Best Bang For Your Buck: Part I of Facebook Ad Optimization

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Recently, at the end of 2013, Facebook made a significant change to its algorithm responsible for determining what posts appear in its users’ News Feeds. As an unfortunate consequence, many marketers experienced drastic drops in the amount of organic traffic to their Facebook pages.

This conundrum has caused many social media marketers to consider the option of cutting their losses and running–abandoning their Facebook marketing platform to focus on other channels.

Do not fall into this group! When used properly, Facebook can be one of the most effective advertising channels for reaching your audience, even with the recent algorithm change. I mean lets face it, Facebook has over one billion users world wide, 60% of which are active daily. Abandoning a tool like this would be foolish.

Instead, you will need to get smart with your advertising and optimize your Facebook ads. This means targeting just the audience you want to reach, making your ads as effective as possible, spending money only where it counts, and spending within your budget, (you don’t need to spend $1000 a month on your Facebook Ads for them to be effective).

This is a guide for beginners, those simply starting out with Facebook ads right now and don\’t have much experience with them.

Choosing Your Budget

Facebook offers a wide range of options for ads, to fit the styles and budgets of just about any organization, small or large.

Daily Budget – This option allows admins to set a specific budget to be spent on promoting ads daily, such as $10 per day, over a finite period of days. When you\’re starting out, you might want to go with a daily budget, given that you don\’t want to overspend during a particular day because you\’re just experimenting. See what works for you, spent $10-$20 a day and when you\’re comfortable and know what ad type, audience and specific interests are working for you – you can decide to spend more each day or set a lifetime budget.

Lifetime Budget – Similar to a daily budget, but the admin sets a specific budget for a finite period of time, and Facebook determines how that money is best spread out over the course of the time. For example, $100 dollars over a 10 day period, with Facebook using an average of $10 of your budget a day. Note, the keyword here is average. Depending on how well the ad is doing, Facebook may choose to spend a lot more than $10 or a lot less than $10 over the course of the \”lifetime\” or your ad. A personal recommendation: use lifetime budgets for ads that you\’re probably extremely confident about not editing in the future – so that you create 5 ads and set a $200 budget for the campaign over a week and just let it run.


Optimizing Your Bid Type

In addition to selecting a budget, admins can also select a bid type, based on what their ultimate advertising goal is (whether they want page “likes”, user engagement, etc) – helping them to reach their objective as cost effectively as possible.

Cost per mille (CPM) – best for total ad exposure, admin pays per 1000 users who see the ad. The ad is pushed to a huge amount of users – without Facebook taking into consideration if they\’re likely to click the ads or not.

Cost per click (CPC) – best for getting people to click on an ad, admin pays per click. Each click on your ad costs you the amount that you bid using CPC. Not something that\’s recommended for first-time marketers, it takes a while to get accustomed to what levels to set your CPCs at. Your ad will probably be shown to a lot less people, and to those who are more likely to click the ad.

Optimized cost per mille (oCPM) – Probably the best choice for ROI, puts your ad in front of the segment most likely to take action on the ad – while you\’re still charged by the number of times your ad is shown, Facebook will optimize it to be shown to people who are most likely to perform an action on your ad.

One of the best ways to optimize your ads is to make sure that you select specific audiences who will see your ad. Facebook allows admins to choose towns, counties, or states where the ad will be presented, which can be a great help for local businesses. Make sure you choose relevant interests as well – something we\’ll be covering in our next segment for Facebook advertising.

Creating an Effective Ad

An effective Facebook Ad shares many of the same characteristics of an effective ad in any other medium. There are 4 specific areas you will want to focus on in creating an effective ad.

1. Focal Point – use of a captivating visual aid to draw the user’s attention. If you\’re targeting women, use more feminine shades – such as pink, to draw their attention. If you\’re trying to capture the attention of businesses and individuals – use figures, numbers or crisp messaging in your ads.

2. Brand – Emphasis should be placed on your branding, making your name memorable to the user. A good way to do so is to make sure your brand name shows up in the ad visual itself.

3. Tone – In 90 characters or less, you will need to get your point across in a friendly, engaging, and informative matter, which also captivates the user’s attention. Use keywords wisely. What you\’re selling must be obvious and must come out to the person viewing the ad. He shouldn\’t have to even think what the ad is about on Facebook – because people are there to engage with their friends, not with brands and advertisements.

4. Reward – The ad should offer some type of reward for engagement, such as eliciting an emotional reaction, or offering something intriguing to share with others. Unless they see what they get out of the ad, they won\’t click it. An ad reading, \”We sell household furniture\” isn\’t going to get a reaction, but when stating, \”Get 35% off on your furniture purchases and FREE home delivery this month!\” will definitely get home-owners very interested.

What kind of tactics do you employ when creating Facebook ads?

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