[Updated: 19th August 2016]
Have you created a Facebook ad campaign plan or do you give into temptation and hit that inviting ‘Boost’ button? Here’s my guide to planning for better results.
Too many of us fail to plan but those who do will get more from their spend. As Facebook ad charges rise, we really don’t have an alternative. We need to have a Facebook campaign plan to become more cost effective.
In this post we’ll look at the elements that need to go into your Facebook advertising plan.
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Before you start, set yourself a budget. I recommend allocating a monthly sum to your Facebook advertising. You can break this down into segments for each campaign you want to run over this time.
For example, you may allocate €100 per month. From this, you might want to build your Facebook audience so you allocate €1 per day for a Like campaign. You spend €5 a week boosting posts to reach a larger portion of your audience. This leaves you with €13 a week for website clicks/ lead gen or conversion ads.
You could also choose to allocate your budget to one objective per month:
- In month one spend your entire budget on Like ads
- In month two boost your posts
- In month three collect leads
Note that the minimum daily spend for boost post ads is €1 per day but if you go for the website clicks objective you are required to spend a minimum of €5 per day. There is a hack to get around this, I covered it in here.
Who do you want to target with your Facebook advertising campaign?
I would recommend creating 3-4 audiences for each Facebook ads campaign that you run
- Targeting people who Like your page. This is a solid audience that you have already built, they have shown an interest in what you do so are more likely to be susceptible to your ads.
- A Website Custom Audience (WCA). You need to install the Facebook Pixel to collect this audience but it’s a great audience to have, those who have already visited your website are more likely to click again.
- An Email Custom Audience. You can build an audience of people who have subscribed to your email list. Facebook will try and match the email addresses you have with Facebook users and serve your ads to them. Again this is an interested, receptive audience. You should see good results when you target them.
- Interest based audience. There has been a lot of talk about the effectiveness of Interest targeting recently. I do still find it effective but I tend to target a broader audience than I have in the past. If you get too specific you could exhaust the target audience quite quickly.
If any of these audiences are very large (over 20,000) it’s worth segmenting them further.
For example, you could segment your audience by:
Location – Where do your target market live? By segmenting by town you can attract their attention by mentioning their town in your ad copy.
Gender – Do you want to target a predominantly Male or Female audience? Think about what images and text will be most likely to attract each gender.
Demographics – Target people in a relationship, the level of their relationship, parents or children of a specific age and lots more.
Interests – This is where it gets really interesting, you need to try and guess what interests your target market may have. For some this is easy. If you are a bike shop you want to target people with an interest in cycling. If you are a coffee shop you might want to target those with an interest in business, parenting or shopping.
You can get even more granular and target people who are frequent travellers, small business owners and even Facebook page admins.
The more interests you add the larger your audience becomes. You can narrow it again by targeting people who are interested in one group of things & another. See below:
There are three tiers to any Facebook ad campaign plan:
- Campaign – A campaign is set by the objective. For example, I am going to run a website clicks campaign for a book giveaway. The objective ‘website clicks’ is set at campaign level.
- Ad sets – Each campaign can contain many ad sets. Each ad set can have a different target market and budget. If you were to create four target markets as recommended above, each one would have its own ad set within the campaign. You can split your budget four ways equally, or allocate a different portion dependent on audience size.
- Ads – These are the advertisements themselves, each ad set can have multiple ads within it. Facebook will split test the ads in each ad set to see which is most effective.
Tip: Always name your campaigns and ad sets in a smart way so that you can easily find them again in the future.
You have the opportunity to add up to six images when you build a campaign In Facebook ads manager. Facebook automatically split tests these to see which are most effective and uses the winner for the remainder of your campaign.
But you aren’t restricted to a single ad per image either.
Carousel ads let you use up to 10 images, allowing customers to browse through multiple products or services. These can be effective for online retailers or businesses offering a variety services to a single target customer. For example, we used Carousel style ads to market a series of eLearning courses for our online training company.
Slideshow ads. If you upload more than two images Facebook gives you the option of turning these into a slideshow video. Video ads do tend to get additional reach and interaction and this is a great way to create one for free.
Ad Image tips
According to Wishpond the following image types work best in Facebook ads:
- Smiling faces
- Strong colours
- Your logo (although if it’s too intricate it might be hard to identify in sidebar ads)
- Children and pets
- Funny or odd images
If you want inspiration for your images take a look at this gallery from AdEspresso. You can search for images by industry, objectives and placement. Even without searching specific it’s a good way to judge which images work for you and which you would be most likely to click.
Of course it is always best to create your own unique images for ads, there’s lots of online editing tools such as PicMonkey and Canva that can help you. If you are really stuck Facebook gives you the option to use ShutterStock images for free. Although this is a quick shortcut you can’t beat having your own unique images.
Remember that text heavy images can get limited news feed distribution so be cautious about adding too many text overlays.
If you do have any good quality video clips it is well worth creating a version of your ad that includes this instead of an image. I’ve seen a much better interaction rate and click rate when using video ads.
An important part of your Facebook campaign plan is measurement. I make it a habit of creating tracking links in Google URL builder for each Facebook ad, this means I can track the results not just through the Facebook ads interface but also Google Analytics.
You can create a tracking link for each ad or use the same one campaign wide. Here’s a tutorial on how to set up tracking links.
5. Advertising Copy
The text that accompanies your ads is also important. I usually create at least two variations of the text, I then create an ad for each text type with each image.
These are the ads I’d create if I had two images and two variations of text:
- Text 1 Image 1
- Text 1 Image 2
- Text 2 Image 1
- Text 2 Image 2
The ad copy itself is important. This is the text that sits above the image in the newsfeed.
If I am targeting by interest I will always try and personalise this text. For example:
“Dublin people, for special offers, hints & tips on staying healthy click the Like button”
“Business owners click here to download our free content schedule templates.”
Remember when you are writing text to think about the customer first. What interest is what you have to them? Why would they bother clicking, liking or downloading?
Let your ad run for at least a week before you decide if it’s working or not. Some ads are popular to start with then tail off over time others take time to mature.
You need to set yourself a goal at the beginning of your Facebook ads planning. Think about how many likes, how many click-throughs, how many conversions, event RSVP’s or offer claims you would like to get from your Facebook advertising campaign.
If this is your first campaign you might find your estimates are way out but by the time you get to your third or fourth you will have a better idea of realistic goals.
Now you have made all the big decisions you are ready to start your campaign.
What have I missed? How else do you plan your advertising campaigns. Let me know in the comments below.