The most advanced marketers all share one huge difference that sets them apart from the crowd. It’s one thing that makes their campaigns 10 times more effective and gets them a higher ROI from the same tools, and it’s not just their creative concepts. They usually have a very clear idea of the necessary steps they must go through to cover their bases and create truly engaging Facebook Ads campaigns.
To get great results on your campaigns, optimization is the key for “lower ad costs” since there’s no way you’ll ever reach better audiences and lower your Cost-Per-Acquisition without breaking your budget if you just wing it. And with over 2 billion active users every month on Facebook, advertisers have no excuse not to find their best audience, they can pretty find much anyone!
And no, it’s not as easy as it sounds. Advertisers do to struggle when they’re trying to display their message to the right audience, prospects who’ll honestly be interested in their product or service and could easily become customers. So, this is when these tips come in handy… and why playing with metrics like recent purchasing behavior is so important.
1. Great Expectations
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way. Generally speaking, Facebook’s algorithms are already quite good at delivering your ads to those who are most likely to be interested. This is why, most of the time, the best campaign objective is usually conversions. The ultimate advertising goal in the majority of businesses is sales.
And no, this does not mean you’re not allowed to ever run campaigns solely focused on brand awareness and sharing your content. But, if you’re a sales-oriented company, making sure you optimize ad campaigns for conversions becomes fairly important since the results of the ROI will ultimately be measured by the CPA of your campaigns.
And if you are still unsure of what to optimize on your Facebook campaigns, try setting up two ad campaigns with the same offer and audiences but a different campaign objective and ad delivery optimization. Try this A/B experiment and you’ll see what works best for your ad.
2. In Search of Lost Time
Chances are you’re no 24/7 insomniac and neither is your customer, so your Facebook ads probably aren’t that relevant to your audience when they’re sleeping. But seriously, it’s highly unlikely that someone will start a free trial of your HR software in the middle of the night. So, unless you are Netflix, Apple Music, Hulu, Spotify, or any other late-night entertainment service, you’re probably just wasting your money by advertising at 3 am on a Saturday.
And that is why taking a look at your Facebook Ads reports and learning which days and hours are getting you the most conversions at the lowest cost is really important if you want to optimize your schedule. By analyzing how your ads perform at different weekdays and hours, you’ll be able to set up a custom ad delivery schedule and only show your ads to people on specific dates and times.
Now, you’ll need to forego the “Daily budget” option and go with the “Lifetime budget” to access to the custom scheduling option, but this will also allow you to decrease your Ad Frequency and therefore avoid ad fatigue, also known as people getting bored out of their minds of your ads. Just create 3 different images and arrange for them to be delivered on different weekdays while creating your own ad sets.
3. She Stoops to Conquer
A cheap cost-per-click doesn’t necessarily mean a cheap cost-per-acquisition; therefore, you must really look at the campaign’s return on investment. Selling 20 little earrings that retail for $2 USD each is not the same as selling 5 pairs at $20 USD each. So always measure the overall ROI of the campaigns to avoid getting misguided by the cost-per-view or cost-per-click because,, more often than not, they’re just vanity metrics.
And, you must always make sure that your audience is actually working in your favor when the instant articles, in-stream videos, suggested videos, or even a sponsored message on Facebook’s messenger is in the right-hand column on the desktop or mobile newsfeed, . Also, category blocking control is another important step you shouldn’t skip.
You’re probably aware that Facebook allows placements in articles and inside some networks beyond its newsfeed. What’s the problem with this? Your ads may or may not appear inside content that can be quite inappropriate for your brand or business. So, go ahead and opt out of those dating, gambling, mature or conflictive sites, and create a block list to block the pants off those domains that just waste your budget.
4. Journey to the End of the Night
Facebook automated rules can help you take advantage of your ad’s natural progression and match its journey to your campaign goals. And trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this feature. Automated rules help you manage your Facebook Ad campaigns by automatically updating them or sending you notifications when you are no longer allowed to skip it and that change what you were planning on doing.
With this feature, you can set up to four different actions to follow when the conditions you’ve determined have been met. You can automatically turn off ad campaigns, ad sets or single ads, send notifications to the ad manager (yourself), increase or decrease daily and lifetime budgets, and adjust manual bids.
Some of the basic rules most top marketers follow for each and every one of their campaigns are:
- To be notified when their ad frequency reaches 3 points (which would mean mayhem, it’d be like seeing the same commercial three times in the same commercial block)
- To turn off an ad campaign if its cost-per-acquisition starts to skyrocket (and not in a good way)
- To increase the budgets of the campaigns with what they deemed to be “the best possible results”.
5. A Star Is Born
Truly sensational, talented, top-of-the-chain marketers don’t just use Facebook’s saved audiences. Yes, they’re the easiest to create and yes, they do work wonderfully for a first approach. But, as soon as you start getting more information, it’s probably time to ditch the “only saved audiences” strategy for a more “mix and match” one. This could mean that focusing on location, interests, and demographics probably won’t be enough to get a high ROI.
Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences can help you reach out to all the past visitors of your website, pricing page, landing page, blog, and those who are already somehow familiar with your brand. The undeniable truth is that most first-time visitors to any part of your website will not become customers during that visit, so the remarketing potential is immense.
Likewise, people who abandoned their shopping cart and those who have already purchased from you are other ad groups to consider. Why? Well, because Adobe has found that in the US, 41% of overall retail revenue comes from repeat customers… though according to Totango, only 15-20% of your free trial users actually become paying customers.
But, for the love of everything that is good in this world, exclude converters from your campaign if you’re a one-payment or monthly subscription service. You don’t need to be bombarding your already-subscribed paying customers to purchase your software or service. The key to successfully retargeting on Facebook is to move people from one campaign to another as they move down the converting funnel.
And overall, you should not target your blog readers and website visitors from paid advertising with the same ads and offers. The same message rarely works for all targeted audience segments. So, if you say the same thing to everyone, most people won’t click on your Facebook ads. You should be able to deliver a relevant offer to everyone. I If someone clicked on your brand awareness campaign, they should be moved on to the next stage and not get stuck in the same one forever.
And don’t forget, it’s not enough for someone to simply visit your website. Ideally, your best audience would be people who not only visited your page recently, but who also are interested in what you sell and can afford to buy it. As we discussed above, people who are visiting your website for the first time will rarely convert during that same visit
6. One Hundred Years of Solitude
It’s all fun and games until you over-optimize and end up with an audience of 15 people. Quite honestly, even if you’re an SME, if your audience has less than 500 people it’s not worth it. And that’s just how it goes. There is a fine line between personalization and being overwhelmed. This becomes way too much work for too few rewards.
And inevitably, the first thought that came to your mind was, “But I just optimized all my Facebook campaigns!” But let me tell you, no matter how much attention you’ve put into details and how perfect you think it is, you’re definitely losing out on at least one big opportunity as a result of the way you’ve limited your ads’ reach.
The ugly truth is that if you set your ad budget too low and segment your campaign audiences into groups that are too narrow, you might end up damaging your campaigns’ reach more than personalizing and optimizing your message. So, instead of creating 10 different ad campaigns and targeting 10 similar audiences, create 2 campaigns and A/B test their content.
Because remember, if you’re too specific and spread your ads’ reach too thin, you may end up being.
7. The Diary of a Nobody
Yes, you can lose the chance to get high relevance scores by over-optimizing, but that’s not the only way you can blunder your ads’ relevance score. Much like on Google, Facebook’s ad relevance score is a 1-10 metric that tells you how relevant your Facebook ads are to their target audience. It’s also usually a brilliant indicator of your campaign’s success.
A high Facebook ad relevance score means that both your campaigns’ cost-per-click and its cost-per-acquisition will be significantly lower. Unfortunately, that also means that the lower your content’s relevance is, the higher its costs will be. Therefore, constantly monitoring your relevance score, preferably about 48 hours after you publish the ad or after it has collected around 2,000 impressions, is unquestionably very important.
If your Facebook Ads are not converting, your ads do not have the right audiences. You must find your happy medium. Forgetting to exclude customers is as easy a way to waste money as over-optimizing is since people will see unnecessary ads. So, to deal with a low relevance score, the best thing to do is pause the ad campaign and take steps to fix it. This may include changing the target audience, adding some type of engaging offer, or rewriting the copy to make it more interesting and clickable.
8. Thank Your Lucky Stars
In advertising, taking a holistic view of all the marketing campaigns is something you don’t want to ignore. In most strategies, one truth remains unaltered: Facebook is not a stand-alone resource. You can use all the data and analytics you’ve collected on multiple platforms to perform an in-depth market research that will tell you more about your audience than just how many clicks you received on a certain app.
Even with a new Facebook Page, Google Analytics can be useful to determine what types of traffic your website is attracting. These audience reports allow you to see breakdowns of demographics, interests, geographic locations and devices, which will help you start your Facebook Ad targeting by putting your best foot forward.
Using the same information on both Google Ads and Facebook Ads in a first approach, or on any other platform can help you understand what performs well at a cross-platform level and what needs to be changed. This also means that searching for ideas outside of Facebook may actually become your best friend since Google can also help you search for things like associations, brands, products, magazines, blogs, websites, and public figures. Try it out by googling categories related to your niche.
9. Much Ado About Nothing
Now this one is a mistake even some of the best advertisers make: testing out too many ad elements at once when they should be testing highly differentiated variations. Whether it’s on Facebook or Google Ads, if you want your experiment’s results to be relevant, you must gather information on clearly unique content in different variations before concluding if something is worth it or not.
To discover new engaging ad elements, you should first test out, at the most, 3 clearly different variations and find out which general theme works best. Then, you can expand on the winning settings and create some new A/B tests. This way, you’ll save time and resources by avoiding having to A/B test all your initial ideas. You may hate to hear this, but not all your split testing ideas are good, let alone gold.
And the harsh reality is that, with limited marketing budgets, you don’t have the luxury of testing out variations or an originally bad idea. You need to quickly find the ad elements that have the highest effect on click-through and conversion rates. If you don’t really know which test ideas may be the best to put at the top of your list, try to prioritize the big concepts and focus on the little nuances later.
At the end of the day, creating optimized Facebook Ads campaigns has become a staple in the day-to-day of any marketer, and really exploiting the creative and strategic expertise of your team can be quite hard when you have no time to check the copy, images, and overall strategy as much as you’d like to.
In a data-driven industry creativity needs to be based on data and, this context, AI Ad Tech Tools become the greatest allies of marketers, as they allow them to enrich their amazing ideas with AI’s inherent efficiency. Adext AI, for example, finds the best audience for any ad without taking over your strategic and creative decisions.
This Ad Tech AI solution has a 5-minutes set up process and allows its customers to actually see what it's doing in their Facebook (or Google) Ads account. With this tool every member of the team will not only see how Adext AI is supercharging the efficiency of the campaigns and increasing the conversion rates, but personalize their creatives based on the insights they can surmise from its adjustments to the different ads.