If you’ve been looking for comprehensive information on how to optimize Facebook ads, you’re in the right place.
The first step in optimizing Facebook ads is setting them up correctly. The next is to refine your strategy through testing and tracking. Facebook’s ad algorithms do the bulk of the optimization work through its sophisticated ad auction system. Your role is to position your ad campaigns strategically.
Facebook is one of the biggest online advertising platforms, with more than three million companies worldwide present on its platform. In its fourth quarter 2019 earnings report, Facebook generated $21.08 billion in revenue, with ads as its biggest income source. This shows that social media advertising — particularly on Facebook — is indispensable to modern digital marketing.
Some of Facebook’s top advertisers are Procter & Gamble, Walmart and Microsoft. In 2018, these brands collectively contributed more than $550 million to Facebook in ad spend. Facebook has, on average, 1.79 billion users logging on daily and it’s one of many reasons advertisers are investing in marketing across the platform.
Another major reason is that because of the growing amount of users on Facebook, the social media giant is able to collect unmatched quantitative and qualitative consumer data that enables the hyper-targeting capacity of the Facebook Ads Manager. If you think about the specific characteristics of your ideal customer, it’s highly likely that you can deliver an ad to someone who fits that exact profile.
You don’t need to be a multi-million dollar company to successfully advertise on Facebook. However, without an experienced Facebook ads team, it’s tougher for smaller brands to reach their ad potential. For instance, a common mistake many advertising beginners run into is boosting a post instead of creating an ad. Boosting is a quick way to pay for a broader reach on your existing Facebook post with just a few clicks. However, many small businesses aren’t aware that those same resources would be better off spent running a highly-targeted and purposeful ad on the Facebook Ads Manager.
Facebook’s algorithms are designed for ad success, but your brand will only benefit if you know how to optimize your campaigns and it’ll go a long way to seek expert advice.
Optimize your Facebook ads like a pro by:
• Understanding the key metrics
• Selecting the right ad objective
• Defining your target audience
• Designing and testing your ads
• Tracking and optimizing your campaigns
• Creating a retargeting strategy
• Let’s take a deeper look at these optimization tactics.
Understand The Key Metrics
To optimize Facebook ads means taking a data-driven approach in improving your campaign results. You need to master the critical metrics to correctly assess your ad performance and determine if your advertising efforts are working towards your big-picture business goals.
These key metrics serve as benchmarks in analyzing your campaign performance:
A conversion is when your target audience interacts with your ad and clicks through to its call-to-action (CTA). If your desired action is a website visit, you will count the conversion if a user visited your site because of your ad. Conversion rate optimization (CRO) is key for every element of your website, but especially your ads.
Frequency is the estimated number of times a single user sees your ad, calculated by dividing the number of impressions by ad reach. This helps gauge how effective your targeting is and to avoid showing an ad to the same person too often.
3. Cost per Click (CPC) and Click Through Rate (CTR)
CTR is the percentage of users who click on your ad, taking them to the form or landing page attached to it. When your CTR is low, it can mean that a large number of people are uninterested in your ads. CPC tells you the actual cost of an average click — the metric advertisers aim to keep as low as possible.
4. Cost per Action (CPA)
CPA allows advertisers to pay only for specific actions taken from the Facebook ad. For example, an app company is not interested in knowing its cost per click but is interested in its cost per app install. Facebook offers flexibility in CPA tracking and billing.
5. Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
Conversion value is the equivalent revenue your business earns for every conversion. ROAS is the total conversion value divided by your advertising costs. Having many ads that successfully convert will reflect a high ROAS for your brand.
Select the Right Ad Objective
Before going deeper into optimizing Facebook ads, it’s essential to grasp Facebook’s ad structure first. The first layer of ad creation is setting up the campaign and choosing your campaign objective from a standard list. This objective will determine Facebook’s optimized delivery of the ad sets you create within your campaign.
Here are the 11 ad objectives grouped according to the stages in your marketing funnel:
Stages in Your Marketing Funnel
Campaigns under the awareness objective are mostly for new brands or businesses expanding to a new location. You would select brand awareness or reach as objectives if your goal is to generate interest and make your brand familiar to a larger audience.
The consideration objectives are targeted towards enticing your audience to engage with you and learn more about your brand. For example, the lead generation objective enables you to create unique Facebook lead ads with a built-in lead-capture form.
When your target audience is already in your lead pool, your desired action is to convert them into a paying customer. The conversion objective allows you to select between a website, application, Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp as the destination to track conversions on your ad.
Define Your Target Audience
Your campaign is set on a single objective but you must customize exactly who sees your ads.
Each of your campaigns have a single objective, but you must specify every audience segment you are trying to target to better align your communication strategy. So, it’s a good idea to spend time customizing your audience for each campaign.
You can optimize Facebook ads so that multiple ad sets cater to your different target markets under your campaign umbrella. For example, a new fitness app company would run a general brand awareness ad campaign and would promote the app to busy young professionals while taking another approach for stay-at-home moms. Your ad set creation starts with clearly defining the audience the ad will appeal to.
To create a Facebook audience, you include your ideal customers’ characteristics and users who fit this profile become part of who sees your ad. Similarly, adding exclusion parameters is crucial to keeping your ad spend to a minimum by preventing audience overlap. For instance, if you’re targeting a specific set of website visitors in one ad set, make sure to exclude them in all other audiences under the same campaign.
To optimize further using exclusion parameters, there are general types of audiences you must exclude such as your company employees, job seekers and non-engaged visitors. The key to saving on your ad budget is assessing all audiences your specific ads will not benefit and exclude them by creating custom audience lists.
For example, in a new app installation campaign, you would create a custom audience of users who have already installed the app, then indicate this under audiences to exclude. You can optimize every audience for every ad you create by testing out several versions and reviewing your campaign data to see which generates the most leads and sales. You have the option to save and label this audience for future use.
Here are the ways to define your Facebook ads target audience:
You can set parameters for your audience’s location, age and gender while keeping in mind Facebook’s strict anti-discrimination policies. Facebook provides a panel to view estimated results and making changes under demographics often reflects substantial changes in ad reach estimations.
• Detailed Targeting
Because of the depth of personal data on Facebook, its algorithms know the users’ interests and behaviors. For instance, Facebook can identify sports fans or pet lovers. Any trusted Facebook ads agency would advise you to target one interest group at a time to help you assess your campaign performance better.
• Custom Audiences
You can target users who have previously interacted with your brand by selecting custom audiences. Facebook records this through its tracking tool, the Facebook Pixel. This is relevant to retargeting campaigns focused on your audiences most likely to convert.
Design and Test Your Ads
Every element of your ad has an impact and even slight differences in the way you set up your ad can impact its performance. Using targeted keywords in your headlines keeps your content relevant to your audience while contributing to your search engine optimization (SEO) initiatives. Optimized ads are designed thoughtfully and tested consistently.
Here are the key points you shouldn’t miss:
• Choose The Appropriate Format
You can choose from the available ad formats depending on what showcases your products or services best. Formats include photos, videos, carousels or stories. Ensure your ad is complete with a compelling headline and description. We recommend to always include a CTA button that is aligned with your desired action such as “Learn More” or “Download.”
• Plan Your Content
A “Download” button might be used for an ad offering a free template or other similar lead magnets. Your ads stand the best chance of converting with well-planned content. In choosing your media, you can upload one, select a stock image or use Facebook’s Dynamic Creative tool that personalizes creative variations of your ad components.
• Have Strategic Ad Placements
Facebook allows you to choose your ad placements on its Audience Network. The available placements such as Facebook feed, Instagram Stories and Messenger Inbox will depend on your objective. Ad placements can be selected manually or automatically through a system designed to place your ads according to the lowest overall cost.
• Utilize A/B Split Testing
While the dynamic creative tool automates your ad variations, it is still not a substitute for A/B tests that provide accurate comparisons of your ad performance. An A/B Test on Facebook lets you choose a variable to test — Creative, Delivery Optimization, Audience or Placement — on two slightly different ads. The ads would be shown to a segment of your target audience and the system delivers a winner based on actual performance data. Once you’ve found the ads that perform best through A/B testing, it’s advisable to create more ads similar to those.
• Control Ad Budget and Schedule
It’s crucial to control the budget and schedule of delivery of your ad sets. When you set a daily or lifetime budget, you stay in control of your media budget allocation. You drive better results when you show your ads during peak Facebook hours or specific hours based on data gathered from your particular followers’ online activity. Facebook offers campaign budget optimization (CBO) to help you optimize your ads.
Track and Optimize Your Campaign
The only way to measure the real impact of your optimization efforts is to look at the campaign data. Your team must set key performance indicators (KPIs) based on your business goals. These metrics relevant to your goal serve as the basis to know if your campaign is successful.
Your campaign data is central to how you optimize Facebook ads to your advantage. It helps you to make improvements such as allocating more budget to your best-performing ads and adjusting the ad schedule to show every ad at the most opportune time.
In the case of Facebook lead ads, your data might show, for example, that users click your link but do not proceed to submit the lead-capture form. This can be a sign that your Facebook lead ads were set up with too many form questions. Closely tracking data such as this allows your brand to optimize your ad components and overall performance.
The Facebook Pixel is what enables conversion tracking on your website and other ad destinations. You can use the Pixel analytics to evaluate your marketing funnel and identify opportunities to improve your conversion rates.
Craft a Winning Retargeting Strategy
In Q1 2019, Facebook recorded its all-time high of 2.38 billion monthly active users and the numbers continue to grow year after year. The limitless advertising potential, coupled with the powerful Ads Manager platform, makes Facebook an ideal platform to grow your business.
One strategy that Facebook ads marketing experts recommend is ad retargeting. It’s a specific optimization strategy focused on tailoring your approach for your Facebook custom audiences based on where they’re at in the customer funnel. Apart from optimizing ad campaigns, Facebook’s algorithm prioritizes high-quality content to maintain a good user experience (UX) on its platform. To hit all the marks for a winning ad retargeting campaign, reach out to a top Facebook ads agency.
Thrive Internet Marketing Agency has the expertise to drive the best returns on your social media advertising investment through proven optimization techniques. Our social media team helps you refine your Facebook ads through in-depth audience analysis to ensure that every audience you create on Facebook Ads Manager is correctly targeted and optimized with the right exclusion parameters.
In just two months, Thrive helped an eCommerce store earn $170,000 in revenue from a total ad spend of just $8,000 for its first-ever Facebook marketing campaign.
With our experts on your side, you’re on track to boost your business revenue through high-converting ad campaigns. Contact us today to begin optimizing your Facebook ads.