Facebook Advertising – Keys to Setting Up Effective Campaigns

With over 1.4 billion users worldwide, Facebook advertising has come a long way over the past few years (and even months!). Compared to other display channels, Facebook can be relatively inexpensive and offers more visibility into audience performance.

Once you have a Facebook page, you are free to start setting up audiences and campaigns. But first, here are some important thing you should consider to maximize effectiveness.

Targeting the Right Audiences

Facebook allows you to get extremely granular with the development of target audiences. Here are 3 types of audiences that can be important to build out.

  • Custom Audience – A good first step for developing audiences is to start with an existing list of contacts. Facebook will match existing email addresses, phone numbers, etc. to user Facebook profiles. By uploading a Custom Audience of existing customers or email sign-ups, you can develop a solid base of users you know will be interested and invested in your brand. For example, if you want to advertise a new product, it may make sense to direct it towards an existing list of customers. Custom audiences are also the ideal jumping off point for developing bigger audiences.
  • Lookalike Audience – Facebook enables you to expand Custom Audiences using their Lookalike model. In this setting you can use a Custom Audience to create a larger audience of similar users based on shared demographics.
  • Interest Audience – Facebook also allows you sort by demographics, geographic location, interests, behaviors, connections, and more. Using these targeting options lets you build the exact audience you want to target new users. Not sure where to start with targeting options? Facebook also offers a useful tool called Audience Insights that affords you a look at the demographics of your custom audiences. If you upload a Custom Audience, you can look at it the way Facebook looks at it: with statistics and demographics. You can see the age, geographic location, interests and much more of any Custom Audience that you upload. This is a great starting point for building out more experimental Interest Audiences.

Choose the Right Campaign Type

Selecting a campaign objective is the first step in the creation of any campaign. What do you want your campaign to accomplish? Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Capture new leads? Increase conversions? Facebook lets you build campaigns that optimize for various objectives. Keep in mind that each new campaign you develop may have a different objective. Here are some of the top campaign objectives to consider:

  • Page Likes – Get page likes to grow your audience and build your brand. Once people ‘like’ your page, you can use organic posts to nurture them further down the conversion funnel.
  • Clicks to Website – Get people to visit your website. This is especially helpful when your website offers more information that doesn’t fit into a Facebook ad but would be useful to the user.
  • Website Conversions – Get people to perform certain actions on your site. This requires adding a Facebook Pixel to your site but can pay off when you are prioritizing conversions.
  • Lead Capture – Capture new email addresses. This is the newest type of campaign on Facebook and can be extremely valuable. When you think about display advertising, a hard sell like ‘Buy Now’ or ‘Donate Now’ may be asking too much of users that are interested but not yet willing to purchase or convert. By asking users to sign up instead, you give them the option to take action without committing up front. These newly captured leads are perfect to add to email marketing lists or marketing automation streams where they can receive more information and be nurtured further down the funnel.

Test, Test and Test Some More

With Facebook advertising you will see results right away. However, you will not have it perfect on the first go. It will pay off to test different types of campaigns with different audiences until you find a mix that works for you. The landscape and your competitors will always be changing, so you should constantly continue adjusting and tweaking your campaigns to maximize your investment:

  • Broad audience targeting vs narrow targeting
  • Different types of campaigns
  • Varied ad creative and content
  • Different call-to-action buttons

Also, keep an eye on frequency as a campaign metric. If the delivery frequency of an ad is getting too high, switch up the ad content or tweak the audience so the campaign will not get stale.