Facebook has done a great job empowering marketers and small business owners with the ability to set up and launch new Facebook and Instagram ads. But getting those campaigns to deliver the performance results you need is another story entirely.
I’ve been building and managing paid Facebook campaigns for nearly a decade now — which is plenty of time to discover lots of ways how you can quickly set up a campaign for failure. The goal here is to share some of the strategies I’ve found over the years that give me the best shot at building a winning social campaign.
Here it goes!
Install your Facebook pixel and tracking events correctly
This is absolutely key. Without proper setup of your Facebook pixel, you are missing out on some of Facebook’s most powerful marketing tools.
My recommendation for installation is to use Google Tag Manager to implement your pixel, and then manage your event tag firing. Facebook has made this process fairly simple.
Then, you’ll want to test your site to ensure the pixel is being fired. There are a few ways to do this.
One way is to download the Facebook Pixel Helper chrome extension found here. This extension will enable you to see which (if multiple) pixels are firing on your site, and any events that also may be recording.
Additionally, Facebook has provided an event tester tool under the Events Manager page of the platform. You can confirm that Facebook is receiving your pixel data, and events are tracked correctly.
Start building your audiences ASAP
As I mentioned, one of the reasons why installing the pixel is so important is that it allows you to capitalize on Facebook’s most powerful tools — and one of them is custom audience building.
Get a lot of web traffic? Great, retarget those website visitors.
Generally, you’ll want to set up an audience based on previous web visitors. The duration for how long they should remain in your custom audience depends on the lifecycle of your typical buyer. Does your product demand a fairly long consideration phase? Consider keeping them in your audience for 90 days. Another way to think about this is: how long should I continue to show a potential customer my ads before they get fatigued?
Build an audience based on first party data and customer lists.
Take that email newsletter list of yours and feed it to Facebook. Their first party data matching is improving constantly, now allowing for “Enhanced Matched,” which can find Facebook users from your sales prospect list based on their name, phone number, address and more.
Take advantage of your organic social media efforts.
Why not deliver your ads to those individuals who are responsible for a lot of the engagement on your Facebook page or Instagram account? These loyal brand followers are more likely to engage with your ads, buy products, and deliver a low cost-per-acquisition.
Experiment with bidding and optimization
This one can be a little intimidating, but with a little research and some practice, you'll find that it’s pretty straight forward and can be really effective.
At the start of your campaign build, Facebook will ask for the Campaign Objective. Choosing this is important because it will affect your optimization and bidding strategies at the Ad Set level later on. If you have your conversion tracking in place and your site generates a fair amount of these conversions daily or weekly, then I would recommended using the Conversions Campaign Objective.
Another approach is to let your success metric guide your optimization strategy. Are you concerned with keeping your cost per lead to a certain amount? Optimize for your conversion and place a cost control on your delivery.
For e-commerce sites, a crucial KPI for marketing campaigns is the Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). If you have your product catalogue integrated with Facebook, you can choose the Catalog Sales campaign objective and optimize your delivery to ensure you are achieving a minimum ROAS. This is incredibly helpful if you are looking to scale your campaigns without blowing your budget.
Facebook campaign bidding and optimization can be intimidating, but with a little research and some practice, you'll find that it’s pretty straight forward. It's not uncommon for me to run experimentation campaigns testing different bidding strategies to see which performs better. After a few days it’s clear which campaign is winning out in the auction.
Split your ad sets by platform and placement
This one is much easier to digest than campaign bidding optimization, but equally important. If you’re delivering ads on Facebook and Instagram, you’ll want to optimize your ad creative to look its absolute best on that specific platform. That could include images, copy, or both. Do this by segmenting your placements inside your campaign in separate ad sets.
Now, Facebook’s platform recommends delivering your ads in “All Placements.” But what you need to keep in mind is that the Facebook platform is designed to spend your ad budget as effectively as possible. The more placements/platforms they can display your ads, the more impressions they can charge you for.
Wondering which placements or platforms are delivering the best performance for your campaigns? This is exactly the type of question Facebook Ads Reporting can help you answer. Break down your campaign by platform or performance or and many other metrics to find insights on how to structure your next campaign build.
It’s no secret that marketers are having great success with Facebook advertising. But those who are experiencing success consistently are the ones who understand how to best leverage the tools inside the platform. Whether you are currently running your own Facebook campaigns or are considering getting onto the platform for the first time — I hope that you find these recommendations helpful in building a highly successful campaign for your company or organization.