Facebook Ads – what’s working right now

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Facebook Ads

The dizzy world of online advertising has been shaken up quite a bit by the Covid-19 pandemic but as with all major changes this can lead to opportunities arising. Over the past few months we have seen some interesting outcomes from Facebook Ads running various campaigns for our clients. Here are a few of the insights we’ve gathered which may help you.

It’s all about targeting your Facebook Ads

As a platform Facebook and its empire (Instagram and WhatsApp being just a few) has a huge worldwide reach and audience. It also knows a heck of a lot about pretty much everyone and their habits and interests. Having all this information at your finger tips is a great resource and allows you to laser target who sees your ads.

The key though is to have something to base it all on. Do you have an outline of your ideal client? Do you know their age range and likes. If you don’t you could be at a huge disadvantage and this tends to be the biggest reason why Facebook Ads don’t work out.

If you have a client list and associated email addresses this is one source of data you can use to profile your audience. Embedding the Facebook pixel in your website to analyse who visits your site is another way to do this. Even taking time to ask your client base helps.

Once you have this you’ll know who buys from you and Facebook can show you who similar people are so you can reach more of the same.

It’s audience size that matters

Facebook Ads work using the magic of the Facebook algorithm, the code that can analyse how people act and react. This means that the larger the audience the better the results as it uses comparative data sets. In general the cost of getting someone to visit your website (cost per click or cost per landing page view) or take action on your ads will decrease the larger the audience size Facebook has to work through.

If possible try to target an audience size of over 1 million to start with. That may be very difficult for some businesses as geographic location may need to be restricted, but in general 1 million is a good audience size for the algorithm to start working through to find the prospects you need.

Sometimes it can actually pay to target a larger audience at the expense of being targeted especially when you’re right at the start of a campaign. For example there are already a lot of businesses running ads promoting a major service like kitchen renovation or bathroom installation. If you don’t know who is going to be interested in your kitchen or bathroom service but have a general idea of the age range and area then stick to those parameters and build as big an audience as possible to test out. You can then refine the audience based on who takes action.

Facebook is after your cash

I mean this in the nicest possible way but Facebook is a USA capitalist business selling you a service. Comparative tests we’ve tried over the last three months show that on a conservative £20 a day budget your ads are likely to reach around 6,000 impressions but on a slightly higher budget of £25 a day that reach rockets up to 10,000 impressions. So the extra £5 a day gets you a 66% increase in impressions.

All budgets are comparative and of course Facebook manages things according to who is prepared to pay what per day, if your competitor can pay that little bit extra then of course they’ll see the cream at the top. Facebook is very good at holding back those more profitable prospects for the advertisers willing to pay that bit more than the others.

Keep testing… and testing!

There is no perfect answer to Facebook Ads as the variables of an ad can be different every day depending on how many of your prospects are active on the platform and what your competitors are doing. This means you need to stay agile and check in on your results and stats.

Are you getting that all important 1% and higher click through rate? Is your cost per click or cost per landing page view staying consistent or dropping, or is it steadily rising? The latter may suggest your ads are running out of steam and your audience getting tired of the same messages.

It can also pay to keep an eye on the frequency, this is how many times the same people are seeing your ads, if it starts approaching 5, 6, 7 and above then it’s time to try something new.

Always start out with a number of different audiences and ad creative so you can test and whittle down to see which is the most effective. It’s not great to place all your bets on one single ad as this may skew your future data and results.

If you’re stuck for inspiration then you can always spy on your rival’s Facebook Ads in the Facebook Ads Library – here’s an article we wrote showing how to do that.

For the more advanced, set up custom conversions

A tip we picked up early on was custom conversions for Facebook Ads. These are custom actions a user may take on your landing page that your Facebook Pixel can track. One excellent custom conversion is time on page. The more time a user spends on your landing page we the more we can take a pretty accurate guess that they’re more high value than other users. Tracking that audience of users who spend longer than 30 seconds, 60 seconds etc means you can then build a look-a-like audience of the same to target more high value prospects.

If you’re not good with code then the WordPress plugin PixelMySite is an excellent addition. It allows you to set up custom conversions within seconds and communicates everything to your Facebook Business Manager account.

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