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Facebook ads can take on many appearances depending on the ad type and the device used to view the ad.

Facebook ads can take on many appearances depending on the ad type and the device used to view the ad.

Are Facebook ads dead?

Short answer: no, they’re not. Not even close.

Long answer: Facebook ads are still very much alive and thriving. How alive you might ask? Looking ahead, KISSmetrics statistics indicate that Facebook is expected to generate at least $4 billion in revenue this year of 2015 from ads alone.

For that kind of money to be spent on ads alone, it’s apparent that this method of marketing is worthwhile and working for many businesses.

So why do certain ad managers swear that Facebook ads are a lost cause? This could depend on a number of factors, but most likely businesses that didn’t see any immediate results so they became discouraged and turned off their ad campaign prematurely.

In order to run a successful ad campaign, it needs to be active for a period of time to allow for proper optimization. It’s only after an ad has been ran a period of time that you are able to identify patterns, target the most appropriate audience and optimize your ads for the biggest increase on ROI.

With the average American spending 40 minutes per day on the mega platform – Facebook presents a unique opportunity to reach a large number of users. Plus, with the ability to target very specific audience with your ad campaign manager, Facebook ad campaigns can serve as a tool that can be highly effective yet is often overlooked.

Understanding the Basics of Facebook Ads

Variety is offered on this platform in terms of customizing ad campaigns specific to your company’s needs. Before we get into how and when to properly optimize your Facebook ad campaign, let’s first take a look at the different Facebook ads available to you.

Some Facebook ads show up in the Newsfeed and therefore are visible on a mobile device, while other ads do not.

Some Facebook ads show up in the Newsfeed and are visible from a mobile device, while other ads do not.

  • Domain Ad: (includes a title, URL of choice and short description). A bit limited in the manner in which they work, a domain ad can only be displayed on the right column on a user’s Facebook page. This means that mobile users will not see this type of ad (a huge drawback to many marketers). Possibly a result of the limited access for mobile users and the lack of an image on these ads, the click-through rates or (CTRs) for domain ads are typically low compared to other ads available on the platform.
  • Page Post Link: (includes title, short description, URL link and image). Most likely the most popular option for Facebook ads, page post links probably became so widely used because of their versatility. With these types of ads, you have the option to display on the Newsfeed which makes these ideal for mobile users or the user can set them up to display on the right column. The image allowed for these ads is large, making them attention grabbing and effective.
  • Multi-product: (includes three titles, three links and three images). These high-converting ads are ideal for eCommerce marketers looking to push traffic directly to products from their online store. Being the newest ad type (first made available in June of 2014, these ads offer marketers a higher chance of converting with three opportunities to capture your audience’s attention.

Choosing Your Target Audience

When creating your Facebook ad, you will need to do at least some basic optimization to start your ad campaign. Don’t let your mind trick you into thinking it’s the final solution for success. Initial set-up of your ad will include a guess, that’s right a guess as to the best target audience for you. It’s only after your ad has ran for a period of time that you can evaluate the effectiveness and who your right target audience is.

However, when you are creating your ad, be sure you take advantage of the many filters available for targeting an audience.

  • Advanced Connection Targeting. There are tools in the Facebook ad managers that allows you to target your audience based on existing connections. These options also allow you to omit people who have already liked your page and promote to the friends of your current audience. Find these options by going to:  Ad tools>Audience>Connections>Advanced connection targeting.
  • Interests Targeting. You know your ideal customer or target audience. You know what your product promotes and the type of people drawn to using your product or service. Use this information to your advantage. Create your ad to target audiences with hobbies, pages they like, ads they previously clicked on, and content they post on the network.
  • Demographics Targeting. There are various demographics available within the ad manager you can select to target the audience right for you. The most common factors used are age, gender and relationship status. Even when you are setting up your very first Facebook ad campaign, you can still get a good idea of whom to target based on demographics by Going to: Page Insights>Your Page>People. There you will find actual data of people that use your page.

Always Review and Optimize Your Campaign

It’s important to never consider your ad campaign complete just because you set it up and began running your ad. How do you know those demographics and other specifics you have selected are effective? Good question. Answer – you don’t know if these options were effective until you go back and take another look after your ad has ran for a period of time.

Whether or not you have targeted the right audience can only be determined after your ad has ran for some time.

Whether or not you have targeted the right audience can only be determined after your ad has ran for some time.

Facebook reports make it easy to evaluate your progress and make changes at any time. Go to Facebook ad manager and click on reports on the left-hand side. Next, select “Breakdown: None.” Here you can see the following data about your ad campaign:

  • Actions: conversion device, destination, video view type
  • Delivery: age, gender, country, placement
  • Time: daily, weekly, bi-monthly, monthly

All these reports need to be carefully analyzed in order to optimize your ad campaign to its potential. Ideally, the best time to effectively optimize your Facebook ads is when your ad campaign has reached at least 1,000 or more people.

Consider changing your targeted audience based on the demographics revealed in your reports you first analyzed. Also take a look at the end of the conversion funnel to see what has been most effective. This means taking a deeper analysis into those clicks that actually converted to leads instead of the basic click-through rates and reach that many marketers focus on.

Depending on the goal of your Facebook ad campaign, the metrics used to decide on best optimization will vary. If you are promoting new email sign ups, take a look at the cost per registration and the total number of registrations generated. If you are promoting product sales, evaluate the total number of sales and cost per sale. Or, if you are looking to improve post engagement – see what typical cost per engagement was in the past.

Make it Happen

Knowledge and expertise is only beneficial when it’s actually implemented. If you took the time to read this article, now it’s time you take the advice and implement it with your current or next Facebook ad campaign in order to improve your ROI and make Facebook ad manager a worthwhile investment for your business.

We would love to hear from you. If you have any question on Facebook ad campaigns or other forms of paid advertising, please reach out to us today or a leave a comment here.

Facebook ads infographic courtesy of Wordstream

Facebook ads infographic courtesy of Wordstream

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