Facebook is one of the most effective and efficient ways for small businesses to promote their wares and generate leads.
The social media giant currently has 14 million users in Australia making it the biggest in the country so it’s the perfect place to reach a broad range of potential customers.
Many SMEs understand the need to use ads to reach their desired audience and have long been using Facebook as a promotional platform. Anyone can create a Facebook advertising campaign, but how can you optimise your ads to stand out from the crowd? The options available are tremendous in their scope and effectiveness and can be overwhelming, but we have six top tricks and tools to help you navigate the Facebook advertising maze.
1. Lookalike Audiences
Facebook has a number of targeting tools to expand your reach and one of the best is Lookalike Audiences.
When you originally set up your business on Facebook, you would have selected a core audience that you wanted to target. Lookalike Audiences expand your targets based on similar audiences this core audience, helping you diversify those seeing your ads.
You can find this information directly in the power editor under the audiences tab. There you can search for a similar set of people for your target market.
2. Utilise your email database
If you are running ads on Facebook, you need to do it in Chrome. This allows you to upload your email database directly into the power editor in order to target your custom audience.
Facebook then matches up the emails they have on file for existing users with your email list. The more matches and the larger the list, the larger your custom audience will be on Facebook. It’s great for reaching out to email subscribers who haven’t been responding to your emails recently. This is done through retargeting.
Ever noticed an ad popping up on your News Feed for a site you recently visited? You’re not imagining things, that is what is known as retargeting and it’s one of the most popular advertising tactics on Facebook.
Retargeted ads essentially track your browsing history and feed that information back to Facebook which then allows brands that you have shown interest in to advertise directly to you.
Facebook has a “pixel” you can insert onto your website which is coded to allow the social network to track its users who visit your site. Then the next time you run an ad, Facebook can use this information to drive these people back to your website.
As most businesses know, it is easier and cheaper to follow up with a current customer than to keep trying to fill the well with new customers. Retargeting helps you go after the customers you have at the moment with a lower cost per conversion.
4. Lead Ads
The most recent addition to the Facebook Ads toolkit are Lead Ads which encourage customers to provide their contact details to allow brands to reach them via other channels.
You may have seen them in your News Feed on your phone; they have a button in the bottom right that asks you to take an action like “Sign Up” or “Get Quote”.
For lazy consumers who don’t want to spend time signing up for products, this is an amazing way to cut down the pain of having to fill out your subscriber forms as Facebook will pre-fill all the information they have for the user.
While it is always important to add more subscribers to your contact list, it is especially effective during the Christmas season when spending is high and people are more likely to click on your ads. Now is the perfect time to try Lead Ads and boost your subscriber list.
5. Incorporate videos into ads
Facebook video is a growing part of content creation, in fact recent research found videos had the widest reach of any Facebook content in September.
Video produces a much higher conversion rate than text alone, so it’s a good idea to develop a well-thought out and engaging video for your Facebook ad. It can grow organically as well as through paid sources.
6. Testing Multiple Ads
One of the biggest mistakes many businesses make is not testing ads. No one knows exactly which ad will resonate with your clients the most, so it’s important to try a few options.
Create two or three different variations of the same ad and monitor their performance in the first couple of days with Facebook Page Insights to see which performs best. Alternatively, you can use Facebook Ads Manager which has tools to help your evaluation.
Testing will not only help you work out which ads perform the best but also give you a better idea of the budget you should set based on performance.
Importantly, don’t think that just because one type of ad worked well that the same approach will work for all your other ones. You need to keep testing as often as possible to ensure you are getting the best results.
About the author:
Michael Jenkins is Director for performance marketing agency Shout. Founded in 2010, Shout has built a reputation as one of Australia’s leading strategic digital marketing agencies, specialising in online strategy, corporate SEO, Google retargeting, email and conversion rate optimisation, and online reputation management.