If you are a business owner with a business page on Facebook, then you’ve probably heard of a Facebook ad campaign (if you haven’t already played around with one!).
Facebook ads are pieces of content that your business page sponsors with advertising dollars. These ads then show up in different places within your target audience’s Facebook feed, allowing your business to show up in their social media account where they are already scrolling.
In theory, this sounds like a dream for businesses! But it only works if you structure your Facebook ad campaign correctly- don’t worry, we’ll dive more into this as we go!
Facebook advertising is also really cheap in comparison to older, more traditional forms of advertising; you can reach thousands of people for just a couple bucks.
Plus, you’re reaching these people in a fun, social environment where they’re spending enjoyable downtime (as opposed to keeping them from their favorite TV show with a commercial or catching them with a billboard as they’re stuck in traffic, only wanting to get home).
There are a lot of perks in utilizing a Facebook ad campaign, but as we said, it has to be structured correctly in order to work effectively.
So where do you start?
A common thing we often hear from new clients is, “Facebook is always suggesting that I boost my posts, but why hasn’t that brought me more sales yet?” Does that sound like you, too?
There are quite a few elements that go into making a Facebook ad campaign work effectively, and we’re going to really dive deep and talk about each one of those items in today’s blog.
So, whether you’ve ran ads in the past with no success, or whether you’re completely new to Facebook ads all together, we’re going to explain everything you need to know to structure your Facebook ad campaign for more leads and sales.
What is your Objective?
First thing’s first: what are you looking for from your Facebook ad campaign?
Most people answer this question with sales or leads, but you’d be amazed at how many people are running boosted posts (which optimize for post engagement) and complaining that they’re not seeing sales from it.
Now, don’t get us wrong; boosted posts and other types of Facebook brand awareness ad campaigns have their role to play in your overall sales funnel. But you have to be looking at it from a big picture point of view.
If you’re looking for more direct results, you need to be strategic in which type of Facebook ad campaign that you invest your ad dollars in- we’ll discuss this in detail a little later.
For now, let’s talk more about Facebook ad campaigns and objectives. When we ask what results you’re looking for, we ask because it will help us determine what type of Facebook ad campaign you should be running.
Pictured above are all the different types of Facebook ad campaigns (or objectives) that you can run, and each optimize for a different purpose.
For instance, a boosted post under the Engagement campaign will deliver the ad to people within the target audience you select who are likely to engage with your ad (comment on it, like it, share it etc). Whereas a Video Views campaign will deliver the ad to people within your target audience who are likely to watch your video ad.
Knowing this information can make a huge difference in the types of ad campaigns you run.
If you want Facebook followers for your business page (or officially known as Facebook Page Likes), then you’ll need to run a Facebook Page Like ad under the Engagement campaign.
The Page Likes ad optimizes for page likes and will therefore deliver the ad to people within your target audience who are likely to like your page based on their history and behavior of actions on Facebook.
A big mistake we see a lot of our clients make is running a Traffic campaign as opposed to a Conversion Campaign.
Both the Traffic and Conversion campaign send people to your website, but only one of them optimizes for sales and leads!
The Traffic campaign is going to show your ad to people who are likely to click. The Conversion campaign is going to show your ad to people who are likely click and convert.
The cost per link click will generally be higher in a Conversion campaign than a Traffic campaign, but the hope is that the clicks will be higher quality and bring you more revenue!
Another campaign we want to point out is the App Install campaign. If you have an app that you want to increase downloads for (either in the App Store or Google Play), then the App Install campaign is your friend!
It would be less efficient (and effective) to send traffic to your website if the site is just going to redirect them to the App Store. Might as well send them directly to the place they can download the app and track how many app installs come from it.
One thing we will say about the App Install campaign though is it takes a lot more set up work than other campaigns.
The app itself has to meet Facebook’s requirements before it can be advertised on the platform (this can mean changes within the app that the developer will need to make before even setting up the ad campaign).
The last two campaigns we want to highlight are the Lead Generation and the Messages campaigns.
The Lead Generation campaign delivers ads to people who are likely to fill out the lead form. When we talk about the lead form, we mean a form that pops up within Facebook after someone clicks on your Lead Generation ad.
This form captures your potential customers’ information and saves it for you in your Ads Manager account.
Similarly, the Messages campaign also operates within Facebook and does not send users to your site or anywhere outside of Facebook. It starts a Facebook Messenger conversation between the user and your Facebook business page.
The positive feature for both of these campaigns is that they both usually yield a higher response rate due to the ease and convenience for users to respond.
The downside is that both campaigns can yield a lower quality lead as a result meaning the users are not as qualified as they would be had they gone to a website and scrolled to filled out a form.
Knowing the small but important pieces of information like this regarding Facebook ads can be crucial to choosing the right campaign and running it effectively. Which is why many business owners hire us to handle their Facebook advertising for them. Interested in advertising on Instagram, Pinterest, and/or LinkedIn? We specialize in that too!
So far we’ve talked about some of the more popular ad campaigns, but looking at the photo above, you can get a good idea of all the different Facebook ad campaigns that you can run.
Overall, the results you’re looking for should reflect the campaign you invest in!
Facebook Ad Campaign Strategy
Now that we know the different types of Facebook ad campaigns and their purposes, let’s talk about how to use them.
You’ve decided at this point what your goals are and what you’re trying to achieve with your Facebook ads; now you need to choose which strategy you want to follow to achieve it: short term, or long term.
Earlier we talked about how brand awareness ads like a boosted post can be useful if you’re looking at the bigger picture. When we talk about big picture, we mean the whole sales funnel from top to bottom (and this generally means following a long term strategy).
The long term strategy means taking the time to warm up the audience. Introduce your brand to them and build a relationship with them on social media (therefore building trust with them in your company) before asking them to make a direct purchase or sign up.
This is where boosted posts, page like ads, video views and other “light” campaigns come into play. The call to actions on these campaigns are really easy for the user to swallow; it doesn’t take serious commitment for a user to like your business page or watch your video (and it’s free for them).
The good news is that when they make these small actions, they officially become cookied in your Facebook ad account so that you can continue serving them strategic and specific ads along their journey.
The whole idea of the long term strategy is that you carry this audience along from the awareness stage all the way to closing them as a new customer. Because they’ve already spent months learning your brand, seeing your business’ ads etc., then the cost per conversion when you do serve them a direct conversion ad should be relatively low.
The long term strategy is generally more effective, and it’s what we always recommend for our new clients if they have the time and money to do it.
If not, then the short term strategy may be the way to go. The short term strategy basically skips steps 1-2 from the sales funnel pictured above.
With this strategy, you’re serving lead or conversion ads directly to a cold audience. When we say a cold audience, we mean an audience that has never heard of your brand or business before; they are brand new and have not been warmed up at all.
Either way, with the long term strategy or the short term strategy, when you get to steps 3, 4, and 5, the type of ads you’ll want to run tend to be similar.
As we mentioned earlier, a conversion campaign is what you want to run if you’re trying to track conversions on your website. A conversion in this case can be a full on sale (if you have ecommerce or appointment booking set up on your site for example). Or it can be something like a contact us form (which would be considered a lead conversion).
Regardless, a lead magnet can be an effective tool to use in a conversion campaign to help close sales!
A lead magnet is an incentive that the user gets for completing the action you want them to complete. A common lead magnet is a free eBook, coupon, or something downloadable that they can receive upon taking the desired action.
Giving users a lead magnet can either help you capture their information to follow up with them both on Facebook and again with email marketing, or it can be something like a coupon code that gives them incentive to go ahead and purchase.
The nature of your business will determine if you need to go after their contact information or not. For instance, if your business model involves a sales member speaking with the customer in order to help close them, then you’ll want to pursue leads.
But if your business is an online clothing store for example, you’re probably looking more for direct purchases.
Obviously it doesn’t hurt to have your audience’s contact information either way, but if you’re tight on your ad budget and need to pick one campaign, then choose the one that is going to make the most sense for your business.
Ad Budgets (And What To Expect With Yours!)
Speaking of being tight on your ad budget, let’s talk about that a little bit. How much does all of this cost?
We talk about the cost of a Facebook ad campaign in another blog post on our site, but we can go over some of the highlights here as well as it relates to structuring your Facebook ad campaign for success.
The first thing you have to think about is which ad campaign you’re going to run. Some ad campaigns can function on a $1.00 per day, whereas other campaigns have to have at least $5.00 a day to spend or else Facebook can’t run them.
Also, as we said earlier, different actions are easier for users to make on ads; for example, it’s a lot easier for a user to like your business page for free than it is to have them pay for a $300 service.
Because of this, you’ll see that the cost per result varies in your different ad campaigns. So depending on what type of action you’re going after, the cost can be higher or lower than other ad campaigns.
You’ll also need to take into account who you’re targeting and where. In general, national campaigns tend to be less expensive than local campaigns.
For example, the average cost per page like when you’re targeting a local area is $1.00, and the average cost per page like when you’re targeting nationwide in the U.S. is about $0.50. This will also vary by country.
This same rule of thumb applies to all the Facebook ad campaigns too, not just the page like ad campaign, so you’ll need to keep this mind as you plan your ad budget out.
Another factor to consider is who your targeting. Some targeting options in Facebook are more expensive than others. For instance, many advertisers like to target people with an upcoming birthday so that they can offer them a “free gift” as a lead magnet.
The problem is that thousands of advertisers all have this same idea and are all trying to target the same audience at the same time. Facebook then has to go through its process of deciding which ad to show out of the lot, and part of that has to do with which advertiser is bidding the most money.
Therefore, popular audiences can become more expensive to advertise to than others.
The last thing to consider (that many advertisers don’t!) is ad placement. You may hear that and think, “What do you mean? …I thought we were placing it on Facebook?”
There are many different placement options within Facebook and Instagram (since Facebook owns Instagram).
Pictured above are all the different types of placements you can serve your ad. Not all placements are available for every single campaign, but most are.
The key to choosing your ad placements is knowing which are effective and which are wasting your ad dollars.
For example, Facebook will always recommend to run your ads on Audience Network, but in actuality, Audience Network is known for capturing a slew of fake clicks.
Have you ever played a game on an app on your phone, and when you go to hit the “Start” button, an ad pops up right as you click therefore making you “click” on the ad? That’s essentially what audience network is.
Do you want to waste your ad dollars on a placement like that? Neither do we.
If you don’t have a professional Facebook advertising agency like us to help you avoid these placements from the start, you can also look at your ad results with the Placement breakdown in your ad account.
This can also tell you which placement your results are coming from. Knowing this information will help tell you how and where to invest your ad dollars wisely.
So far, we know what types of campaign we’re running, and how much we’re spending on them. Now let’s talk about best practice when it comes to the actual ads.
Earlier we talked about the different types of objectives and Facebook ad campaigns you can run. Within these campaigns are the ads themselves i.e. the copy and creative.
Depending on the type of campaign you’re running, there will be different ad creatives you’re able to run. Otherwise, the copy and text options for a Facebook ads are generally the same across all campaigns. The main difference is that the headline and headline description are not available on some campaigns.
The most basic creatives are image and video ads. There are only two main things to note here. The first is that Facebook has a 20% text rule for all ad creatives.
This means that no more than 20% text can be on an ad image or a video ad thumbnail; if it does, the ad will not run at all. Even if there is anywhere in between 1% and 20% text on the ad creative, Facebook will intentionally serve your ads less than other advertisers trying to reach the same audience that may have less text on their creative.
This means you can put the same amount of ad dollars behind a creative with no text on it at all, and already be a little ahead of of your competitors.
The second thing to note is that you can easily advertise the same ads on Instagram since Facebook owns Instagram, but Instagram can only show videos that are 1 minute long or shorter. Keep this mind as your planning out video creatives that you intend to run on both platforms.
Another innovative type of ad is the carousel ad. This is where you have several 600 x 600 ad images side by side that the user can swipe through.
You can either have them create one big picture like the example below.
Or you can have each ad be it’s own photo that links to the exact product on your site, like the ad below.
This ad is typically good for businesses who have ecommerce on their site. Even if users don’t click on the ad anywhere, they can still be retargeted if they swipe through the pictures!
Speaking of retargeting, dynamic retargeting ads are also really effective to use for ecommerce sites.
Retargeting in general just means showing the ad to a group of users who have already touched base with your brand or business in some way. This could be Facebook engagement, an email list of people who have signed up for your newsletter, website traffic etc.
What’s cool about dynamic retargeting is that you can show people the exact product that they searched for on your site.
This can help close buyers that were on the fence initially by showing them the exact product that they were interested in!
It works the same way as a carousel ad, but it just takes a little more setup since you have to link your product catalog to your Facebook ad account.
So far, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about the makeup of a Facebook ad campaign and how to put all of your best practices forward. So now, who are you showing these ads to?
Knowing who your target audience is is key to conducting an effective campaign.
Following best practice with your Facebook ad campaign doesn’t matter if the people who are seeing the ads are totally uninterested in your service or product!
So many advertisers are dumbfounded when they run a sale or deliver a coupon code and still don’t see results; but incentives are to help push interested, relevant audiences to convert.
Think of it this way; if you’re selling dog food, you want to make sure you are delivering the ads to people who own a dog! Cutting the price in half over and over isn’t going to help if the product isn’t relevant to the market.
Once you figure out exactly who your target audience is, then it’s time to determine how to find them on Facebook!
One super useful tool that Facebook provides is the ability to create custom audiences. You can upload your email list of customers or warm newsletter sign ups and deliver specific ads to those audiences if they’re on Facebook with the email address you have.
Another custom audience we love to utilize for our clients all the time is a lookalike audience. A lookalike audience is an audience that “looks like” the original list you upload based on similarities and patterns that Facebook sees.
This means if you have an email list of 1,000 customers, Facebook can take that list and find a brand new group of people who “look like” your customer base! This can create a shortcut to finding out just who your target audience is on Facebook.
Audience Based on Engagement
Outside of custom audiences, you can also dissect your audiences. We’ve touched on this a little here and there throughout this blog, but you can create audiences of people who have watched your Facebook video ad for more than 10 seconds or of people who have engaged with any post or ad.
This can help you set up ads that deliver to very specific retargeting audiences.
Lastly, you can also always target based on demographics, interests and buying behaviors. Facebook has an extensive list of targeting options within all three of those categories, and they’re changing and updating all the time.
These are the best practices for a Facebook ad campaign! When you take the time to structure your Facebook ad campaign strategically, it can become highly effective. Don’t have the time and want professionals to manage your Facebook ad campaign for you? Contact us today!