As Facebook has created such a simple step-by-step process within its Ads Creator, it’s understandable that some are led to believe that running a Facebook advertising campaign begins with the ‘Create Ad’ button and ends with ‘Submit’.
However, to build and execute a truly impactful campaign, it’s a slightly longer journey.
Here we’ll break it down and I’ll take you through three steps to building a successful Facebook ads campaign:
1. Planning and strategy
As is so often the case, the first step is the most involved. Why? Well, let’s pretend we’re building a house. We’ll conduct surveys, check the lay of the land, that access to essential supplies is possible. Plans will be laid out and only then will we begin laying those all-important foundations.
A successful Facebook ads campaign should be part of a wider marketing plan. To get the results you desire you’ll first need to clarify what it is you hope to achieve. For e-commerce businesses, this is usually increased sales. Your goals should be clear to you before you begin. Why? Because Facebook is data-driven and fairly sophisticated and so will adjust your campaign accordingly to best meet those ambitions. For example, it may be targeted to those who have a history of making purchases through Facebook ads.
Other elements you’ll need to consider and plan for include:
Audience – If you’ve created an ideal client profile then this is a great place to start from. If not, subscribe to my mailing list because I’ll be sure to blog about it soon. To target the right market you’ll need to spend a little time brainstorming who your customers are – their interests, age range, location and behaviours. E-commerce brands should have some data from their website and previous sales to help drive targeting decisions.
Structure – It’s worth spending some time deciding what structure of advert you’ll be creating. Carousel styles, for example, will require multiple images. If you’re building a sales funnel you’ll need to plan for this from the outset.
PRO TIP! At White Bee Digital we strongly recommend keeping your warm and cold audiences in separate campaigns.
Copy and creative – Did you know that the average person is exposed to 6,000-10,000 adverts in just one day? Staggering as this is, ask yourself how many you remember per day. Or even how many that prompt you to engage. I’m betting that’s a number so low it’s making you think twice about investing in advertising at all! Clearly though, some adverts do break through and command attention. Although style and approach may vary greatly between successful advertising campaigns, there’s one thing I’ll promise you they have in common and that’s that they didn’t ‘wing it’.
Copy and creative is well worth investing time in. Play around, ask for feedback, experiment some more and don’t settle until you’re genuinely proud of how you have represented your brand.
I recommend forming 3-4 straplines that should be inspired by your USPs, then create both long and short-form copy for each. You’ll be glad of this when you reach stage three because having a bank of creative assets is going to keep you moving fluidly through setting up a successful Facebook Ads campaign.
Budget – Successful campaigns often end up paying for themselves, but when you’re getting started you’ll need to have a clear idea of what you’re willing to spend. As nothing in digital marketing is guaranteed, this can feel a little like gambling and it can be tempting to deflect to ‘how much can I afford to lose’ thinking. However, it’s important to begin from a place of confidence because if you’re not bold when showcasing your products then that threatens to filter through. What is most important in avoiding wasting money is monitoring your ad campaigns and adjusting any that are not working, which we’ll cover in stage three.
Stage one, as you can now see, is where all the heavy lifting comes into play. This is why if you outsource your digital marketing campaigns, you’ll usually be charged a set-up fee.
Key to the strength and longevity of any solid structure are well-laid foundations. As demonstrated by the deep-reaching roots of mighty oak trees and the submerged bulk of icebergs, most of the structure is hidden.
2. The Build
For the build we slot ourselves into the driving seat. Here we’ll be using the Facebook Business App. Since we’ve laid the groundwork in stage one, stage two becomes a fairly fluid and simple process.
Let Facebook guide you through their process. Re-read each instruction and request to ensure you’re staying aligned with your strategy, and be patient. Although this is not a complex process, I recommend carving out some time and not rushing through. You’ll likely want to split test several adverts with some variation on design and copy initially so that you can confidently proceed with the most effective.
Once complete, check, check, and triple check to ensure there are no errors in your targeting or your copy.
Once submitted to Facebook they’ll ask you to allow 48 hours, although it rarely takes anywhere near this long for your adverts to be reviewed and, hopefully, made live. However, if you’re building campaigns heading into Black Friday or Christmas you should allow more time as crazy shopping periods tend to spark quite the digital queue.
Once your advert is live it’s going to be like watching through the oven door and waiting for the cake to rise. You must not touch your adverts, even if they look like they’re sinking. Tinkering in the very early stages disturbs the natural process. It’s best to watch and wait to get a more accurate measure of how they’re adjusting to the climate.
Before the iOS14 update I’d recommend waiting for 72 hours but now, due to the data recording delay in Ads Manager, it’s wiser to adopt a hands-off policy for 5 days.
3. Ongoing Management and Optimism
This is an essential stage, especially in ensuring you don’t waste any of your investment in adverts that aren’t working. Compare your adverts, monitor those producing the best results and amplify these in lieu of those that are underperforming.
Whilst responding to data and making changes to your campaigns is advisable, you should limit how often you do so and take time out to watch and wait in between. I recommend not making changes more than every 72 hours. so that Facebook has time to adjust and provide you with accurate data.
Many of my coaching clients come to me for support at this stage as it can be overwhelming to interpret the data and know when to make changes. If you are unsure which statistics to look out for, you can find out more about my coaching here.