WHY 2018 WAS THE YEAR OF THE BOMBSHELLS
Facebook has been open for public use to anyone over 13 years old since 2006. Since the giant launched, it has undergone tweaks and twiddles from its founders and up until 2018, any changes to Facebook have been easy enough to catch up with for businesses.
The difference now is that Facebook has completely overhauled the way it ranks content and articles in its news feed. This stopped many small businesses in their tracks. Did this mean the end of advertising on the platform for those on a lower budget?
If you’ve continued to wade through the muddy waters of Facebook advertising since the changes to the news feed, you’ve probably noticed much more resistance than you felt before. There’s no doubt that advertising on Facebook has become more competitive, but a sophisticated advertising strategy can ensure that your small business doesn’t throw valuable dollars at empty campaigns.
The only way to prepare a well-structured Facebook advertising strategy is with a clear approach that’s powered by knowledge.
The knowledge of your audience and the technicalities of advertising on Facebook being the most important.
These Facebook advertising tips show small businesses how they can perform a Facebook ads analysis to create some steam behind their campaigns and finally begin seeing real results.
STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE TO EXECUTING A FACEBOOK ADVERTISING ANALYSIS
All advertisers want to get the best possible return on their investment. CPM (cost per 1000) describes the price that Facebook charges to show an ad 1000 times. Naturally, advertisers and marketing agencies want to keep this down.
There are two major ways to minimize CPM:
- Create engaging content. Facebook rewards high-quality content that warrants shares and comments, because it wants users to stick around to view more ads. For that reason, engaging adverts cost less and a better-performing ad will give you more mileage and will make a bigger splash in the sea of content.
- Perform an advanced Facebook advertising analysis. Use quantitative data and Facebook’s technical tools to create a campaign that performs.
The first guideline is down to you. We’ll show you how to nail the second.
Step 1: Ensure you have access set up
Before you start working through these Facebook advertising guidelines, it’s imperative that you have access to the Facebook page, ad account and product catalogue of the business you’re advertising. If you have a professional digital agency taking care of your ads for you, you can give them permission to access your account.
This is completely under your control and is something the agency can advise you with, to help you to select whether to give them admin, advertiser or analyst access.
Step 2: Ensure pixel tracking is set up
Facebook pixel tracker is a tool that should be an imperative part of your strategy. It exists to track interactions and conversions from your Facebook ads to help you refine your strategy in sharper detail. The tool also comes in useful for data-based remarketing, building targeted and lookalike audiences and optimizing ads for best results.
You can choose to use pixel tracking in two ways; pre-defined events set up by Facebook or custom conversions that you set up manually. Either way, this helps you to track the actions that a visitor completes, like a search, adding to cart, making a payment or signing up for a trial.
Quick tip: Remember that businesses are limited to one pixel, so ensure it represents your entire business rather than one specific campaign.
Step 3: Identify your audience
Your insight to your Facebook audience is lodged right in Facebook’s interface, so you can easily access it. The Facebook Audience Insights tool provides the demographics you need to get to know the people that may be interested in your products or services. You’ll find valuable information such as:
- Education/employment status
- Relationship status
- Location and language
- Purchase behavior
- Preferred devices
You should know your ideal audience better than anyone and once you’ve built “the perfect customer”, you can get to work on creating ads with these guided insights.
Narrow down your Facebook audience as much as you need to, but make sure you’re not excluding too many people. Facebook gets its information from its own platform and third-party data, so it can bring you insights into a particular demographic.
For example, I wanted to know more about women interested in the health & beauty industry and I found out about their preferred devices and platforms, and their level of Facebook use:
Step 4: Be clever with your creative
Before you upload images or videos to your ad, ask yourself – “does the media match the copy?” Too many businesses opt for attention-grabbing or beautiful photos that aren’t actually relevant to the product they’re pushing.
Analyze existing results and metrics so you know the type of creative that gets the best feedback, whether that be product photos or lifestyle-based photography.
Step 5: Consider your bid carefully
Facebook doesn’t just consider the dollar value of your bid, but also how engaging the attached ad is. Even if you’re willing to pay the same amount as a competitor for a similar advert, Facebook’s complex model will give preference at auction to the business with the better content.
Optimize your ad bidding to ensure you’re not paying too much for your campaign and you’re reaching a large portion of your potential reach. You can choose between “maximum” and “average” bid amounts. If you bid too low, your campaign may not get the exposure it needs. Even when you bid high, that amount won’t necessarily be what you’ll pay – it’s just the maximum amount that you’re willing to pay.
As Facebook grew more sophisticated, it began to offer multiple bidding strategies, from which you can select the best one for you. 3 of the most prominent strategies are:
- CPM Bidding – “Cost per mile” or “Cost per 1000” bidding allows you to bid with the maximum cost you are prepared to pay to deliver 1000 impressions to your target audience. This is a good option for large businesses that want to create brand awareness only. Small businesses with lower budgets might want to avoid this, because it can be unpredictable and can lead to spending lots of money without the guarantee of results.
- CPC Bidding – “Cost per click” allows you to bid for clicks that meet your ad objectives, like clicks to install an app or visit your website. A higher CTR will lead to a lower CPC, so ensure your ad has a high relevance score.
- Conversion Bidding – Facebook delivers your ad to target audience members that are most likely to convert. You can select your objective, whether that’s page likes, new leads etc., and tell Facebook how much you’re willing to pay for each conversion.
Quick tip: The highest bid doesn’t always win. Facebook considers your relevance score and estimated action rates, too.
WHAT ELSE IS CHANGING?
Remember at the beginning of this post when we said Facebook is constantly making changes to its advertising platforms? We weren’t joking, and changes have been happening at a more rapid rate than ever in just this last month.
Here’s what you need to know to avoid any surprises when you’re setting up your campaign:
No more Facebook audience reach estimates
The platform stopped showing customer reach estimates for all campaigns that use Custom Audience targeting. This was decided when a research team from Northeastern University in Boston noticed a privacy issue that the feature presented.
The vulnerability that the data causes lies in an advertiser’s ability to infer attributes of an individual in a target audience, by using the estimated reach report. By identifying the rounding threshold in the estimates, all an advertiser needs to do is upload a list of emails or other personal info on the threshold.
They can then add one email to the list to see whether the reach estimates change when they select a targeting attribute. If they do, the added person or email address has that attribute.
The process is time-consuming, but the option is there for people to determine an entire set of attributes for individual people, and the individual has no idea it’s happening.
No more ad targeting based on relationship preferences
Users can no longer target users based on their “interested in” status for ad campaigns. Whether people are interested in men or women, advertisers can’t build a campaign around that attribute.
The feature was removed in February 2018 because of feedback from Facebook’s community and outside experts, including civil rights and LGBTQ groups, and is a move to prevent malicious behavior based on sexual preferences when advertising on Facebook.
FACEBOOK ADVERTISING TIPS FROM THE DIGITAL EXPERTS
It seems that, despite the need for a more carefully-crafted Facebook advertising strategy, the big players in the digital world are not turning their back on the platform and won’t be doing so for the foreseeable future.
Around the time of these new changes, spending on digital media was stronger than for any other channels. While digital spends grew by 12.3%, other channels either declined or increased at lower rates. No points for guessing which players the majority of the growth went to, either. Facebook and Google took almost all of the benefits for themselves.
When you follow these Facebook advertising guidelines, and those set by Facebook, you could see yourself saving hundreds of dollars on a campaign that would previously have put a huge dent in your marketing budget.
At Impress!ve, we make sure we’re some of the first to pick up on changes in all facets of digital marketing, which is why we can bring you up-to-date Facebook advertising tips before others can.
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