Facebook Ads work, despite what you may have read in blogs or heard from friends and colleagues. There are far too many success stories to discount the effectiveness of advertising on the world’s largest social network. You just have to know how to plan and execute your campaign, and I can help. Here are five steps to help you create the perfect Facebook Ad for your brand:
1. Target the right device.
Chances are, your target audience accesses Facebook on more than one device. At work, they might open their News Feed on their desktop (only to hide it with a spreadsheet when the boss walks by). When they wait in line to order lunch, they might be checking status updates on their smartphones. And at home, they might be on their tablet posting about the latest episode of Community while watching TV. To target the right device, you’ll need to know the device habits of your target audience and deliver your ads accordingly to ensure your message appears on the screen most likely to been seen. Important to consider is the difference in performance between desktop and mobile so you can focus your budget as needed. For example, early results indicate that mobile CTR and CPC are more favorable for Facebook Ads than on desktops.
Where the ad leads is also an important consideration. One study found that smartphones are used on-the-go and are best for app-based destinations (i.e., a click on your ad takes users somewhere within Facebook), while and tablets and desktops are used at-home and web-based destinations are acceptable (although somewhere within Facebook may still be preferred).
2. Select the right ad placement.
Facebook Ads come in a variety of flavors; from Sponsored Stories in the mobile News Feed to Marketplace Ads and Premium on desktop screens, there are many formats and placements to help you reach your target audience. Let your objectives and the usage habits of your target audience direct your choices. In broad terms, Sponsored Stories are king, recording an average 0.588% CTR from desktop users compared to an average 0.083% for all desktop Facebook Ads (performance is even better on mobile, with Sponsored Stories earning an average 1.140% CTR). The huge performance advantage for Sponsored Stories stems from the fact that they are amplified organic engagements tied to a user’s friends (essentially an endorsement or recommendation). Recommendations from friends are the most trusted form of advertising on Facebook.
3. Amplify the right content.
What type of content works best in your existing community? It’s likely that the same thing will resonate with your target audience. In general, users are more likely to engage with photos than any other content type. Normal plain-text status updates take the number two slot, outperforming videos, memes, and links. But these findings may not ring true for your ads, so test out different content and focus on what works best.
4. Promote the right offer.
If you don’t have a shareable offer, then it might not belong on Facebook. By shareable, I mean the offer has to be something that the target audience would likely let their friends know about. Offering 50% for theme park admission is shareable; offering an oil change for $24.99 is not. Since social media is an important channel for sharing content, it only makes sense that content buyers are more likely to take action after seeing an ad than the average smartphone user. If you’re focusing on mobile users, then local relevance and local offers are key. You don’t always have to focus on the sale, either. Access to exclusive videos, advance notice of new products, and other types of offers can all be worthy of promoting depending on your target audience.
5. Schedule it at the right time.
Different audiences, devices, and offers will dictate different timing. For example, mobile users typically respond well to offers for immediate or day-of benefit. A few timing components to consider are: day of week, time of day, and duration. If you’re running a national campaign for 24 hours, you may want to consider geo-targeting several different campaigns, one for each timezone, and set the start and end times accordingly. Finding the best timing may require some experimentation and split-testing.
What are some ways you’ve seen Facebook Ads executed well?