Lots of marketers are asking themselves, “Do Facebook ads really work?”
From my experience managing Facebook advertising campaigns, there are a few secrets to creating effective ads on this platform that can and will drive new visitors to your website.
In this post, I’ll share some examples of great Facebook ads I’ve created for a client that drove up their website traffic by 66% during the campaign.
Here are the three most important bases to cover any time you’re launching a Facebook ad campaign:
1. Choose a compelling, well-branded image
Research tells us that internet readers are scanning–so you need a strong image that really grabs the eye (and the attention) of your target audience. A few best practices for selecting images for a Facebook ad campaign are:
Feature a product or person from your business
The human eye is drawn to aesthetically pleasing images as well as faces.
Use high-quality images
Skip the image you took with your smartphone and focus on a his-res image that’s sharp and colorful.
Relate to the copy you’ll include
The image you use should relate to the ad copy surrounding it. Make sure both words and imagery are working in tandem.
Evoke an emotional response
Make your audience laugh, cry, or say “Awwww!”
Reinforce your brand
Any time you can include your brand’s logo as a watermark, you’re reminding your audience of who’s behind the message.
2. Craft smart copy
The number of words you can use in your Facebook ad are limited, so choose them wisely. Before you start writing, address the following:
Deﬁne your objective
Decide on one objective that you want your ad to achieve. That might be website visits, app downloads, etc. Facebook will have you select your goal as step one in the process. Your copy should cleverly convince the reader to do just what you want them to.
Decide who you’re writing for
Unfortunately, you can’t be everything to everyone. Consider your ideal customer and the pain points he or she faces. Then write directly for that person.
Remove the hard sell
Ads that look and sound like ads can often be tuned out. Instead, keep a conversational tone. Make your reader laugh, cry, or reflect on a sense of nostalgia.
If selling a product, include a price when you can as it eliminates uncertainty and gives the reader a reason to act.
Put a timeframe on it
Urgency is a powerful motivator…and so is exclusivity. Encourage your reader to act immediately rather than thinking it over (and maybe talking him or herself out if it.)
Here’s an example of an extremely successful ad I created around the holidays for a client in the tourism industry.
<%= imagetag “blog/fbexamplead1.png”, class: ‘pure-img’, style: “text-align: center;margin: 20px auto;” %>
Notice how the image gives you that cozy holiday feeling? Paired with the additional imagery described in the text, the response to this ad was overwhelmingly positive.
During its run, it earned 74,000 impressions and 2,555 website clicks (a 4.48% conversion rate) and was the most successful ad in the ad set.
What was the ad’s total budget? Just $677.41. That’s $0.27 per website click.
Effective Facebook ads don’t have to cost a fortune–they just need to follow a simple formula.
3. Target wisely
This last part relates to the ins and outs of how you’ll target your ad and where it will display to Facebook users.
Define your budget
I suggest starting small with a budget of $100-$500. Then, as you get the hang of things and find out what works well for your audience, you can increase the amount slowly.
Put a timeframe on your campaign
Will it run for a week? A day? Shorter campaigns (less than two weeks) help keep your ads fresh.
Define your ideal customer
You can customize your audience based on location, gender, behaviors, interests, and more. Your main objective here is to define that ideal customer and then fill out those sections based on that persona.
Ask yourself, “What age range does my ideal customer fall in? What are his/her interests and hobbies? What’s important to him/her?” These questions will help dictate how you target. Then, think about placement.
In my experience, Facebook ads placed only on the Desktop feed and in the mobile feed are most effective. Right-sidebar placement and placement within Facebook’s extended network (outside sites) have not produced great results, so I always stick with desktop/mobile display only.
Here’s another example of an effective Facebook ad (from the same holiday ad set) that was targeted to a geographic location with the goal of selling out the event.
<%= imagetag “blog/fbexamplead2.png”, class: ‘pure-img’, style: “text-align: center;margin: 20px auto;” %>
With an even smaller budget of just $351.27, this ad that targeted an audience living within a 25 mile radius of the event sold out within the week (and earned 1,227 website clicks, too.) Again, that’s an excellent ROI (only $0.29 per website click.)
Study Your Results
Is there a secret sauce for creating Facebook ads? My answer would be yes. And, the recipe is just three simple steps. I challenge you to follow them carefully and take your time creating your next Facebook ad campaign (and see what a difference you notice.)
Is every interaction you earn going to be as good as gold? No. As with any advertising medium, you’re going to get some garbage in there. The only way you’ll discover what makes your ads most successful is to study what tweaks to these tactics resonate with your unique audience.