Social media trends and platforms come and go, but for pure reach, Facebook continues to tower over all others, making it an unrivalled channel for marketing to large groups of highly profiled individuals.
The numbers speak for themselves. Some 2.23 billion users log onto Facebook every month.
Other statistics back up the reach of Facebook in terms of demographics – 35% of the Facebook ad audience is under 25 and 41% are aged over 65. The ‘on trend’ nature of Facebook is underlined by the fact that 88% of Facebook users access the site via a mobile device. Even if you’re a B2B organisation, your target audience is still real people who log into Facebook on their own devices at all hours of the day.
In simple terms, if you want to reach your ideal target audience in the place and at the time they go online, simply invest in Facebook ads.
Yet doing it is one thing, while doing it right is another.
The good news is that by following these few simple steps you’ll have the perfect Facebook ad before you know it.
Step 1: Develop your audience strategy
Facebook Insights is a tool which allows you to get to know your audience extremely well and target the ad – or ads – you deliver to each segment of that audience precisely. Drill down into the figures provided by Insights and you’ll get a clear idea of the demographics and profile of people who already visit and like your page.
In a crowded marketplace, getting to know your customers like this is extremely valuable.
Once you have an idea of your audience profile you can use Facebook to target your advert, tweaking the content to appeal slightly differently to different profiles and demographics.
The number of options offered by Facebook is huge and includes targeting by individual leads or customers, by gender, by interests and by location. Because of the sheer number of possibilities, it’s important not to over-analyse at this stage because as your campaign develops, you’ll be able to refine and improve your targeting.
Step 2: Write an engaging headline
What makes an engaging headline?
It’s bit like asking “what makes a good song”. The answer is that it’s as much of an art as it is a science, and there’s a great deal of personal preference involved.
The good news is that plenty of scientific research has gone into defining the optimum headline for a Facebook ad, so if you’re stuck for inspiration, you can turn to the numbers instead.
According to a study carried out by AdEspresso, the optimum length for a Facebook headline – based on comments, shares and likes – is 5 words. What’s more, this number has remained unchanged for years, while other metrics have shifted.
Five words doesn’t leave a lot of room for manoeuvre, so it’s useful to know that another study by BuzzSumo found that phrases such as ‘will make you’, ‘this is why’ and ‘can you guess’ are amongst the most effective Facebook ad headlines.
If you started reading this blog after spotting the phrase ‘How to create’ then you’ve just proved the point. This type of three-word hook works – and you can go slightly over the 5 word headline limit.
Step 3: Create relevant and powerful imagery
Many people lavish time and attention on the copy of their Facebook ad and then illustrate it with the first piece of stock photography they can find online.
This is a mistake, because more people respond quickly to a striking image than to even shortest, sweetest headline with a dull image of something they’d see anywhere.
Try to use an image that is both relevant to your product and which can attract attention in its own right. It’s also important to use a high resolution image, and one which is big and bold in design.
Step 4: Keep your image content concise
The amount of text in an image is another big factor that’s frequently discussed in the Facebook world. Less text is ideal, because Facebook penalises ads with imagery comprised of more than 20% text.
If you do use text, use Facebook’s handy tool to check if the proportion of text to image is too high. Otherwise, you may get a notification from Facebook telling you that your ad(s) could perform better.
The good news is that pictures featuring album covers, book covers and product images are usually exempt from the 20% rule.
Even so, try and keep the bulk of your text in the body of your post, not on the image itself.
Step 5: Develop a strong offer
No matter how strong your headline or image, if your offer is weak it’s not going to result in clicks.
As well as being razor sharp and relevant for your target audience, your offer should be short and offer clear value. Focus on the real benefit that your product or service brings such as solving a problem, saving money, boosting sales, increasing efficiency or bringing some other benefit or value add.
Use numbers where possible to support your offer and convey value, for example “Save 30%!”.
Make sure your offer can be understood with just a quick scan of the ad, so that what you’re offering and why it’s a great deal is instantly obvious. People don’t want to work too hard to uncover benefits.
Finally, make sure you highlight anything you include for free – such as delivery or after sales service – as FREE is a word that always makes people stop and read.
Step 6: Call to action
Always complete your ad with a strong, clear call-to-action. In other words, tell people what they need to do next.
The perfect Facebook ad should leave the customer asking ‘How do I find out more?’ so a call-to-action button that says ‘Shop Now’ or ‘Order Today for 10% Off’ will get them clicking through to your site to find out more.
Without a call-to-action, even the best Facebook ad will probably be forgotten by the time they’ve scrolled down to the next.
Step 7: Review, measure and adjust
It’s a big mistake to set your ad live and then simply leave it to perform. Before it reaches its optimum performance level, you’ll need to review the various ad performance metrics provided by Facebook and adjust your ad settings or tweak your headline or content.
There’s always an element of trial and error with these types of ads, so the key is to monitor performance closely and make small changes until you achieve your best performance. Keep track of all your incoming enquiries to make sure you know whether any of them result from your Facebook ad.
Whatever you do, don’t give up if at first you don’t succeed!
Good luck running your Facebook ads! If you want help with this or any elements of your digital marketing, including social media, contact the C4B Media team at email@example.com or call us on 01763 877110.