facebook instagram ads

3 Ways to Conquer Facebook and Instagram Ads

Are you planning to start advertising on Facebook and Instagram? Perhaps you are already allocating money to paid social, but are not seeing the results you would like. Since many growing ecommerce companies do not have marketers specialized in paid media, we teamed up with one of our agency partners, jetfuel.agency to offer up three general guidelines for conquering Facebook and Instagram ads.

Jetfuel.agency specializes in paid search and social media advertising, with many brands crediting jetfuel.agency for their improved advertising results and related revenue growth.

Let’s get right into the 3 ways you can conquer Facebook and Instagram ads!

  • Start marketing at all stages of the sales funnel–not just a single stage. Each stage requires its own messaging and unique content to keep them engaged.
  • Don’t come into Facebook ads with a “set it and forget” mindset. Continuously optimize your ads, capitalizing on successful campaigns, and shutting down poorly performing ones.
  • Always test your ad creative–there’s always room for improvement. Be sure to create ads that evoke emotion and resonate with prospects.

If done right, Facebook and Instagram ads will put your product in front of the right people, at the right time with exceptional efficiency. On the other hand, a subpar paid social strategy can bury your marketing budget quickly, due to media costs and competition from other advertisers.

When you advertise on Facebook and Instagram you tap into their network of billions of monthly active users. If that’s not impressive enough, Facebook has ad partners outside their main apps extending their reach even further. For our readers that are just getting started, note that Instagram ads are set up through Facebook’s ad manager. Instagram is the place to be if your product relies on visual selling.

1) Attack the whole funnel

The sales funnel provides a framework for viewing prospects as they progress through the buyer’s journey with your brand. The idea is that each funnel stage warrants its own messaging and offers, given that prospects in each stage exhibit highly varying levels of purchase intent and brand awareness.

Sales funnel – different stage, different approach


However, for many Facebook ad accounts, this tried-and-true approach to marketing has been reduced to generic messaging and offers with no regard to a prospect’s place in the buyer’s journey. While this strategy may have worked in the past when the Facebook landscape was considerably less competitive, a multi-touch buyer’s journey with stage-specific messaging and creative is imperative to having success on Facebook today.

We’ll break it down into a four-stage structure, each with its own unique message, targeting schema, and strategy.

The four different user stages


Stage 1 – This consists of the coldest audiences that most likely have no knowledge of your brand or products.

You’ll be targeting a combination of lookalikes, and audiences harvested through deep affinity mining. For more mature accounts whose pixel has already learned to identify your brand’s most likely customers through several conversions, you would use broad/open targeting.

The creative for this stage should skew toward educational and introductory content that acclimates a user to the brand and the products you’re trying to promote. This might range from a first-time buyer offer for a low-priced product to a video highlighting the value proposition and product features for more expensive products that require multiple touches.

Stage 2 – At this point, a user is interested in the product, but needs strong value propositions to help convince them.

This audience is generally engaged with your brand but still has not shown a high level of intent. Therefore it’s important that your creative and ad copy addresses the question of why they should buy from your brand.

Stage 3 – These prospects have shown serious buying intent.

The messaging and ads here will be entirely focused on closing the sale and converting a user. This stage should contain some of your highest-performing campaigns.

Stage 4 – Furthest down the funnel is the audience that consists of existing customers who have purchased from you already.

Depending on the specific products or services being sold, there are a plethora of options available for campaigns:

  • New product or service launches
  • Consumable item replenishment
  • Seasonal sales (Black Friday, other holidays)
  • Cross-sells


Wondering how this relates to your email marketing program?

Email marketing is broken down in a similar fashion with several stages, each requiring its own messaging and strategies. And much like ads, the competition is fierce, so you’ll need to craft a robust game plan to be effective. Download ReSci’s Data-driven Marketer’s Guide to Lifecycle Marketing to get ahead of the game. This guide offers overviews of lifecycle stages paired with strategies for each, along with ideas for campaigns, and examples from successful ecommerce marketers.

2) Optimize, optimize, optimize

The difference between having a successful Facebook advertising program, and a poorly-performing one comes down to the TLC you’re giving it. It’s important that you take advantage of Facebook’s “hot hand” algorithm, which favors ad sets that are exhibiting strong KPIs (think conversions, engagement metrics such as relevance score, and click-through rate).

Let’s take a look at a day in the life of one of a Facebook analyst:

Morning Routine

  • Check all ad sets and make sure daily budgets across ad sets are roughly at equal amounts.
  • If an ad set has been performing well for at least two days, keep it on a high budget. This means that it has high traffic delivered, a high volume of conversions, and a low cost per acquisition, or CPA. This will give the ad set more time to grab a higher reach percentage.
  • If an ad set has been performing poorly for at least two days, it’s time to rotate in a new ad or pause the ad set entirely. Ads rarely come back to life.

Afternoon Routine

  • If an ad is showing signs of fatigue (meaning key stats such as Relevance Score, click-through rate and CPA are all going in the wrong direction), consider reducing the budget or rotating in a new ad.
  • If the ad is showing promise, increase the budget.

Let’s take a look at a few examples.

  • This client has a target CPA of $3. You can see below that it’s a candidate for a midday budget increase.

  • For the client below, their CPA is $3 or below. You can see that it’s not doing well. This means it should be monitored. If it continues to underperform, you should reduce the budget. If continues to underperform over multiple days, a new ad should be rotated in.

Evening Routine

  • The late-night hours are typically low-performing. Decrease budgets during these times so you don’t spend during inefficient hours (unless your ad data shows otherwise).
  • Do your final ad rotations before you sign off for the night.

Important Note: Do not pause any ad sets that are performing well, ever. You will lose your performance/audience.


3) Fanatically test creative

Effective ad creative is the backbone of any successful Facebook ad account. All of the effort that goes into optimizing an account on a minute-to-minute basis is wasted if the creative isn’t working.

To find out what creative characteristics perform the best with a particular audience, we need to run consistent multivariate ad testing.

Many aspects of A/B testing focus on variables like color and appearance, but we’ve found that the biggest needle-mover is creative that evokes a feeling or emotion. People are emotional beings and they are looking for content that answers the question: “what’s in it for me?” vs. “why is this company/service so great?” Here is another great Facebook advertising resource that covers A/B testing and targeting.

We can’t stress enough that testing is instrumental for the success of any campaign. Build your creative testing process around being structured, rigorous, and aimed toward making iterative improvements with each round. At Retention Science we use multi-arm bandit testing, which allows marketers to run multiple tests all at once, quickly determining your best performing content.

You can always find more tips for paid and social media advertising on the jetfuel.agency blog.

Another thing to keep in mind is that Retention Science provides a unified customer profile by taking in data seamlessly from multiple sources. We’re already helping brands use their unified data to create impactful Facebook and Instagram ads that speak to their customers. Learn more about our social ad sync–a simple click to get your data synced to social networks to capture more customers.

Download Data-driven marketing guide

ReSci is a team of marketers and data scientists on a mission to democratize AI. We make powerful recommendations and predictions accessible to brands.

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