5 Facebook advertising tips for beginners

Daman Saini looks at five key tips on setting up and running Facebook Advertising for beginners, including some mistakes we see by seasoned digital marketers.

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Social media advertising has undoubtedly been on the rise over the past few years. Facebook advertising in particular has been at the forefront of the shift of spend from traditional online advertising to social.

Facebook advertising is easy to set-up and run, anyone with a Facebook account and some willingness to learn can do it. Whether it’s easy to generate engagement, clicks and ultimately encourage action (a website sale perhaps) is a different question.

To get you up and running I’ve looked at five Facebook advertising tips and mistakes we’ve seen (and made). I’ve tested these recommendations as part of lead generation campaign in our business for the past 9 months daily, with great results. Facebook advertising now makes up over 70% of our monthly digital marketing budget.  Get the foundations right and the rest will follow.

This is just the beginning and you as you delve further into Facebook’s Ads Manager you will need to  be more sophisticated and technical and you’ll need more tools and strategies to optimise your adverts.

For now though here are our…..

Five tips for anyone thinking of setting up Facebook advertising

#1 – Set-up the Facebook Business Manager account structure

To succeed in Facebook advertising, you must remember that the account structure and how you set up and name your ads is really important.  First of all, you need a Facebook Business Manager account; a lot of people go wrong here.

A beginner level advertiser convinces their client that they will organise a ‘boosted post’ which will result in a lot of reach and brand building. This is a generic way to get your post out there. Boosted posts are generally used for your own audiences and their friends. They’re not comprehensive, meaning you aren’t able to choose an advertising objective or get out to a wider audience outside your Facebook circle.

Most importantly, if you’re a big agency, chances are you’ll have to manage multiple accounts and pages. This is where business manager comes in handy; you’re able to connect many Facebook accounts to your Business Manager, giving you the flexibility to work effectively with more clients and businesses from one place.

Within this account you can create, manage, and shuffle your campaigns and even share audiences. So firstly, sign up to business manager account. Once you’ve done that and you’ve provided all the company details etc, it’s time to create your first campaign.

#2 – Setting your budgets – daily or lifetime?

Before I dive into this I want to explain why you should use daily budgets instead of lifetime. If you’re using a lifetime budget, chances are Facebook is going to spend most of this in the first couple of days or weeks. That’s when your advert will get the most exposure, so it will attempt to maximize spend during this period. Simply, if you want to get better results, use daily.

It doesn’t take much money to start your first campaign, daily budgets are ideal if you’re split testing (running more than one test version of your ad) your messaging and creative. Having your budget equally divided between the tests would give you the best chance of finding out which advert creative or message is going to work.

Let’s say you start with $10, from my experience I’ve had ads where I’ve only had to pay 6 cents a click because our ads were converting at a higher rate. For example, if you’re using link clicks and sending 100 people to your website you could be converting 10 out of 100 of those. If you’re not hitting that kind of conversion rate you may have to pay more than 30 to 50 cents a click.

#3 – Be specific with your regions and targeting especially if you’re a FMCG

The biggest mistake I see people make is when they create an ad-set is that they try to cram all locations into one ad-set.  From a technical point of view doing this is bad for your reach. Facebook will simply show more ads for locations that are better performing and ignore the rest.

This tactic can be used if you’ve got one location and multiple ads within as you can monitor performance on those ads but try to avoid this with location. If you’re comparing Auckland to Hamilton, of course Auckland is going to get more reach and attention as it has a bigger audience inventory. So to save you the pain, make individual ad-sets!

Assuming (and you should have) you’ve done your market and audience research, you’ll now have a general idea of what your audience responds to. WWWWH (who, what, when, where, how) who are you going to reach in that area? What are you going to say or what is the product? When will do deploy this? Where are your ads going to serve? Where are you taking you traffic, and how are you taking them to the page? The WWWWH strategy is a little complicated for just one blog post so keep an eye out for this as I will make a separate series for this.

#4 – Optimising and testing your Facebook adverts

Don’t get emotional about these ads, you just need to be logical. If your performance is down, don’t sweat it, you just need to test, monitor, optimise and test again. In my experience I’ve had tests running for just 2 days and we knew which the winning creative/message was. On your advert, you’ve got; your main text, an image, a header and description. I’m going to talk about the ones that actually matter, and what people notice first.

You’re header needs to isolate your targeted audience for example, if you’re targeting people that need dog grooming, you could write “does your dog need grooming?” or “when’s the last time your dog had  grooming”.

Organic Facebook posts with an image get 39% more interaction than one without.  Getting the image right on your advert is very important. From our earlier example, if you’ve written dog grooming in your message, and you’ve got an image of a very clean looking or groomed dog, you’ve lost your audience visually. Unless your message is saying “check out this dog’s transformation” your copy isn’t going to be relevant to your image.

What you need is to have a messy looking and cute dog to grab attention, and test different variations, in terms of colour, breed etc. It’s important to note, once you’ve compiled the ad, make sure the landing page is set to a specific location based store such as “grooming in Auckland” should lead to your Auckland store page. I like to use this dog analogy, it’s easy to relate to as you can already see how many tests we can do!

#5 – It’s about your website and your landing pages as much as your advert!

You design your Facebook advert with the perfect creative and copy. You got a click but now you lead your visitor to the homepage of the website. Now you may be thinking, what’s wrong with that? Well, if you’re driving for a specific product ad, your user now has to manually navigate the website to find it.

In reality they may not even bother to go looking. Which could mean… you guessed it, you’ve lost them. It’s important to note that on Facebook, not everyone is going to jump on your product. Unlike Google AdWords (PPC) where people type in a specific search term like “mountain bikes in Wellington” Facebook is different, this is where people come to socialise, and if you’re making them click, and lead somewhere, you better be taking them to the right place.

Moreover, FMCG companies especially deploy tactics that involve the user being sent to a ‘free value product page’ which asks for your email in return of a printable document, weekly newsletter, or a free video training series. The idea is to get them into the funnel, offer some value, and use that information for future targeting.

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