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The power of Facebook marketing is a force you can’t ignore. 93% of marketers have adopted the platform to target specific audiences in their advertising strategies. With an average of 1.18 billion daily active users on Facebook, the possibilities of target audiences are endless.

It’s no doubt that 2018 is a huge year for this strategy with all the buzz surrounding Facebook ads and the potential to reach your unique customers. However, executing an effective Facebook campaign isn’t something you can accomplish overnight. There are a variety of factors and variables to consider, which come with research and a well-defined understanding of your target audience.

Each step should be meticulously thought-out, so that you don’t lose your chance to reach the right people. This blog outlines the top 10 tips to execute an effective Facebook advertising strategy, so that you can come out of 2018 with a nice return on investment.

 

1. Choose the right target audience

Your Facebook ads are only as effective as how well you know and have defined your audience. Choosing the right audience sets the tone for the rest of the campaign. From their demographics, pains, and wants, each characteristic must be well-defined to see higher ROI, higher click rates, and lower costs.

How do you go about defining your audience? Facebook directly prompts you to determine how narrow or how broad your target should be to see the most success. You are guided to fill in each important detail for the type of audience you want to reach. From age, gender, location, titles, and interests, all of these categories are predetermined in the Facebook platform. The more details you can provide, the more likely your ad will perform well and resonate with your prospects.

 

2. Make your ads VISUAL!

It should come as no surprise that visual ads resonate more with your audience. Facebook offers the opportunity to design aesthetically pleasing, creative ads that can show off your brand, tell your story, and give some personality. Ads with visual elements are much more likely to catch a viewers attention, and have a better chance of being remembered and shared.

For a detailed guide on the various elements of ad design and tips on posting visual content check out this Hubspot guide.

 

3. Make your ads RELEVANT! 

If your ads aren’t relevant to your audience, your campaign is doomed for failure. There is no urgency to click on your ad if your content has no relevance. Make sure that you know your audience well, so you can create compelling content that moves your viewers. Without it, you’re only wasting time and money without seeing much return.

 

4. Include a CTA

You need a call to action so that your viewers know what to do next. You may have a visually appealing image and relevant/influential content, but without a call to action, your viewer is left not knowing what to do. CTA’s need to be clear, catchy, and compel the viewer to take the next step in your campaign. A CTA  should offer a level of value to your audience. Not only does it encourage a reader to take the next step, but it offers something in return for taking that step.

Neil Patel outlines how to write the perfect CTA in this guide.

 

5. Try a variety of ads

Facebook is unique from other social platforms because it offers a variety of ads to test. There is freedom to test numerous forms of ads with endless levels of customization and possibilities for the most compelling ad. Below, we’ve provided a few of the most popular types of ads that you can utilize in your Facebook campaign:

  • Carousel ads. These ads are good for lower cost per conversions or cost per clicks (as opposed to static ads). These types of ads are a great way to tell your story with their dynamic, interactive layout.
  • Video ads. In the marketing realm, you cannot avoid video. Approximately 80% of all web traffic is projected to be video-based by 2021. There is no doubt that your audience is  consuming video content in some shape or form. Videos are great to catch your audience’s attention as they scroll through their newsfeed and quickly tell your story through clips.
  • Boosted and promoted posts. This is one of the easiest ways to create a Facebook ad: promote Facebook content you already have. If you have existing Facebook content that you have seen perform well and resonates with you audience, use it again! You can boost this content in an instant to reach new prospects, and tap into new feeds. This is an easy cost-effective way to gain exposure FAST.
  • Lead ads. These type of ads give users the ability to download your content directly from your Facebook advertisement. This is perfect for a variety of content you are trying to promote: webinars, case studies, guides, data sheets. It gives you the chance to capture some leads, and continue to build out your lists.

 

6. Run an A/B Test

As mentioned above, trying a variety of ads is a great way in understanding what works with your particular audience. An additional effective way is to A/B test your ads. Below, we’ve outlined some tips that will help you ensure you’re optimizing your ad campaign:

  • Run your A/B test on one campaign. It makes it easier to analyze your data, compare numbers in one setting, and not be bombarded by too many factors.
  • Change your target audience. Keep everything the same about your campaign, but change those that you are targeting. You can see who reacted more positively to your content.
  • A/B test based on the ad creative. Facebook’s algorithm suggests which creative is best based on averages and historical data, but it may not be best for you specific audience. Change it up! See what your audience reacts to.
  • Give your ad at least 24 hours. You won’t know the real effects of your A/B test until at least 24 hours after you launched it. If you can, it’s better to wait about 48-72 hours to judge the performance of your test and allow Facebook enough time to optimize the results.

 

7. Define your goals 

Facebook advertising can be used for a number of different goals your marketing team is trying to accomplish. It’s important to define what those goals are, so you can develop your ad’s design and content appropriately. Here are a number of goals you might be working towards:

  • Driving app downloads
  • Brand awareness
  • Show off new products
  • Promoting a webinar/case study
  • Drive traffic to your website

These are only a few of the many goals you may be working towards, but it’s important to define them so that your ads align accordingly.

 

8. Facebook remarketing

Running Facebook advertising campaigns from start to finish is a bit overwhelming. From choosing the right type of ad, to defining your audience and determining what will resonate, you might feel overloaded. Dip your toes in by remarketing to your existing leads. This audience has already interacted with your content, they know your brand, and are great prospects to re-target to. These leads can include those who have visited your site before, have made purchases in the past, or are on your email list. It’s a great way to get started with Facebook advertising before creating a new audience. Check out Sprout Social’s guide to Facebook Remarketing.

 

9. Try a Lookalike Audience 

Lookalike audiences have become a popular and useful tactic in facebook advertising. A lookalike audience helps you identify new and relevant audiences without investing large amounts of time.

It is a way to reach new people who are likely to be interested in your business as they are similar to your best existing customers. A lookalike audience is created through Facebook’s algorithm, which helps you identify unexpected commonalities in the market.

For an in-depth understanding of this tactic, check out these tips from Vertical Measures.

 

10. Stick to your budget

When creating your Facebook advertising strategy, you need to establish your budget and stick to it. Campaigns left unchecked on budget, quickly become pricy and eat up your expenses. There are a number of different factors that impact your budget (i.e. industry, timing, size of your audience, placement). It’s important to understand your business’s ins and outs so that you can set your budget appropriately.

When setting a budget, you have the option of choosing a daily or “lifetime” budget. A daily budget is spent overtime based on the average of campaigns similar to yours. Choose a daily budget with caution, as Facebook can exceed your budget by 25% based on the opportunities to optimize your ads. A lifetime budget is a bit more stable as it sets a cap on your entire campaign, and is spent based on the best opportunities available at the given time. It’s best to be wary with a lifetime budget as well since you could potentially spend your entire budget in one day if the opportunities align with Facebook’s algorithm. There is no right or wrong way, but you need to know the pros and cons of each before making a decision.

There are endless possibilities with Facebook advertising. There is no step by step guide in creating a perfect campaign for your specific audience. It comes with time, testing, research, and an openness to potentially fail and learn from mistakes. Don’t be discouraged if your first campaign doesn’t come out with the results you originally hoped for. Use your data to alter each campaign and optimize the next one. Rest assured that you are on the right track if you know your target audience, have a defined budget and set of goals, and create relevant, compelling content.  

 

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Shannon Prager is recognized B2B marketing strategist and the President of Leadit Marketing. She is responsible for the daily operations and management of Leadit Marketing as well as the long term vision for the company.

A marketing leader with over 19 years of B2B demand generation and marketing experience, she understands the importance of a fully developed integrated marketing strategy. Shannon’s background includes demand generation, marketing automation, social media, digital marketing, customer marketing, account based marketing and marketing operations. You can follow her on LinkedIn via https://www.linkedin.com/in/shannonprager or Twitter @ https://twitter.com/LeaditMarketing

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