News and insights • Posted on 29 January 2016

3 Secrets to creating great Facebook ads

Facebook is stepping up its game when it comes to paid advertising. As the social network has expanded its product portfolio it can boast some impressive numbers:

  • 1.59 billion monthly users on Facebook

  • 900 million users on WhatsApp each month

  • 800 million users on Messenger each month

  • 400 million monthly users on Instagram

They are some huge figures. Yes, I know you’re now screaming ‘So What?!’ through your computer screens, so here’s the goodies – Facebook holds loads of data on you. And me. And probably your dog.

How old you are, your birthday, who your relatives are, what you like to do in your spare time, which TV shows you watch – they even buy credit card data to find out what you’re spending your hard earned cash on. The list is pretty much endless.

As marketers this gives us a huge advantage however, especially for start-ups and small businesses. It allows us to target very specific customer sets with relevant, value adding content that will engage them with our brand. And because Facebook’s ad platform is pretty user friendly, even my mum can probably use it (sorry mum!).

Unfortunately for her, however, it doesn’t mean she’d do it right. There are some tips and techniques you can use, along with some little known tools, that will help you build a profile of your audience, create great content, spend your budget wisely and give you more bang for your buck…

The Power is in Your Hands…

If you’re not familiar with the Facebook Power Editor it’s well worth getting to know. As the name suggests, it’s a powerful piece of kit that allows you to make changes at scale, import campaigns from CSV’s and make life that bit easier. It also makes you sound like a bond villain controlling his empire.

The little known secret of the Power Editor is that it’s where Facebook seems to test its latest and greatest inclusions to the ad platform, including new campaign objectives. Two such objectives are currently only available through the power editor, and these are Lead Generation Ads and Product Catalogue Ads.

Campaign objectives do what they say on the tin – they are what you’re aiming to achieve from your campaigns. This could be page likes, website clicks, getting app installs or even raising attendance at your event. Little tip, please don’t promote your house party. It will not end well.

Set up your new campaign in the Power Editor and a whole wealth of opportunities will be opened up to you. The latest one I would recommend is Lead Generation Forms, as I think this will apply to almost every business, big and small.

They’re currently only available on mobile devices, but they allow potential customers to securely & safely sign up to newsletters and other lists with the click of a button. However the real bonus is the subsequent high levels of engagement a lot of users have experienced using these ads.

Get to Know Your Customers

It’s vital that you know who your customers are and how they act. One of the best ways to find out more about your target market is to build up a customer profile of who they are, their demographics, interests, behaviours and as many other things as you can think of! Thankfully, Facebook has a cool feature that allows you to build this picture without much effort.

Located in both Adverts Manager and Business Manager, Facebook Audience Insights is found in the ‘Tools’ drop-down. Once you’ve clicked it you enter a gold mine of information that will help you determine both how best to advertise to your audience, and also what content to write for them.

It can also help you with your SEO strategy, offering you a good idea on what publications they read and where to target for high value links.

Talk Info, Not Products

Facebook is a funny old place. It’s a mixture of cat memes, businesses trying to flog products and food pictures transferred from Instagram. But those savvy marketers who are putting out engaging content on Twitter and Facebook, that isn’t overtly ‘salesy’, are the ones reaping the rewards.

Social is unlikely to be a real revenue stream for start-ups and small businesses. Sure, it’s a really important step in the conversion funnel, but it’s unlikely to drive cold hard conversions directly from the platform. People are there to check up on friends, see funny videos and find stuff that’s interesting to read about. In other words, Facebook and Twitter are great places to build authority and brand awareness.

Answering common questions among your target audience and imparting your expertise can be a great way to quickly build a following of people who genuinely trust your brand. If you’re invested in your industry is should be relatively easy to create content that informs, adds value and solves customer’s problems.

It can be a hard hurdle to overcome, giving away your hard earned expertise for free, but even snippets (like this post, you might argue) are enough to help people and build trust. Eventually, when the time is right, you’ll be in their mind when they require that bit of extra expertise.

It’s a long term game, and one where, sometimes, it’s difficult to see the end goal. But if you stick at it, this organic growth is likely to bring with it loyal customers who will stand the test of time.

Have you got any more tips for Facebook Ads success? Get in touch with us!

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Written by Andy McCaul

Co-founder and digital marketing guru Andy ensures all projects are shipshape, and that we generate the best return on investment for clients.

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