So, you’re interested in learning about Facebook ads, are you? I like you already. It either means you’ve been doing your homework and, therefore, understand the present and future of digital marketing. Or, it means that your robust sense of curiosity has led you to click on this blog post, in which case curiosity didn’t kill the cat this time. In fact, if the cat’s a business owner in need of a more powerful advertising technique, curiosity may have just saved its life.
To put it simply, Facebook advertising is a monster ― a monster that you need to learn to tame. In the first few months of starting my business, I dabbled into the basics of Facebook advertising through blogs, videos, and personal application. I knew it was important. I just didn’t realize yet how important. Now, however, I’m absolutely convinced that the mastery of Facebook ads is a necessity. Heck, I don’t care if you’re a huge corporate brand bringing in over 50K per month or a newbie fashion blogger on a budget trying to break out into the industry. If you are building a brand and you have a target customer that needs to be reached, Facebook advertising is for you. Right now, there aren’t any marketing channels more targeted and cost effective than Facebook, and it will likely continue to remain this way for the next 10 to 20 years. Facebook is it. If the social media marketing world was a high school cafeteria, all the cool kids would be sitting at Facebook’s table and everyone else would be wishing they were sitting at Facebook’s table. Got it? Good.
So, why are there still business owners and even digital marketers today who claim that Facebook ads are dying or insist that, dare I say, Facebook advertising is a “trend”? Simple. They don’t know what they’re talking about. Perhaps they read an article containing some rather questionable facts, or perhaps they are intimidated by Facebook advertising’s learning curve. Either way, it’s a fallacy. It’s just not true, and anyone willing to do a little bit of research into the matter will see that. Seek and you shall find.
Currently, there are over 1.87 billion Facebook users, a number that is predicted to rise to 2.2 billion by the year 2020. Considering the global population of 7.5 billion people, approximately 23% of this population ― 1.7 billion people ― are active monthly users. About 6 months ago, the amount of Facebook advertisers was at 3 million. Today, that number has already jumped to 4 million, demonstrating the rapid increase in small and medium businesses deciding to up the ante on their digital marketing strategies. In 2016, the social network generated 26.89 billion U.S. dollars in ad revenues, making Facebook the largest ad publisher after Google. Excuse me, Facebook.
I think we’ve successfully established that when it comes to digital advertising ― or advertising in general ― Facebook is the best of the best. The bee’s knees. The cream of the crop. And like anything that is well-worth knowing, it isn’t the easiest thing in the world to learn. Of course it’s not. It’s freakin’ Facebook, for crying out loud. But, that’s okay, because there’s good news! It’s still early. While I won’t lie to you about the fact that it was considerably easier to run Facebook ads and get exceptional results only 2 to 3 years ago, you’ve still arrived to party earlier than most. Power editor and Ads Manager will undeniably become progressively more complex within the next 5 years. So, come 2022, you’ll be thanking me that you jumped into the realm of Facebook ads back in 2017 when the learning curve wasn’t as insanely steep. What’s more, even out of the 4 million advertisers on Facebook, over 90% of them have not invested a great deal of time, money, and effort into mastery. In other words, there are lots of mediocre advertisers, but there aren’t many holding that one percent status. I, for one, am embarking on a journey to become one of those uncommonly skilled one percenters. You’re welcome to join me on this learning journey.
It’s a long road ahead, my friends, and while I can guarantee parts of the pilgrimage will be daunting, I’ll do my best to keep it as straightforward and enjoyable as possible. So, let’s start with the very base of it all. What is a Facebook ad? Seems like a pretty good place to begin.
The process to creating an effective Facebook ad is broken down into 5 parts:
1. The Customer
You must know your ideal customer inside out. The more specific details you know about them, the better. Are they male? Female? How old are they? What are their interests? What do they watch? Which blogs do they read? Which Facebook pages do they follow? This one may take some time, but it is absolutely essential. You can direct your ad towards 7 million people, but if none of them are your ideal customer, you won’t get a single sale.
Obviously, your main goal is to get into the psyche of this individual in order to sell them your product or service. What do they want? What is their pain or desire? Whether they’re a mother looking for a qualified, experienced pediatrician for their youngest child, or a couple looking to buy their first home, it’s your job to ensure that you know their needs. Like any good hunter, once you are thoroughly aware of these needs, you can set the perfect bait.
- What does your customer want?
- What is your customer’s pain or desire?
- What will solve their problem?
2. The Bait
Okay, so the bait is what’s going to reel in that ideal customer of yours. Without that, you won’t have much luck in grabbing and keeping their attention. Your customer is flooded by bait dangling in front of their eyes all day long, so is your bait good enough to stand out from the crowd? One excellent way to make your bait enticing is to present it at a low price or free entry point. I mean, c’mon. We all like discounts and we all love free! Many business owners are afraid to give their products or services out for free because they think they’re selling themselves short. No one is telling you to fall into bankruptcy over a Facebook ad, but if you’re not willing to give a little, your ad will be selling your customers short. In turn, you may not have many customers. Get the point?
Your offer has to be amazing ― irresistible. If your customer is in need of some dental work, throw them a free teeth cleaning. If your customer’s trying to lose weight, wave a free 90-day gym membership at them. You’ll be their knight in shining armor.
- Is your bait good enough?
- Is your bait simple, yet enticing?
- Does the bait solve or fulfill your customer’s pain or desire?
3. The Ad
As I stated earlier, your Facebook customer is constantly bombarded with advertisements while viewing their newsfeed or while glancing over to the right column. You need your ad to be eye-catching and attractive. Looks certainly aren’t everything, but your ad undeniably requires appealing visual aesthetics. A little je ne sais quoi, if you will. It’s just human nature. While still images can draw in attention through bright colors, large text, and showcasing great offers, the easiest way nowadays to grab your viewer’s attention is through video. Truth be told, our feeds are already becoming overly saturated with video. You know what I mean ― you’re scrolling along when that LAD Bible video appears of a baby panda grabbing onto the zookeeper’s leg. What kind of heartless monster wouldn’t stop to see that?
Well, your ad has to compete with baby pandas among an array of adorable, hilarious, and even melancholy visuals that demand your customer’s attention at every turn. Make sure that you really emphasize and drive home that bait you’re dangling. It’s all you’ve got to keep them focused on the goods.
- Is your ad attractive enough?
- Does your ad stand out and demand to be seen?
- Are you emphasizing the bait?
4. The Funnel
Along with every other stage, we will definitely dive into the dirty details of the funnel at a later time. For now, let’s go over what a funnel is for those of you who may not know. A sales funnel is the buying process that you’ll lead your customers through when purchasing your products or services. It’s usually divided into several steps, which differ depending on the particular sales model. In other words, after you’ve grabbed your customer’s attention and succeeded in getting them to click on your ad’s CTA, you will take them to a landing page. Their journey to this landing page, and the pages they arrive at afterwards, must be precisely and smoothly executed.
Does your landing page appear cohesive and related to your ad? It should. If your landing page looks absolutely nothing like the original ad ― different color scheme, different texts, different products displayed ― you will either confuse or squander the interest of your customer. That’s no good. I cannot stress the importance of continuously showcasing the wonder that is your bait, and your landing page is a prime point to recall this fundamental rule.
There’s one more thing that’s essential to the entire life of your funnel: the Facebook pixel. If you haven’t heard of this badboy, it’s going to become your best friend real soon. In a nutshell, you install this pixel on every single page of your funnel, and it will track customers who have landed on each of these pages. This comes in extremely handy when you eventually start to retarget those customers. Don’t worry, we’ll get into the nitty gritty soon enough.
- Is your pixel installed on every page of your funnel/website?
- Is your landing page cohesive and consistent with your ad?
- Is the bait noticeable on your landing page?
5. The Sale
Alright, final step! Okay, so once we arrive at the sale, it’s home free, right? Not so much. I think the majority of marketers would argue that the sale is only the beginning. Don’t get me wrong. A customer who takes you up on that free teeth cleaning or 90-day trial period at the gym is that much more likely to become a lifelong, committed client of yours, and that is an accomplishment. However, just remember that many people who grab your offer will need persistent nurturing in order to transform into loyal customers. That’s just the name of the game. Regardless of how incredible your offer is, be prepared to follow up with all of your customers. Since you acquired their email address through one of the steps in your well-structured funnel, your life just became a little easier. Just be ready and willing to consistently stay top of mind.
While it’s better to stay nurturing your current customers and leads than it is to keep searching for new clients, there is a way to attract new leads that are similar to the ones you already have. Oh, Facebook pixel. You’re at it again! Essentially, the ridiculously valuable pixel can be used to create a Lookalike Audience which is an audience made up of people who are likely to be interested in your business. With the pixel data, Facebook can identify the common qualities of the people in it, such as demographic information and interests, in order to find people who are “lookalikes”. Similarly, you’ll be able to create and run ads to a Custom Audience which includes retargeting all of your existing customers. Honestly, it doesn’t get much better than that.
- Have you followed up with your customers and potential leads?
- Are you running your ads to Lookalike Audiences?
- Are you retargeting Custom Audiences?
Well, I hope you found this introduction to the world of Facebook ads informative and helpful. Lord knows, there is still a great deal more knowledge to gain, so I will continue to document and write about my learning journey. Keep your eyes peeled for next week’s blog post in our Facebook ads series!