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How-To Optimize Facebook Ads

How to optimize Facebook Ads

Whether you’re currently running Facebook ads, or you’re considering running Facebook ads for your business… You’ve landed in the right place!

Before we get into anything too technical, it’s important that we set up the Facebook ad correctly. After that we can focus more on optimizing the performance of your ads through split testing and tracking efforts. Thankfully, Facebook has designed a seriously intuitive algorithm that both saves you money and helps improve your ad performance automatically. Check out Facebook’s article on their ad auction process for more info on that. Otherwise, your role is now to make sure you understand how Facebook ads works and how to set up your ad for success.

There are two main ways to advertise on Facebook. Most small business owners opt for the “Boost” option. This is a great way to promote your social media post to a broad audience quickly without too much effort or complexity. Without a great social media content strategy, your “boost” efforts may not lead to much success. The second option is to run a highly-targeted, and well thought-out ad through Facebook’s Ad Manager.

Steps to optimize your Facebook Ads:

  • Understand the lingo (key metrics)
  • Choosing your objective
  • Define your audience
  • Design & test your ad
  • Mid-campaign optimization & tracking
  • Re-targeting time

Understand The Lingo (key metrics)

If we’re going to talk about Facebook ads, we have to also talk about data. Data plays a major role in understanding campaign results, but making decisions based on that data can improve those results.

You NEED to master key metrics if you want to master Facebook ads.

Let’s talk about some of the important metrics you should know:

1. Conversion

A conversion is counted every time someone sees your ad, and clicks on your chosen objective (or your desired end destination for your campaign). Some people use ads to drive website traffic (sales funnels for example), and their end goal is a purchase of a product. In that case, the conversion is counted after the product is purchased. No matter how you count your conversion, this is the most coveted metric for any ad on any platform, especially Facebook.

2. Frequency

When you divide your ad “impressions” by “reach” your solution is “frequency. This is how many time a single person views your Facebook ad. Recall the saying, “people have to see something 7 times before they can remember it”. That type of thinking can be applied here with frequency. A higher frequency helps to keep your ad and business “top of mind”. Be careful though, you don’t want to keep showing your ad to people who keep seeing it too many times without converting.

3. CPC & CTR (Cost per Click & Click Through Rate)

The percentage of people that actually click on your ad is your click through rate (CTR). A low CTR means that people don’t want to click on your ad. A high CTR means people are interested in your ad. Simple. To best understand your Facebook ad ROI, you have to look at your cost per click (CPC). To calculate your CPC, simply take the total amount you’ve spent and divide it by the total amounts of clicks on your ad.

High CTR and low CPC is good.
Low CTR and high CPC is bad.

4. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)

Not to be confused with ROI, return on ad spend is calculated by taking your conversion value (conversion volume multiplied by the revenue those conversions create) and dividing it by the amount you’ve spent on ads. For example, if you have 10 conversions and each conversion is worth $100 you generated $1,000 in revenue. To generate those conversions you spent $300 on ads. 1,000 divided by 300 equals 3.33 ROAS. Meaning for every dollar spent on ads, you generated 3.33 dollars!

Choosing your Ad Objective

To better understand how you can optimize your ad, it’s super important that you understand how Facebook’s ad structure is set up. When you first begin to set up your ad with Facebook, you’ll be prompted to select a campaign objective from a set list of options. We’ve included those options in a screenshot below.

Facebook Ads Manager.
Facebook Ads Manager.

It’s important to be selective with your chosen campaign objective. At DM, we encourage people to focus on one thing for every to $1,000 in Ad Spend. For local campaigns $500. If you’re spending less than that on your ad, you’re going to have to be really selective about who you’re targeting and what your objective is.

For budgets smaller than this, your money is probably better spent on an organic growth strategy spread over the course of months with the primary goal being brand awareness. If this is something you are interested in, check out our managed social media services. Otherwise, keep on reading to learn more about optimizing Facebook Ads.

Define Your Audience

Now that you’ve selected your campaign objective, it’s time to refine who you want to show your ad to. Having the ability to refine who you want your advertisement to be shown to by gender, interests, age, job title, and other factors is one of the top reasons marketers LOVE advertising with Facebook.

For each campaign you create with Facebook Ads Manager, you can create various ad sets that target different target markets. For example, at DM we run a more general ad focused on only brand awareness, but we also run ads that target more specific market segments like solopreneurs, boutique owners, marketing directors, etc. While the campaign might be focused around a single promotion (let’s say 20% OFF website designs), the way we advertise that promotion to each market segment is vastly different. We do this so we can better communicate with the people we are targeting.

Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook Ads Manager

When creating the target audience for your Facebook ad, its important to really consider your ideal customers interests, and overall user profile. Facebook also allows you to exclude people with certain interests and other characteristics. It’s important to consider people you want to exclude from your ad because if you don’t exclude them you can end up wasting large amounts of money.

Generally speaking there are seven groups of people to exclude from your paid advertisements no matter where you’re advertising.

1. Current Customers (or Everyone Else)

2. Current Employees

3. Job Seekers

4. App Audiences

5. Non-Engaged Visitors

6. Overlapping Audiences

7. People who have already Converted

Design & Test Your Ad

Literally everything your ad is comprised of will have a direct impact on its performance. Even the smallest of differences in your ad can dramatically change your ROAS (return on ad spend). Everything from the ad copy (written text) to the media assets (photos or video content) changes the relevance of your ad to the audience that you’re targeting. The goal is for your ad to be as relevant as possible to the people you’re pushing it to. SIDE NOTE: your ad copy should include certain keywords to help your website SEO.

Before you launch your Facebook ad, do this first:

•Selecting the right content strategy

When we say content medium, we’re talking about how you tell your story through your ad format. It’s important to have a healthy blend of experience and creativeness when deciding the best way to showcase content for your ad. Should you use a photo or video? Vertical image or horizontal image? Designed graphic or professional photography? Social video or professional production?

Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook Ads Manager

•Think about your ad placement

Facebook Ads can promote your ad on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and everywhere in-between. Consider whether you want your ad to be shown on Facebook or Instagram Stories, or in the news feed. You can either select your placements manually or allow Facebook to place your ad where it best performs automatically. DM recommends manually selecting your Facebook ad placements for more specific campaigns. However, for more general campaigns focused around brand awareness it might make sense to allow Facebook to automatically place your ads.

Facebook Ad Manager
Facebook Ad Manager

•  Facebook Ad A/B Split Testing

So you now know that you can create one campaign with multiple ad sets that target different market segments (audiences). But did you also know that you can target those market segments with different versions of the same ad to see which performs best? This next step in advertising is super important if you’re looking to see what two versions of an ad will perform best. You can change variables such as media (content), placement, minor audience changes, etc. After Facebook has had some time to test both ads, they will decide which ad performs best and tell you. Even after this, you can split test the winning ad to see if you can improve performance even further!

•  Maintain your budget

Facebook does offer automatic budget optimization for your ads, but you should also consider other budget items like when you want to show your ad. How much in total are you willing to spend and over what period of time. It’s just something to keep your eye on.

Mid-Campaign Optimization & Tracking

There’s no other way to tell how well your Facebook ad is performing without examining the data generated from the campaign while it’s running. It’s up to you to keep an eye on the important metrics we talked about earlier in this blog post, because if something isn’t working and you find yourself wasting your hard earned money, something must change.

A lot of people find that their advertisements are performing, but their end result may not be converting as well. This is typically due to either poor content, poor social media presence, or poorly designed websites. The goal is to eliminate any friction between the end user (your potential customer) and the desired result you’re seeking. So keep an eye an your campaigns performance in every place that a user might end up exploring.

If you’re generating leads through Facebook ads, you may find people clicking to the form without submitting anything. Perhaps you should reconsider how you’ve set up your form. We often find that advertisers request too much information. Consider what info you really need and start with that, sometimes an email is enough.

By actively monitoring and tweaking each of your campaigns, ad sets, and A/B split tests you should be able to run an effective Facebook ad.

Facebook Pixel is how Facebook is able to offer conversion tracking, think of it as a “cookie” that travels with users between your website and Facebook. Data provided by Facebook’s pixel will further allow you to track user behavior, and deliver re-targeting ads to specific audiences that have visited your website. This is a crucial step for e-commerce businesses utilizing Facebook ads.

Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook Ads Manager
Facebook Ads Manager

Speaking of Re-Targeting Ads

Often times, Facebook advertisers exclusively run brand awareness ads to broader audiences that may be interested in what they have to offer. Then a percentage of people with engage with the ad and visit the business website. When that user comes back to Facebook, the business has a set of ads that specifically target people who have visited their website for specific reasons or visited specific product pages. These ads perform extremely well as long as you exclude users who have already purchased or “converted”.

Generally speaking, Facebook will promote higher quality content for less ad spend to more people, because they want Facebook users to have a good experience on the platform. Its SUPER important that your ad looks good, and the place you are sending people to looks and functions good as well. We call this UX, or user experience. If you want to ensure that you ad promotes a great UX, and is optimized in every way possible you should consider working with a Marketing Agency that specializes in Social Media Advertising, specifically specialized in Facebook Ads.

Dritschler Media (DM) is highly specialized in both Facebook Advertising, and organic social media growth campaigns.

Contact Us today to learn more about how we can help your business run a winning Facebook Ad campaign.

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