Top 10 Things to Consider Before Running a Facebook Ad Campaign

Oh sure, anyone who is anyone with a business is running Facebook Ads these days but most are just “winging” it and paying for it… literally. Running an ad campaign on Facebook and/or Instagram (or other social media platforms) can be highly effective when you put a little time and effort into your planning. Below are a few tips for you to consider before you run your next ad campaign.

Every business has a unique ideal client. Today, let’s pretend that we are developing an ad campaign to get someone to shop at a local women’s clothing boutique. However, these steps can be fine-tuned to your business and ideal client, even in you are an online B2B retailer who ships products worldwide!

1)      Trust the process.

Your ideal client fast forwards through commercials. He quickly flips by the ads in his monthly magazine subscription. She is a bit distracted behind the wheel and doesn’t see the billboard with the expensive ad on it (thanks kids in the back seat!). But he DOES spend time on social media every day. In fact, there are 1.23 billion daily active users on Facebook and guess what?!… they chose to be there and actively engage!

2)      Know your ideal client.

You have the ability to target precise audiences on Facebook and Instagram. Knowing precisely who your ideal client is will help you effectively build an audience for your ads. Our example ad might focus their efforts on reaching women age 22-45 who like to shop at boutiques, have a household income of $50,000 or more, work full-time, have an interest in the latest fashion trends, and live within 25 miles of our store.

3)      Have a goal in mind.

Write down your goals followed by the steps your ideal customer would follow to get there. Now build your campaign with the end in mind. For our local boutique, our goal would be to get a customer in the door to purchase a trendy dress, jewelry and shoes for an upcoming wedding she will be attending. Let’s develop the process on how she might end up walking through the front door. First, they need to HEAR about you (Facebook ad, testimonial from a friend, or by driving by the shop). Next, they need to have an incentive or a reason to click on your ad (she has a wedding she is attending this weekend as a guest and needs a cute dress that all of her friends will want and she needs it ASAP). Your incentive may be 15% off your first purchase at the boutique. And lastly, you want to create urgency, so consider putting an expiration on the incentive. Other campaign examples you may want to consider are increasing “likes” to your page where you are actively posting and engaging with your followers, or boosting a post to your current fans and others like them in the area, having new customers download your app, or gaining attendees to an upcoming event you are hosting. Regardless, know your end goal and then build the campaign around this specific goal you have set. The interface for building your campaign will guide you through these steps.

4)      Set your budget and timeframe.

You can spend as little or as much as you want. The more you spend, the more your ad is placed in front of your custom audience. You can choose a daily amount to spend or an overall campaign amount. We typically set our budget for the entire campaign and choose our start and end time for the campaign. Facebook and Instagram both allow you to optimize the spending of your ads meaning that your ad may not be shown as often on a Monday early morning as it would on a Thursday afternoon or evening. Your budget can range from as little as $1 per day to thousands of dollars per day (our local boutique will likely not spend thousands per day but more like $10-$15 per day). A suggested place to start for a small business is to spend $300 run the ad for a month (average $10 a day). After watching your ad’s performance for 5 days and learning more about your audience, you may want to increase your budget so your ad is shown to your ideal client a few times over the course of your campaign. Your client may not see your ad the first time, so presenting it in front of her a few times will help increase your ad’s effectiveness.

5)      Split test multiple ads simultaneously.

You will want to create more than one ad to run at a time. We suggest split testing one change in your ad at a time. For example, our local boutique may run an ad to the same custom audience and offer the same discount, but split test a video ad against a carousel of 3 product images. After choosing what you will split test, run your campaign for a minimum of 5 days to watch the performance of each. After 5-7 days, take the ad that performed better and create another split test. This time, consider split testing your offer. Maybe you run an ad offering buy 2 get 1 free against the 15% off offer. Run this ad for 5 days and again watch its performance. Continue split testing over time so you can really hone in on what is working best for your business! Other examples of split testing may include (for the sake of time and space, know that there are hundreds of items that you can split test, we’ve listed just a handful of ideas here): location, age, gender, interests, those who recently visited your area, education, those who follow leaders in an industry, connections, and even behaviors. Some professional agencies, such as ours, are capable of split testing numerous ads at one time resulting in desired results more quickly as we can analyze as many as 100+ slight changes within your ads each week.

6)      Choose your photos and/or videos wisely.

Most ads do not need professional and highly staged photos or videos (this isn’t always the case… photographers or videographers might want to consider really pretty photos and Instagram ads perform better with stylized photos). Consider this, Facebook is a place where people go to often just take a mental break. They scroll through their newsfeed and images or videos that their friends posted from their smart phone catch their eye and they stop to comment. Stock-like photos and videos tend to trigger the response in their mind that says, “warning, advertisement!” and they scroll past quickly. Those images and videos that feel like real life tend to perform better in most circumstances. Try using your smart phone to capture your ad images or videos and split test them against other photos or videos that you may have had professionally taken and gauge which performs better. One thing to note, if you are placing text on an image or video, it cannot cover more than 20% of the image per Facebook guidelines.

7)      Write good ad copy.

Good images or videos will capture the attention of your ideal client. But good copy will encourage your customers to take action. Headlines are the most important part of the copy – spend some time creating attention-grabbing headlines. Also make sure to split test (as mentioned above) different headlines to see how each performs. For the rest of your ad copy, be sure to tell your custom audience why its important for them to take action. Ideas to help you build your copy include: Why should they buy from you? Why is it important for them to have your product? Why should they trust you? Why should they buy now versus later? Etc.

8)      Include a Call-to-Action.

This can be “Learn More”, “Sign Up”, “Like Page”, etc. Think about your end goal and choose your call-to-action accordingly. You don’t want to say “Shop Now” if you don’t have the ability to shop online. You might choose, “Sign Up” if you want your target customer to visit your landing page and sign up to receive your newsletters. This is another item that you can split test as you move along throughout your campaign.

9)      Choose your placement.

Do you want to run the ads in the newsfeed of Facebook or perhaps the right column, in a group, or in Messenger? Or maybe you want to have your ad only show on the Instagram newsfeed or even in Instagram stories. Developing the strategy for your ad campaign should cover where your ideal clients are spending their time so you can place the ads in in front of them. You also have other options like Audience Network which extends your ads beyond Facebook or Instagram to reach audiences on mobile apps and websites. You have the option to choose where to manually place your ads, or you can allow Facebook to choose for you based on where your ad will likely perform best. And once again, you can split test placement as an option! Our little local boutique may want to run ads everywhere that Facebook believes they will likely perform best and simultaneously split test against just Instagram newsfeed only.

10)      If feeling overwhelmed, hire a professional.

Hey, that’s us! If all of this is a little overwhelming to you, know that we are here to help. We can build, manage and run your entire ad campaign or we can sit and chat over a cup of coffee in the local coffee shop (or for those out of state, in each of our own offices, with a cup of joe in hand) to develop a strategy for you and your team to implement right away. Either way, we would love to help jump start a successful social media ad campaign for your business!

So. Many. Options. We get it, its overwhelming! However, its all of these options that make your ads so effective. There are 3 million advertisers on Facebook but most have no idea what they are doing! Following these simple steps and analyzing your data will help your ideal clients find you.

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