Facebook ads… do they work? Or are they just annoying content breaking up your newsfeed with stuff no one buys?
Facebook is an advertising giant. It’s growing in size and popularity every year—already you can promote your brand in 14 different placements within the Facebook brand (including Instagram and messenger) plus choose to show them to their wider audience network without spending any additional cash.
In 2019 more businesses chose to invest in Facebook to promote their brand. Some advertisers shifted up to 20% of their search budget to paid social ads and many are moving budget from traditional media campaigns to Facebook too.
So does Facebook advertising work? As a Facebook ads strategist I can categorically say that it does—but only if you know what you’re doing.
Facebook is a money-making machine. To ensure maximum revenue it makes it easy for people to create ads and spend money without much thought. The problem is, when you’re spending a few pounds here or a tenner there, it’s easy to waste your marketing budget and get no return.
But the people doing it right are getting a return—even those with small budgets. I have clients getting 13 x return on ad spend. That’s because Facebook advertising is like doing a leaflet drop through the doors of people who are not only looking for your product or service, but are looking for it right now.
The targeting options provided by Facebook ads allow you to pinpoint your exact customer so you can display your ads in the places they’re most likely to react to them, be that Facebook’s main newsfeed, Instagram, stories or messenger.
You can also use Facebook ads to retarget your hottest leads—the people who have been on your website or interacted with your competitors.
So how can you invest in Facebook ads strategically in 2020? Here are 6 tips to help you get return on your investment:
1. Ensure your website has the Facebook pixel installed
This is a piece of code which tracks your ads’ success as well as tracking website visitors so you can retarget them with ads on their newsfeeds. The pixel is the reason you get shown ads for things you’ve just been looking at online. You can use a plugin to install this if you have a Wordpress site, or enlist the assistance of a web developer or a tech VA if you are unsure. Whether you intend to run ads now or a year from now, get that pixel on there as a matter of urgency.
2. Don’t boost your poorly performing posts
This is a mistake many small business owners make. They spend hours crafting a post and then get no comments or reactions on it, so they boost it. Hard truth coming here… if no one liked the post it’s because it wasn’t very good, not because you didn’t pay to promote it! Boosting posts should be reserved for your best performing posts because you already know they work. Boosting a popular post means you can spend your budget showing it to more people, safe in the knowledge that it does the job you need it to do.
3. Use ads manager wherever possible
Facebook gives you simple ways to create ads, but this isn’t to make it easy for you—it’s to make it easy for them to make money! If you want to get the most bang for your buck, ads manager is the best platform to create your ads.
4. Choose the right campaign objective
When it comes to creating your ads, think quickest viable solution. If you want people to convert on your website, select conversions. If you want traffic to a blog post, select traffic.
5. Get the targeting right
Targeting the right people is a pretty obvious goal, but you also need to ensure you’re excluding the wrong people. Why waste your ads budget showing ads to people who’ve already bought your product?
6. Work with an expert
You don’t have to outsource your ads to an ads strategist to get the best results, but you should at least learn from an expert so you can get the best results yourself. Most ads strategists (including me) offer 1:1 training, power hours or group programmes so you can start to get to grips with this very specific form of advertising. You can also learn for free via Facebook’s Blueprint training. Don’t waste your advertising budget without knowing the basics.
Laura Moore is a Facebook strategist helping businesses to generate leads using Facebook & Instagram advertising.