Facebook advertising has come a long way since it was introduced in 2007.
It now accounts for roughly 85% of all transactions on social media.
As great as it clearly is for online conversions there are still plenty of businesses out there that struggle with it.
It’s even more painful when there are competitors in your industry making money and you are not!
The question to ask yourself here is: what are they doing different?
Use the 10 tips below to quickly improve your Facebook Ads success rate.
1 – Be unique
According to Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, over 5 million businesses are currently advertising on Facebook.
It doesn’t matter what industry you are in, that is a lot of competition.
If this stats seems overwhelming, it’s a good idea to remember the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule.
In this instance: Roughly 80% of success will go to 20% of the advertisers.
That means that for every business that is turning a positive ROI, there are four more who are struggling with Facebook ads.
Why aren’t more businesses fighting for the top positions?
Simply put: they aren’t being unique.
Facebook users spend an average of 1.7 seconds on a piece of mobile content and 2.5 seconds on desktop.
If you aren’t standing out you’ll be forgotten before they’ve even read your headline.
You need to be bold and unapologetic if you are going to garner eyeballs on Facebook. It’s a ruthless world where we are spoiled for choice and the brands that are brave enough to stand for something are most likely to win in the long run.
2- Be bold and eye-catching
Following on from what we said about being unique, using eye-catching visuals is one of the best ways to stand head and shoulders above the rest of the crowd.
This is where great web and graphic design comes into play. Don’t skimp on these talents in your organisation. They are the keys to unlocking revenue that is otherwise out of your reach.
There are several best practices you can follow that will immediately improve the visuals on your adverts. The first is to use high resolution images that look professional. Simple but easy to overlook, right? First impressions matter.
The second is to avoid over-laying your images with too much text. This can be displeasing to the eye and will cause a user to scroll on before you even have a chance. If possible, keep your compelling copy for the designated text area.
Third – consider using video over static imagery. This is something we will come onto next.
3 – Use video content
72% of customers say they would rather learn about a product by way of video rather than text.
Also 85% of consumers say they want to see more video content in the future from their favourite brands.
One Facebook executive event went as far to say that Facebook would be a ‘video only’ platform by 2021 (not confirmed!).
The pattern is clear though: video works and video sells.
Not only do videos engage users more than single images, they provide more context and detail about the product in question.
If you sell a product that is technical or has the potential to go viral, video is a must in your marketing mix.
Also, consider the fact that 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound (the majority on mobile devices). This is where great production comes in.
Think bold colours, great cinematography. Like any other medium with video marketing the cream rises to the top.
4 – Get your brand message across
In a world where businesses can be set up over a weekend and supply chains are extremely transparent one thing is truer now more than ever:
The only defence you have is your brand.
Look at the sports industry, for example. Look at Nike. There are tons of companies out there that make the same sort of clothing, with the same sort of quality, but because Nike is Nike they stay on top.
They have the name, the endorsements, and the real estate in the minds of the general public to be almost unassailable in their industry.
That’s a big example but you should aim for something similar in your own business. In your Facebook advertising, and in your advertising in general, don’t forget to stay true to the core of your brand. True – not everyone will like you, but the ones that do will really like you.
5 – Be authentic
Following on from what we said about brand messaging, authenticity is bigger now than ever.
There was a time when customers didn’t have much choice. It was either Coke or Pepsi. Now, with the explosion of the internet, we have almost too much choice.
And a consequence of that for businesses is that they have to work harder to get and keep customers. They need a voice. They need to be relatable.
When it comes to advertising on Facebook there are too many businesses trying to copy and outdo each other. This is due to fear, and also because they don’t have a definable personality.
Those kinds of businesses come and go – no one is loyal to them.
Stay true to your brand values and what makes you unique as a business and as a story for people to relate to. That’s what the successful startups of today do. In all of your messaging – especially your advertising – make a point of staying true to yourself. The right audience will respond.
6 – Understand your customers
Planning an advertising campaign without knowing your customers is a recipe for disaster.
In our data-driven world you need to know exactly who likes you and who is buying before investing any money. The old ‘go broad’ targeting approach is a quick way to run out of capital.
Fortunately, Facebook can help significantly in this department.
Thanks to the tons of data Facebook collects from its social users, businesses can utilise granular targeting options to find the perfect audience for their offer. You can also use the Facebook pixel to track visitors who click through to your website, further deepening the knowledge you have about your ideal customer.
The tools are out there – it’s up to you to put them to good use. Also, don’t discount old school methods of understanding your customer. Surveys, emails, even asking in person can give you solid insights that will be valuable for your next campaign.
7 – Use audience profiling
Audience profiling is the process of defining exactly who your target customer is. By monitoring engagement and buying behaviour you can build up a solid picture of who you should be targeting with your ads.
Facebook Audience Insights is a great way to get started with audience profiling. Using their tool you can get accurate information about people connected to your Page and people who are using Facebook. This allows you to segregate people by age, gender, education levels, job titles, all the way down to niche interests and hobbies.
By learning more about the lifestyles (and target lifestyles) of your desired audience you can create more inspired and effective messaging for your next ad campaign. This, in turn, will lead to better data. You can then use this data to optimise your ads and maximise ROI.
Sounds pretty good, right?
Check out the Audience Insights tool here.
8 – Be specific with your advertising message
When targeting an audience on a big platform like Facebook it can be very difficult to nail down your message.
There are over 1.5 billion on Facebook, you reason, surely we can attract a large portion of them?
The truth is, as a small business, you can’t. And you won’t.
That kind of blanket coverage and ‘Super Bowl’ advertising is for multinational conglomerates and tech giants, who don’t care too much about ROI and just want their name ‘out there’, floating around in the subconscious of the masses.
Your time and money is much better spent getting specific with your ads. And that means keeping the copy short and sweet and providing a direct call-to-action to motivate a decision from your user.
Best practices include avoiding jargon, use ‘personal’ and inclusive language like ‘we’ (especially for returning customers), and to also be assertive when the time comes. ‘Buy now’ can sound a little harsh but you have to be clear in your intentions if you want people to do what you want them to do.
9 – A/B test
It’s unlikely your first ad will hit it out of the park.
It may take three, five – maybe even a hundred – ads before you really know what is going on.
How can we speed up this process?
The best way to do is to use what is called AB testing, or split testing.
This is where you run different versions of your ads to see what works and what doesn’t – and to also inform future campaigns.
The key here is to only change one variable at a time on each ad. If you change too many things and don’t record them correctly you’ll end up with a ton of muddled data that won’t tell you much of anything. Focus on something simple and measurable and pick a time frame that you think will provide you with enough information moving forward. Also pick a budget that will provide enough engagement and data for you to make informed decisions.
10 – Create conversion focused landing pages
So your Facebook ad was a success and you’ve beaten the odds and the person has clicked through to your website.
They’ve landed on your, um, landing page, and they are all ready to learn more about your product and – if all is well – to buy it.
But they don’t do any of that. They leave.
Often, great advertising campaigns are let down by the landing pages they deliver users to.
You might have a strong message but if your page is not set up for conversions then there isn’t much that will happen in the way of sales.
Best practices including keeping your copy specific, limiting options to click away from the offer, and to use a scrolling CTA so that it is always visible on the page. You never know when someone is going to make the decision to buy. It could be after reading the first sentence and it could be after the last. By keeping the CTA visible at all times you maximise the chance of an impulse buy.
It’s an inarguable fact – Facebook advertising works.
In the UK alone there are 39 million users of the platform – set to grow to 44 million by 2022.
With the right social media strategy and by utilising the tips above you could turn Facebook into a key revenue-generating channel for your business.
What is your number one tip for improving Facebook ad campaigns?