Facebook ads are one of the very best ways of reaching highly targeted audiences quickly and effectively. The wealth of data at Facebook’s disposal, and the variety of targeting options available to advertisers, make this in utterly invaluable marketing channel. However, if you’re struggling to find your way around the platform, or if you’re not really seeing the kind of ROI that you were hoping for, then you probably need to optimise some aspects of your ads. There are many ways to do this, but we’re going to lead you through four of what we consider the most effective ways to optimise your Facebook ads.
Your image is one of the most important components of your Facebook ad. This is the first thing your audience are going to see, and it is likely to be this that determines whether the user looks closer at your ad, or ignores it altogether. Getting the right image for your ad is not an exact science, but there are a few rules of thumb you can follow to make sure you don’t get it wrong.
To begin with, make sure your colours stand out. This doesn’t mean using garish, clashing colours, but graceful and complimentary combinations, which will demand attention on the news feed, and won’t simply blend in with the Facebook blue and white colour scheme.
For similar reasons, avoid using small, difficult to read text. You want your ad to catch the user’s attention, and itty-bitty text isn’t going to do this. Large text is fine, but, again, keep in mind visual harmony at all times. One other thing to keep in mind is the image to text ratio. It used to be the case that Facebook would penalise any text covering more than 20% of the image. That rule no longer applies, but Facebook still prefers to see a preponderance of image over text. Use Facebook’s Text Overlay Tool to check if your ads are eligible to run normally.
Finally, consider using people in your images, particularly attractive, smiling women. Such images can be eye catching, inviting and even reassuring. They can also evoke positive connotations with your product. However, try to keep the image broadly related to your product and/or brand, and avoid those cheesy stock images that you see everywhere.
Delve into the Demographics
The great thing about Facebook advertising is the extensive targeting available to advertisers. Whatever the nature of your business, and the product or service you are offering, you can use demographics to target an audience who are extremely likely to engage with your ads.
For example, maybe your business wants to market to students. With Facebook ads, you can not only market to students generally, but to students of certain subjects specifically, of certain institutions, and you can even target them based on what year of study they are in. Simply navigate to demographics > education, and then explore the ‘Education Level’, ‘Field of Study’, Schools/Universities’ and ‘Undergrad Years’ drop downs.
Elsewhere, income targeting is an incredibly useful demographic to target. This allows you to filter out audiences who you know in advance are unlikely to be interested in your product or service, and to focus on those who you know will. First navigate Demographics > Financial, from this point you have the choice between either ‘Income’ or ‘Net Worth’. There is a bit more variety in the former category, with seven different income brackets to chose from, ranging from £20,000 – £24.999, to £75,000+. In the Net Worth category, however, we are limited to just two options: ‘High Affluence’ and ‘Very High Affluence’.
Use Lookalike Audiences
Lookalike audiences are a really great way to target people who share similar characteristics to customers who are already engaged with your brand. Facebook generates lookalike audiences by analysing your chosen audience, and then by modelling an audience with closely related demographics, interests and behaviours. Lookalike audiences can be based on website visitors, people who like your page, or existing customer files.
To create a lookalike audience navigate to ‘Custom Audiences’ and click ‘Create New’, this will trigger a drop down asking you to choose from ‘Custom Audience’ and Lookalike Audience’. Once you’ve clicked on the relevant drop down, you will have to enter a ‘Source’, which can be a custom audience, a conversion tracking pixel, or a Facebook Page, depending on the type of audience you want to build.
To create a lookalike audience of your existing customers you will have to upload data, in one form or another, into Facebook. You can do this by uploading a file using something like Mailchimp or Excel. However, providing you have a Facebook pixel installed on your webpage, you can choose to model a lookalike audience based people who visit specific web pages, who visit specific pages but not others, or people who haven’t visited in a certain amount of time. This will allow you to establish and target demographic patterns in your customer base, and to use this information to your advantage.
Rotate your Ads
Every ad has a shelf life, even the best, and every user will eventually grow tired of seeing the same ads, even the most patient. To combat this be sure to rotate your ads, this means your ads will stay fresh and impactful, and will ensure your audience is more likely to stay engaged and receptive to your message.
There are few hard and fast rules for ad rotation, and much of what you choose to do here will be determined by decisions you make elsewhere. The main thing you want to look out for is ‘frequency’, this is total impressions divided by reach, and amounts to the number of time the average individual has seen a specific ad. When this total hits about 6 or 7, you need to think about removing the ad, or introducing more into the rotation.
Creating rotating ads should be no more or less complicated that creating alternative copy and using alternative images. Depending on the resources at your disposal, and your advertising experience, this should be a relatively simple process. The potential rewards for this simple tweak can be great, with fresh ads promising far greater impact than those stale ads which users have seen upwards of 8 times.
Facebook advertising is a really great resource for marketers, and we hope you’ve found this blog to be helpful. If you have any questions about Facebook ads please get in touch @ClarkStJames or on 01603 343477