With over 15 million active monthly users in Australia alone, it would be naive to believe that your customers are not online and using Facebook. If you’re looking to engage your customers and grow your business, Facebook should play a pivotal part in your marketing plan. According to studies, 96% of social media marketers believe Facebook is the most effective social media advertising platform.
In years gone by, expensive ads on television, in the newspaper or on the radio were all that businesses had at their disposal. The problem with these mediums? How do you measure the success? How do you even know which of the three is working? And are they delivering a feasible return on your investment?
Then along came the digital revolution and the game-changer that is social media. All of a sudden, the ability to organically build your brand was placed in the hands of everyone. Businesses that adopted technology early reaped the benefits, and over the years the technology has gotten far more advanced and sophisticated and is giving us more control than ever before to be able to reach out and engage with our target audience.
The best part of this? Less wasted marketing spend. Facebook allows us to target our audience down to minute details. Age, sex, income, location, interests and even more. With more advanced targeting options available, it’s never been easier to get in front of highly relevant customers before. No longer are you showing an ad in the newspaper and simply hoping someone relevant see’s it and takes action.
The other game changer? Measurability and flexibility. Advertising online provides us with more information on results than ever before and means we are able to be fluid and flexible with advertising based on what actually WORKS. Is your ad underperforming? Switch it off? Find out insights about your audience, the time they are online, what engages them and begin to tailor your campaigns to perform better than ever.
Want to find out more about Facebook advertising and what it can do for your business? Read on to find out our 7 Facebook Advertising Hacks to Dominate Your Market.
1. Think About Your Sales Funnel
Before you can create your ad on Facebook you need to consider what it is that you want to achieve, and who you are talking to. By first defining this, you will be able to come up with a strategic approach to reaching your audience.
- In order for people to enter your sales funnel, they must first be aware of your brand and the product and service that you offer.
- Lookalike audiences are a great way to increase awareness of your brand, we will chat about these more a little later.
- Run a referral contest: you can run competitions on social media that will offer people a benefit (such as a discount code) or entice them to win a prize by referring their friends to like your page.
- Run a branded campaign: this is vital in generating brand recognition and getting your customer to understand who it is and what you do. Remember when running a branded campaign to make it enticing and give the user a reason to find out more about you and what you do.
Become Part of The Consideration Phase
- Now that someone has identified that they have a need (or you have hopefully helped them to identify that need), you want to ensure that you are a part of their consideration phase.
- Run retargeting campaigns to those who have already been to your site, Facebook page or are part of your mailing list.
- Offer an appealing offer. It could be a discount, free shipping, discount for free purchase or any other add-on to convince them to shop now.
- Run advertising that convinces the user that the product or service is necessary. zAppeal to pain points or the benefits.
- You can target based on different parts of the consideration phase too. Your messaging for someone who has been to the site may be different than it is to the database of high spenders or loyal clientele.
Purchase Phase – Don’t Lose the Lead Now
- You’ve done all the hard work in terms of getting your brand known and then being there during a consumer’s consideration phase, now that they’re ready to make a choice you need to make sure it’s you.
- Why not look into a way to turn the customer into a lead – such as ‘sign up now for a free e-book’, or ‘sign up for our free seminar now’.
- Also – encourage repeat customers. These are the people that have already converted. Do you have a loyalty program? An offer for existing customers?
- Also don’t forget about the power of retargeting. By reminding customers of your product offering and USP you should be aiming to bring these consumers back into your sales funnel.
2. Write A Great Ad Headline
A great headline grabs the attention of a user and helps to ‘sell’ them your product or service in a quick, concise manner. On Facebook, the headline for advertising usually comes below the image, so it is not always the first thing a user see’s – but it still needs to be convincing, concise, and straight to the point.
- Be concise: Facebook recommends that ad headlines are between 25 and 40 characters to maximise engagement. So keep it punchy! Copyblogger states that 80% of people will never make it past the headline! (Copyblogger)
- Be clear: You only have a second to grab attention, so make it clear what you are ‘offering’
- Remember your audience: Think about your customer and what it is you’re offering. Put yourself in their shoes and think about if it is enough to grab their attention and take action. Are you adding value for your customer?
- Ask a question: Using a question as a headline is a great way to engage the attention of your customer. ‘Do you want whiter teeth?’ ‘Are you sick rushing to cook for your family after work?’
- Gift an affirmative action: Use terminology that positively reinforces or commands your audience into taking action. ‘Visit us today’, ‘Find your perfect home’ all use direct language, whilst keeping their message short, direct and snappy.
- Encourage curiosity: We’ve all clicked on those headlines ‘How to Lose 5kg Fast’ or ‘Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About x’. These headlines need to border the line between intrigue and click-bait, and they need to have relevant information for a user when they click through.
- Play with numbers: Similarly to encouraging curiosity, we seem to love lists online! These lists do a great job of encouraging customers to click through to the relevant content. Why not try something like ‘The 10 Things We Can Do For Your Business’, or ‘The 7 Things You Need to Do to Beat The Heat this Summer’. Research shows that by starting your headline with a number, you’re 36% more likely to have people click on your ad. (Moz Blog)
3. Focus On Great Ad Imagery
The image is the largest part visually of your Facebook ad, and Facebook is a visual medium so great imagery can mean the difference between your ad being a huge success, or lacking engagement and clicks.
- Hire a professional photographer: This is a great option for having imagery that is the most reflective of your company and of a high quality, although it also is more expensive. Make sure you have a strong idea of what you’re looking for when you brief the photographer and put yourself in the eyes of the customer who will be seeing this image – imagine it as it will appear in Facebook!
- Stock Imagery: If you’re not able to hire a professional photographer, stock photo’s are always an option and Facebook offers a wide range of stock images through Shutterstock. Again, when searching for the perfect image choose something that suits your brand and that you believe will appeal to your audience.
- Remember your target market: Always keep the end user in mind, and the type of imagery that would most appeal to them. Think about the gender, age and interests of each market you are targeting before deciding on imagery.
- Don’t forget mobile: With mobile an ever-growing market, don’t forget to look at how your ad will appear on mobile devices. It is a smaller screen to desktop, but it is equally important your message still translates.
- Colour: You want your image to grab the attention of the customer in a split second whilst someone is scrolling. Eye-catching colour is a great way to do this, so keep this in mind when selecting your image.
- Happy people: Testing has shown that imagery of happy people performs better, so consider this when choosing your imagery.
Testing: With all of the data provided to you by Facebook there’s no better way to figure out which imagery works best for your ads than to test it. Keep the copy and targeting the same, and only swap out the image. From there you will be able to see which images perform best, but we will chat more about that later!
4. Use Video’s Instead of Images
45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos each week. Wordstream
Video is a growing medium, especially within the Facebook platform and is worth considering as an alternative to a static image. This decision should be considered at the very beginning of your planning process, when deciding on the objectives for your advertising. Video may be useful if you feel that video can better capture the message that you’re trying to get across, or if you feel it will be more engaging.
When creating a video advertisement for Facebook there are a number of things to consider:
- You only have a few seconds to grab the attention of your audience, as many people begin watching a video but then drop off after a few seconds. Try and keep your total video around 15-30 seconds and find a way to grab attention within the first few seconds.
- Up to 85% of Facebook videos may be viewed without sound, so remember to include captions on your video’s so that those who do not have their sound on are able to connect with your message.
- Optimise your campaign for video views to get maximum reach. By setting this as your objective, Facebook will identify users who are likely to watch the video which will help increase the reach of your campaign.
5. A/B Test Your Ads and Images
A/B testing is also known as split testing, and involves testing two different variations of an advertisement to gain data and insights as to which ad is performing best based on your objectives. A/B testing allows you to quickly test multiple ad designs and target audiences to help you uncover the most effective. This not only means that you can spend your ad dollars more wisely, but you will also begin to learn what ads perform best and factor this in when designing and creating.
- Test a single variable: in order to ensure accuracy it is important to only test one variable at a time, and keep everything else the same. For example, if you’re testing different images in your ad then your objective, targeting and copy all need to remain the same. Or if you are testing different ad copy, the objective, targeting and image all need to remain the same. If you change more than one aspect of the ad, you won’t know which factor to credit the result to. Variables that you’re able to test for include:
- Target audience: For example, does the ad perform better for women aged 18-24, or women aged 24-35. Or does it perform better for those living in Sydney or Perth.
- Delivery Optimisations: Does your ad perform better when optimised for conversions, or link clicks?
- Placements: Does the ad perform better for mobile or desktop placements? Or automatic placements compared with customised placements.
- Creative: Compare images, headlines, copy, and other creative elements.
Decide on your objective: Dependant on what your are looking to achieve, Facebook has a number of different business objectives that you are able to split test for:
- Set Your Budget: Finally, you will need to decide on a budget to split between the ads your testing. The budget should be large enough that it will produce enough results to allow for determining the winning strategy.
- Decide Your Schedule: Facebook recommends 4-day tests for the most reliable results. However depending on your business and objectives they recommend between 3 and 14 days as a general rule.
6. Target The Right Audience
With 2 billion people on Facebook, the customers you want to reach are here (Facebook).
One of the most important aspects of creating your Facebook ads, is choosing your audience. You may have many different customer segments, and Facebook has a range of tools to ensure you’re able to accurately target your customer, as well as learn how to continually define your customer further.
Facebook allows you to target customers based on the below.
Demographics: Demographic targeting allows you to reach customers based on information such as age, sex, education, profession, relationship status, income level and ethnicity.
Interests: Facebook also gathers data based on their interests from what the have engaged with on the platform. This could be broken down into categories such as: food, music, art, fashion, health and fitness and many, many more. This can also include other Facebook pages (such as your competitors), or magazines or blogs that cover your sector.
Behaviours: This looks into the online behaviours of users and takes their purchase history, intent and more into account. For example they may be mobile device users, online purchasers, photo uploaders, gamers and more.
7. Build Custom Audiences
A Facebook custom audience is a powerful targeting option that goes beyond the targeting options listed above (demographic, interests, behaviours) and allows you to target people who have already interacted with your business in some way. By drilling down to more specific targeting, you can work to increase your conversion rate and get a better return on investment.
There are 4 types of custom audiences:
By gathering contact information from your customers you are able to build a custom audience. This is generally made up of their name, phone number and email address and you may already have some of this data from your email marketing. Assuming that the customer is using the same information to log into Facebook, you will be able to advertise to them – generally, this match-rate is around 60-80%.
By placing a Facebook Pixel tracking code on your website you are able to gather data about who has been visiting your website, or a certain page on your website. You can then upload this information into Facebook, where you are able to target your advertising at this audience.
If you have an app you can also gather data to target those who have made a certain action within your application.
You can also create a list based on if and how people interact with your Facebook page. Maybe they have engaged with your page, a video, an advertisement or an event.
8. Create Lookalike Audiences
Lookalike campaigns have a higher click-through rate (CTR) 9 times out of 10 compared to other audiences. (Driftrock).
A lookalike audience is a way to reach a new group of people who have similar traits to your existing customers, through doing this you are able to find audiences that are almost exactly the same as your existing ones. You are able to draw this information from the ‘Custom Audiences’ that you will have already uploaded into Facebook, such as a list of email databases.
Once you’ve selected your ‘Custom Audience’ from the list, you will be able to “Create Similar Audience“. From here, you’re able to optimise for similarity or reach. The more ‘similar’ the audience is the more likely that they will be accurate to your current customer base. Whereas if you decide on reach, they may be more dissimilar but you will show your ad to more people.
Lookalike audiences are great for bringing in new leads, e-commerce conversions and for increasing page likes.
Other tips and tricks for lookalike audiences include:
- Segment your top purchasers – often segmenting your database into your highest spenders will pull a highly accurate list of ‘lookalike’ customers with a strong chance of converting.
- Cross borders with international audiences – you can now target customers in other countries, even if the list you are using is from a different country. This allows a strong tool for being highly targeting in an international market.
- Have a good sample size – In order to target a lookalike audience, Facebook requires a minimum of 100 data points (subscribers). However in order to truly see trends and build high quality audiences, more data is necessary. Ideally aim for an zaudience size of 2,000-5,000 if possible.
- Ad Creative: Use this source data to drive your ad creative and copy. Think of the audience you’re trying to target – and still remember to split test!