Four Facebook ad fundamentals

By Jenni Roberts

Four Facebook ad fundamentals

My Four Facebook Ad Fundamentals

It’s a dizzying world of big data, unending campaign types, ad formats galore, Business Manager updates and new initiatives, not to mention a potential UK audience of 32.5 million! No wonder our clients are turning to us to navigate the world of Facebook advertising on their behalf.

Once you recognise the potential of the channel for your customers (existing and new), you then need to understand how to harness Facebook to target them with an enticing message that will surely see them visiting your website to convert. But with the ever expanding components that make up Facebook advertising, where should you start?

1. Follow, not stalk

A conversation about how we can use Facebook to target users from a plethora of demographic, interest and behavioural factors is usually greeted with raised eyebrows from clients, followed by a quip about how scary it is that we hand over our online identity so willingly. It’s not that scary, I promise! Of course, there are some limitations and we can in no way identify users' individually, so you (and your questionable holiday snaps) are safe for now.

What we do have access to are excellent tools to identify users who will benefit from what you have to share with them, be that a product, service, event or local attraction. They key is identifying said tools, setting them up intelligently and correctly, and getting creative with how you refine and update these over time. 

The most powerful tool for me is The Facebook Pixel. If you identify your key conversion events and tag these up correctly, you have the foundation to build some really targeted campaigns to remarket to and grow your customer base. The ins and outs of this warrant a whole separate article…stay tuned.

2. Ad, interrupted

When you’re on Facebook, dazedly scrolling through an infinite rabbit hole of content, you’re rarely in the conversion mind-set. Facebook advertising is interruptive, so don’t go in with the expectation that you’re going to get the same performance as direct response channels like paid search. You probably won’t.

But (a big one!), that doesn’t mean you don’t see direct results from the channel. Facebook lets you track website activity and conversions from your advertising on a post impression basis too, and as a bonus this is given without the usual adserving fee. That means you see how Facebook influences customer behaviour up to 28 days after an ad being served, for free.

3. LOL

Ever been walking down the street alone and burst into an uncontrollable fit of giggles at the most ridiculous meme you were tagged in because it’s just “soooo you”? No? …Nor me.

We all love a laugh, so making your ads funny will make them more noticeable, ergo more memorable.But do be careful about humour. What's funny to you may not be to your customers. And it works with more than laughter; make your ads thought provoking, impressively informative or entertaining and you’ll be on your way to standing out in the newsfeed.

And yes, I know this all seems a little bit like marketing 101, but it’s tempting to simply reformat a direct response salesy ad and assume you’ll get the same results on Facebook. You’re more likely to get a rolling eyes emoji in the comments or worse, ignored.

4. Report that

Measuring and reporting on performance is at the heart of what we do. It’s pretty hard to justify spending a client’s budget without being transparent about what it’s delivering. And this is on the top of my list for why Facebook is such a great channel for advertising.

With historical ad attribution, breakdowns by demographic group, cross device reporting and countless metrics to measure, Facebook certainly understands the importance of results to its business customers. As a self-confessed data junkie, it’s the perfect channel for me to get knee deep in data that can prove valuable in informing decisions for campaign growth (and it shuts me up for an afternoon).

So that’s it, the tip of the colossal iceberg that is Facebook ads. It’s not just cute cat videos and outrageous charity challenges; it’s also a great way to put visual and interactive ads in front of your customers with a focus on tracking performance in a way that reflects how the ads influence users.