to people using Google’s Chrome browser. Find it by logging in to your ads manager and clicking Power Editor on the left side of the page.
Tim Parker is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.