10 Awesome Steps In A Successful Facebook Ads Campaign
IT'S VERY EASY to get Facebook Ads all wrong and waste a lot of money in a short space of time.
Learning how to advertise on Facebook - successfully - takes time, effort and yes, money.
That doesn't necessarily have to mean thousands and thousands but if you only have £50 to spend, I'm afraid you aren't magically going to turn that into a ton of sales overnight.
PLUS, there's one common trap that everyone falls into.
Yep, it's that 'boost' button that Facebook makes so prominent and tempting and sends you all those notifications about (you know the ones I mean: 'you have a high performing post, boost it!') and it's just so simple and easy to hit...
...BUT, most of the time you are just giving Facebook money for a few likes and comments on that post and nothing else. Don't be seduced by the fact you 'reached 5,000 people' - did that actually do anything for your business?
Hitting that boost button for even £10 once a week might seem like nothing at the time, but when you look at it over a year that's more than £500 you've spent just to get a few likes, heart faces and comments.
Last time I checked, likes and heart faces didn't pay my bills.
And most small businesses I know can't afford to waste £500 a year on something that doesn't help pay their bills, either.
The pros and cons of boosting posts deserve their own tale, however, so I'll cover that in another blog very soon (subscribe here to make sure you don't miss that one).
Now, let's get down to business.
Facebook Ads are very powerful in the right hands (and the wrong ones, too, it seems).
So powerful, in fact, they helped Donald Trump become President when he was a 25-1 rank outsider at the start of his campaign (now that's definitely another story).
To really get the most out of Facebook Ads though, you need to be venturing into that scary-looking thing called 'Adverts Manager'.
Which, after you've read this and become more familiar with the options available in Ads Manager and used it yourself a few times, won't actually seem all that scary at all.
In fact, it could be your business's new best friend.
Being able to advertise successfully will soon become essential to your marketing if Facebook implements these changes they have been testing which would effectively kill your business page unless you are paying for ads!
So, there's really no better time to be getting to grips with this and making a head-start on your competition.
Coming up, you'll learn 10 steps you can follow to give your Facebook Ads campaigns the best chance of success and start seeing a return on your ad money.
Grab a coffee, tea, beer or glass of wine (if you are seeing this in the evening, obviously) and read on.
1. What Are You Trying To Say?
STEP ONE: DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING!
NOPE, NO BUTTONS AND DON'T YOU EVEN DARE GO NEAR ADVERTS MANAGER YET!
YOU DON'T EVEN NEED YOUR LAPTOP, FOR NOW.
Leave them all alone. You can play with them in a minute.
Before you do ANYTHING....you need to know what you are trying to say first.
After all, if you don't have a clear idea of what your message is, how will all the thousands of potential customers you are about to try and speak to have a clue what you are on about?
Especially when they are scrolling down their Facebook feed at 50 miles an hour and don't even have the faintest idea of who you are.
Now, are you introducing them for the first time to your business and products or have they seen or bought from you before?
You may have heard of funnels or 'customer journeys'. Although at first glance these may sound like something more relevant to plumbers or the script of a Lord of the Rings film, they are key to any successful business marketing in 2017.
Here is a good, basic guide from Kissmetrics to check out after you've read this, as sales/marketing funnels are a whole other topic of their own.
However, being the nice, helpful guy I am, I will give you a simple example here for free. This is a classic 'AIDA' funnel:
Basically, a funnel maps out the different stages your customers go through before they buy from you, with more detailed funnels also mapping out the different marketing you would use at each stage.
Facebook simplifies your funnel into 3 stages: 'Awareness > Consideration > Conversion (I'll show you exactly what this looks like in Ads Manager in Awesome Step Number 4).
At the top of the funnel are your 'cold' audiences - people who have only just heard of you or don't even know who you are.
In terms of what you are trying to achieve with these types of people - you wouldn't ask someone to marry you on the first date, would you?!
And yet, too many businesses jump straight in on Facebook Ads with discount offers, 'special sales', 'amazing deals' or something similar, to a completely cold audience that has never even considered buying from them and doesn't have a clue who they are in the first place, then wonder why they get poor results and jump to the conclusion that 'Facebook Ads are rubbish.'
You've probably seen (or rather, not seen) plenty of ads like this yourself that you just ignore straight away because you have no idea who the company is and have zero trust built up with them.
Once you have people's attention and they at least have some concept of who you are, then you can move them further down your funnel by offering something of value or showing why you are the best option for them (using case studies, reviews, guides etc).
Only after this can you expect to start seeing results from your offers, when people know enough about you to be comfortable buying from you.
So, what stage of your funnel are your target audience at and what message are you trying to get across to them?
When you boil it down, there are three basic messages for each of the three funnel stages on Facebook:
'Hi, I'm Gil, this is what I do and you might want to consider buying from me sometime'
'Hi again, I'm Gil and I'm the best person for you to buy this from'
'Hello my friend, it's Gil here again and now it's time to buy from me!'
Once you have your message clear, make sure this is consistent in all aspects of your ads - targeting, ad copy, images/videos, landing pages, all of it.
Which leads me onto Awesome Step Number 2 - once you know what you are trying to say...
2. Who Are You Saying It To?
You still shouldn't be touching your Ads Manager just yet.
After all, how can you sell something if you don't know who the ideal customer that you should be trying to sell to is?
Don't get so caught up thinking about what your business and your products offer that you forget the most important thing - the customer!
Without a full understanding of who they are your ads are doomed to failure before you've even started running them.
Are they male or female? What sort of age? Where do they live? What do they like doing? Where do they hang out? What do they do for work?
All these and more are what you need to know and understand before you even touch your Facebook Ads dashboard.
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You won't get a better opportunity to target your ideal customers than with Facebook Ads.
Want to target men within a 40-mile radius of your business, aged 30-40, who like football, Netflix, run their own business and earn over £45,000 a year?
Or, single women aged 35-50 who like Instagram, watch The Apprentice and Strictly Come Dancing?
You can do all this with Facebook Ads.
All you have to do is identify what your ideal customer looks like and then match them to the powerful targeting options available in Ads Manager.
Remember, 'trying to be everything to everyone only ends up in you being nothing to anyone.'
So, nail down who your customers are, what they need and what they like and then be the best you can be at servicing these customers and their needs.
3. Have You Got Your Pixel Installed?
The usual response I get when I ask this question looks something like this:
So, if that's you too, don't worry you are not alone.
The Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you create in your Ads Manager and then copy onto your website, which allows Facebook to track visits to your website and also events on certain pages.
It's basically like Google Analytics for Facebook (on steroids).
'So what's the big deal about this, Gil?' I hear you ask.
The big deal is - the Pixel not only sits there collecting valuable data, it allows you to actively use this data to make your ad campaigns more effective!
It's the fuel for the engine of ALL your Facebook Ads.
Without it, you are flying blind.
To effectively run conversion ads (where you want someone to take a direct action on your website) you need to give the 'Facebook Ads Brain' data to work with and the only way to do this is if it can track your efforts using the Pixel.
The Pixel also allows you to take advantage of the lowest-cost, most efficient form of Facebook Ads - retargeting - which makes customers up to 70% more likely to purchase. But more on that in a minute.
Here's a practical example of how the Pixel helps you:
Say you own a health food shop and run a conversion ad for your newest product 'Super Soup' to encourage people to buy directly from your website
Having your Pixel installed means Facebook can track not only every single person who clicked on your ad, but who added 'Super Soup' to their cart and who actually went through and purchased it