Do you run Facebook ads for your business? Do they work? If not, you might as well be taking your hard-earned cash and burning it!
But don’t worry, I have some good news:
I’m going to walk you through my internal Facebook adverts checklist to help ensure that you have the best chance of your Facebook adverts actually succeeding.
I will cover:
- What are Facebook ads, and what about Instagram?
- Is Facebook listening to me?
- Do Facebook ads even work?
- What type of return on investment is possible on Facebook?
- Know your objective.
- Brand awareness adverts
- Conversion adverts
- Secret targeting trick
- Large vs small audiences
- Target the right audience.
- The right creative
- Sending people to the right area
- What to spend on Facebook advertising
- Letting the ads run
- In summary
What are Facebook ads, and what about Instagram?
If you know all about Facebook ads, feel free to skip this section and jump down to “Know your objective”. If you are just starting out, let me introduce you to Facebook ads. They are those things you see on your Facebook and Instagram newsfeeds that aren’t posts from your friends.
Facebook Ads Manager is the place where you create Facebook adverts. Importantly, Facebook Ads Manager also places ads on Instagram newsfeeds and stories.
When you see an advert, it’s because some clever advertiser has gone onto Facebook Ads Manager, created an ad, and either placed it specifically in your demographic or asked Facebook to put it in front of people with interests like yours.
Is Facebook listening to me?
People tell us—and I have experienced—that when we talk out loud about a subject, despite having never actually searched this subject online, we begin to get ads about that subject. This feels creepy, so people ask us, “Is Facebook listening?”
I would say that yes, Facebook probably is listening to you. Your phone is waiting to be activated by voice commands so, at the very least, it always has to be listening for that.
However, there is no obvious connection from your voice to Facebook Ads Manager. Whether facebook “hears” your conversations and tags in your profile that you are interested in one of their groups, I don’t know.
What I think is more likely is that people talk about things with their friends. They may not personally search for something, but their friends might. That, then, may trigger a type of advert in which you can “target people like these people” (called lookalike audiences). It is possible that this feature is delivering those adverts in your newsfeed.
Maybe it’s a coincidence, or maybe Facebook is listening and tagging you in with the interests of the subjects you speak about. I cannot say definitively.
Why not check out what Mark Zuckerberg has to say under oath…
Do Facebook ads even work?
Before you worry about whether your ads are working, you need to make sure you have a great product. Poor products won’t sell on Facebook (or anywhere else). Even if they do, they certainly won’t sell at the same level as a good product.
Let’s assume, though, that you have a strong product, something that people either want or need. In that case, I can tell you that Facebook ads should work for your business. Facebook and Instagram are places where people are placing their attention, and anywhere that people place their attention, is a place where you can advertise and see results.
What type of return on investment is possible on Facebook?
The figure that we use to gauge the success of a Facebook ad campaign is something called ROAS. This stands for Return On Ad Spend, and it requires a little math.
ROAS is very important. The purpose of paying Facebook for ads is to incite action that ultimately leads to income. Practically, you need to know how worth-it your ad expenditure is.
Revenue / Cost = ROAS
Take a look at the ROAS on some of the adverts we have run:
For a women’s health brand, we have achieved 14x ROAS. This means that for every $1 invested, the business sold $14 worth of products. The spend at this point is $5,000 per week, which generates $70,000 per week for this customer. This is absolutely incredible.
A high-end luxury furniture store in London that we represent generally achieves 22x ROAS on Facebook ads. This number is pretty amazing and has been consistently performing this way since we started working with this customer. We’ve even had some exciting days, such as the time we saw an ROAS of 333x spend.
Another customer, a tea brand in the U.S.A., makes consistently 5x ROAS. Compared to the others this number seems a little low, but hold up: What bank will give you back 5x return on your investment? It just doesn’t happen.
However, the fact that Facebook ads work (and we can demonstrate that they work) doesn’t mean that your Facebook ads work. Let’s make that better.
Know your objective.
Facebook objectives are incredibly important, and there are quite a few options. The basic rule to remember is to align your objectives with your desired result.
These are some of the objectives that you can select on Facebook:
- Brand awareness
- Local awareness
- Post engagement
- Page likes
- Event responses
- Offer claims
- App installs
- Video views
- Lead generation
- Product catalogue sales
- Store visits
Brand awareness adverts
Let’s say that you’re a new store in a small town in Dakota, U.S.A. You want to get people to visit your store. The population of your town isn’t large; it’s around 20,000 people. To get the word out about your new store, I would suggest that you do an awareness campaign to those 20,000 people.
Why am I suggesting doing an awareness campaign? Well, because of something called CPM. CPM stands for cost per mille, or cost per 1000 views. A typical CPM is hard to define, but a $4 CPM is a figure we are usually comfortable with. This means that for $80, you can likely get in front of the entire population of your town in Dakota.
Let’s switch it up a little. You’ve got a different business now and you want to sell a new face cream for women. In this case, location isn’t important except for the customer being located in the U.S.A. Therefore, you will want to create a conversion advert in order to get people interested.
A conversion advert directs the Facebook algorithm to look at a certain group of people and show your ad to those who are likely to convert, or purchase your product. You might ask how Facebook knows who will convert. I believe that they link it to previous buying behaviour.
Secret targeting trick
There is a super-secret trick that we use to get to the right audience when we are selling a product. If, as in our previous example, we are selling face cream, we will use an audience of people in the U.S.A. who have these two interests tagged to their profile: face creams and engaged shoppers.
The face cream interest shows that they are interested in what you have. Meanwhile, the engaged shopper tag identifies people in that group who are generally interested in buying online based on their past behaviour. All of these configurations are found within the Facebook ads setup process.
Large vs small audiences
I have purposely only focused on conversion and reach adverts because that’s the winning combination at PDG advertising.
For a large audience that has a specific goal, we suggest conversion adverts. These audiences are usually more than 1 million people, but can range from 200,000 upwards. (Facebook tells you how big your potential audience size is as you configure the advert.)
For a smaller audience—perhaps a more intimate audience of less than 200,000—we would suggest an awareness ad, likely a reach objective advert. This is an economically viable option to allow Facebook to get in front of as many people as possible. Really, you could get in front of everyone in one day!
Let me tell you a secret: one-hit marketing is unlikely to work. It might, but it’s unlikely, as people need to see an offer an average seven times before they take action. This is why TV adverts play the same advert over and over again.
What’s really cool about Facebook advertising is that by using something called the Facebook pixel, you can build your own audience of people who have visited your site. Even better, you can build an audience of people who have taken specific actions on your site.
For this, we have a super, super- secret trick. Consider it the secret sauce of Facebook advertising.
When we retarget someone, our goal is to get in front of them as many times as possible on as many of their web sessions as possible.
We create a reach and frequency advert on Facebook and leave the placements open (so it reaches all possible ad types), and we set the frequency to “Show this advert to people 2 times every day”.
By about the fourth day, we really start to see results from these retargeting adverts. This is a very important part of the overall journey.
Targeting the right audience
There really are just three elements of a great Facebook campaign. You want the right:
- Creative, and
- Landing page.
The idea is to pick the right people, send them a visual of something they want, and then send them to the place they can get it, with as little friction as possible.
Picking the right audience is one of the hardest parts of this whole process.
On Facebook Ads Manager, when you set up your audience, you get the opportunity to set up an ad set. It’s here that you choose the audience you want to create.
Let me give you an example: If you want to target people to buy furniture for their home, a good audience we have found is people who are interested in home decor. Combine that with the engaged shopper audience, and there you have it: an excellent audience.
However, it’s not always as simple as that. Sometimes you have to test different audiences over time to make sure you are targeting the right people. This is where campaign structure becomes important. You should, when you are testing out audiences, have this structure:
- One campaign
- 2–5 ad sets within the campaign (this is where each ad set will target different interest groups)
- One consistent advert within all the ad sets
When you create a campaign like this, you have to let it run for about 24 hours. After this time period, you can make an informed decision on which audience works best. I would base this decision mostly on the purchase numbers, but if there are none, it can also be based on a low cost per click and a low CPM.
The right creative
One part of the three magic elements of a winning campaign is the creative.
If your advert is…
- Boring, no one will pay any attention to it,
- Offensive, you will get banned from Facebook, or
- Hard to understand, no one will click on it,
So you need a creative that…
- Stands out,
- Is relevant,
- Guides the customer to the desired action, and
- Lives within Facebook’s TOS.
Again, testing is massive here. When you find a great targeting group, the right structure should be as follows:
- One overall campaign
- Within your winning ad set, 3–5 different creatives.
Again, we leave these campaigns running for about 24 hours to assess performance. We usually base our decisions on which ads to keep on purchases, but it can also be down to CPC, CPM, or even a strong email acquisition. Generally, it’s important to take some time and assess the stats available in Facebook Ads Manager.
Sending people to the right area
Once you have the right audience and the right creative, the next thing to do is make sure that the place you send people to actually converts. A landing page that is malfunctioning is a colossal waste of your marketing dollars and happens a lot more than you would think.
A landing page that is too complicated or has too many barriers to entry is also an issue. People have short attention spans, so making the conversion on the landing page as easy as possible is very important!
How do you know if your landing page is correct? User testing. You can actually hire people to do a video of their experience on your website. It is game-changing and completely eye-opening. There are a ton of user testing services available. Google can point you in the right direction.
What to spend on Facebook advertising
“How much should I spend on Facebook advertising?” “What’s not enough and what’s too much?”
These are some of the most common questions about advertising.
We always start off testing a businesses advert support with just $200 across a week. This gives us just enough to test, with about $30 per day, and while we spend that much for the first couple of weeks, we are looking for opportunities to scale.
Start with $200, or the equivalent in your currency.
Letting the ads run
When you find that winning combination and you are making the sales you want, you’ll want to make sure it’s sustainable. I suggest letting the ads run for at least three days, as this allows the ads to mature within the algorithm and build up some social credit as well (via likes, shares, etc.). This helps with ad performance.
This also allows you to take a look at the analytics of the advert and then increase or decrease the budget or make other adjustments.
How long can you run an advert for? Honestly, it depends. One of our customers has an ad lifetime of two to four weeks, with a reasonably small audience. For another of our customers, we have had the same advert running for over a year with consistent results. The key is to check in on your adverts daily and assess if they are still performing over time. If they are, scale up if you can. If not, make a change.
Everything is about rinsing and repeating.
If there is one mantra that I would like to suggest in order to make sure your adverts are strong, it would be the following:
There are three key parts to successful advertising…
- Relevant target audience
- Excellent creative
- Frictionless landing page.
If you remember these three things, you won’t go far wrong.
I can’t wait to see what you are going to do this year with your advertising. Let’s connect on it. Visit www.pdgadvertising.com, click “Get Started” and fill in the form and we will be in touch for your FREE consultation.
‘Til next time…