3 Super Simple Ways to Optimize Your Facebook Ad Campaigns
Remember when Facebook used to be a place to swap vacation photos and show your friends what you ate for dinner? Well, it still is. But it’s also become an advertising force for marketers. From 2015-2016, Facebook achieved a 50% growth in advertisers on their platform. Even though just 6% of all Facebook pages advertise on Facebook, those who do it are increasing their budgets, especially as Facebook skyrockets in popularity among mobile users.
Facebook now offers more ad options than ever before, making it simple for marketers to customize their campaigns in order to maximize ROI. Today, we will discuss three little known Facebook ad strategies that can produce positive results for any brand.
1. Facebook Custom Audiences
Per Facebook’s website, Custom Audience ads allows you to “sell to current customers [rather than] look for new ones.” It does this by procuring a customer list, sent to Facebook by you, and sending specific ads directly to your targeted individuals. It’s completely safe. Facebook encrypts any email addresses or customer names you send their way so personal data cannot get out.
Within your Custom Audience ads you can select specific targeting options such as age, location, personal interests, and gender.
Custom Audiences can be accessed through the Ad Manager in your Facebook Business account, under the Tools section. Click on “Audiences.”
After you eventually find “Create Audiences,” you’ll be prompted with a window asking what source you’d like to pull your customer data. Website traffic? Customer file? Etc.
Facebook allows MailChimp integration for accessing your customer email list. There’s also a Custom Audience Sync tool that streamlines the lead-sending process from your email list into Custom Audiences. You can also import customer information from a standard CSV file.
As soon as you’ve set your targets from your customer data, you can set a budget and place your order. Your ads will immediately serve the consumers you specified.
If your Custom Audience is fewer than 1,000 people, Facebook advises you to raise your maximum CPM bid to guarantee you’ll reach everyone in the group. As your list grows, you can update it—and should update it. There’s also a Facebook pixel you can place on your site to help you reach more users. Called Website Custom Audiences, it will recognize users who visit your site and automatically add them to the Audience you desire.
If you’re familiar with the Facebook pixel, you’ll know it can track a number of things on your site, not just specific visitor data. Events such as purchases, product searches, items added to their cart, form submissions, etc. can all be measured using the pixel. Unless you have the Facebook Conversion Pixel plug-in, talk to your developer about setting it up on your site.
Custom Audience ads can be tested using different creatives as well, helping you measure the audience response and decide whether changes are needed to your campaign.
As you can gather more data, this preciseness of targeting makes Custom Audience ads an essential weapon in your Facebook marketing arsenal.
2. Facebook Lookalike Ads
Custom Audiences give way to Lookalike Audience ads. These ads help you discover new audiences who share similar characteristics to your existing customers from your Custom Audience targeting.
To access Lookalike Audiences you’ll go your ad manager just like before. Select “Tools,” then “Audiences” and click “Create Audience.” This time, you’ll choose Lookalike Audience instead of Custom Audience, then choose an existing customer group for it.
You’ll need to have at least 100 existing customers in your source for this to work. Next, you’ll select the size of the audience you’d like to explore—the smaller the audience range, the more precise your targeting efforts will be as it will more closely resemble your source audience.
When you go to create your Lookalike ad, it will take some time to appear (anywhere from 6-24 hours). Once it’s ready, you can target your audience even further via age and location parameters.
Between Custom Audience and Lookalike Ads, Facebook is doing a lionshare of the customer acquisition work for you. They are taking your existing customer base and effectively replicating it. What more could you want from a social media platform! But wait, there’s more.
3. Facebook Dynamic Ads
If you weren’t convinced that Facebook’s ad game is fully on point these days, you don’t know about Dynamic Ads. These ads serve as automatic product promotions to people who have expressed interest on your site (either through desktop or mobile) or anywhere else on the web.
All you have to do is upload your product list and set up an initial campaign. Facebook does the rest, finding you customers that are most likely to convert.
It’s great for retargeting shoppers that may have been close to buying but didn’t for whatever reason. It’s also an effective way to bridge the gap between desktop and mobile customers, since Dynamic Ads don’t discriminate against one medium over the other.
Dynamic Ads are great for lesser known brands who are trying to get established through their product line, and they’re also great for any brand releasing new products.
Positive Results From Optimizing Successful Facebook Campaigns
When these ad strategies work together, the outcome permeates other areas of your brand.
- App Downloads
Competition across the major app stores increases year in and year out. Gaining a leg up on the competition means taking advantage of paid user acquisition—and Facebook, with it’s 2 billion users is the best platform to infiltrate. App developers are gushing over its minimal costs, leading to cheaper installs and mobile engagement.
The key to gaining app installs is by ramping up your targeting. Hone in on your audience’s demographic breakdown as well as their interests and behaviors.
Among the behaviors you can target are people who travel frequently. Could be a great demographic for your app, considering they will tend to be on their mobile devices often.
- Web Traffic
Increases in site visitors and conversions have been reported thanks to these ad strategies. Ads with images or videos can do exceptionally well, since 8 billion videos are being watched on Facebook each day.
Dynamic ads are also great for their visual nature. It turns out that showing your audience your product is better than telling them.
Brands Winning With FB Ads
We can spend all day talking up Facebook ads, but the proof is in the pudding. These brands have certainly cracked the code for maximizing their ROI on this platform.
- Little Passports
Little Passports is a growing media company that acquaints children with other cultures and people. Since diving into Facebook ads, they’ve seen a 3x growth in its customer base over just six months.
Originally a bootstrapped operation, Little Passports owes so much of its growth to their positive Facebook ad campaigns, reaching out to parents who appreciate the value in this product.
Co-founders Amy Norman and Stella Ma articulated their success this way, “Once we had Facebook conversion tracking in place and started using Custom Audiences, we saw a huge uplift in sales. Facebook Ads became ROI-positive for us, from day one!”
Today, they primarily utilize Custom and Lookalike Audiences.
Does your dog need a vacation? DogVacay pairs pet owners with dog sitters in an international “dog-boarding” community. They too used Custom and Lookalike Audiences to market their business and have seen 1.5x as many email sign-ups and twice the amount of paid customers.
DogVacay understands what dog owners are into—winning free products for their pets. They set-up a series of contests awarding winners pet supplies, dog beds, and travel supplies. Because their niche is so narrow (dogs + travel) they have been achieving huge gains through their Facebook ads.
- Megan Lang, Digital Marketing Manager, Food52
Lang says, “I’m thrilled with the results we’ve seen since launching dynamic ads. We saw a rise in conversions almost immediately after launch.”
Food52 is a kitchen, home shop and food blog offers sound advice for those looking to improve their kitchen chops. They are one of Facebook’s cornerstone success stories using ads. Since launching dynamic ads they’ve seen a 10x increase in conversions and an 8x return on ad spend. It’s not hard to see why, just look at their delicious products and enticing copy!
Which Ad Strategy Is Right For Me?
As we’ve seen in these success stories, most brands experiment with multiple ad options before determining which one or two strategies suits them best. If a Facebook campaign isn’t working, it often comes down to the targeting. Any brand running successful Facebook campaigns will tell you this, and so do Facebook themselves—as is evidenced in their robust Power Editor and Ads Manager, both encouraging brands to specifically target their consumers. Give your brand a chance for success by starting with Custom Audiences and expanding from there.
Your audience is definitely on Facebook, now it’s up to you to grab their attention.