Facebook’s ad revenue grew by over 10 billion dollars between 2010-2014. The success is largely due to its targeting capabilities; with the personal information of a billion+ users at their fingertips, businesses using Facebook ads have an unprecedented chance to direct their products at those they best fit.
Unfortunately for people who want to tap into this potential, the system can seem overwhelming to begin with. There is a huge range of ad options, and therefore a lot of information to process when trying to choose the right ones for you. To some extent, users have to just dive in - but here are some common mistakes you may be able to avoid.
Business owners only using the Boost Post option
It’s easy to use, but doesn’t always bring out your ad’s potential. To get more traffic, consider optimising it for Traffic in the Ads Manager area.
Don’t use too much text
Facebook has an ad text rule, and word-heavy images tend to get distributed less compared to those with low or no text. The last thing you want after putting effort into an ad is for it to be rejected by a text rule. Save time by keeping things minimalist.
Images - worth a thousand words?
A good picture can go a long way to selling your product, but it can also do a lot of damage. If you don’t make sure your images are optimised for Facebook, you might find them looking very odd when they’re being displayed. This will make your engagement rates plummet - so utilise the list of ideal image sizes Facebook provides for you.
Also, don’t waste the opportunity a catchy photograph or graphic can give. This blog recommends using reds, oranges and greens; not only do they catch the eye, but they stand out against Facebook’s blue and white colour scheme. If your ads feature a lot of blue and white, they’ll simply fade into the background.
Keep on top of cost vs return
Make sure you’re looking at the ‘cost per link’ click, not just the overall ‘cost per click’, when comparing which ad performed best at driving traffic. Ensure you’re paying close attention to the ad reports so you don’t end up shelling out more than you bring in.
This is part of a wider analysis, namely -
Make sure you have goals
if you want to make the most out of Facebook ads, you have to know what it is you’re trying to measure. When it comes to ROI, are you aiming to increase ‘likes’ on your page? Click-throughs to your website? Maybe you want more people to sign up to a mailing list or newsletter, or maybe you want to generate on-site sales.
All of these metrics are trackable, but only you can decide which is most important for your business. If you don’t have a solid objective in mind, you might find yourself spending cash on ads that are not being sent to the right place.
Don’t be a one-trick pony
Don’t throw one ad out there and stick with it blindly. Put two out - or more - and you might find that one image does better than another in 'cost per click’ terms - and it might not be the one you expected. Peruse the numbers to make sure you’re using your advertising money to best effect.
Check your format
If you’re new to Facebook ads, you may not know how to choose the right format for your campaign. If you’ve had your ads running for a while, you might not have checked in to make sure your old choices are still working for you.
Facebook introduces new formats on a regular basis. For example, last year saw the revealing of the Canvas type, which allows in-page launching of full-screen media. This year gave us the product-focused ‘collection’ format, designed to target mobile users by showcasing collections in the Facebook app, and then taking them through to the company’s mobile website. There are many formatting options, so take some time to figure out which one best mets your needs.
How do I get started?
Take your time. Test your ads; find out what works for you. Approximately 10-20 percent of your ads budget should be used in the testing phase, while you feel out your market. Test different demographics and images if you can, to give yourself an idea of which works best. Use your remaining budget on the ad - or two - that shows the most potential.
How to target?
Try to remember that you can actually tarnish your brand image by putting it in the faces of Facebook users who don’t care. Especially if you get over-excited, and saturate the place. People use social media to…be social. If your ads are obvious, often, and annoying, users won’t just tune them out, they’ll start to actively dislike your brand.
So who - and how - to target?
A popular choice is to re-target your ad towards an audience that is already warm to it, thereby getting it seen by people who are most interested in your product. Ads can be directed towards your website visitors, people who have engaged with your Facebook content in some way, email subscribers, or users who have watched your Facebook videos. The audience might be smaller, but aiming your ads at these people can save you money and increase your revenue because they are a highly targeted audience.
Keep in mind that if your audience is extremely specific, Facebook might not be the best medium with which to reach them. Direct email or simply calling might work better. Just because Facebook has the ability to advertise, doesn’t mean you always have to use it.
Having said that, all different types of business can find success with Facebook ads. It may take some trial and error to begin with, but perseverance could offer great rewards.