Posted: Fri 4th Nov 2022
Running ads on Facebook and Instagram can be a brilliant way to build brand awareness and boost sales. But before you get stuck into actually building your ads, you need to do some prep work.
In this blog, I explain five important things you need to get right so that your ads have the best chance of success.
1. Know what you're selling, who you're selling it to, and why they want it
Sounds obvious, right? But you need to have a very clear goal in mind to get good results from Facebook ads.
You need to know how the carefully thought-out product, package or service you offer meets the pain points of your target audience.
Without a clear picture of who your ideal customer is, you won't be able to target your ads effectively or write ad copy that connects with them and offers them the solutions they want.
It's vital your ads show people a product or service they need. So, talk to them in the language they use and motivates them to take action.
2. Consistent and confident organic social
Paying for ads doesn't get you out of posting regularly on your Facebook and Instagram accounts. Facebook looks more favourably on ad accounts connected to pages and profiles with good levels of activity and engagement.
But more than this, that organic engagement gives Facebook data about who your people are. You can specifically target your Facebook and Instagram fans and followers with ads, or use them to ask Facebook to find a lookalike audience of the people who already know you and love you.
So if your Facebook page and Instagram profile have been gathering dust, pay them a bit of attention and get some activity going before you start paying for ads. It will make your ads more effective and save you money in the long term.
Ads are also very likely to interest more people in your organic posting. It's a complementary relationship between organic and paid social, so get them working together and make sure your platforms are worth visiting.
3. A great landing page
Before you even think about spending money on ads, you need to consider where those ads are going to send people.
The web page they land on has to give them what they need to see. The content of the landing page needs to connect to what they’ve seen in the ad.
So if you're advertising a specific product, that product is what they should see when they arrive on your site. If you're gathering leads, the sign-up form needs to be above the fold (in other words, it should be instantly visible – they shouldn’t have to scroll down to find it). The landing page also needs to be fast-loading, so people don't click off while they're waiting.
While you're at it, check everything else on your site is working properly – you don't want to pay for hot prospects to visit, only to find the 'add to cart' button is broken.
Remember that Facebook 'scrapes' the landing page for information. If your page is irrelevant or slow-loading, the algorithm will penalise you for it, showing your ad to fewer people, resulting in higher costs for lower results.
It may take a small investment of time and money to get your web pages right, but it will stop you from wasting £££ on your ad spend.
4. Pixel and friends
OK, I admit it – this should really have been first on the list, but I didn't want to put you off by coming over all techy!
First things first, you need a pixel. Because for Facebook advertisers, a pixel is something very special. It's a short piece of code that goes on your website header and allows Facebook to track your site visitors. It means you can ask Facebook to show your ad to your website visitors, or the people most like them.
And it means that when someone has looked at a great pair of shoes but not bought, you can remind them about them by showing them an ad.
You’ll also need Facebook's Conversions API code – to back up the pixel and make data collection even more accurate – and some Facebook domain verification code. Unless your domain is verified, you won’t be able to run ads.
All this sounds like an awful lot of coding, but honestly it isn't. It won't take a web developer long to sort it all, it won't be expensive, and it's absolutely crucial to Facebook ads' success.
5. A big dollop of patience
It takes a while to optimise Facebook ads. Typically, it takes about 12 weeks for the algorithm to learn where and when to show your ads and how to find the people who will provide the results you're asking for.
This will involve you testing different audiences, different ad formats, images, copy and calls to action.
You may see good results sooner, but generally, you'll need to be patient. So if initial results are disappointing or you get off to a flying start but then see a dip, remember that this is all completely normal. Success requires both testing and time.