Of all the digital marketing tools available today, Facebook is by far the most ubiquitous and the most effective. Businesses can start advertising on Facebook with a personalized budget and can target highly specified audiences. There are 25 million small businesses on Facebook and at least 1 million of those businesses are currently advertising on the platform. With 92% of marketers utilizing Facebook ads as part of their strategy, it’s obvious this platform isn’t going anywhere. In developing your Facebook marketing strategy it’s important to ask: are you maximizing your digital marketing spend, and are you utilizing all the tools that Facebook has to offer?
Defining Your Objectives
We’ve said it before and it bears repeating: the first step in any marketing campaign is to define clear, actionable objectives. Getting new likes for your page is great, but it won’t always translate to your bottom line.
Facebook marketing tools allow you to track signups, purchases, and a variety of other events directly on your website to effectively measure the success of each campaign in real dollars as opposed to soft social signals. In order to utilize these tools, you’ll need to create a Facebook pixel and add the proper code to your site. You can find detailed instructions on how to do that here. Once the pixel is in place you can begin gathering detailed user data which brings us to our next step.
Know Your Audience
One of the most critical steps of an effective Facebook marketing strategy is to properly define your audience. With all of the information that we willingly give to Facebook each and every day, they are keenly aware of our interests, our relationship status, our educational background, and even our shopping habits. Creating a defined audience will help to boost the relevance of your ad and maximize your ad spend. Your Facebook pixel will also help you build audiences based on activity happening on your site and you can then assign “lookalike audiences” to help expand your reach to similar demographics.
Facebook itself will help you structure your audience and let you know if your conditions are too narrow or too broad. You also have the ability to exclude certain audiences, such as people who already like your page, and focus your efforts only on enticing new users to your site. You can target different audiences through different advertising sets in order to make sure each campaign is perfectly tailored to the people who will see it.
If you already advertise on Facebook, you know they have a strict set of guidelines that all businesses must follow. If Facebook were to flood everyone’s newsfeed with obtrusive ads, they would quickly be passed up for a less obnoxious platform. Because of this they do not allow more than 20% text in any advertisement (included boosted posts) and they encourage companies to create relevant, visually appealing posts. Facebook will prioritize ads that meet these conditions in your target audiences’ feeds so it’s critical that you comply. Eye-catching graphics, short videos, and interactive ads can greatly increase your conversion rate when done properly.
The Best Facebook Ad Format
While boosting a blog post is still a perfectly good way to get people to your content, Facebook has created several different ad variations to help improve the user experience while increasing CTRs and ultimately conversion rates.
As opposed to a standard 1200x628 Facebook ad, the carousel allows you to include a series of up to five images. Whether you’re showcasing a handful of products or following a brand hero through a short timeline, carousel ads provide an opportunity to tell a story in just a few seconds. And they’re highly mobile-friendly. Of the 1.49 billion people using the social media mammoth each month, 1.31 billion of them are mobile so it’s important your campaigns account for this.
Since carousel ads were introduced in 2014, they’ve already seen 30-50% lower cost per conversion and 20-30% lower CPC than single-image link ads. Targeting product-based carousels towards users who have visited your site but never made a purchase is a great way to refine your strategy.
Canvas is the next step in the evolution of carousel and was designed specifically for mobile Facebook ads. Of Facebook’s advertising revenue, 62% is now coming from mobile which should tell you something about where the most effective Facebook advertising is headed. Canvas offers a unique blend of photo, video and interactive features in an extremely appealing layout. Checkout this post to get an idea of what you can do with canvas.
As with all digital marketing platforms, A/B testing is still the best way to figure out what’s working and what’s not. Once you have your audience targeted, your creatives completed, your budget set, and your campaign ready to launch, the last step is to follow the numbers. Facebook’s internal analytics offer a good deal of insight into the performance of ad groups as well as individual creatives in each one. Check your relevancy score, manage your CTRs and CPCs, and fine-tune your campaign as needed. Utilizing UTM parameters in each of your different ads can also feed additional data into your digital analytics to help you understand your Facebook campaign as part of the bigger picture.
With low barriers to entry and high impact on customer purchasing decisions there is absolutely no reason you can’t create a highly effective Facebook marketing strategy.