Six Facebook Ad Strategies to Improve your Return

Action PlanAre Facebook Ads a regular part of your marketing strategy? If so, you know that Facebook Ads have had some recent changes that were covered well in this post on Social Media Examiner’s blog. But what can you do to tweak your Ad strategy to get better results? This article will give you six tips to help improve your return on your Facebook ad investment.

#1 Do your research

Watch other Facebook Ads and take a look at their techniques. You won’t be able to see a list of all the ads that are out there right now but you can watch which ones are being served to your demographic. You can see all the current ads that would target your profile by going to www.facebook.com/ads/adboard.

Look at just the Sponsored Stories by clicking on the blue Sponsored stories link.

You won’t be able to gauge whether or not these ads are working but note the ones that would encourage you to click.

#2 Use Your Image Well

You don’t have much space to grab someone’s attention on Facebook Ads. You have a 25 character headline, 90 characters in the body and a small 110 pixel by 80 pixel picture (in reality it displays as a 100 x 65 photo). The best chance you have to grab someone’s attention is with the photo.

If you are using the Sponsored Stories, the ad defaults to your profile picture or the post picture if you choose to promote a specific post. But if you promote your Facebook Page or an external website, you can select the image you use.

Make the image work harder for you by adding text.

#3 Craft your Sponsored Story Post

If you choose to run a sponsored story post, craft your posts on your page to fit the ad space. Sponsored Stories can be cheaper to run than a traditional ad (see tip #4) but you will lose the larger picture and the picture will default to your current Page profile picture.

If you have a link in your Post, make sure it’s going to your own site – ideally where someone can sign up for something (ie. a free report, webinar, targeted opt-in page). You don’t want to pay to send traffic to someone else’s website!

If you post a YouTube link in your post, people will be able to watch the video easily from the ad.

#4 Split Test

Split test in all your advertising efforts! When you design your campaign you can split test the variables between your ads so that you get the cheapest clicks and find out which ads are performing the best. Here is a short list of things you may want to split test:

  • Body of your ad
  • Photo in your ad
  • Headline of your ad (only for external URL)
  • Bidding model (CPM vs. CPC – more on this in a bit)
  • Sponsored Story vs. regular ad

Split testing the Body, Photo, and Title of your ad is fairly straightforward. Make sure you are only changing one thing at a time so you don’t confuse the results. Note: In the new Facebook ads layout, you used to be able to change the Title of your ad for your Facebook Page with a work-around of advertising it as an External URL, but that is no longer possible.

I would also split test the bidding model between CPC (Cost per Click) and CPM (Cost per Mille or cost per 1000 impressions). The new Facebook ad layout gives you the choice of an Objective for your ad. The objective you choose will determine your bidding model – CPC if your objective is to get clicks or CPM if your objective is to have them Like your Page.

This is designed to make things simpler for those who don’t want to figure out which model is better. But I suggest you do split test these two methods because the cost to acquire a Like can change.

#5 Watch your Results

As with everything, it’s the return on your investment that matters. Watch how much it costs you to achieve your objective and make sure you have realistic expectations. The ads that perform the best on Facebook are typically ads that either are advertising a Facebook Page or advertising something free. Advertising something free that requires an e-mail optin can be a great strategy. You can then start connecting with these people via e-mail and social media.

Set your expectations correctly. A typical click-thru rate on Facebook is 0.04-0.05%. You can have better results if you pick an ad model that will work well for you and do your testing. Local businesses can benefit from Sponsored Like Stories because many people have a lot of local friends on Facebook as shown in this example from Vernon Area Public Library.

Analyze your results so you can make adjustments. In this example I split test the CPC bidding model and the CPM bidding model, keeping all other variables the same. Even in this limited example, you can see that the CPC model cost me $1.39 per Like (Connections) vs. $6.50 per Like in the CPM model. I would suggest a longer testing period but you should be able to see a favorite after 10-20 clicks.

#6 Get on the List for Facebook Offers

Facebook Offers are starting to roll out to smaller businesses. Facebook Offers appear in the News stream and have great potential for offering specials that will go viral. You can find out more about how these work here: http://www.facebook.com/help/offers
They will be free to create but it is still in the beta stage as of this writing. You can sign up to be on the list to enable offers on your page here: http://www.facebook.com/help/contact/?id=367554259954235

I hope that gives you some great tips to take your Facebook marketing efforts to the next level. How about you, are you advertising on Facebook? What has been working well for you? I’d love to hear about it in the comments.

Note: This post originally appeared on Social Media Examiner and is reposted with permission.