Facebook’s advertising platform has evolved to be very complex. It takes a lot of the guesswork out of planning a successful campaign – as long as you know how to work WITH the system. We have frequent conversations with our partners at Facebook and are often briefed on tactics that most people may not know. Here are five best practices for Facebook Ads – straight from Facebook!
1. Choose an Objective that Drives Business Value
Facebook offers many different advertising objectives to help brands reach their business goals. We no longer live in a world where Facebook advertising success is only achieved by running Page Likes, Website Clicks, or Engagement campaigns. Currently, Facebook categorically offers advertising objectives that include Awareness, Consideration, and Conversions. These categories offer different ad units that are geared towards achieving different results!
= Objectives that generate interest in your product or service.
- Brand Awareness - Reach people more likely to recall your ads and increase awareness for your brand.
- Reach - Show your ad to the maximum number of people in your audience.
= Objectives that get people to start thinking about your business and look for more information about it.
- Traffic - Increase the number of visits to your website.
- Engagement - Get more people to see and engage with your post or Page.
- App Installs - Send people to an app store where they can download your app.
- Video Views - Promote videos that show behind-the-scenes footage, product launches or customer stories to raise awareness about your brand.
- Lead Generation - Collect lead information, such as email addresses, from people interested in your business.
- Messages - Get more people to have conversations with your business to generate leads, drive transactions, answer questions or offer support.
= Objectives that encourage people interested in your business to purchase or use your product or service.
- Conversions - Get more people to use your website, Facebook app, or mobile app. To track and measure conversions, use the Facebook pixel or app events.
- Catalog Sales - Show products from your catalog based on your target audience
- Store Traffic - Promote multiple business locations to people who are nearby.
Don’t be overwhelmed! There are a lot of options, however choosing the right objective that drives TRUE value for your business will make all the difference!
2. Utilize Placement Optimization
We often get asked which Facebook Ad Placements are the best. To clarify, a Facebook Ad Placement is anywhere that an ad is eligible to be served. This includes in the Facebook Feed, Instagram Feed, Stories, Audience Network, and even Messenger.
According to Facebook, the best way to run campaigns is to activate all placements. This allows the Facebook Ad platform to optimize against which placements are achieving your desired objective at the most cost-effective rate. They call this Placement Optimization. The logic here is that the more placements that you use, the more data the Facebook Ad platform has to learn from. The more it can learn, the better your campaigns can perform! Even though this is one of Facebook’s own recommended best practices for Facebook Ads, it is important to consider where YOU as the advertiser want the ads to show. For instance, ad placements on Audience Network won’t generate engagements. If you care about that metric, you might want to omit Audience Network from your efforts. We recommend going to market utilizing Placement Optimization and nurturing what performs the best!
3. Embrace Campaign Budget Optimization
Facebook Campaign Budget Optimization is a way of optimizing the way a campaign uses budget across ad sets. Typically, an advertiser would set budgets at the ad set level. However, with Campaign Budget Optimization, Facebook will continuously and automatically find the best opportunities to achieve your designated objective across your ad sets and prioritize budget to the ad sets that are performing the best. This gives you less control as an advertiser but gives the system more control to use your budget efficiently. The one thing to be cautious of here, is that if there are campaigns that you need to get a certain level of attention, you will NOT want to use Campaign Budget Optimization. You will want to set the budget at the ad set level to ensure visibility.
4. Leverage Mobile First Creative
Its no secret that social media has rapidly become a mobile first experience. Keep this in mind when it comes to creating campaigns for Facebook advertising success. Given that you can serve ads across Facebook and Instagram, you will want to make sure that your ad creative is attractive, engaging and looks great on the small screen. Consider bright visuals for banners and be sure that your video ads are under 15 seconds. Focusing on mobile first creative will allow you to activate more users into your marketing funnels at a more cost-effective rate! Make sure your ads look great on mobile!
5. Understand the Value of Broad vs. Specific Targeting
In conversations with our partners at Facebook, this best practice surprised me personally. In the past, the goal of Facebook Advertising targeting was to be as specific as possible. However, due to increased competition and the evolution of the Facebook Ad platform, being super specific in targeting can lead to more costly results. When you go with super-specific targeting, you are telling the system that you want to serve ads to a certain amount of people no matter what. The Facebook Ad system then goes after those people and you as the advertiser are battling budgets for a presumably small amount of people who are also targeted by other advertisers. This drive costs up and Facebook doesn’t have much to learn from. When you go a little broader with your targeting, Facebook has more touchpoints to learn from and will automatically optimize to serve your ad to the people in your target audience who are most likely to take your desired objective action. While doing this, the system also looks for the best use of budget in attempts to drive more results for less budget. We recommend testing this for yourself. Specific targeting always seems great but consider going a little broader when trying to stretch your budget.
Not everyone has access to a contact at Facebook, so we felt obliged to share these best practices for Facebook Ads. Give these tips a whirl and let us know how your campaigns perform! And, while you're at it, download our free social media ad budget calculator. It'll save you precious time budgeting your social media ad expenses on Facebook and beyond!