Unless you’ve sworn off using technology for your business, you’ve heard of—or tried—Facebook advertising. According to this study, over 20% of all Facebook business pages are using paid ads to drive traffic to their website and increase engagement on their posts.
Between you and me, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to use Facebook ads and failed…miserably. I throw a few dollars into a Boosted post, it flops, I cry a little on the inside, and move onto the next marketing tactic. Until now. Last month, I got to sit down with Jack Paxton, founder of TopGrowthMarketing and AppSumo’s in-house FB ads guru, to pick his brain about Facebook ads.
Jack’s a pretty humble guy so allow us to brag on his behalf: he has managed over $100 million dollars in social advertising spend for clients like MyIntent and Badgley Mischka Home. So when it comes to FB Ads, Jack has seen it all—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Below you’ll find five super actionable tips that Jack shared with me during our conversation that you can use to grow and scale your business.
1. Make sure your pixel is working
One of the biggest mistakes novice Facebook Ads users make is not setting up their pixel correctly. Y’all, this is kind of a big deal considering your pixel is responsible for relaying all of your visitor information to Facebook. So you want to make sure it’s installed properly and firing. Lucky for you, many of the major website platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and WordPress make it pretty easy for you to implement your pixel.
If your website doesn’t have built-in pixel tracking, you can always follow the step-by-step instructions found here to make sure you’re doing it right. Unfortunately, when it comes to your pixel, it’s not enough to simply install it and pray for the best. In addition, you’ll want to test out the pixel. For example, if you are using on an e-commerce shop, you’ll want to go as far as making a test purchase on the site to ensure that the pixel is firing correctly. You can see if the pixel is firing within the Facebook Ads manager.
Now, not to overcomplicate this, but you also want to make sure it’s firing off the right events. When creating your pixel, you can choose which event you’d like to fire, this can be something like “viewed content,” “added to cart,” or “made a purchase.” You will select the right event to track with your pixel depending on your goal.
How is this put into practice? Let’s say you’re a blogger and are only interested in getting more readers. Then, the “viewed content” event is what you would use. However, if you have an e-commerce shop, you’ll want to know how many purchases were made from your ads, which you can do by tracking the “made a purchase” event. (Note: Jack recommends using the conversion event to get the highest ROI when you’re first starting out.)
Bottom line, whatever you do, do not run any marketing campaigns until you are sure that your pixel is working and firing off the correct events in your Facebook ads dashboard.
2. Never boost a post
If you’ve ever posted something to your Facebook business page, then you are probably familiar with the Boost button that appears on your post once you’ve published it. The idea behind this boost button is that you pay Facebook money and it will show your post to more of your page followers. BUT it’s a trap. Don’t do it.
Instead of boosting a post, Jack recommends using the Ads Manager to promote everything. The Ads manager will allow you to customize your audience much more than the Boost post option will. Simply boosting a post does not give you the opportunity to select the demographics of your audience or when and where your ad will be seen. And if you can’t select who sees your ads, you’re basically throwing your money away.
For those instances where you really want to boost a post, Jack recommends using the post as an ad instead. Now, this is a bit more advanced but stay with us. When setting up an ad, Facebook will give you the option to use a Facebook post from your page. To turn a post into an ad, you will need to find the ID number of that post and plug in the ID number in your Facebook Ads dashboard. This is a GREAT strategy to use on posts that already have lots of engagement because Facebook rewards posts that are engaging.
3. Focus on remarketing
Though Jack is used to working with large budgets, he does have advice for those of us who can only afford a small budget: focus on remarketing. Remarketing is when you show Facebook ads to people who have already visited your website, engaged with your previous ads, or are fans of your Facebook page. These campaigns tend to have the highest ROAS (return on ad spend) because these people are familiar with your brand and products and some of them even had your products in their cart. Since this audience is already interested in what you’re offering, they are perfect for a remarketing campaign.
Abandoned cart and dynamic product ads are two of the best remarketing campaigns that you can run. With Facebook ads, you can target people who added items to their cart but failed to check out. These ads will remind them that they have a product in their cart and hopefully encourage them to return to your site and complete the purchase.
Then, if you are a product based business, you can create dynamic ads using your catalog of products. When you have these set up, people who visit one of your product pages, but don’t add to cart or purchase, will be delivered ads featuring the exact product they viewed on your site. The goal here is to remind them about this great product you have and get them to revisit the site and make a purchase.
4. Add videos to your ads arsenal
When it comes to ads, videos outperform images, so make sure they’re a part of your ad portfolio. Now I know a few of you are probably thinking, “I don’t have a budget to create videos!” The good is your videos do not have to be professional and therefore don’t have to be expensive. You can use your iPhone and a tripod to create short videos that will still look great on Facebook.
Since people are used to watching short videos on Facebook and Instagram, you don’t need lengthy videos. In fact, under 60 seconds seems to be the sweet spot for ads. It’s worth noting that Facebook and Instagram see different success for different types of videos. For example, videos showing the product in use or the functions of the product do really great on Facebook, while more lifestyle videos do better on Instagram.
Size matters when it comes to Facebook and Instagram ads. In line with best practices, you’ll want to use a square format or 4×5 ratio. The 4×5 ratio video essentially takes up the entire mobile screen which is an advantage in getting people to stop scrolling and watch your video. While horizontal videos will work on both platforms, they don’t stop people from scrolling quite like the square or vertical videos do.
Because you’ve only got a few seconds to make an impression, make sure the cover photo of your video is compelling and that the first few seconds are engaging. Save the boring stuff like for later in the video. Kick it off with a promise, an offer, or an enticing story.
If you don’t have a smartphone or camera, Jack recommends using the slideshow feature within the ads platform—all you have to do is select a handful of images, give them each a tagline, and choose the transition times between images to create a makeshift video.
One last tip: use the caption feature. Many people scroll through their social feeds with the sound turned off. Using captions give people an opportunity to enjoy your video in silence.
5. Use better images
One of the biggest questions we had for Jack was “when it comes to Facebook ads, which is more important, images or copy?” Emphatically, he said that images were more important than copy. Because most Facebook users are scrolling through their newsfeed mindlessly, you need to have a “scroll stopping creative.” This is an image that makes a Facebook user stop in their tracks and pay attention to your ad. One of Jack’s best tips for images is to use colors that are opposite of the traditional Facebook blue, like red and yellow, so that they’ll stand out in the newsfeed.
If you are thinking about adding a text conversion element to your image, Jack recommends running an A/B test. Take your current ad copy and image and add a text conversion element to the image. Then, run both ads to see which one performs the best.
It’s important to note that if you add text to your images, be sure that it accounts for less than 20% of the image area. Facebook used to reject images that contained more than 20% text. And even though that has since changed, Facebook still penalizes images that are text heavy by charging more to run those ads. Jack’s advice is to avoid this situation altogether.
Once you’ve got your “scroll stopping image,” it’s time to turn your attention to the copy. Copy matters because it’s your opportunity to sell once you’ve gotten their attention. Here are two things to remember: longer copy works best for people who are already familiar with your brand and shorter copy should be used when prospecting.
Here’s what you learned:
- Make sure your pixels are firing for the events related to your business goals.
- Never use the Boost Post option on Facebook. Instead, use the Ads Manager to promote all your content to your intended targeted audience.
- If you don’t have a lot of money to spend on Facebook ads, try retargeting the people who are already familiar with your brand and company.
- Use video ads and keep them under 60 seconds. Be sure to use captions!
- Create a “scroll stopping image” for your Facebook ad and then use compelling copy to get your potential customers to click on your ad.
Now that you’re equipped with some of the best Facebook ads tips, we’d love to know how you plan to implement these into your strategy! Leave us a comment below!