Don Draper never had to go over strategies for Facebook ads, but in 2016, expanding marketing efforts to social networks is just how advertising is done. When it comes to Facebook ads, as with any ads, you want to get the most for your money. This means reaching the most people in your target demographics and, ultimately, improving your bottom line.
Putting together a Facebook ad may seem like a simple proposition: just combine a decent photo and a relevant tagline, put it up on Facebook, and watch the conversions happen, right? Well, sort of. You may see some action if that’s your plan of attack, but as with most marketing tactics, optimization is key. In fact, optimizing your Facebook ads can do as much for your sales as optimizing website content can do for your search rankings.
How should you approach optimization of Facebook ads? Here are five things to consider.
- Know your numbers.
If you’ve already got ads on Facebook, take a look at your metrics. What are you spending, how many clicks does each ad get, and what’s your cost per click? Also look at the time of day when an ad is posted, as depending on the business and the ad, some will fare better at, say three in the afternoon. Knowing and understanding your numbers will help you plan your ads better. If one ad is not leading to much conversion, for example, figure out what makes it stand apart from more successful ads, and then try to avoid the less successful strategy. Try different approaches, and keep a close eye on your data.
- Images are important.
Facebook, and social networking in general, is a highly visual medium. Compelling photographs are going to draw much more attention than lackluster snapshots; Facebook gives you the opportunity to pick out 6 different images for an ad. They’ll put the different images out there and let you know which images your audience is responding best to. Then you can use just those images in the future! Another advantage Facebook gives you, is access to stock images from Shutterstock. Although you may be tempted to choose 6 stock images, try to only use 3, and choose real images of you or your company for the remaining 3. In our experience. the personal images (as long as they’re good quality) usually do better with your audience.
With these helpful image tips you’ll register more clicks and hopefully more conversions. We recently ran a column about places where you can find great free photography (http://modernworldconsulting.com/keep-photos-legal-6-sites/) — it’s not a bad idea to spend some time browsing the images on these sites to see if any will suit your needs.
- Use a call to action button.
Since the end of 2014, Facebook advertisers have had the option of including a call to action button in their ad. These include short statements like Shop now, Book now, Learn more, Sign up, and Download, and using the right one can help your audience understand the focus of your ad and respond in kind.
- Go cross platform.
Consider repeating your ads on other social networks like Instagram, Twitter, and even Snapchat. With the same arsenal of designs, you can reach different demographics on these different channels. (Snapchat users tend to skew younger, for example.) This creates a strong sense of continuity and can help to strengthen your brand. Don’t forget, however, to ensure that your landing pages are optimized for mobile users, as that’s who will be using these other networks.
- Ride the carousel.
Recently, Facebook has rolled out a carousel ad option that allows advertisers to include multiple photos in one ad to appeal to different people. This approach is slightly different that the 6 images we talked about above. It’s a two birds with one stone approach, and it gives businesses the option for dynamic product ads in which the photos are products that a user has looked at but did not purchase. While ads of this nature do have a tendency to disturb a few people’s sense of privacy (ie. “How did they know I looked at that?”), they do serve as a good reminder and can help with sales conversions.
A huge advantage of Facebook ads over ads through more traditional channels is that you have much more room for trial and error. You can see your clicks and other data, and you can swap out parts of ads or redesign them entirely to try for better results. Ultimately, that’s really the best advice we can share: keep testing to focus your optimization and get the most for your advertising dollars.