February 23, 2015
Facebook advertising: marketers either love it or they hate it. I don’t care which side of the table you’re on, there is one thing for certain: Facebook has massive reach and impressive targeting features that make it an attractive marketing channel.
I’ve been running Facebook ads for a good five years now and it’s certainly changed a lot since I started. Personally, I believe Facebook ads are best used for B2C companies who need to reach their consumers directly. Although it can work for B2B, there are alternative channels that may be a better spend.
If you’ve run a few Facebook ads, had some success, but struggled to keep up with the latest changes and new features, this blog post is for you.
We’ll take a look at my top three Facebook advertising tips for 2015. These are the tactics you should prioritize if you want to improve your Facebook advertising.
1. Appeal to your audience’s emotions
Facebook is a social platform where your customers engage and share stories with friends and brands. You must always keep this in mind when you create your Facebook ads because ads that don’t appeal to emotions are simply not as effective.
There are four key emotions in marketing: happiness, sadness, fear and anger. These are the emotions that motivate us and can change our behavior. According to Courtney Seiter, content marketer at Buffer, each of these emotions motivates us on Facebook in different ways:
- Happiness makes us want to share;
- Sadness helps us connect and empathize;
- Fear/surprise make us desperate for something to cling to; and
- Anger/disgust make us more stubborn.
How can you use these emotions to improve your Facebook ads?
Communicate using emotional adjectives and images
Inside your Facebook ads, use emotional adjectives and images to communicate your message. This will help you motivate your audience to take the desired action you want them to take.
For example, take a look at this Facebook ad from Corona:
This ad uses happiness to capture your attention and motivate you to take action. When you look at the ad and read the copy, you can’t help but feel a sense of happiness (unless you’re scared of surfing, they you might feel fear).
2. Hyper target your ads based on your customer profile
If you know your ideal customer, you’ll likely have a customer profile set up for them. You need this when you select target options for your Facebook ads.
If you don’t have a customer profile, create one using this framework.
Knowing the needs, challenges, interests and demographics of your ideal customer will help ensure that your ads are relevant to them. If there is one common mistake I see business owners and marketers make, it’s that they don’t narrow down their target options enough.
Your goal should be to reach small target audience of 5,000 people and then use your ad to communicate to that specific audience’s challenges, interests and behaviors.
How to create Facebook ads using ‘targeting options’
When you create your ad on Facebook, you have the option to use a number of different targeting options to hone in on your target audience. Here are the three you need to use:
Interests: Use the interests targeting to appeal to your ideal customers’ interests. So if you’re selling NFL apparel to Australians, you might target customers who like NFL or like any of the NFL teams.
Purchase behaviours: Use this targeting option to narrow down the type of customer you are reaching. For example, you can segment by seasonal events – like the NFL Super Bowl – and target these fans.
Demographics: This targeting option lets you segment by age, gender, location, relationship, education and more. For example, you might want to target 20- to 30-year-old males living in Australia if you were selling NFL jerseys.
3. Use custom audiences for Facebook advertising
Facebook introduced custom audiences in late 2012 and by 2014 it had become very popular with marketers. Why? Because it offers a great way to target people that have already engaged with you on your website or target customers you already have contact details for (like email address).
By using custom audiences, you can make your ads more relevant to your audience, which means you’ll be able to communicate your messages and offers more effectively.
Let’s look at the two ways you can create a custom audience.
Create a custom audience based on website traffic
Some might call this retargeting on Facebook – which it basically is. This is the best way to re-engage customers that have already engaged with your brand. A great example of this is a Facebook ad by Domain.com.au:
I recently visited Domain.com.au to check out some properties in Brisbane. Domain was able to use custom audiences to re-engage with me after I left their website. Since buying a home isn’t a decision that I’m going to make straight away, retargeting was smart so that, when I’m ready to buy, I remember Domain.
Create a custom audience from customer list
The other way you can use custom audience is to import an e-mail list of your existing customers and use that list to target them on Facebook. Facebook searches for existing users that registered with those email addresses, associating each email address with a customer’s Facebook account. If you have enough customers (minimum of 100 e-mail addresses), this can be a great way to run specialized offers to customers you have already engaged with.
As an example, let’s say TwoCents is running a digital marketing event in June. I could pull a list of all our customers that attended workshops and events in the past and set up a Facebook ad that only targets them and promotes our June event.
Very powerful, but be careful not to overdo it.
Improve your Facebook advertising by being smarter
Facebook is an incredible marketing channel that you can use to build awareness and drive new business. It has its pros and cons, but you certainly can’t argue with the targeting and segmentation capabilities of the advertising platform.
Make use of these tips I’ve listed here to give your ads the best chance of success. I’ve been doing Facebook ads for a long time and these are the best tips you can use today to start improving your advertising results.
Simon Dell is a former agency owner and managing director, and is now a freelance consultant under his own brand SimonDell.com. His goal is to help develop and implement strategic digital and creative marketing plans for clients delivering measurable results and fantastic ROI. He also writes for Fairfax Media, MYOB's business portal and frequently speaks at events and conferences around Australia.