If you are unaware of what Facebook advertising is, here is a quick breakdown:
Facebook provides an advertising platform for businesses to display adverts to its (Facebook’s) users. To oversimplify – using Facebook’s AdsManager tool, a business can target an audience, add creative elements (images/videos), add a budget and then begin serving adds. With Facebook’s growing network of users and their acquisitions of different social media platforms, it has becomes possible to advertise to users all across the internet (think Feeds, Stories, Instagram, Messenger, Facebook Watch the list is ever expanding).
To be perfectly honest, the Facebook advertising tool is a BEAST – it takes serious research, experimentation and a deep understanding of your audience’s behaviours to wield its full power. An ongoing challenge for even the most seasoned of marketers.
However, you have to start somewhere and in the beginning you’re going to want some kind of reassurance that you aren’t flushing your ad spend straight down the toilet.
Good news! There are some simple best practices that can really help your adverts perform better and get you results, even when you’re still trying to get to grips with the full depth and bredth of Facebook ads.
Here are our 5 most useful tips to get you on your way to better performing ads.
- Use Facebook’s Ads Library
Try to understand your audience on a personal level – you’ll want to have insight on their demographic and interests (including the types of pages they engage with on Facebook).
A great tool to utilise is the Facebook Ads library, a recent addition to Facebook to push transparency with advertisers, this tool let’s you look up and research the adverts that your competitors are running and in which markets the adverts are being served. From this you can get inspiration for the creative element of your adverts or just get a better insight into what other businesses are doing when it comes to advertising on Facebook.
- Layer Your Audience Interests
Some people believe that Facebook advertising should be executed using the shotgun effect, i.e. create an audience as big as possible to capture as many people as possible and then pull the trigger and hope that your advert somewhere in that huge audience reaches the right person.
In our experience, we have much better results when we really narrow our target audience. Narrowing your audience is easy – all you need to do is layer interests. Our best performing ads have been to an audience of 50,000 people or less.
– First add the core interests of the audience you want to target.
– Then click “Narrow Audience”, and add another interest that the audience must match in order to be served your advert.
– You can “Narrow Audience” again to layer the interests further
Each time the audience must also match the new interest, so the audience must meet ‘criteria x’ & ‘criteria y’ & ‘criteria z’ in order to see the advert, instead of needing to meet ‘criteria x’ or ‘criteria y’ or ‘criteria z’, which would be the case if you had just added all the interests in at the first step without using the “Narrow Audience” feature.
- Use Different Creative For Different Placements
Not all content is created equally! Your message might be significantly different if you’re trying to reach 30 year old professional women living in a large city, than if you are trying to reach 66 year old retired men that live in rural areas. Both might be a target audience of your business, but showing them the same image, video or piece of content is unlikely to convert both.
Equally, your content should be different depending on which platform it is placed on. There are best practices for the dimensions your content should be, depending on where it is placed.
– Facebook’s Newsfeed Video: Square 1:1, Vertical 4:5 or 2:3 (minimum resolution 600 x 600 pixels)
– Facebook’s In-stream Video: Square 1:1, Vertical 9:16, Horizontal 16:9 (highest resolution possible – min 1080 x 1080 pixels) & 5 – 15 seconds long
– Facebook Instant Article: Between 9:16 & 16:9, recommended to upload highest resolution possible
– Facebook Marketplace: Between 9:16 & 16:9, recommended to upload highest resolution possible
– Facebook Audience Network: Between 9:16 & 16:9, recommended to upload highest resolution possible
– Facebook Collection: recommended minimum resolution is 1200 x 628 pixels
– Instagram Stories: 9:16 (recommended 1080 x 1920 pixels)
– Instagram Newsfeed: Square 1:1, Vertical 4:5, Horizontal 5:4 (minimum resolution 600 pixels width and height).
- Install Facebook’s Pixel
Installing Facebook’s pixel on your website allows you to retarget adverts to everyone that has visited your site. This means that you can build a custom audience of people that visited your site during a given period of time and then when building your next campaign you can serve targeted adverts to them.
- Run A/B Tests
Setting the advert ‘Live’ is just half of the process. The next thing to do is to closely watch the performance of the advert, building your audience often relies heavily on assumptions, so it’s important that you analyse the advert to make sure that your assumptions were correct. Within the first 24 hours or so you should have an idea of how well your advert is performing, if it’s not hitting home, then you need to react. But how do you know which part of the advert is letting you down? Is it the creative or The audience?
One way to overcome this problem is to run simultaneous adverts which have slight variations so that you can test them against each other and find out which gives the best performance. For example you might run two adverts to the same audience but you might change the creative element so that one shows a video and one shows an image. Alternatively, you might show the same advert creative but to two different audiences, to test your assumptions about your targeting and see if one audience is more engaged than the other.
From the results of your A/B test you can build out a robust campaign, feeling confident in the knowledge that you have optimised your advert for conversions.
We hope that these five tips can help you to run better Facebook Ads, they are things that we have discovered along the way that have helped us and they by no means make us the authority on Facebook advertising. You should always understand the risk of experimenting with paid advertising on social media and know that there is no guaruntee that these tips will work for you or your business.
If you have any tips, tricks or things that you’ve learned about Facebook Advertising, please feel free to share them in a comment below!