Facebook is growing bigger. As you read this, Facebook just touched the 2 billion mark and is continuing to grow. Before you know it, the social platform will be a juggernaut that’ll be ard for businesses to resist.
Facebook is also consolidating its assets, introducing a ton of new features such as Value-added Audiences (in addition to the already existing Lookalike audiences, custom audiences, and retargeting audiences that you could build) aimed to make advertising easier.
Chances are that you are looking to boost your presence on Facebook or even launch Facebook ad campaigns.
Unless your objective is business branding, reach, engagement, and video views, the best kind of ads that perform are direct lead generation focused ads such as “lead ads” and ads that try to generate leads with free giveaways, invites, eBooks, tip sheets, cheat sheets, and free webinars.
If you are looking to launch your Facebook ad campaigns, check out these fantastic Facebook ad exmaples built for generating leads that hit the ball out of the park and bring in the cash:
Adespresso is a super-tool built to help businesses and marketers use the power of A/B testing while doing Facebook ad campaigns. On top of that, Facebook ad management is also made easy thanks to Adespresso, recently acquired by HootSuite.
The folks at AdEspresso know Facebook advertising like none other. Plus, they spend thousands of dollars just trying to experiment and see what works and what doesn’t. If you are remotely interested in Facebook advertising, you should consider using Adespresso, reading their blog, or signing up for their University.
The ad in question here is in line with their fantastic sales funnel which works on giving a free eBook away (full of value) to bring in email subscribers who later nurtured to help Adespresso upsell their product or the university or both.
Did you notice how specific they get with their ads?
AppSumo knows a thing or two about marketing online. The popular “Groupon for geeks” is of unmistakable appeal and every geek who’s on their email list knows that. Or maybe self-proclaimed marketing geeks like us who use Sumo to build marketing lists also know that.
AppSumo’s Facebook ads are targeted and they usually pick their best performing products for their ads, and all them make for some of the best Facebook ad examples.
This example is for their offer on BrandYourself Premium plan, of course. One other thing you should note while we are talking about AppSumo is that you should signup for their list regardless of whether or not you’d ever buy off any of their offers.
Why, you ask?
Their email copy happens to generate millions each year. If you want to learn how to write emails that get you results, nothing teaches you better than AppSumo’s emails.
The marketing teams at Amazon spend day-in and day-out trying to optimize the heck out of their Facebook ad campaigns. In fact, there are location-specific teams working on their ad campaigns.
If you run an ecommerce business, you’ll learn a ton from just seeing what Amazon does with its Facebook Ad campaigns. There’s no usual fretting and fussing on images – simple, specific, and highly-relevant images do the trick.
No fancy verbiage either. I mean, you don’t need to hire an expensive copywriter to write “Join Amazon and Get Free two-day Shipping. 20% off Diapers and More!”
Of course, the power of Amazon’s brand helps.
With a brand name like Advertise.com, they better “advertise” right. They do a good job, of course, and they live up to their name.
It’s very appealing when things are given away for free – and anything goes. In this example, Advertise.com gives away a smashing $1000 bonus to help start your online ad campaigns for high-quality traffic at low cost.
Apart from the huge appeal of the $$$ bonus, see how they play out on the FOLM (Fear of Losing Money) here?
Nikki Elledge Brown
Nothing beats the power of free and the high appeal of education. Absolutely nothing. That explains why “free mini courses” or even “complete free courses” are so popular and they work like a charm.
Nikki’s free mini course to help you write better (and have fun doing it) is dripped each week day. In a single ad, Nikki manages to provoke you, appeal to copywriters and business owners, lays out the strength (and size) of her community and more.
You have to love the detailed (yet simple) design of the image for the Sherman Carter ad. Picking on a single product line (Assassin’s Creed) and appealing to a single target audience (choosing only men as target audience) and using power phrases such as “Absolute Must have…”, the ad is a winner alright.
As if all of that wasn’t enough, there’s also a discount to sweeten the deal. The darned thing just works.
Great products with equally awesome images always do well on facebook. InstaViral just happened to do it right. In Facebook ad example, the TeeShirt’s proposition as Limited edition says “products are getting sold faster than you can click on the ad”, price makes it clear, and the $10 off today adds more appeal. Plus, it’s targeted to women.
Women don’t resist shopping, do they?
As we determined earlier, “free” works better than great when it comes to Facebook ads. Combine that with an alreasy established and useful tool like SimilarWeb and it’s only evident that the ad would just work.
I mean, who’d resist a “free” trial for a tool that accomplishes so much.
Thanks to Sophia from HubsSpot for this heads up, NatureBox’s Facebook ad packs everything it needs to bring in its customers with a singular ad – showing exactly what comes with NatureBox. The ad tells you that you get a “free trial” and that you’d still pay $7.90 for shipping.
It’s relevant, fun, and has a clear call-to-action. No wonder the folks at HubSpot found it.
Talk elegance, utility, and again the wretched power of “free” in advertising, and you’ll appreciate what Slack does with its Facebook Advertising. Thanks to Dan Shewan of WordStream for pointing this one out.
Dan Kennedy calls it the PAS formula:
Problem – Present the problem your prospect feels (Meetings Suck) Agitation – Poke at that problem until it’s visceral problem (How it feels like when you sit in those meetings?) Solution – Present your solution to the agitated (Use slack to cut down on meetings and sit only in 25% of them)
Slack ticks off some of those boxes:
Great going there. By the way, using dark colors in Facebook ads does make ads stand out. Eh?
Which of these Facebook ad examples do you like? Tell me about it.
According to Craig Smith of Expanded Ramblings, there are more than 4 million businesses and individuals using the platform to promote campaigns. 70% of these advertisers are outside of the us and the total number of advertisers have grown by 50% between 2015 to 2016.
With an average (CTR) click through rate of 0.9%, the average cost per click being $0.64, and an average cost per thousand impressions at just about $7.29, Facebook advertising makes for a compelling case for businesses to promote their businesses, get leads, and finally make sales.
Here’s how to do your Facebook advertising right:
Setting Up The Facebook Manager
Your personal Facebook account isn’t what you should be using for your business (no matter what business you have). Keeping your personal account and business account just makes sense.
At this point, I am assuming you already have a Facebook business page. If you don’t have one, you’d have to create on (and you can create your Facebook business page from inside). Since you’d want to use Facebook for advertising, you’d also need an advertising account.
Facebook would have already have had a tab enabled with your personal account, and that doesn’t count (unless you are using Facebook to promote something personal).
The first step is to head over to https://business.facebook.com and login with your usual Facebook credentials..
After logging in, click on “business settings”. Click on this a little page icon on the left menu You’ll then find “Add a page” on the top right. If you click on it, you’ll see three options.
Claim a page
Create a page.
Depending on your situation, you’d choose one. If you already have a page out there in the wild, you’d need to claim “access” to it. If you are going to work on someone else’s page or if you are an agency or freelancer hired to work with a client, you’d need to use the “request access” button.
If you’ve never created a Facebook page before, you’d need to create a page.
Let’s say you already have a page and you need to claim it (note that you’d have to be the admin to get immediate access. If you are not the admin, you’d have to request whoever the admin is to grant you access).
Click on claim a page, type in the name of the page (or the URL of the page), it’ll show up here. Click on it, and you now have access to your page from within the Business manager.
Up next, is to follow a similar process for your Facebook Advertising account.
On the same panel you saw before in business settings, look for the little icon right under the icon for Facebook pages.
Repeat the same process we did for the business page. More often, for first time users, you’d have to create an ad account that’s in the name of your business. Go ahead, create the account, setup a payment method. You are done.
Then, add people in your team. Make sure you add yourself to the people associated with the account.
Please note that, you’d follow relevant steps to access others’ FB pages and ad accounts. When your team or clients give you access (the notifications show up in the right hand corner), those pages and ad accounts show up. After you add yourself or your team, the pages and ad accounts will show up when you login.
How to give access to Agencies or freelancers
Rule number 1: Never give out your personal login ID and password you use for FB to your team members, freelancers, or agencies.
Rule #2: Don’t forget rule #1
If you have to give Facebook business manager access to your team members, freelancers, or agencies. It’s a straightforward process. But by doing this, they have their own logins.
If it’s your team member, you are adding, go to people and add their email address so they get an invite to join your organisation here.
If you are adding freelancers, partners, or agencies, you’d need to ask for their Facebook business ID. This is where you can find the business ID.:
For the business page:
Click on your page, “assign partner”, and drop their ID here.
Follow the same process for Facebook ad account too.
Click on your page, “assign partner”, and drop their ID here. This is where you can find your business ID.
This lets your agencies or freelancers login through their own business manager accounts and they’ll be able to work with you to manage your business page or your ad account or both.
Setting Up Your Facebook Pixel
You’ll be able to create only one Facebook Pixel per business ad account. Assuming you have setup your business manager right, you’ll see “business manager” link on the top right corner, next to the FB logo.
Click, and there’s a dropdown menu. You’ll see a tab called “Pixels”. If you don’t see it, just hover on all tools and you’ll find it there.
Now, it’s time to setup your pixel
Click on Pixels, create new Pixel, give it a name, and that’s it. Your pixel is ready.
When it is ready, you’ll see a tab where it says setup pixel. You’d need to add this pixel to your website, landing pages, and anything else that belongs to your business.
This pixel is the heart of your Facebook Advertising.
Setting up the pixel on your website
You have an option of using Google tag manager or Facebook’s integrations with many platforms such as Shopify, Magento, Bigcommerce, etc. You can use those and the instructions are self-explanatory. You also have instructions, just in case you need them [https://www.facebook.com/business/help/1179210765468894 ]
If you want to install the code yourself, click on the other option, “Install code” and you’ll see two parts for the pixel.
One is the base code and the other is the event code. The base code loads on all pages (including thank you pages or other pages that your leads end up on, after they take an action). Actions can also be inline actions (like when they just click on a button, or add something to your shopping cart).
Copy the base code and install it on the section of your website’s code. If you are using HTML, you’d have to do this manually on all pages (please check with your developer).
Next pick the event code (out of 9 different options you have, pick one that makes sense for you), and paste it below the base code but NOT in the head section.
Be careful not to put this part of the code in the head section.
Next, after you loaded the pixel. Refresh your web page and come back here to check if your Pixel is firing. If you used Google Tag manager, the tag manager would also show you the status. There’s also a Facebook Pixel Helper chrome extension that you can use.
Bonus: Setting up the pixel on your Unbounce Landing pages
If you specifically use Unbounce as your landing page solution, here’s a video to show how to add a pixel to your Unbounce landing pages
Setting up Your Campaign For Facebook Advertising
You could use the default way of launching your campaign. But I generally prefer using Facebook’s power editor. The power editor has advanced features that save you time and help manage multiple clients.
You can use the normal campaign interface too. When you are ready, Facebook will automatically push you forward (like a wizard) and help you get started.
A URL to point the ads to (unless you are using Lead Ads)
Video Ads, if you are doing video ads
A series of images (if you are using Canvas)
A form that you can generate within Facebook (if you are using Lead ads)
Start with a naming convention
if you were targeting only male teens interested only in Baseball in the United States, it’ll help if you name your campaigns this way:
US | 13-19 | Baseball
Targeting working mothers between ages of 26 – 44 only in Mexico City?
US | WFHM | 26-44 | MC
Millennials in NYC?
US | Millennials | NYC
Pick a way that makes it easy for you to know what each ad, ad set, and campaign is doing. When you have a lot of campaigns running, this is a life saver.
Pre-testing Basics & Segmentation
Separating your testing elements helps you test easily and more accurately. The data you’d get is more dependable this way.
Let’s say you are targeting two countries (US and Canada): You’d then launch separate campaigns — one for US and one for Canada
Similarly, you can separate campaigns up while testing for following elements:
Countries, cities, towns, etc
Male or Female?
Aged between 30- 45 or 45-65?
Ads & landing pages
Your ads have to be in pairs (A & B)
Each landing page the ad points to exist in two variants (A & B)
The ad A should message match with a matching landing page (which itself has two variants)
The ad B should message match with landing page (which itself has two variants)
A pair of ads will look like this:
A single landing page looks like this:
Connecting it Together: AB Testing Ads & Landing pages
When it set it all up, it helps if your final ad sets are setup the following way:
Ad Set 1 (testing only ads and landing pages)
US | WFHM | 26-44 | MC — Ad A — landing page (variant A 50% traffic distribution and Variant B with 50% traffic distribution)
US | WFHM | 26-44 | MC — Ad B — landing page (variant A 50% traffic distribution and Variant B with 50% traffic distribution)
Ad Set 2 (Testing Age groups, for work at home moms)
US | WFHM | 26-44 | MC — Ad A — landing page (variant A 50% traffic distribution and Variant B with 50% traffic distribution)
US | WFHM | 45-55 | MC — Ad A — landing page (variant A 50% traffic distribution and Variant B with 50% traffic distribution)
Ad Set 3: (Testing Cities Vs All of United States)
US | WFHM | 26-44 | MC — Ad B — landing page (variant A 50% traffic distribution and Variant B with 50% traffic distribution)
US | WFHM | 26-44 | ALL —Ad B— landing page (variant A 50% traffic distribution and Variant B with 50% traffic distribution)
Run ads for long enough to get enough data to determine which of these combinations is working for you.
Getting The Sales funnels Right
Now, many clients I work with also insist on “selling” right away. Like, from ad to ecommerce product page. Then, they sit and wait for sales to happen.
It’s not going to happen.
Even if it does, it’s going to be “luck”. You don’t want luck, right? You want sustainability. You want to make sure that you put in a dollar in and get a dollar out.
So, there are only three things you need to do when you do Facebook advertising for maximum conversions:
1. Always give a high-value but zero friction offer first.
2. Start with a low budget, as low as you can (because you can see how much you’d have to test)
3. Use variants, combinations, optimisation, and testing to find out winners.
The typical approach of hungry joe: Ad — Sales Page
The funnel should have an Ad — landing page with an offer — lead signs up — use automation to nurture leads — make a sale — then sell again and again
Your sales funnel should typically look something like this, changing only according to the nature of your actual offers and the resulting sequence of events.
Remember this, and skip the sales funnel at your own peril.
Don’t tell me you haven’t been warned.
The key is Conversions; Not Traffic
Most people obsess about traffic. Really, traffic is meaningless if it doesn’t convert. For your Facebook advertising efforts, all that money you just threw on the campaign would mean nothing if your campaigns don’t bring in conversions.
Let’s do some numbers here with the assumption that you spend $5 per day on FB advertising, and we ran the campaign for a week. Also, let’s assume each lead you get is worth $2 for you.
You didn’t spend more. But you now have almost 100% more leads just because you use A/B testing, variants, and you can afford to be patient enough since you have a low budget for advertising.
When you find your champions, you can step on the throttle and spend more. To start with, this is what you should ideally do.
Using Audience Insights on Facebook
Even if you weren’t going to do Facebook Advertising, you’ll do well to visit the Audience Insights section within your Facebook business manager. You should definitely do this if you are looking to launch campaigns.
It’s amazing how much data Facebook has on ever user, and you can put that to use to plan and execute your campaigns. Slice and dice the data available to make smart decisions about how you’ll approach your campaign:
Here’s how Audience Insights in Facebook looks like:
Thanks to Facebook, never before in history was it ever possible to zoom in on the exact prospects you are looking for as customers or clients. You can get as broad as you like to as narrow as you like with Facebook’s audiences. If you think about it, the opportunities available can give you sleepless nights.
Depending on your business, you could go down your targeting like this:
Skins & Cases for Apple products, only for working millennials in Malaysia.
Beauty products for new and expecting mothers, aged between 30 – 44, with an average salary of $6000 per month or Household income of $9000 per month, living in New York.
A social Media Management tool precisely for people who hate HootSuite.
A complete, marketing automation tool for people who hate both InfusionSoft and OntraPort.
Custom-umbrellas for college going teens in India.
See how granular you can get and how deep you can go?
Targeting Audiences on Facebook
If you launch a campaign targeting your audiences, that’s only side of the story as far as Facebook is concerned. You also have advanced audiences options on Facebook such as custom audiences and lookalike audiences.
Custom Audiences: strong>
If you already have a huge list of prospects (or even if it’s a tiny list) — and not customers — you can upload this list to Facebook to target only your prospects (who also happen to be your email subscribers).
You can have Facebook profile and seek complete strangers — within the parameters of the campaign — that are very similar to your existing audiences (Maybe you’ve reached them all during your previous campaigns, your existing list of potential customers, or even your customers).
Everyday, you already have people visiting your website and/or landing pages. More than 80% of them leave without doing anything on your website (for whatever reason).
These people know you. They visited you. It’s just that they didn’t take any action that’s favourable to you.
By adding the pixel to your website and your landing pages, you can grow this audience too. When you are ready, you can launch campaigns targeting only these previous visitors.
It’s called Retargeting and it works like a charm.
Now, that I mentioned landing pages, let me say it again: don’t launch Facebook Ads (or any ads) or even ever put a link anywhere when you are asking for something without landing pages.
It’s called distraction.
If I visit your website, there’s a lot of distraction there. There’s about page, contact page, the blog, and all the fancy pop-ups we have on our websites. If you paid for the click, you want visitors to take action and become leads.
When the average attention span of your visitor is at an all-time low, why do you want to distract?
Landing pages help you put up a page that has one job to do: to help visitors take action.
The usual site wide conversion for a website is around 1.95%. Well built, conversion centric Landing pages convert at 30% or even 50%. You tell me. What kind of a conversion rate do you need?
You can use any of the following for landing pages:
It doesn’t matter which one you use. What matters is that you do.
Funnels & Automation
Most people don’t buy the day they land on your website or on your landing pages. That’s why you need landing pages to get your leads first. From that moment on, you’ll nurture leads systematically, strategically, and carefully. You don’t want to be pushy or sales.
Yet, you don’t want to continue sending them emails like you email your friends. You still have to ask for the sale.
If you did this manually, you’d never be able to run your business. Plus, there’s no fun in this drudgery, right?
That’s why you’d set up funnels and automation.
So, you are a financial consultant for men between ages 28 to 45. Your offer for the Facebook ad was to have them download an eBook on personal finance tips. They signed up. They got the eBook.
They are in the funnel.
Now, you’d send out emails with more information about personal finance — more tips, more insights, research you gathered, and more. The fourth or the 5th email will have a link to your paid membership site for them to signup to get access to video courses, a private community of like-minded people, and an entire library of tips and methods to make them pros at managing their personal finance and grow wealthy.
Now, that’s a funnel. That’s how you move people from cold & curious visitors to lifelong buyers of your product.
Landing pages are only a part of the funnel. You’ll need email marketing automation (auto responders) to complete the funnel.
Facebook has all the reporting you’d need. If you want even better, you can use a tool like AdEspresso that not only helps you setup, launch, and manage your Facebook ads but also gives you analytics for your campaigns.
When you finally get everything right, and as your campaign is live, your campaign dashboard will look like this:
Assuming your pixel is firing, and that you’ve added the Facebook pixels right, you’ll also be able to see conversions and results that you seek.
If your business has a Facebook Business Mange (which you mostly should) and if you have anything to do with Facebook Advertising for your business, you should use your Facebook Business Manager.
It’s built for businesses so why won’t you?
Let’s address the “Why” first: Facebook launched “Business Manager” to separate your personal Facebook account from the one you might (or maybe you already are) use for your business.
My personal Facebook account has a way for me to launch adverts, ads, and to boost posts. But I’d do that only if I wanted to exchange my cat for your dog. Or maybe sell my old, rattling car.
For business, I’d use a separate advertising account (with a dedicated payment method). Since I run an agency, I’d also connect my business manager with Facebook pages and Facebook Ad accounts for every client so that I manage pages and campaigns by just logging into my business manager account.
This is how it’s done. I don’t care if you think it’s too much work or if you don’t like Facebook’s blue color.
Setup Your Business Manager Account
Most business owners are still managing their Facebook pages by logging into Facebook as they usually do. Also, they still use their personal advert account (this one comes by default with every Facebook account) for running their Facebook Ad campaigns. Just because you have a personal Facebook account, it doesn’t mean business manager is setup.
You’d have to do it (and maybe all it takes is to sign in). There are three specific things you’d need to do to ensure you setup your Facebook business manager account right.
Setup your Business Manager Account
Create a page or claim a page (You’d request access to a page – as a page admin — if you are a freelancer or an agency so that you can work for your clients).
Create or claim your ad account (You’d request access to an ad account – as an account advertiser — if you are a freelancer or an agency so that you can work for your clients).
Step 2: If you haven’t created a page for your business, you can do it. If you already created a page, you should claim your Facebook Business Page by entering your Facebook business page URL (You’ll be automatically accepted if you are the admin of the page).
If you are an agency, request your clients to give you “Facebook Page Admin” access.
Step 3: Create or claim your Facebook ad account for your business. When you create your new Facebook Ad account, give it your business name and add a payment method to your account.
If you are an agency, request your clients to give you “Facebook Advertiser” access and not “admin”
Give yourself (and others) Access
You aren’t done yet.
Once you create or claim your Facebook business pages and accounts, you’d need to assign yourself to both your Facebook business page and to your ad account (if you have to) from within your business manager account.
For each asset (like a business page and the ad account), click on the icon on the extreme left within “business settings”, find your page and/or ad account, and assign yourself.
This is how it’d look like:
When you assign yourself or your team to a business page
When you assign yourself or your team to your business ad account:
Once you are done, refresh and you’d see admin level access to your business page and your business ad account after logging in.
For agencies (like ours), we’ll be able to see an entire list of all pages and ad accounts that you manage for your clients.
Using business manager for Facebook is mandatory. Plus, it’s efficient, easy to access, and separates your business pages and accounts from those that you’d use personally.
Was this helpful for you? Please let me know how it goes for you.
There are 4 million advertisers on Facebook, at the time of this writing.
70% of the total number of advertisers come from outside of United States. The number of Facebook Advertisers have grown by 50% between 2015-2016.
With the average clickthrough rate of 0.9% and the average cost per click of $0.64, the social media behemoth still makes for a fantastic platform for marketing.
That was easy enough.
The hard part is to figure out how to do Facebook advertising right. We believe that Facebook advertising is never a “set it and forget it” case.
There are 10 specific, mandated steps you’d need to take for your business to be profitable. Your ROI and Facebook advertising success will depend on it.
Even if you don’t believe, like, or care, do follow these steps:
Don’t drive Traffic To a Pay Wall
Over the last several weeks, plenty of people approached us for help with Facebook advertising.
I see a trend.
Ads point to landing pages or website pages with a pay wall of some sort. The offer is a direct “purchase” proposition.
I guarantee that if you put up a landing page “without” the need for your incoming traffic to commit to something as “final” as a purchase, you’d do better.
Never drive traffic to a shopping cart page, a product page, or a landing page with a “Buy Now” button on it.
This is not how Facebook Ads work. I am not saying sales won’t happen. They just might. It’s just that you are sacrificing short-term gains for long-term, perpetual gains.
Drive Traffic to a Value Offering
If you build, they won’t come. Facebook ads can reach a lot of people very quickly across the geographic area you target.
The best way to capitalize the incoming traffic from Facebook ads is to give away something of value to your visitors.
You can give any of the following away for free (this isn’t an exhaustive list), depending on your business:
2. Cheat sheets
4. Templates of some sort
5. A curated guide
6. Ebooks, reports, and Whitepapers
7. Consultation calls
8. Auditing Offer
9. Exclusive videos, podcasts, or private infographics
10. Lesson samples
11. Chapter samples (for books)
12. Free trials
13. Free access to a membership area
If what you give away is valuable enough, this is a low-commitment point of entry for your potential customers to get into the funnel.
As Dharmesh Shah of HubSpot puts it nicely,
“No one wakes up one fine morning hoping to be in your pipeline”
This is the big wide mouth of your funnel.
Make ingress easy.
Keep it that way.
Send Strategic Drip emails, Followed By Offers
As visitors sign up for one of your value offerings, free trials, or whatever it is that you give away, they are now a part of your funnel.
Prepare to nurture your leads. Segment visitors according to their they activity, source of signups, age, date of signup, etc. — this helps you to fine tune your email messages later giving you enough data to personalise and target your customers.
Out of the entire set of emails and autoresponders you plan to send, only 1 out of 5 emails should contain a pitch for making actual sale offers.
For instance, if you had a single list and a single offer to make (and we assume that your transaction is complete for that customer, for life):
Facebook’s audience targeting features are extraordinary.
No one else in the industry has got that wealth of information, down to detail. At least, not to the extent that Facebook does.
Your first step, even before you think of campaigns, is to think of your ideal customer ( note that it’s “ideal” and not “absolutely anyone will do”).
Here’s an example of a customer persona we could use for our own Facebook ad campaigns:
John — a male entrepreneur 34 to 48 years old is the founder of a startup in New York, United States. He primary goal is to help grow his bootstrapped startup, to enhance his branding, and to grow his business. He is a devout Christian, attends Sunday church, takes his family out to dine in downtown NY on the weekends.
When John isn’t working, he consumes books by the dozen, travels the world backpacking, and is a self-declared foodie, with a special liking for Southeast Asian street food.
When you get down to business on the campaigns set up front, Facebook allows you to target exactly who you want to — down to the detail about John being a foodie who trips over himself for Southeast Asian food.
Miss this crucial aspect of Facebook ad campaign and you’ll shoot in the big blue of Facebook’s audiences (as against dark).
Build Facebook Retargeting Audiences, In Advance
Ideally, you should start building your Facebook Audiences and Retargeting audiences even before you actually think of Facebook advertising and/or retargeting.
Since 80% of your visitors visit your landing pages or websites or both and leave, never to return again, you’d need to retarget.
When you do it right, retargeting ROI is almost always positive. Reportedly, even cases of 1,284% and even 7,425% ROI is possible.
At this point, it’s not about whether or not you want to do retargeting.
Building a targeted audience “primed up” for your retargeting campaigns (when you are ready, of course) is a no-brainer though.
Budget for Campaigns & Duration
“I can do $2500 per month for Facebook, what do I get?”
“We can easily start with $5500 per month”
I’ve seen some businesses pegging their ad budgets with their “ego”.
There’s no minimum spend on Facebook (or Google Adwords)
You should always, always start small
Starting small is critical because it allows you to run for longer durations, which you need
Small budgets also help you do A/B testing — there are a million things to test, even if we just settle or 10-15 things to do A/B testing on.
Run campaigns long enough for you get enough sample size to make decisions based on the data you acquire.
Start small, play out the campaign for a reasonable period of time, and continue test everything while the campaign is on.
Ads & landing pages
Work hard to create simple, great looking ads. More importantly, build relevant ads. Focus on making an offer (Point 1 above) and that’s about it.
Each ad must point to a message matching landing page.
Ad Copy: Get 30% off Landing page Copy: Get 30% off
The message on your ad must match what you promise on the landing page. It’s the rule of congruency.
For this reason, you’d need a tool that helps you build as many landing pages as you like, and in the shortest time possible.
That’s why I always recommend Unbounce (This is the landing page builder we use). You can also work with:
No HTML landing pages, ever. I don’t care what you think.
Facebook Ads A/B testing, explained
“We don’t need A/B testing”
“A/B testing? We don’t have budget for that”
Ever heard this? I did. More than my share.
No one cares whether you “like”, “believe”, or even “understand” what A/B testing is.
You’ll, for sure, care about thousands of dollars being spent and you don’t even know if you are making a profit out of it.
A/B testing is about splitting websites, ads, landing pages, email subject lines, email copy, buttons, calls to action, and other elements to see which variant wins over another.
A wins over B
Remove B, Focus on A and add another variant C
Launch Retargeting: No the same as regular campaigns
Hopefully, you’ve built up a sizeable audience before (point 3) and you are ready and primed enough to launch campaigns specifically targeted to visitors who visit (or visited) your landing pages or websites or both.
People who visited but didn’t convert.
Visitors who just left without signing up for your offer.
You spent money to get those visitors in the first place. You ought to get them back.
Plus, they were interested. Maybe they weren’t ready yet.
Retargeting campaigns, however, aren’t the same as regular campaigns.
You’d need to put a little more into your retargeting campaigns than you’d normally do for regular campaigns.
Entice them with strong, relevant, and timely offers.
Your “Get 10% OFF” offer (regular campaign) didn’t cut it; so do retargeting with a 20% OFF offer.
We have clients who come to us repeatedly with a singular question:
“My Facebook ads were rejected. Can you help?”
Of course, we can help.
Just not in a way you’d expect.
I mean, we are not going to take the same campaign, wave our magic wand, and Facebook is like, “Oh, it’s you? Please run your campaigns, we don’t care”.
Plus, we don’t exploit, manipulate, or do anything that’s not on Facebook’s good books. we follow good marketing ethics and we’d advise you to do so.
In some cases, your business might be really genuine. Except that it falls into the thin line of contention with Facebook’s ad policies. In that case:
Know your Niche
Facebook has clear policies with respect to what kind of ads they allow, and what they don’t. Some niches are just not allowed. For instance, anything sexual, religious, and anything inflammatory.
You can read the policies page here and there are no workarounds for circumventing those policies. If you do decide to go ahead and launch, your Facebook ads will be rejected.
If your business falls into any of the listed products or services, you’d not be able to promote your business on Facebook.
A few businesses can, of course, advertise on Facebook if you can get an approval from them prior to launching your campaigns.
Note: Despite everything, your business might just not qualify to advertise on Facebook. Take heart, there are many other ways to advertise.
So What If my Facebook ads are rejected? (& Even if You Are Allowed)
It’s a blessing that you shouldn’t be advertising directly on Facebook with just an ad. It’s good if you are on the disallowed list.
You’d be better off taking the indirect route to market your products or services on Facebook.
Let’s take the example of a Tax Consulting Consulting firm or a self-employed tax consultant who wants to run Facebook Campaigns.
Instead of putting up ads directly advertising yourself as such. Do this:
1. Set up a landing page that gives away a free tax preparation checklist.
2. People who click through your Facebook ad signup for your checklist.
3. They are now a part of your list.
4. Use email marketing automation to nurture this list.
Need numbers to prove how that’s a better strategy?
Assume that you are a tax consultant.
Scenario 1: You run ads on Facebook (assuming you are allowed to). Let’s assume a simple case where people visit and they buy directly.
Your conversion rate is 3%.
Your ticket size for a comprehensive tax consulting package (one-time) is $400.
If 100 people visit your website, only 3 will buy.
Total sales = $1200.
Scenario 2: Instead of selling anything at all, you send Facebook users to a landing page and you give away something for free.
So, you are a tax consultant and you have a simple checklist for preparing for taxes. For a free tax guide download, the conversion rate could be as high as 36% (Our usual conversion rates for landing pages for free giveaways).
See, what happens now:
100 people visit your website and at least 36 people signup for your simple tax preparation checklist.
If you nurture those 36 people by first sending them the tax checklist they requested, and then sending in more exclusive information by emails such as:
3 Simple Tax Mistakes Every Employee Invariably does
How You can Save $12,354 each year with 7 simple changes
What You didn’t Know Can Bite Your Wallet Off
The fourth email could have a simple offer announcing 30% off on your usual fees.
Considering your conversion rate to be at least 40% out of the 36 subscribers you have on your list now, this is how it looks:
36 x 40% = 14 (approx) x $280 (30% off on your fees) = $3920
That’s about 226% increase in your income by deliberately slowing the process by nurturing leads with email marketing, rather than direct selling (as in scenario 1).
Now, tax consulting services or products might or might not be rejected by Facebook, and that’s not the point.
The point is that you can get creative and think of a better way to reach out to your prospective customers on Facebook, and it doesn’t have to be direct.
For instance, here are a few prohibited ads on Facebook and how you can work around this (Using similar examples above):
1. Multi-level Marketing? — A 10-Page “Why Entrepreneurship?” report.
2. Weight Loss? — A Recipe Collection with Healthy Breakfast options? A List Of Proven Everyday Exercises for Better Metabolism?
3. Loans of any kind? — A Guide to Efficient Personal Financial Management.
Get the drift?
Bonus: Content Marketing + Facebook Ads = Success
You ought to stop thinking of PPC channels as places where you run ads.
Advertisements are inefficient by themselves. This applies to Google Adwords, LinkedIn Ads, & Twitter Cards too.
You need context, relevance, and give more information for your customers to allow them to buy from you.
Consider this: your friend has a huge problem with filing and paying taxes. He knows you are the expert (because his wife told him so).
He waits for a while (maybe until the time comes for him to pay tax again) and then reaches out to you for help.
You charge $120 per hour. He happily agrees to pay. You deliver.
End of transaction.
What if you could amplify the part where “his wife told him to reach to you since she knew you were expert”?
How about changing the equation to something like a hundred people tell another 100 or so that you are the best at what you do?
People reach out to avail your services or buy your products when:
They periodically read what you have to write or say. Or maybe they are tuned into your podcast. Or perhaps they subscribe to your video channel.
They can see what’ve done in the past.
They believe you are who you say you are
They have social proof nudging them to believe that you are worth every penny you charge.
Facebook ads allow you amplify your reach to people looking for help with taxes.
But that’s all that the ads can do.
The trouble with your Facebook ads is that there’s nothing in that ad to convince people of all those points out there, except the big fat promise you are making.
You’d need more to connect the dots, to invoke trust, and to prepare them to buy from you.
Connect those ads with the Inbound marketing setup (as explained above), lead with information, give value up front, and try to help them out as well as you would if they actually paid you, and you are setting yourself up for long-term success.
Facebook is the newest, in-demand destination in town. Lately, there’s been a lot of action on the ad inventory side and Facebook has been trying to do what it can to compete in the extremely competitive ad land scape.
You can’t even put Facebook out of any kind of a media buying plan or off a set of marketing channels you’d consider. According to eMarketer
Facebook’s ad revenues grew 59.9% last year, to $3.13 billion. (Facebook combines Western Europe and certain countries in Eastern and Central Europe into one region for its revenue reporting, but it can be assumed that the bulk comes from countries that would be considered part of Western Europe.)
By comparison, ad revenues grew 66.6% in North America last year, to $5.29 billion, according to Facebook.
Facebook is a behemoth. It’s huge, and it’s growing while you are reading this. While it was originally assumed that Facebook best works for B2C companies, an increasing onslaught of B2B ads indicate just one thing: Everyone, entrepreneurs or not, is on Facebook. If they aren’t, they’ll soon be.
As such, your ad campaigns on Facebook work have this ever-increasing pressure to perform. Having worked with many clients before, here’s what I’ve come to realize:
The Basics: Put them all in Place
Rule #1: Start with at least one pair of ads (this is for testing).
Rule #2: Each of the ad variants should point to a matching landing page (I Know Oli Gardner is going to love this one)
Rule #3: There has to be a workflow (also called as a lead nurturing workflow) that takes your leads in, organizes contacts, triggers a lead nurturing sequence (email marketing or auto-responders).
Sales might or might not happen immediately. Your workflow, however, should immediately get into motion.
Employ A/B testing
Whether our clients understand it or not, or whether they appreciate it or not, all of our Facebook ad campaigns run with a major emphasis on testing.
We test everything — from target audiences to gender; from geographic locales to offers. Of course, we also test ads, landing pages, and more. We do this continuously (with as much data as possible).
Why, you ask?
Because you won’t know a thing until you test. You aren’t sure if your ad is the best you could ever have. You can’t take conversion rates for granted. Testing is the only way to inch towards champion ads, winning landing pages, and superior conversion rates.
Ad campaigns don’t work off a Silo
So, you’d setup your Business Account on Facebook, launch a couple of ads, and run your campaign laser-targeted to a geo. That’s nice, but your ad campaigns won’t work in a silo. Although Organic reach of Facebook updates is rapidly declining (for obvious reasons), you’d still need updates on your Facebook Business Page. This is where those precious lessons from Seth Godin on Why You Should build a Tribe kick in.
To start with, here are a few tips from Yoav Vilner of Social Media Examiner on how to build a community on Facebook.
Your ad campaigns (and your entire business) will need some kind of presence behind the ads. You’ll need context. You’d need more than just an ad to convince your customers.
You don’t have a community yet
If you thought you were on the right path to build a community, let’s take a reality check. See our own Facebook page here and you’ll realize that most people who “like” our page aren’t responsive at all. They just liked it, and they forgot about it.
“After all, there’s X amount of likers, followers, subscribers, doers’, doubters, troublemakers and everything in between, who are communicating in the group. However with most brand pages, this environment is actually fostering a false sense of community.”
She further explains that most Facebook pages are one-sided conversations, and are hungry for engagement. Facebook users don’t interact much with the content, and more.
Build real communities. Do what you can to focus your efforts on solving problems for these communities.
Start with a small Budget
As with any kind of PPC Advertising, start your campaigns off on a small budget that you can afford to test with.
You’d need enough data (and the focus isn’t really on results, although that’ll happen too) to make your A/B testing work. Once you determine a working combination of targeting, ads,and landing pages, you can always scale up your campaigns later.
How are your Facebook ad campaigns going? Do share your experiences with us?