Just like anything, there are kind of tricks of the trade in getting the bang for your buck that you’re looking for in Facebook advertising, so let’s go ahead and talk about those best practices that you should make sure you’re utilizing.
Create an Awesome Facebook Page
Your Facebook page is kind of like your home in Facebook. It’s the equivalent of your webpage out on just the worldwide Web. It’s important that you get this right because everybody that’s checking you out is going to see this page, so there are a few guidelines that you want to consider.
One, you want to make it visually appealing. Facebook made their timeline changes which allow you to have a much more visual experience inside of Facebook. You want to take advantage of that. There are all kinds of data that shows that people are more engaged by images than they are by words, which is exactly why Facebook made those timeline changes– to make those engaging pictures more of the experience and keep people in Facebook even longer and keep them more engaged. So, you really want to make sure that you have a visually appealing page.
You should include freebies and offers, if appropriate. If you have something that you can give away or share with your visitors, it could be coupons, it could be free information that you can give them, something like that, people really respond to those types of offers. So anything that you can do to put some sort of freebie on there and engage them in that way will really benefit you.
Next, you should be ready to engage. If you’re going to have a Facebook page and you’re going to focus on this type of marketing, again, the power of Facebook is that social aspect. So if somebody is going to make it to your page and like things and comment on things and be ready to engage with you, you need to be ready to engage back. So be ready to jump into that conversation with people and make it a truly social experience.
The more that you can do these types of things, the more engaged your fans are going to be. The more engaged your fans are, means the more time they’re spending on your site, the more they are liking your products and your services and your messages that you’re putting out there. The more that you’re able to do that, the more that you’re able to leverage Facebook’s advertising capabilities. Facebook advertising is not just about sticking up an ad. It’s about engaging in that social community and they’ve got these really powerful ways of allowing you to do that. Well, the more fans you have and the more engaged those fans are, the more you’re going to be able to take advantage of those powerful capabilities.
Do Your Research
Again, Facebook has this incredible amount of data and incredible targeting capability. You want to be able to use that to your fullest advantage, so the first thing I recommend that people do is to dive into Facebook Audience Insights.
Audience Insights is Facebook’s tool that allows you to dig into their massive database of user data, to get specific information about the audience you are targeting.
This is a cool way really of getting to know the habits of your customers. You get to understand them better as customers. It allows you to discover what they are interested in and what your customers are up to every day. You can use that information to then build more targeted campaigns in Facebook.
So can get really specific about who it is you are targeting.
Examples of the type of data you can get that you can use to target are:
- Is it men or women
- Are they professional
- What age group
- Where do they live
- What products do they currently use
- What types of cars do they drive
- Do they like Oprah or not
These are the types of things that you can literally target in Facebook so you can get down to this level of detail in you’re targeting of your campaigns.
Next, a best practice in advertising is—
Tell the Visitor What to Do
You want to include a clear call to action that you want your audience to take in the body text of your ad, and you should test taking advantage of the call to action buttons in Facebook.
It’s been proven over and over and over again that by having specific directions in your advertisements you’re going to get much better response and much more action taken by visitors. So, that could be:
- Click here
- Learn more
- Join us
- Enter your email address
- Buy now
Those types of things are specific directions where you are telling the visitor what to do and they are very, very effective in getting more response from your ads.
Appeal to Self-Interest
Highlight any benefits, sales or similar specials your business is offering that would be beneficial and would appeal to the self-interest of your visitor. So here’s another one again. ‘Do you love shoes? Get gorgeous shoes delivered to your door, just $39.95 with free shipping and a 50% off welcome offer.’ So free shipping and that 50% off welcome offer are going to be appealing to that shoe shopper and hopefully get them to click on that ad versus just seeing it and going by without taking action. So appeal to the self-interest, mention any specific offers you can, any deals, discounts, things that the viewer can take advantage of.
Use Eye-Catching Imagery
In fact, an image is the first and most important piece of a Facebook ad. Facebook ads are meant, to some extent, to hide in the background while you’re enjoying Facebook. Facebook has been very clear that they don’t want to really bother their Facebook users with too many ads. They don’t want the ads to be too much of a distraction from the overall Facebook experience, so you literally have to draw somebody’s eyes over to the ads if you want to get their attention and the way to do that first and foremost is an image.
People are very visually oriented and will get pulled over to your ad by an image much more effectively than they will to words. The words are very important as well, once you’ve got them there, but it’s the image that gets them there in the first place. So, again, going back to our high heels example, these bright colors, you can see that this would be an image that would definitely draw somebody’s eyes over. In fact, there are certain types of images that are proven to work better than others. Attractive women draw more eyes than just about anything else as well as pictures of babies and pets. These are all very, very effective advertising pictures.
If you pay close attention to ads in Facebook over the next week or so, you’ll see that people will use those images even if they have nothing to do with their products or services and that’s just proving the point. Those images draw people and then it’s the words that keep them there. So always look for evocative pictures, uncluttered images. Try not to use bland stock pictures. You’re actually better off if you use just some real image taken with your own camera. Ideally, the images are relevant, but as we just mentioned, it’s certainly not always necessary. Consider close-ups of people, white backgrounds to really make the colors of your image pop and something branded if you can. If you’ve got a strong brand that you can use in your ads then absolutely take advantage of that.
As an example, Amazon always uses very bright, clean images. Amazon is a great advertiser to study, because they invest a lot of money each year on ads.
Use Time Prompts
Create a sense of urgency in your ads to encourage people to take action right away. Again, advertising is all about getting people to take action so you can build that into your campaign. You can build offers. ‘Act now, the offer ends in the next 24 hours so take action today.’ That type of thing will, again, encourage response and will actually bump up the effectiveness of your ads.
Pique their Curiosity
There are all kinds of data on what works best in Facebook to get engagement.
One thing to test is asking questions with your ad copy? Questions get people automatically answering, and therefore engaging in your ad.
The other major thing is, as we mentioned, the use of pictures. People absolutely love pictures because on the whole, we’re very visually oriented.
So test your pictures!
Test Multiple Offers
As a business, you should always be split testing and trying different things. So test coupons, test asking someone to like your page or test using some sort of event invitation to invite them to do something. Maybe have an open house at your store or to attend some sort of training event that you hold online via a webinar or things like that. You should always test different types of offers because what you’ll find is that certain offers will get dramatically different responses than others.
Use Sentence Fragments
In this very small advertising space that you have in Facebook, you don’t have to worry about having proper grammar. You will actually get more effectiveness with short choppy sentences. I think they’re a little bit jarring to people in some way because they’re not these full sentences and you can really kind of quicken the pace of the reading. So, just an example down here that says, ‘Great gifts, half price. Great deal, buy now.’ You’ll see this type of thing in Facebook ads and there’s a reason for it. Again, that choppiness draws your attention. It’s different than what you’re used to seeing. So don’t worry about having perfect grammar in Facebook ads. Use sentence fragments, make it short and choppy and it will actually be more effective.
Land in the Right Spot
When somebody clicks your ad, you want to make sure that you are taking them to the right place that is relevant to your ad. So if you ad mentions a specific pair of shoes, make sure your ad take them directly to the shoes when they click on the advertisement. Don’t send them to a random page and make them hunt for the item that they clicked on.
So focus on that message match, focus on getting the conversion you want on that next page, whether it’s to get them to opt-in to a list or to get them to buy something. Whatever it is, make sure the page is really designed around accomplishing that.
What has been found is that, ideally, what you’re doing is you’re driving them to a Facebook page. Facebook likes it if you keep the user within Facebook so ideally, if you can, drive them to a Facebook page first and then once they’re on your Facebook page you can do whatever you want with them. You can have links to your website if that’s what you choose to do, but statistically it’s been demonstrated that you’re going to get better results if you are driving people typically to a Facebook page first.
So, speaking of those results, you’ve got to make sure you—
Track Your Results
Again, the power of Facebook and online marketing is that everything is tracked, so you can use those analytics to your advantage. You should be looking for the major factors that tell you whether your advertising is working such as click-through rate. If your click-through rate is too low then it gives you the opportunity to pause the campaign and figure out what you can do with the ad to improve it.
Show Restraint with Your Advertising
As mentioned earlier, Facebook doesn’t want your advertising to stick out like a sore thumb. They don’t want it to mess up the user experience. Facebook doesn’t want your advertising to be too aggressive. Also keep in mind that people aren’t necessarily in a buying mind-set when they’re there. They are there to hang out and engage in conversation with their friends, so be kind of gentle with them. Don’t club them over the head with really aggressive advertising. Facebook actually wants you to focus on longer-term advertising and longer-term conversations with your audience.
Don’t Give up Too Easily
It can be easy to be overwhelmed. It can be easy to think oh, man, my campaign is not working. I should throw in the towel. Don’t give up too easily. Stick with it because we’ve seen Facebook advertising work in just about every single industry out there. It really comes down to having the right strategy. So if your advertising doesn’t work, take some of the advice that we covered today and step back and take a look. Does your ad stink? Be honest. Could you create a better ad? In most cases, yes, particularly if you’re not doing a lot of split testing. You know there’s a better ad out there somewhere, you’re just not putting enough effort into trying some different options.
Split test your ads, split test lots of different images first because those are so important in getting people to pay attention, but don’t give up so easily. Go out there and look at other people in your industry, what they’re doing to have success and be really thoughtful about your strategy.
You Don’t Have To Do It Alone.
Now is a good time to remind you that we can help. This is what we do for a living and we would certainly be absolutely happy to help you in developing a Facebook marketing strategy. If there’s currently something you’re doing on Facebook that you don’t think is as effective as it should be, we can certainly analyse that and see if we have any suggestions for you. Or if you’re starting from scratch and you realize you’d like to have a helping hand to help get you through the Facebook advertising process as efficiently and effectively as possible, well then we’d like that opportunity as well.
We’d be glad to help and have a conversation with you and see if it’s a fit to work together.