3 Ways to Conquer Facebook and Instagram Ads
Approximately 6-7 minute read
- Start marketing at all stages of the sales funnel–not just a single stage. Each stage requires its own messaging and unique content to help move the user along the lifecycle.
- Don’t come into Facebook ads with a “set 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 inflict 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, thanks to increased competition and media costs over the past 3-4 years.
When you advertise on Facebook and Instagram you tap into their network of 3.23 billion monthly 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.
We have teamed with jetfuel.agency to give you 3 ways to conquer Facebook and Instagram ads. Jetfuel.agency specializes in paid search and social media advertising, working with brands like Perfect Bar and Mented Cosmetics. Both brands have grown progressively since having jetfuel.agency launch their Facebook and Instagram ads.
Let’s get right into the 3 ways you can conquer Facebook and Instagram ads!
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.
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, we will use broad/open targeting.
The creative will skew toward educational/introductory content that acclimates a user to the brand/products you’re trying to promote. That ranges from a first-time buyer offer for a lower-priced product, to a video highlighting value proposition/features for more expensive products that require multiple touches to sell.
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)
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. In this guide you’ll get lifecycle breakdowns paired with strategies, ideas for campaigns, and examples from winning marketing teams.
2) Optimize, optimize, optimize
The difference between having a successful Facebook account, 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 CTR).
Here’s an example of a day in the life of one of our Facebook analysts:
- 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, high volume of conversions and a low CPA. This will give the ad set more time to grab higher reach %.
- If an ad set has been performing poorly for at least two days, it’s time to rotate to a new ad or pause the ad set entirely. Ads rarely come back to life.
- If an ad is doing poorly: if the ad is showing signs of fatigue (meaning key stats such as Relevance Score, CTR % and CPA are all going in the wrong direction), consider a lower budget or an ad rotation.
- If an ad is doing well: if the ad is showing promise, increase the budget.
- This client has a target CPA of $3. You can see below that it’s a candidate for a higher budget midday.
- For the below client, their CPA is $3 or below. You can see that it’s not doing well. This means we need to keep an eye on it and if it continues to underperform, reduce budget. If it’s underperforming for multiple days, it needs to be rotated.
- 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 rotations before you sign off for the night.
Final Note: Do not pause any ad sets that are performing well, ever. You will lose your performance/audience.
3) Fanatically test creative
Effective creative is the backbone of any successful Facebook ad account. All of the effort that goes towards an account being optimized on a minute-to-minute basis will be in worthless if creative is ineffective.
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 online focus on items like colors, appearance, etc., but we’ve found that the biggest needle-mover is emotion. Human beings are emotional beings and every time they are looking to answer the question: “what’s in it for me?” vs. “why is this company/service so great?” Here’s some examples of AB testing with an added dose of emotion to get you started on these ideas.
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 allow 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. Retention Science’s platform provides a unified customer profile by taking in data seamlessly from multiple sources. We’re already helping brands like Perfect Bar, BURST Oral Care, and Olay 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.
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