Social Media Tip of the Week: Facebook Ads

We've all seen it and agonised over what we are doing wrong...  Facebook reach has become the key focus when one contemplates the efficacy of their digital marketing strategy.  The truth is that Facebook has completely changed the way interactions work so if you're not getting the reach, what are your options?

You could give Facebook ads a go.  If this is an option that you've been considering, you're probably wondering where to start - the process can be a bit overwhelming especially if marketing is not part of your core skillset.  

So I thought that I would help by sharing my top tips for getting Facebook ads working for you and your business:

First, target your audience.  Really refine who it is that you want to reach.  Once you have that in place, write your copy to target that particular audience.  Avoid the temptation to do it the other way round and instead tailor your message to the exact people who will be seeing your ad. 

Define what it is you want your potential audience to DO when they see your ad: do you want them to enter a competition?  Do you want them to visit your website? Or do you want them to join your newsletter database?  Stick to one call to action so no one is confused by your message. 

If you sell a variety of products or services, consider doing an ad for each segment of your ideal customer base.  If you sell clothing for men, women and kids for example, why not do an ad targeting each one in particular?  It will be beneficial not only from a copy perspective (helping you craft a message that talks directly to women shopping for themselves vs women who buy clothes for their kids - the opportunities to talk to them about their specific needs will help convert the sales more effectively), but will tie in with the imagery you use (which I talk about in the next point). 

Ensure that the visual you use for your ad ties in seamlessly with the copy.  When content and pictures don't work together in an ad, they throw off the message you are trying to land. Ensure the visuals are hi-res - good quality imagery will give your overall ad a level of quality.  Canva is a great tool if you are wanting to incorporate text in your image, create a tiled creative or simply wanting to work within certain dimensions. On that, here are the dimensions you need to work with, depending on your ad format:
Image(s): 1200 x 628 px or 1.91 : 1
Video: .mov or .mp4, at least 720dpi, 16:9, 2.3GB max file size
Carousel: 1080 x 1080 px or 1 : 1
Slideshow: 1289 x 720 px, 16 : 9 / 1 : 1 / 2 : 3

Consider a video concept for your ads: shoppers who view a video ad are 1.8 times more likely to buy than shoppers who saw static images.  Caption your videos too as they increase view time by 12%. I also recommend keeping it relatively short (between 0 and 30 sec) as that will increase the chances of your target audience watching the whole thing. 

I recommend keeping it short: copy that is carefully and cleverly constructed will give your audience a clear view of who you are and what you can do for them.  Try this template for constructing your copy:
(1) What you do / are offering
(2) How that could benefit them
(3) What they need to do next: i.e. subscribe / shop / enter / view etc
Spell check it, run it past a grammar Nazi, whatever you have to do to ensure that there are no spelling mistakes or awkward phrases.  Quality of images is important, but quality of content is just as key.
Try to get all of your key content in before it gets truncated (that's where it gets cut off by Facebook with a "...")

This is important: include the relevant numbers.  Be upfront about how much your offer costs and if there's a discount, what saving they are making.  

Once you've run an ad, really dig into the results and try to craft some insights out of it.  Try something new the next time: different visuals, punchier copy, a different call to action.  You might also want to create a schedule of advertising that acts as a roadmap with your digital marketing: how often, when, your message, visuals and results.  With each advert, try out a different creative (carousel, video, single image etc) to find which one resonates with your chosen audience. 

If you've run a Facebook ad before, what learnings and insights have you gathered?