Facebook ads are a very powerful marketing tool that can be extremely cost-effective. We say "can be extremely cost-effective" because many businesses are only programming ads to key demographics like location, gender, and age. Taking the steps to utilize Facebook ad targeting options can greatly increase the success of an ad and even reduce costs in the process. The problem is that there are so many targeting options that it is a bit like staring at the dashboard of a rocket for many of us. But here’s the bottom line, you have a split second to get my attention with your Facebook ad and if it isn't relevant to my exact wants or needs you've just wasted your money.
Communicating relevance in the ad is extremely important. I'm not going to say "most people" but a ridiculously large group of Facebook admins run ads like a Superbowl campaign- one ad, blanketed over a certain area without regard to your wants, needs or behaviors. What admins need to be doing is creating several versions of your ads within a campaign that are targeted to unique audiences, behaviors and interests.
Be mindful of Your Images
Images are the first thing that Facebook users will see on your ad. Making the assumption that you know what image will attract the attention of users is ludicrous. We ran a series of ads for a client to book a date night for Valentine's day. The client's age demographic for this event was 25-40, including dinner, wine, and live entertainment. Take a guess which Facebook ad image performed the best out of this group.
As marketers we want people to associate our brand with happiness so obviously, we plaster smiles and faces. Marketing rules tell us that pictures of women gain the most attention. These things make good ads, as it turns out, for this specific example, the ad that outperformed everything else by far, was the person searching on the computer for Valentine's Date Ideas. Why? We don't know. No one knows. A smiling person image may get my attention one minute and five minutes later I'm hungry and I like the plate. The point is, you have to put multiple images or videos out there to attract different people at different times. Creating an ad series may be more of an upfront cost but will save money in the long run and create an ad that will get noticed more and create more clicks = higher ROI.
Keep your personas in mind when creating an ad series. If the majority of your followers, people that already know, like and do business with you, are women over the age of 50, you probably don't want images of 20-year-old women prancing around in underwear...especially if you're selling underwear. Create two or three ads that appeal to each persona and run small amounts of money on each directly targeting interests and behaviors of that specific persona.
Analyze Your Data
When you run a series of highly targeted, small budget ads it is easy to see what is working. Look at your ad performance every day. Facebook Ads manager will even provide you performance indicators, tips, and alerts. If something is a smash hit with a target audience, increase your budget slowly. Again, people change what they like based on things out of your control, like when I'm hungry, you can't control that and you most definitely can't target me only when I'm not hungry so be prepared to change your ad set up often and ad small amounts to your budget.
Take a closer look at your Facebook ad campaigns and see if these tips can help your results moving forward. If you want to learn more about social advertising and other key social media techniques give us a shout!