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June 03, 2015

Facebook Ad Optimization

Running Facebook ads for the first time can be overwhelming, there are a ton of targeting and segmentation options that are very different from AdWords.

Most Facebook ad campaigns are misused, and in an age of copycat marketing and advertising, is shaping the future of social advertising. Creating a successful Facebook campaign can be a tedious process to get right. It requires a lot of repetitive testing on ad copy, images, and targeting. The end results can be as good, if not better than AdWords or other traditional paid advertising methods.

When you think about it, you’re pushing ads on a platform that naturally transforms your audiences attention span into that of a goldfish. Your targeting and creative has to be spot on.

There are over 890 million active Facebook users who log in at least once a day. You can direct your Facebook ads to be delivered through a number of targeting methods from location, demographics, page likes, groups, interests, etc.

Of course, just like any other method of digital advertising, just tossing together a campaign isn’t going to be very effective. Planning, targeting, placement and direction are crucial to the success of any digital advertising campaign. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it may seem. In fact running a successful Facebook campaign is pretty easy. All it takes is a bit of patience, creativity, and in some cases a tiny bit of luck. Now you may not be able to control your luck, but you should be able to control your patience and creativity to a 5th grade level. Or at least I hope so.

Let’s take luck out of the equation for this post and focus on these 5 proven ways that will help you run a better Facebook ad campaign.

1. Optimize Your Ads for Visual Performance

We’re a visual culture. We need to be able to consume our content quickly and easily. Don’t forget this when creating Facebook ads. Get visual. Get simple.

The success of any digital advertisement starts with the visual design and creative. Unlike other forms of display advertising, Facebook ads don’t have a great lifecycle which results in performance drops over time. You can overcome this by constantly switching up and testing new variations of your ads every week or so. You don’t always have to create new graphics all together, creating slight variations often will give your campaign a longer effective lifecycle.

Visual content is also incredibly engaging alongside Facebook’s evolving News Feed. Likely, your target consumers peruse the site’s main timeline where their eyes connect immediately to visual assets. Over 90 percent of transferred information is visual. Our brains are hard-wired to process visual components, so make sure your ad is dripping with dynamite content.

Facebook isn’t too restrictive in terms of image content, but your advertisement should take advantage of the platform’s natural layout. For instance, side banners will be located near app selections and even chat logs. If you think your brand could attract users logging into different app pages, place it.

2. Never Stop Testing & Creating New Ads

Like we talked about above, Facebook ads go STALE pretty fast. For example, you could have an ad that has performed incredibly for the past couple of weeks, and one day the performance drops through the floor. Remember, there are a hundreds, if not thousands of advertisers that might be targeting the same audience as you are. So once your ad has been seen a couple of times by a user with no interaction Facebook will start showing other advertisers over you. That is, until you upload new ads.

When creating Facebook ads, there are a couple of rules and guidelines that you should always follow.

People > graphics. Facebook is built around people, and ads that have real photos of people in them tend to almost always perform better than 100% graphic ads. Try to avoid overly stock looking photos if you can.

Avoid using blue. At least avoid using Facebook blue. Facebook ads, especially the sidebar ads are fairly unnoticeable as it is so it’s best if you ovoid blue to further camouflage your ad. Try using a complementary color. There is no proven method to which color to use, we always create different versions of the same ad with different color schemes to figure out which performs the best. You’d be surprised on the results, sometimes the ugly or oddball scheme is the winner!

3. Remain Relevant

Relevance is a key component of any online marketing campaign, and your Facebook advertising efforts will be futile when failing to impact users on a regular basis. Your brand needs to become a trend, and it needs to be adaptable to an evolving target audience.

Relevance is critical to Facebook advertising success. Remember: You’re spending money every time your ads are placed, depending upon pre-designed settings. If you’re ads aren’t visible enough, your audience won’t click them. You’ll be squandering money. In most situations, advertising success relies upon a want to gain information. Your users need to be attracted to relevant information.

4. Track Your Popularity

Of course, staying relevant requires…well, relevant information. You’ll need up-to-date, logistical information about your efforts to know “what’s hot” and “what’s not”. Fortunately, Facebook has launched several new features similar to the Google AdWords Ad Rank system. With it, you can receive valuable rating information about your ads, and you can receive a “relevance score” determinant on your audience’s overall access.

High scores, of course, relate to higher ad relevance. Facebook treats relevant ads well, so keeping up to date yourself can directly increase your advertisement’s visibility. See? Facebook isn’t a fickle monster. You will, however, need to do your homework, stay informed and stay active to take full advantage of the platform’s options and benefits.

5. Value, Value and More Value

People aren’t always easily enticed to click on an advertisement. However, with a valuable proposition, your advertisement will see some click-through rate increases. A value proposition informs a reader why they should click your advertisement. It reveals relevant product information alongside user benefits. Your Facebook advertisement needs to be a little more than “informative”. It needs to impress. It needs to dazzle. It needs to persuade.

Why should a viewer go to your website? What makes you different from anyone else? Getting into the consumer’s head isn’t necessarily hard, but modern Internet access has made close relationships much more profitable than ad spamming. The consumer wants to benefit, and they want to feel safe doing it. Your value proposition needs to be believable. Sure, you might have the greatest product around, but little proof garners little confidence.

What do people like? People like numbers. People like socially-validated proofs. Your Facebook advertisement needs direct, clean-cut benefits. Coupon amounts, all-time low prices, statistics and impactful information are a Facebook ad’s fuel. They’re its lifeblood and sustainability, and they’ll make sure your brand stays relevant alongside relatively stable prices, amounts and statistics.

You Facebook ad’s call-to-action must be flexible, and it should always apply to your segment market. Because Facebook is widely accessible, your ad will find its way to both your “perfect consumer” and everyone else simultaneously. Don’t alienate other market segments, but be sure to hit a home run with your target market. Beautiful, relevant advertisements have little effect without a viable call-to-action. Your viewer is important, and they may need a little urgency to get in the door.

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