most of you probably know a little bit about Facebook Ads and the main strategies marketers use to drive traffic to their websites and subsequently customer purchases. However, there are new and creative approaches coming out all the time that you may have not heard of before.
i am going to discuss the top strategies you may not be aware of and you could benefit from experimenting with in your business, relating to Facebook Ads. I will break up the strategies into three groups: strategies to use before you run an ad, during the execution of an ad and what you can do after you’ve run an ad.
the pre-ad strategies: what to do before
1. use keywords that perform well for your business
keywords are often associated mostly with SEO and optimizing your business on Google Search, but the same concepts can be applied to social media marketing as well. You will want to determine the best keywords to use on your posts or ads.
you can use some of the following tools to help you find the top keywords your competitors are ranking for:
a lot of these tools are free or have free trials, and so you can sign up for a week and quickly gather all of the keywords you can find.
you can also check your Google Search Console account to see what keywords your website is ranking for and use the highest ranking keywords in your advertisements. And if you don’t have a Google Search Console account for your website, please get one! It is one of the best SEO tools on the market and its free 😉
2. write a captivating headline
its incredibly important that you have a captivating headline. If the headline is not catchy enough, then all the work your put into an ad can be for nothing if it doesn’t catch anyone’s attention.
here are some links to Title Generator , Landingfolio and SEOPressor, which generate great headlines for blog posts. You can adjust these headlines and take action words from them that help you create more eye catching titles for advertisements.
3. copy other high performing ads and competitors
why risk developing an ad and spending time on the content, images, videos, headlines, spending amounts, demographics research etc. when you could see what is currently working and what isn’t for your competitors?
an excellent technique is to just copy your competitors and other ads that are performing well on Facebook.
Facebook publishes both a report and library called Facebook Ad Library, which tells us what ads are currently running and how they are performing. They are doing this after a lot of criticism they have been receiving, so that they can be more transparent about their ads. You can see all of the statistics, such as the following:
- how much money companies are spending on certain ads
- how many impressions ads are getting
- how long ads have been running
- which demographics are seeing certain ads
- what the actual advertisement looks like and the click through link
for example, below you can see the profile for Lyft and the advertisements they are running:
here is a side-by-side comparison of two of their most recent ads. You can see the similarities and differences between the two ads by how much is being spent, impressions, demographics and also type of content.
click through the ad details and then click on the ad to see the landing page as well, because this is a key piece of the puzzle. If a company is running an ad for a long time, then this means they are making money on it. You will also want to check out the the landing page that they are driving visitors too and you want to see the whole funnel from start to finish.
you can also see a report of the top spending companies and organizations in the entire ad library database. You can also filter this dataset on days to view trends.
another tool you can use is called Adbeat, which covers other ads besides Facebook. You can view the specific ads that companies are running, how long, how many times they were seen, and which types of ads, such as video ads, landing pages, standard ads, and native ads. Below is the ad information that shows up when searching for “Deloitte”.
it is very important to look at the metric of how long an ad has been running because then you know it is doing well for them. If you recreate a similar ad, then this should also perform well.
4. video, video, video!
i cannot stress how effective videos are to use in ads. We are in a digital age where video is crucial for success in marketing. I realize that may sound hypocritical, as I am typing this overly long blog post, but people engage and respond more to video that text or even images. Creating video ads puts you ahead of the competition, because the barrier to entry is much higher. You competitors will not all be using videos, because they are harder to make and requirement much more time to put together. But, once you have a video, the competition will be much lower.
you obviously can film your videos on your own, but you can also utilize stock video footage from places like Shutterstock. Go online and find a videographer to help you put a small commercial together, if you don’t want to get too involved with buying a camera or video editing software.
the first video below is an example of an ad from a food delivery start up, Deliveroo. It has some amount of production involved, but it is not impossible to make. The next one is Dollar Shave Club and its one of the most famous examples of a cheap commercial ad for a small business. The last example shows how ManyChat made an ad with barely any live video footage at all.
dollar shave club
5. emojis 😃 🎉 💕
besides the videos, my guess is that the line on this page that sticks out the most is the one above. I don’t need to say more, they’re great for catching your eye. 😉
6. coupon codes
one common way to both entice customers and track where they come from is by using coupon codes. If a customer sees an ad and then searches your site directly in the URL bar, then you may not know how they found you. You would then have a misrepresentation of how successful or not an advertisement is. You can create a code, such as FB123, which will let you know which ad people saw that lead to them making a purchase.
this technique works for Facebook, but can become even more powerful when used with Instagram influencers, banner ads, referrals, events and many other channels.
7. offers and free giveaways
another way to attract customers is to use free offers and giveaways. This might include a free product or resource. For example, if you are offering Instagram consulting services, you could offer a free e-book on how to launch your first Instagram marketing campaign. People love “free”, and so give the people what they want.
the example here shows a free webinar offer that marketing expert, Neil Patel, used to market to his audience.
8. clean up your facebook page
i’ve seen it so many times where a business is spending so much time and money on Facebook Ads, yet their existing facebook page is a total mess. The address is wrong, the contact email is not given, there hasn’t been a post in decades, or they’ve posted 4 of the same profile photos but with different cropping. Please clean up your Facebook page, because people will frequently click and arrive there. Make sure that you have call-to-actions that people can take on your Facebook page. Point people in the direction of where they can contact your or make a purchase.
9. connect your online shop to your facebook shop
everyone knows that Facebook of course wants to sell ads, but what Facebook wants to do even more than selling ads is to keep people on Facebook and have them engage with the platform and have their full experience on Facebook. This is the reason why Facebook has created Facebook Shops for businesses, where customers can purchase products directly on your Facebook page. You can either manually create your products on your business page or you can sync your online shop with the Facebook Shop.
for example, if you are using WooCommerce or Shopify, you can link the accounts so that anytime you create a new product or update an old product, the product will also change on your Facebook Shop. Unfortunately, Facebook Shop only works for products and not services, but Facebook does allow you to list your services still on your Facebook page. You can also use a loop hole as well to list your services as products in the shop, but that’s a secret you’ll have to contact me for 😉
the ad execution strategies: what to do during
10. omni-channel marketing + multi-pixels
i didn’t include Facebook Pixels as a strategy, because this is a must have for any marketer, but it is well know and very common. However, another technique that is less common is omni-channel marketing, which is the concept of using multiple channels, social media, website, mobile ads, etc. to funnel visitors to your website and also to the other channels used. The goal is to create a consistent and complementary experience in every channel and share visitors across platforms.
a great, innovative example of this, is an ad that Nike ran not too long ago to lead a Facebook Ad viewer to a YouTube video, capturing double pixels on both a Facebook and Youtube. The funnel worked like so:
- the first part of the ad was a Facebook ad that showed a video of a boy playing soccer. The video was 1/3 complete and you had to swipe to view the rest of the story.
- once you swiped, you were sent to a Youtube video where you could view the second part of the story. You were then prompted to see the end of the story on the website.
- finally, the last part of the story was shown on a Nike landing page, where they had set up a call-to-action.
not only is this a great funnel to keep the visitors engaged, but Nike could now retarget visitors on both Facebook and YouTube due to the double pixel exposure. This was a very creative technique and utilization of omni-channel marketing.
11. adespresso or qwaya
with AdEspresso you can manage your Facebook, Instagram and Google Ads. You are able to:
- manage your advertising for all of these channels in one place
- analyze the performance of all of the advertisements in these channels and compare them to each other
- easily edit ads that aren’t performing well and bulk edit ads that have the same mistake
for a company just getting started out with Facebook Ads, this may not be necessary. I always recommend clients to start out simple at first and then increase the complexity of their advertising campaign, but for any serious marketers these are essential.
12. mailchimp email lists for look-a-like audiences
if you don’t already know what a look-a-like audience is, Facebook essentially takes an audience from Facebook or an email list and uses an algorithm to determine another set of Facebook users that have similar attributes to the primary audience you’ve designated. You can use email lists (such as MailChimp or Excel file) to create look-a-like audiences and have the two tools linked, so that they are automatically fed into Facebook. This way you can target new users that are similar to your existing target audience.
you may even have a list of email addresses of people who have not subscribed to you, but you can still use them to identify a look-a-like audience that fits the same profile of those people.
13. market to audiences that have interacted with your page
a very simple but effective technique is to market your Facebook Ads to visitors that have already engaged or interacted with your page. You can market to people that have liked your page, interacted with events, followed you on Instagram or have messaged you in the Facebook Messenger app.
14. landing pages with leadpages
i highly recommend creating landing pages using LeadPages. You need to make sure your customers are going to the right page, where they can make a purchase and there is only one action. The fewer the steps, the better. You may be wondering why on earth would I need a landing page? I have a website already. Why can’t I just drive traffic to the homepage?
first of all, landing pages are one of the simplest, but most effective ways to drive conversions. Landing pages allow you to track where the traffic is coming from. You can create a landing page with different URLs that are associated with different marketing channels you are using, so that you can identify which marketing channels are the most efficient for you.
secondly, when a visitor arrives at your homepage, they may be overwhelmed with too much information and content, even though they had reacted to a specific ad, such as for an offer, webinar, product etc. A landing page allows you to drive your Facebook visitors to a place where there are very few distractions. You want to create one main call-to-action on the landing page and keep the content direct and simple, because you already know the ad that drove your customers there. Put the purchase or add-to-cart button directly on the landing page! Don’t leave them with 3 more steps they need to click through to find that action. Leadpages is a leader in the landing page space and is one of the best tools to use for this functionality.
15. marketing funnels with clickfunnels
once you get a visitor to click through the Facebook Ad, you can further up-sell them by using tools, such as Click Funnels. This allows you to create a marketing funnel where, if a customer doesn’t buy on step 1, you can offer another smaller product at a reduced rate. If they don’t purchase that product, then you can offer them a free trial. If they don’t accept the free trial, you can invite them to a webinar. The idea is that you can cater to all segments of customers that have different purchasing points or motives. Although this is separate from Facebook, it is a great way to beef up your Facebook Ad strategy. Alternately, if someone does buy, you can try to sell them on an additional product they should add to their cart as well.
it is very important that you don’t just focus on the Facebook Ad itself, but the whole process from the start to the finish line, where the customer has made a purchase or become a lead.
16. segmented messaging
your ideal customer or audience will have a specific persona. The better you know your customer, the better you can advertise to them. For example, if you are a dance school, your ideal customer might be a mom in her mid 40s with kids in pre-school living in a certain geographic area and in a higher income bracket with interests in dance, music and Disney movies. You probably have realized now that you can segment those groups of users in Facebook Ads, but many businesses forget to adjust their content and messaging to fit those groups that they are marketing to. You should adjust your messaging based on audience segmentation, such as geography, demographics, interests etc.
for example, going back to the dance school example, if you are marketing to the persona I described above, you might want to use a headline, such as the following: “Magical Little Mermaid Dance Classes in D.C. for Preschoolers”. This will trigger that customer to say “that’s me!” and click on the ad, because that speaks to who they are. Facebook Ads makes this easy to do because you can create any variations of the same ads with different titles, text and calls to action. For a customer interested in tap and live in Virginia, you might want to change the title to “Tap Classes in Virginia for Preschoolers”.
17. utilize ad sets
by using Facebook Ad Sets, you can create a variety of ads within one segmented audience. You can try different permutations of content and messaging to see what does and doesn’t work. Once you determine what content is performing well, you can adjust your spending to focus on the ads with the highest success rates.
be sure that when you are marketing a Facebook Post, you want to drive all your ad to one post, in order to optimize and consolidate social shares on that one post.
18. remove ad settings that don't convert
when running a Facebook Ad there are different options of placements for the ads. Ads can, for example, be placed on the sidebar rather than directly in someone’s newsfeed.
most people leave everything checked, but it is important to think about whether certain placement does not work well for your type of product or service.
for example, if you are a tax consulting company, you may want to avoid Instagram ads, because these will not convert well for you. Instagram ad placement works much better for consumer products that you can purchase directly online. A tax consulting company will want more desktop views.
here you have the full list of ad placements. In the past, you could uncheck the “Right Column” ad placement, because this is the worst converting ad placement! My guess is that people were more often unchecking this option, and so Facebook has blocked the option to do so.
the post-ad execution strategies: what to do after
19. retarget 50% watched videos
a great feature that Facebook Ads has is the ability to retarget people that have watched 50% or more of a video. If you run a video ad and a certain group of people watch 50% of the video, then you have now confirmed that they have an interest in the content. Although they may have not purchased the product, you can run another advertisement to those exact same people to see if you can get them to convert again.
20. retarget based on pages viewed
another retargeting technique is to retarget people based on a certain page they viewed. If someone has reached the checkout page, but not made a purchase, you will probably want to retarget those people to get them closer to completing the order.
21. retarget add to cart
you can also retarget people who added a product to their cart. Similarly to the previous technique, if a customer has added an item to their cart, but not made the purchase, it means they are interested in the product, but may have forgotten to finish the purchase process or they are on the fence. By having them see another ad, this may spark their interest again or help settle an objection that was keeping them from buying.
22. A/B testing of ad variations
it is very smart to A/B test your Facebook ads and landing pages. You should try different messaging in the content. Many businesses make the mistake of running 1 ad for $100, instead of running 10 copies of ads for $10 each. By diversifying you can then see which of those 10 worked or not. By running 1 ad, you are putting all of your eggs in one basket.
below is an example of two variations of the same ad/landing page. One with and without a personal guarantee. This comes from an innovative website called Good UI, which has some great examples of different ad experiments that were run and what the results were.
also by creating different variations of ads, you can also keep your Frequency rates down. Frequency is the number of times the same person has seen your ad. A frequency of 2 means that person has seen the same ad twice. You will want to expose users to new variations of ads that trigger different emotions. If a customer doesn’t click the ad talking about low prices, they might click on the ad with a testimonial, and so don’t show them the ad on low prices again, if they did not click on this initially.
23. experiment and then adjust
run ad experiments and then adjust to using the high performing ads. Test different ad content, but also test different techniques. Try the retargeting of add-to-cart customers or certain page views. Test different audiences as well. You can try different age groups or geographies. The point is to not just run an ad once and then say you’re done. Try different experiments and then see what works. Once you find out what is and isn’t working, you can then adjust your strategy and perform even better on round two with this new information.
24. increase spending slowly
this is a subtle technique that should help. What many expert marketers recommend is to ramp up your spending slowly about 20-25%. The costs will go up a little, but then go back down over time. People often make the mistake of going from spending $100 to $1,000, which will make cost per much higher. Be patient and slows increase your budget limits.
25. boost posts
boosting posts is a great strategy that’s easy and can often have a nice return. The concept is to spend money to market your Facebook posts, whether thats a new product, an offer, blog content etc.
26. facebook messenger ads
it has been made very clear by Facebook that the newsfeed is not the future of Facebook. One reason is because of external pressure to become content police. On the one hand they’re urged to take down inappropriate, offensive and fake content, but they are also not supposed to censor too much and silence people’s voices. This is not the business they want to be in at all and they don’t want to be stuck in the middle of a political battle.
private groups and messaging allow Facebook to take a step back and take a load off their responsibility as police. And so, Facebook is turning their attention to messaging.
messaging is almost like email marketing, but with much higher open rates. The content is interactive and people can engage and respond to it, which you cannot do in email. You can even perform advanced segmentation and drip marketing or segment users easily by asking them questions.
a great tool for this is Mobile Monkey, which is like MailChimp for Facebook Messenger. You can send messages to your users and do anything that you can do with email marketing, but with messenger. For example, you can send blog posts via messenger to people who like your page. The open rates are also about 20% for messenger, which is much higher than the typical 2% for email open rates.
the one thing to keep in mind is that there are stricter rules than email because you cannot message people who have not messaged you before.
27. facebook lead ads
for lead generation you should use Facebook Lead Ads, which allows customers to submit forms directly within Facebook. The idea is why should you use a Facebook Ad to then send someone to your website and fill out a form there? Why not reduce the total number of steps and have the form fields directly within the Facebook Ad, which will increase the number of conversions? This is similar to the Facebook Shop, where Facebook is trying to get people to make users complete purchases directly within Facebook.
online marketers are always developing innovative and creative ways to market using Facebook Ads. When developing your ad strategy, you should look at what you should put in the content, how you should execute and run the ad, and then how you can adapt and adjust your marketing in the subsequent iterations. Additionally, you should not just run an ad and believe you are done. You need to look at the full funnel from the visitor seeing you ad all the way to the customer making a purchase. Ads often don’t succeed on the first try but rather the results of a series of ads helps you determine what is and is not working. You can then change your next ad to perform even better.
if you are looking to improve your Facebook Ads, YouTube Ads or other types of online marketing, you can select the button below, where we will help your business develop and implement an online marketing strategy.