What Makes an Effective Facebook Ad
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Creating a Facebook ad can seem daunting. There are a lot of details and factors to consider. Facebook has over 1.45 billion daily users and reaching them can be difficult if certain practices aren’t followed. While there is no cookie-cutter method or secret recipe for creating the perfect Facebook ad, there are a few tips and tricks that can make an ad more effective.
Choose Your Audience
The first step is to choose a target audience wisely. The impact of a thoughtful and well-designed ad is lost if the right audience won’t see it. When creating a Facebook ad, an audience can be selected by various criteria: location, sex, age, interests, behaviors, language spoken, and connection to other businesses. Using these specifications, it’s possible to create a custom target audience. However, Facebook also offers an option to create what they call a “lookalike audience”. A lookalike audience considers previously mentioned factors, but is also based off of a “source.” Facebook factors in common sources within your audiences, such as demographics and interests, and then finds people that “look like” these sources specific to the country you choose.
How important is creating an appropriate target audience? Essential. Your ad can’t offer value if it’s targeting the wrong consumer. For example, just as you wouldn’t expect to see a makeup ad in a men’s magazine, you wouldn’t expect Ace Hardware to advertise to 18-24-year-old women on Facebook. A Facebook ad should offer enough value to its target audience to entice them to learn more.
After selecting the right audience for an ad, the placement of the ad is also a key factor in its effectiveness. There are six categories where an ad can be featured: feeds, stories, in-stream videos, messages, in-article, and apps and sites. Most advertisers choose multiple placements for their ads. The format of your ad plays a part in determining which ad placements you choose.
While determining the audience and placement for your Facebook ad are important, the creative aspect of your ad is just as vital. The best Facebook ads include some sort of visual and the visual needs to clearly match the message of your ad. Visuals can include images, videos, etc. Facebook gives advertisers 11 format options: images, videos, slideshows, collections, carousels, instant experiences, lead generations, offers, post engagements, event responses, and page likes.
Picking the right format can help to deliver your message clearly to your audience. For example, a business wanting to promote multiple products from their catalog would want to use the collection ad format rather than the slide show or carousel. Why? The collection format allows consumers to move from viewing products to purchasing easily. While the text of your ad is important, your visual will typically drive 80% of the ad’s traffic and performance. Visuals are first to catch the consumer’s attention when scrolling through Facebook.
The message of your ad needs to be clear and concise, with simple language that’s easy to understand. Facebook recommends keeping the message short, just under 90 characters. Depending on the ad type, message, and what type of business you are, advertisers may exceed this. Most advertisers agree that 120 characters is a common limit.
Calls to Action
Another best practice is to include some sort of call to action that is most relevant to your business and your desired outcome. Examples:
• Book Now
• Contact Us
• Buy Here
• Sign Up
Calls to action help to drive traffic to a specific point such as a link or an app in the app store. Facebook offers call to action buttons that can be used. However, the call to action can also simply be included in the message of your ad.
Optimizing your Facebook ad means telling Facebook what the primary goal of the ad is. Facebook allows you to optimize a range of objectives, placement, schedule, and delivery. Optimization will make your ad more effective and thus more likely to reach your desired goal.
The final stop to creating an effective Facebook ad is to TEST YOUR AD. Facebook offers advertisers the opportunity to test their ad with a small group of users before publishing the ad to their full target audience. This allows advertisers to test different versions of ads and select the version with the best overall performance.
Creating an effective Facebook ad is a combination of knowing your consumers and understanding how to use Facebook as a tool to reach them. By presenting the most value for your target audience, you can ignite their desire to learn more about your product or services.