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September 19, 2018 @ 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Facial hair and expert insights flowed forth at the September 2018 Social Media Breakfast event on Facebook ads. Both were delivered by Josh Klemons and Shane Cicero at the event, and hosted by Wisconsin Distributors.
The bearded ones tagged-teamed through a series of questions throughout the presentation. Adding to the event was the pleasant aroma of freshly-cooked bacon, and the generous craft beer giveaway from Wisconsin Distributors.
Bacon and beer. What else does a Wisconsinite need?
A little background on the presenters:
Shane Cicero – Shane’s specialty is working with local businesses to optimize their Facebook and Instagram ads to improve their quality of leads and increase sales so they can continue to do what they do best.
Josh Klemons – Josh has a political background and approaches Facebook advertising through the guise of connecting with an audience, educating, engaging and inspiring people and working to move online communities offline.
Without further ado, let’s jump into some of the Q&A. We’ll note individual responses, but in most cases below the answers are combined.
What is some of the best Facebook Ads work you’ve been doing?
Josh has been working with a lot of bootstrap campaigns that need to get the word out at the last minute, particularly promoting an event. For a recent event, he ran over 50 different versions of an ad. With larger budgets, he’s run as many as 300 ads within an overall campaign.
On the direct response side, Shane has seen great response with link-post ads, in which a link is included in the copy section and down below. People haven’t been connecting as much with the “Learn More” button.
How do you keep up with what’s new for Facebook Ads?
Facebook has a really good resource called Facebook Blueprint. Also, Shane likes to scroll through newsfeeds and look at what others advertisers are doing. He looks at it through a consumer’s perspective. What’s catching the eye? How can he recreate it?
One new development on Facebook ads is the use of photo-video slideshows. You can select up to 10 photos on a slideshow, and it runs like a video on a template with your logo in the background.
When I post, things aren’t appearing visually like I’d prefer. Is there a sandbox function?
You can start the ad, then pause it and look at natively. Also, in the ad format, you can set the ad so it doesn’t start for 24 hours. Then you can go in the admin level, you can select to view on FB with comments. You can pause at the campaign, ad set or ad level.
To see a dark as it appears to those targeted, click “edit” at the ad level. Then click the box with the arrow in that you can find directly above your ad preview. When you click that, it will allow you to choose where you want to preview the ad.
If you’re talking about organic content, you can create a post, schedule it, and then review the scheduled post.
What is your process for choosing an audience on Facebook and targeting them?
The ability to microtarget people on FB is the platform’s true strength. Sure you can have great creative, but the key is to get it seen by exactly the right audience.
There are three types of audiences:
Custom audience: This is an audience that is unique to you, such as people on your email list or ones who have visited your website.
FB can analyze your custom audiences, and then create “lookalikes” with similar demographics/behaviors.
This is a custom audience you create based off of Facebook data, based on a variety of criteria, such as gender, location, interests, etc.
Start with a hypothesis, then build 4 or 5 audiences. Run identical creative to a number of different audiences, and then find the ones that converted the best.
Note that creating a lookalike audience off a custom audience, such as email subscribers to your newsletter, doesn’t mean that it’s a great audience for sales. For example, newsletter subscribers might just be looking for information. If you want sales conversions, create a lookalike audience off customers, not newsletter or blog subscribers.
How do you use the Facebook pixel?
A Facebook pixel is code that you place on your website. It helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads based on collected data, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to qualified leads—people who have already taken some kind of action on your website. (Source)
It’s a huge piece of your strategy. If you don’t have the FB pixel installed and you’re running traffic ads, then you’re just sending traffic to the sight. You’re not allowing FB to see what your visitors are doing, and you can’t retarget those visitors.
Inserting the pixel on your site will allow you to build up a custom audience. Then FB can create a lookalike audience, and you can reach out to them with content.
Do you A/B test creative with Facebook Ads?
Absolutely. You should be A/B testing all the time. You can alternate headlines, images, etc. We’ve seen 3x results with the exact same image but a slightly different headline. Keep testing, too. Don’t get burned out on creative — it takes time for the results to come in.
Also, test ads and messages throughout the sales funnel:
Top of funnel:
People who don’t know you.
Middle of funnel:
People who know you and have engaged in your content.
Bottom of funnel:
People who are ready to make a purchase.
What’s the smallest budget you can test with on Facebook?
With small budgets, focus on the bottom of the funnel. In terms of how much you can spend, think about how much can you afford. It really depends on your objective. Some campaigns we shoot for at least $20 a day, and build on it. Local ads can also be structured for more reach and engagement.
For small budgets, pick your best posts, and spread that small budget among them all. Develop a target audience, and go back to them time and time again.
Do you use Facebook insights?
Don’t use the little insight snapshots that come up next to your posts. For true analytics reviews, go to the Ad Manager dashboard. Look at your ads, and find the column sector that says “performance.” Select “performance” and “clicks.” At a minimum, this is what you should be looking at.
Any advice on boosting posts?
Boost your posts in a structured manner. Use the ads manager to boost them (instead of using the boost button). This will keep all your boosted posts in one campaign, making it easier to track the data.
What the difference between boosted posts and ads?
A boosted post appears on the page. A non-boosted post or dark ad is only being served to the audience you are targeting. It won’t show on your page.
There are a lot of reasons not to boost the post on your page. If you are boosting the post, you are asking FB for engagement. That won’t necessarily deliver people to your website, if that’s your intent. You need to tell FB your goals when setting up your campaign at the outset..
Why is it important to build a Facebook audience?
The audience is the key. Start in audiences, and build the audience there, so you can change its parameters until it’s just right.
You can use audiences in many ways. For example, you could send out a video to a broad audience. Then you build an audience from the people who watched more than half of that video, and then reach out to that audience with a targeted ad.
Many of the pros start with building an audience. Start creating one, and you may be surprised at the different niches you will find.
*Added Bonus: Facebook, in an effort to provide more transparency, is now allowing you to see the ads that a company is running to audiences. You cannot see who they are serving the ads to but you can get an idea of the creative and copy they are using to motivate users to make a purchase. From a desktop or mobile device head to your competitor’s page and look for the tab that says Info & Ads. Huge win if you love what a brand is doing and want some inspiration as well.
Special thanks to Josh and Shane for all their insights. See you next month at the Style. Spin. Soat. A Personal Branding Cheat Sheet from Rachel Werner of Brava Magazine.
This post was written by Greg Mischio, the Owner and Strategic Director of Winbound, a content marketing company. Winbound provides an all-in-one content marketing and conversion optimization package specifically designed for small marketing departments. Twitter: @gregmischio