Facebook Ads Best Practices 2020
Facebook Ads can be a minefield, on the other hand they can be a gold mine. Your job as an advertiser on Facebook is to get the best return on your ad spend as possible.
Just going to Facebook and clicking the boost button won't help you get the return you want, so in this article I will dive into the best practices for running Facebook ads in 2020 we'll also focus on understanding what the data Facebook presents means for your campaigns.
Facebook Ads Are Easy
Facebook ads are accessible to everyone, you can start run ads from $1 a day and over time scale them up.
Because running ads can be easy to do, that doesn't mean that you should just dive in and run them.
Plan your ads as if it was any major purchase, sure you might just be spending $5 a day but if you've done your research and created a great ad over the next 3 months you could spend the cost of a decent house on those ads.
It's not unknown for small campaigns to lead to a $10,000 a day campaign. It is your money that you are spending, so never forget that and take control of your ads, that starts by knowing as much as possible about how the Facebook ads system works.
Later in this post I'll look at all the data you need to understand and what it all means but first let's look at how the Facebook ad system works.
Facebook Ads Basics
The first thing to be aware of is that Facebook are constantly testing and changing the rules. What is acceptable and normal today might not be allowed tomorrow. I saw the following ad today, notice the amount of text visible?
This may be an anomaly, maybe a test or it may be the next iteration of Facebook ads. It's your job as an advertiser to be aware of what Facebook are doing so make sure you read their posts and news articles. Ad Manager Updates
The ad system is controlled by an algorithm therefore the more data it has the more accurate it will be.
For example, when you advertise your product, the Facebook algorithm knows nothing about your audience and who is likely to buy so it uses a broad brush approach and show the ad to people it thinks might purchase.
Once you have some conversions from your ads it has a better idea of who your buyers are. It will then show the ads to an audience more likely to buy or achieve the goal your've set.
For this to happen it needs data and if you are looking for buyers that data is conversions. The more data it has the more accurate it can be, if you don't have conversion data it's best to start with other types of ads and keep running them until you can give Facebook a list of buyers.
The Holy Grail of Facebook Advertising is to run ads for your products to cold traffic and convert. It's rare that you'll be able to do this from the start so it's better to start with ads that build brand recognition, and audience education.
When starting out here are some general guidelines.
- Step 1 - Know your desired outcome before you start (Get a Lead, Make a Sale etc)
- Step 2 - Run engagement ads to cold audiences that keeps the traffic on Facebook, these are the cheapest ads.
- Step 3 - Run your ads that lead to your desired outcome to people who have engaged with your ads on Facebook (Step 2)
- Step 4 - Run retargeting campaigns to people who have landed on opt-in forms or sales pages but not purchased.
Facebook Ads Components
When you first run ads you are most likely not to get the results you hoped for. I recommend that you think of your first few hundred dollar's worth of advertising as research and data gathering.
It is probably the cheapest data you'll ever buy and worth every cent you spend. Do not underestimate the value of this data, if you have data from your ads and no sales they are never a failure.
Your ads will rarely work straight from the start so patience is definitely a virtue when running ads, I'll often leave mine run for a 3 days to a week before checking them. (I always start and test with low budgets)
I've had several that have a potential return of $300 or more from a sale, I am happy to run $10 a day to these for 15 days before seeing results if I can see that people are clicking through. The rewards are usually worth it.
Your ads comprise several components and all of them will affect the success or failure of your campaigns. Ensuring that you get as much right at the start is a sure fire way to lower costs and improve results.
The creative consists of the image, the headline and the text they all go together to make your ad.|
The image is designed to "stop the scroll", attract attention and stand out from the Facebook feed.
Faces usually work as do high contrast images. The bottom line is make your image pop and catch attention.
Try to avoid having text on your image, it'll just looks like an ad!
The image below is still one of the best performing images after 5 years.
The headline should provoke curiosity or work to help self identify your audience.
" Confused About Online Marketing?"
" This Simple System Ends Writer's Block"
Hopefully, the only people to click on those ads would be people who want to learn email marketing or people who struggle with writers block.
The Body Text
If the Image and Headline are doing their job, then the body text should be redundant, in the perfect ad the body text should rarely be read. Keep it short and concise.
The one exception is if you want to keep the traffic on Facebook and raise awareness of you or your brand. In that case create well formatted long form copy and break it up with white space and some emoji's.
These long form ads have to get a message across while keeping the audience's attention.
The Call To Action
What's the purpose of your ad? Make sure you tell people what you want them to do.
"Click Here to Learn More"
" Get Your Free Guide - Click Here"
Facebook Ads Glossary
Facebook will give you a load of data about your ad, understanding what it means and how it can guide you is important.
Lets look at what that data means.
Click Through Rate (CTR)
This shows you the relationship between how many people viewed your ads and how many people engaged with it.
If 100 people see your ads and 5 click through to the objective you have a CTR of 5%
CTR is a good indicator of how good your creative is. If you have a very low CTR then look at your headline, image and call to action.
For engagement campaigns CTR is not relevant because you want the audience to stay on Facebook (cheap ads). But when driving traffic to an offer or landing page CTR is an important indicator of how you are performing.
A good CTR indicates that your ads are performing well, it is not a guarantee that you'll have a profitable campaign as your landing page may not be working.
What's a Good CTR?
Only you can answer that and you'll get to know how your ads perform over time, if you normally get a 3% CTR and suddenly an ad gets 0.8% then you'll know you have a problem, on the other hand if a new ad gets 6% you know you are onto a winner.
The percentage of people who click through to your landing page and perform the action you want.
Following on from the previous example if 1 of the 5 people who clicked through to your landing page buys your product or opts in then your conversion rate is 20% (the average is between 1 and 2% in reality)
Cost Per Click (CPC)
Generally with Facebook ads the better the conversion rate, the lower your cost per click will be. Facebook wants happy advertisers and customers, this is one way of doing it.
Conversely, if you have a large CTR and a low conversion rate, expect your cost per click to be high and be prepared for your ad to stop running or get banned.
Return On Ad Spend (ROAS)
This is the magic number, the higher it is the better, if you spend $100 on a campaign and make $300 worth of sales then your ROAS is 3. When you are running a series of ads the ROAS number is a great way to quickly identify your winners and the ones that need to be looked at closer.
This sounds simple enough doesn't it, but it's far more complicated than most people appreciate.
At a basic level the figure shown is how many times Facebook has shown your ad. Do not confuse this with reach.
Reach is the number of unique people you ad MAY be seen by and is a function of the audience you've chosen.
Total impressions are the actual number times an ad has been shown, if for example I see an ad in my newsfeed, I then see it on my phone and later on Instagram, that is 3 Impressions, but I am just counted as 1 in the reach figures.
The total impressions are what Facebook use to help rate your ad and to feed the algorithm.
At around 500 impressions they will give you a quality rating, they call this "Ad Relevance" the rating given based on several factors, engagement and conversions being two.
This is a great indicator of how your ad is doing, if you have a low score you should look at your ad again and see why it's not relevant to your chosen audience.
The more impressions you get the better the algorithm performs at around 8000-10,000 impressions, Facebook will know how well your ad is likely to perform over time.
The bottom line is Total Impressions should guide you as to what you should do with an ad. If there is a low number of impressions and it isn't converting, keep it running to gather data.
If there is a high number of impressions and it's still not converting consider pausing the ad.
Cost Per Thousand (CPM)
The CPM is a measure of how much 1000 views on your ad will cost you. Obviously you want to keep this figure as low as possible.
The main use of CPM is to indicate to you if your ad will be profitable.
If you are converting at 1% then you'll make 10 sales with 1000 views. If those 10 sales will bring in $1000 and your CPM is below this you are in profit , if above this.. whoops think again.
Engagements are a bit of a vanity metric and determine on whether people are commenting, liking and sharing your ad. While all those are great, if you ad doesn't achieve your goal they aren't very useful.
I'll take a profitable ad with zero engagement over a loss making ad with loads on engagement any day!
Interpreting the Data
Knowing the CPC, CTR and Ad relevance score can tell us a lot about what we need to know our ads.
As I mentioned earlier, your Cost Per Click is related to your ad performance, a well-performing ad will have a lower CPC than a poorly performing ad. Knowing what may cause issues will help you reduce your CPC over the time an ad is running.
- If you have a high Click Through Rate (CTR) and at the same time your Ad Relevance is low you should look at your audience, it may be wrong.
- If you have a high CTR and a High Ad relevance, you should be good, if you aren't making conversions look to your landing page for problems.
- If your CTR is Low and your Ad Relevance is high check your creative
- If you CTR is LOW and Your Ad Relevance is low - check your audience.
Facebook ads can be profitable if you know what you are doing, If you just create an ad and hope for the best .. you'll be disapointed.
It's not Facebook's job to make every ad a home run so keep focused on what's happening and monitor the data Facebook provides, it will provide you with enough cluses as to what you need to do next.
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