3 Practical Tips for Successful Facebook Ad Campaigns
By Ekaterina Konovalova, Senior Marketing Manager at Ascend Marketing
In the past two years, I have managed over 100 Facebook campaigns for a Fortune 100 client. These campaigns generated over 8.2 million impressions, engaged almost 57,000 people and resulted in over 38,000 website clicks. Here are three practical tips based on what I've learned that will help your own campaigns run faster and jump higher.
1. Test your landing page
As simple as it sounds, you’ll be amazed how many advertisers forget to test the landing page that your ad will point to prior to launching an ad. You can use Litmus or a similar tool to see how your page is rendering in different browsers on most popular devices.
However, don’t rely only on automated tools. Run a test yourself on your desktop, phone, and other devices to experience firsthand what happens when a person clicks on your ad. Look for page load errors and time-outs, especially on your cell phone. If you run a Website Clicks campaign, Facebook will charge you as soon as a user clicks on your ad. If it takes several seconds to load your page on the user’s cell phone, they are likely to exit prematurely. Your analytics platform (like Adobe’s SiteCatalyst or Google Analytics) might not even register that click, but you will still be charged for it. If your landing page is not mobile friendly, you can always exclude mobile traffic from your ads, but remember that over 47% of Facebook users access the network solely on mobile devices.
You should also evaluate how easy it is to navigate and spot the information you will advertise on Facebook. Is your Facebook ad offer on your landing page? Does a user need to scroll down? Do you have competing offers on the same landing page that might confuse you page visitors? Make the page as simple as possible so that it is easy for your prospective customer to take the desired action.
2. Target Your Audience Carefully
Facebook offers extensive targeting tools. You can create a very focused target like “English-speaking female cat lovers over 35 years old living in Texas” and Facebook will give you an estimate of your potential reach (which in this example is 15,000 people). The narrower the target, the harder it is to reach your prospects. It might also drive your cost up.
An alternative to Facebook’s targeting tools is a custom audience and a lookalike audience. If you have/own a quality email list you can load as a custom audience. I’ve had great success with custom audiences: I doubled verifiable traffic on my landing pages and these users expressed more desirable online behavior than users selected through general Facebook targeting who clicked on my ads.
The downside of using an email list for building a custom audience is that you rarely get a 100% match. When you load your list onto Facebook, it searches for users who link these email addresses to their accounts. If your prospects registered on Facebook with a different email address or don’t use Facebook, the system won’t be able to match it. In addition, Facebook doesn’t disclose which email addresses were matched.
Creating a lookalike audience in Facebook allows you to mimic key characteristics of your current audience so that you can expand your reach. Like other choices, the tool has some limitations; for example, if you offer services in narrow geographic areas, it can still target Facebook users outside of your service footprint.
3. Determine Optimum Frequency
Is repeat exposure good or bad? Traditional advertising schools drilled down in our brain that repeat exposure is good and you pretty much need to “hit” your audience with the same ad as many times as possible. For example, a classic study by Mike Naples, a former President of the Advertising Research Foundation, concluded that optimum exposure frequency is at least three exposures within a brand purchase cycle.
Does it apply to Facebook ads? In most cases your ad’s relevance score will go down if your frequency goes up. Relevance score is calculated based on the positive and negative feedback an ad receives from its target audience. The higher the score with ten being the highest, the better. The tipping point for an effective ad frequency on Facebook is 3.4. Facebook marketing experts suggest keeping frequency at the 1-3 level which means you should serve the same ad to the same person up to three times.
There are many ways to improve Facebook campaigns, but if you haven't included these three key tips, make sure you have them well-integrated into your process before trying anything else. They will make a big difference to your results.