When jumping into the wonderful world of Facebook advertising, I guarantee you will have many questions: Where do I start? Who do I target? What kind of creative images should I use? How edgy should my copy be? Facebook advertisers everywhere commonly ask questions similar to this no matter what level of experience they have. Although cliché (and slightly annoying) the answer to these questions depend drastically on what you are trying to accomplish. Fear not my fellow advertising brethren, I will attempt to shed some light on how to get started and at least have you asking the right questions.
When first starting we need to ask ourselves, what is our goal? In most cases, the answer will be: MAKE MONEY… duh. But there are multiple ways of accomplishing this: There is the short-term direct response approach used when an advertiser wants the customer to see the ad, click, and buy. There is also the more long tail brand awareness approach: the advertiser wants the customer to see the ad and simply be informed that the brand exists so that they will later recognize the brand and convert. Both are effective.
Facebook has become the most lucrative social media channel because it allows brands to go extremely granular in reaching their target customer. Most online advertising reaches only 38 percent of its intended audience. Facebook’s average is 89 percent. You can literally take your current customer list, upload it to Facebook, and find anyone that shares similar interests, or demographic, geographic, socioeconomic, and psychographic data, and target them with your ads in a nutshell. You don’t have to guess who your customer is.
Assuming you have no data about your target demo, the first thing you have to do is consider who would be interested in the product that you are selling? Facebook allows you to jot down a couple of theories you have about it! This will help form the voice of the campaign (casual, comedic, informative, etc.) At this point you have your goal and voice, so now its time to make some ads. Setting up the ads correctly is imperative to the learning process because the goal of our first flight of ads is to learn who is clicking and why! This, in my opinion, is the key to getting actionable data for the future. Remember people, getting positive returns on ad spend is something that you work towards gradually… Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Consider what you would like to test, if applicable. Gender? Age? Copy options? Creative images? I believe that the best way to get actionable data without being overwhelmed is to test two or three variables at a time. When starting, I like to have a really broad potential audience, and then slowly optimize towards a smaller one with interest targeting, behavioral targeting, etc. For instance, I will test Gender, ten year Age Cohorts, and test all of my creative images within them. This is a good way to get a basic understanding of gender, the age group that is most interested, and which type of creative images work best with which age groups. Pro tip: Try and use different types of creative images to see which gets the most traction. Lifestyle image, product shot, meme, etc.
Now that you have spent some money, and have some data, it is time to make some decisions! We let the data speak to us. Which age group is clicking through at the highest rate? Who is purchasing at the lowest Cost-Per-Click? Who is getting to the website for the cheapest? There is always truth in the data; you just have to find it so that you can make smart decisions! My Facebook mentor once told me, you don’t really know what you are looking for, just start looking and things will jump out at you. As long as you have a logical and defendable reason behind your next move, you are thinking in the right direction.
Remember that with Facebook advertising, nothing is definite until the data says so. Give things a chance, test them, and be bold. Read a trend and run with it! There is no right or wrong way to approach Facebook, all you can do is be logical, read the data, and make a data-driven decision. If you do this, you will be successful in all your future Facebook advertising endeavors!