While just about every social-networking platform now has its own fully integrated advertising system, Facebook still reigns supreme in terms of features, insights and audience. As a business, that means Facebook is the ideal place to start. But unfortunately, just because Facebook is a great platform for advertising doesn’t mean all brands use it effectively. Many end up wasting money and throwing resources down the drain, because they have no strategy or don’t understand how to use it. Hopefully that’s not you. All it takes to succeed is a little knowledge of how Facebook advertising works and what some of the best practices are.
Here are my five tips for creating a killer Facebook ad campaign:
1. Mine audience insights.
Facebook’s Audience Insights is one of the best tools you have at your disposal. It essentially allows you to learn about specific audiences before risking your budget or targeting them. It works by mining available Facebook data and showing you exactly who your target market is, based on people who already like your page.
Instead of taking a shot in the dark, you now know exactly which users are likely to follow through with your ad’s call-to-action. It saves a lot of time and money, allowing you to focus on the quality of the ad and avoid wasting time on targeting.
2. Create unique ad sets for each audience.
One of the neatest features of Facebook’s advertising platform is that you can create separate ad sets for unique audiences. In other words, you can create two different ads and deliver them to two completely unique audiences. Or you can create the same exact ad and send it to two different audiences. Ultimately, the result is better targeting.
For example, let’s say you’re a retailer that sells kitchen supplies. Maybe you have a really awesome new stainless steel mixing bowl that you’re trying to market to two different groups. Instead of delivering the same ad to everyone, you can create two unique ads and deliver them to two distinct target markets. The first ad could be targeted towards professional chefs, whereas the second one may be focused on stay-at-home moms who like quality chef-grade kitchen supplies. The two ads will be completely different, despite the fact that the same item is being pushed.
3. Accompany ads with landing pages.
Very rarely should you connect an ad to your website or product page without first pushing visitors through a landing page. Landing pages allow you to maximize your Facebook advertising efforts by educating users before asking them to buy.
Landing pages make sense because Facebook advertising isn’t cheap. You’re going to spend money on your clicks and you want each one to count. Simply sending them to a basic website or product page without any clear direction of what they need to do is a waste of money.
4. Use striking imagery
You’ll hear people teach entire courses on how to write Facebook ad copy, but for some reason, the same amount of attention isn’t given to the images used in these ads. This is unfortunate, since visual content is far more influential than textual content.
“You don’t have to use a shot of your business, product or service,” says Nicolas Gremion of Free-eBooks.net. “Rather use a (relevant if possible) image that will catch people’s eyes and have them read your ad.” Facebook tells you that you can’t use images that contain more than 20 percent words, so it’s clear that images are designed to grab attention, not display a message. Take advantage of this valuable real estate within your ad.
5. Establish a bid strategy and budget
Finally, it’s critically important that you set a bid strategy and budget. Otherwise you’ll end up spending way more than you intended. Thankfully, Facebook makes this easy by allowing you to use what’s known as Optimized CPM.
With this tool, you’re essentially giving Facebook the permission to bid for ad space based on the constraints and goals you provide. This generally allows you to maximize your budget and avoid overspending. Until you get an idea of how much ad space costs and how to allocate your budget, it’s best to let Facebook take care of this aspect of your campaign.
Putting it all together
Creating a killer Facebook ad campaign is all about understanding the platform and utilizing the features you have at your disposal. While you certainly need to think about the ad itself, you have to start with the platform you’re using. Once you determine who you’re targeting and how much you’re willing to spend, you can then focus on the finer details.
Using these five tips, you should be able to get started and experience some initial success. As always, remember that Facebook is constantly changing its advertising platform, so stay on top of any new developments and apply them accordingly.
Post appeared on Entrepreneur