The average Facebook user spends about 50 minutes per day on the site, it has more than 1.86 billion active users worldwide and its user base is still growing.
It is pretty clear Facebook is, and will continue to be, the king of social media. It is where the users are, spend most time, and have the best engagement rates. So it makes a lot of sense to advertise on Facebook, and, if done properly it can be vastly profitable for almost every business. So let´s get straight into the nuts and bolts of how to successfully set up a Facebook campaign.
To make things really simple, we are going to focus on 6 pillars that make a Facebook advertising campaign successful!
Pillar 1: Your Objective (know what you want to get out of the campaign)
Common objectives in online marketing include lead generation, brand awareness, traffic to a website, online sales, and engagement with content. Facebook offers all of these possibilities and then some. Make sure you are clear on what is your end goal and exactly what do you want to achieve before you start. If it is not clear we advice you to consider in what stage of the marketing cycle you are advertising on (awareness, consideration, or conversion). Once you have your objective defined you can start building your first Facebook campaign!
Check out all of these possibilities:
Pillar 2: Audience – Pick the right target demographic for your campaign …
..and choose the right targeting.
Facebook gives you an extensive amount of possibilities on choosing your audience so you get pretty creative here. Age, gender, location and language are just the beginning. You can narrow down your audience further with criteria such as interests (defined by what type of content users engage on Facebook), demographics such as political affiliation, profession, and ethnic affinity. Life events such as whether you are engaged, in a relationship, married, or have kids. And behaviors such as whether you are a frequent traveler and what mobile device you are using. This unique level of segmentation can only be achieved through Facebook and its one of the most appealing aspects of advertising with them.
Adding to this, you can also target people who have already engaged with or liked your Facebook page, friends of people who like your page, and even people who have visited your website or app. It is recommended to create multiple ad sets with different audiences to make sure you test which one works the best for you. And don’t forget to save your audiences with the save this audience option so you can easily re-use them later.
Pillar 3: Budget – set a realistic budget
Budget is the step where beginner advertisers usually trip over. Since knowing your campaigns objective and audience is more intuitive beginners are usually scared of approaching budget. Thoughts such as “Will I spend too much? Will I spend to little? Will I blow my entire budget away” are common. But It´s ok, we are here to help. The budget you should invest on Facebook varies on your spending capabilities, the size of your audience and your objective. In this aspect Facebook is a great equalizer: It gives opportunities for huge brands like AT&T to spend millions and small businesses that can only afford spending a few dollars per day.
A few tips on Facebook budgeting:
- Start small, and then scale up. You can start with a really low budget, test the waters, and if you are satisfied with your results you can always increase the budget (budget can be as low as $1 per day).
- Define how many people you want to reach and how many times you want them to see your ad. For instance, in the U.S it costs an average of about $7 to reach 1,000 people on Facebook. So if you have a target audience of 100,000 and you want all of them to see your ad at least twice, it´s going to cost you about $1,400 to achieve this (keep in mind that costs do vary depending on your audience).
- Make sure to set an end date for all campaigns and check on them constantly. Its common for advertisers to forget this and their campaigns just go on and on spending budget. Establishing an end date is an easy way to avoid this mess.
Pillar 4: Creative – get a great looking post!
Ok, now that you have defined why you are going to show your ads (objective) to whom you are going to show them (audience) its time to define what you are going to show them. Ad creatives are all about capturing your audience´s attention. There are currently more than 3 million advertisers on Facebook and probably there are more than a few targeting your same exact audience so make sure your ad stands out from the bunch.
Facebook gives you great tools to do this: you can use texts, images, videos, and even interactive ads (canvas). For visuals make sure you use attention-grabbing colors and images—just don’t overdo it. A good recommendation is to not use much white since most of Facebook´s background is white, make sure your images contain less than 20% text and most important always be relevant to the audience you are reaching. Facebook rewards relevant ads by increasing their relevance score, which reduces the cost of reaching your audience.
Pillar 5: Tracking – setup Facebook Pixel
Setting up your Facebook campaign and watching it grow can surely be an exciting experience but watch out— don’t get excited too fast. Setting up conversion tracking before starting is something that can greatly impact the outcome of your campaign but it is also easily overlooked.
A Facebook pixel is a piece of code you install on the website you are driving traffic to so you can monitor the actions taken by users once they leave Facebook and go to the site. It is mainly used to track sales and leads but can be used to track other events such as products added to cart and content views. This way you can know exactly the results you are getting from each Facebook campaign and don’t have to rely on guesswork that will surely tire your brain out (and budget).
If you are not familiar with web development you will most probably need someone to set this up for you.
Important: if you are running a campaign for brand awareness or to get traffic rolling into your website it is not necessary to install a Facebook pixel since you will be looking at metrics such as people reached, clicks to website, and impressions.
Pillar 6: Test and learn from results
Make sure to check back on your campaign no more than 24 hours after it started running. One of the main differences between online advertising and traditional advertising is that with online you need optimize your campaigns. It is highly recommended to adjust budget, change ad creatives, test new audiences and change bidding (how much you are willing to pay per action) as the campaign evolves. This greatly increases your chances of achieving a good ROI and making the best out of Facebook. A/B testing is also a powerful way of adjusting your campaign where you need it the most. For instance testing two similar audiences to see which one performs better or testing different types of ad creatives to figure out what makes your audience tick!
- Frequency is a metric commonly ignored on Facebook. Don’t ignore it. It tells you how many times your ad was seen by a user. Once the frequency goes over 5 make sure to switch the ad since it can become repetitive and users might lose interest.
- Retargeting is showing a specific ad to users who already visited your website to trigger them to come back. It is set up by installing a Facebook pixel on your website. Retargeting is usually very profitable but watch the frequency very closely since you don’t want your audience to feel stalked.
- Custom audiences: You can upload an excel file to Facebook with the names, emails and phones of the people you want to reach. For instance let´s say you want to reach all your LinkedIn contacts with an ad. You can download their emails from LinkedIn, upload them to Facebook, and advertise to them!
- Lookalike audiences: Facebook automatically creates these by looking at all the profile data of the people in your custom audience and creating a new list of Facebook users that share similar interests and demographics.
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