18/10/2023 • Ryan Hakeney
“But my target market isn’t pensioners”
The most active social media platform for paid ad activity is still Facebook, despite what you may have heard - no names named *cough* TikTok *cough*.
Facebook has over 2.91 billion monthly active users, and according to Statista, 25-34 is the most populated age group on the platform. It also offers a wide range of advertising options, making it a go-to tool for businesses of all sizes. And with over 10 million active advertisers competing for attention, optimising your Facebook ads is essential and there are so many different ways to do that.
Whilst the initial setup of accounts takes much optimisation too, I’m primarily going to focus on optimising accounts that are already active. I want to share tips that aren’t on every bland article desperate for your traffic. Of course, abiding by Facebook’s advertising policies is going to support good performance, but give your head a wobble if you think that needs saying. This isn’t that kind of article.
I want to focus on the optimisations you can make that will give your account a strategic advantage, and support your ads to get consistently stronger engagement month on month. So let’s start from the top.
Ad campaigns can be structured in many different ways:
And sometimes, without proper naming conventions (pro tip - name your campaigns in a way that would make sense to a graduate if they joined the team tomorrow), seemingly structured with no rhyme or reason at all.
I would recommend you structure your campaigns by objective. What I mean by this is if your business sold trampolines, but also had partnerships with leisure centres and the like to regularly fulfil their needs across the UK, your ad activity may cover lead generation for potential partners, conversions for Timmy’s birthday present, and brand awareness activity to keep bringing new customers in. Then your ad account campaign structure would look something like this:
From there, your ad sets within each campaign would be separated by target audience, and your ads would be separated by product/service (e.g. a lead gen campaign, separated into audiences split by stage of the “funnel”, or by country if operating multi-nationally, with specific ads for each best-selling product or service).
Between constantly changing algorithms, a boatload of competition, and funky events management, it’s a big job. But, a super underutilised part of using Facebook ads is the Meta Pro Team.
Connect with a Marketing Pro to get custom strategies and recommendations based on your goals. Tap up a Technical Pro to support with optimising and calibrating your tracking. Having issues with your account or policies? Support Pros are on hand to troubleshoot and unblock you fast.
Bottom line - if you are after squeezing more success from Facebook but find yourself a bit stuck, get in touch with the Pro Team. #notanad
The easiest way to do this is to revert back to the previous point - use your Meta Marketing Pro. They can put you in touch with Meta technicians who can support you with Conversions API, creating custom conversions, and making sure the code is set up as it should be - the whole process of Meta tracking, they get it better than many of us ever could. Don’t waste your time.
Testing is the cornerstone of optimising your activity. I don’t care how good your return on ad spend (ROAS) is, how low your cost per action (CPA) is compared to the industry benchmark, or how amazing your link click-through rate (CTR) is. If you think it couldn’t possibly be better, then you’re only doing yourself a disservice.
Put your assumptions to the test and pitch your copy in an A/B test against some copy written by a colleague, or better yet, a professional copywriter (luckily for me, we have one in-house). Have your creative colleagues whip up a new reel video asset and compare that to any existing video ads (just another brag - we have them in-house too). Been using the learn more call to action (CTA) button for the last 6 months? Maybe it’s time to try another option - SPLIT THAT TEST.
Never hold onto a feature of your activity like it’s your baby - it can always be set up better, and when a test surprises you and shows you your old idea was outdated, be ruthless. Get rid.
Facebook has been backpacking off Google’s future-proofing plans to make use of machine-learning and AI algorithms with the addition of dynamic features such as the Advantage+ suite. This includes Advantage+ shopping campaigns, Advantage+ audiences, and dynamic creative.
Now from my experience, Advantage+ shopping campaigns only work for ecommerce brands with plenty of activity and purchases. If you are working with a high-value item that sells maybe 10 units a week giving you a stonking ROAS…
Then they’re not for those accounts.
However, I take you back to the previous point. Test these things. What I have experienced may not be the same for you, and Facebook is adding new tools to its paid platforms every quarter. Let’s say you are a lucky sod and have video and static assets coming out of your ears, so much so that you can’t decide what’s best. Use a dynamic creative ad set, and upload much of it into a single ad. This dynamic creative feature will then test different assets with different copy variations with different headlines and descriptions (that you put in) to find the very best ad. Then you can export that ad ID, and put it wherever you want in your account.
Features like this were added explicitly to help advertisers optimise their ads.
You can structure your activity in an ideal way, have your Meta Marketing Pro on speed dial, and use the smoothest reels on this side of TikTok. But, if you’re sending ecommerce traffic to a landing page that takes 25 seconds to load, 20 full-screen swipes before they see the product, and 15 clicks to complete their checkout, you’ve got no chance of long-term success or scalable activity.
For any activity looking to accomplish a goal, a long-winded way of saying all activity ever, you need landing page that loads quickly, is optimised for mobile traffic (the primary device for social users), and considers what the user wants and how many steps you’re going to ask them to take to get it. For traffic activity and brand awareness, you want a landing page that educates the individual on who you (or your client) are in a memorable way. For conversion activity, a landing page that efficiently sells the product/service, both in terms of making the user want to buy, and the actual process of a checkout. You can use custom landing pages for this sort of thing if it doesn’t exist on the website already - but we’re leaving the realms of ad optimisations there.
Landing pages are seriously slept on by marketers and businesses using paid social channels. If you want to learn more, seriously get that YouTube video above on your watchlist.
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