Social media advertising is making huge strides as the norm for entrepreneurs both as consumers and business owners. It’s a pretty safe bet that most business owners realize the power and reach of Facebook’s ad targeting capabilities.

Perhaps you’ve tried Facebook ads, but it wasn’t quite as effective as were were hoping for. Maybe you are seeing some success, but want to take your ads to the next level. Regardless, Facebook advertising packs way too much of a punch to be given up on. There are five crucial considerations to accelerate your results and you would be crazy not to give them a try.

1. Get Incredibly SPECIFIC About Your Audience

Facebook Targeting

Facebook has targeting capabilities so specific, it’s getting scary. You have the basics: age, location and gender. Then, you can explore deep into people’s interests and even stages of life. For example, you want to target people looking for a specific car make and model, maybe you want to appeal to a people who like CrossFit, or perhaps you’re looking for people who have a specific income level.  Sounds good so far, right? Let’s take it a bit further and add special interests and lifestyles. Nowadays, you can actually target so specifically that you can choose to market to readers of a specific magazine. The key here is to narrow down your audience by specifying as many demographic, social, economic, and lifestyle characteristics as possible.

If you need a hand with this, you can check out Facebook’s Lookalike Audience tool to find the top 1% that closely resembles your existing audience. In my experience, it can make all the difference in your targeting, because Facebook evaluates a TON of data, including characteristics, which we as humans simply cannot do.

2. Content and Context Determines Ad Placement

Facebook now has a lot of placement options. These options vary from the good old fashioned timeline and right sidebar, to Instagram, Audience Network and Instant Articles. The Audience Network is nothing more than a network of partners, such as various applications that will show your Facebook ads in their apps. Think of this as an internal referral network for ads.

Facebook gives you the option to select which placements you want to advertise on and which ones you don’t. This is important because different placements hint at different contexts and activities. For example, a mobile news feed is obviously best suited for someone who is, well…mobile, so you probably wouldn’t want to target then with a long video or a large app to download. Whereas a person scrolling through a desktop version of the news feed might be looking for casual entertainment and information. Instant Articles, on the other hand, suggest people who prefer more immersive, in-depth reading.

Understand what you are advertising and think about both the content of your ad and the context of your audience.

3. What is A/B Testing, and Why is it Effective?

Don’t take my word for any of this stuff! You should be testing everything! A/B testing is a simple concept that works wonders. If you aren’t sure which ad will convert better, TEST THEM BOTH! Usually, it works best with subtle changes. For example, try running the exact same ad with different headlines, then review which one got more engagement. A/B testing is incredibly powerful, yet insanely easy to do on Facebook. As a matter of fact, you can A/B test anything you’d like. Experiment with your bidding strategies, different audiences, placements, headlines, colors, even different images and copy in the ads themselves! Determine what truly works for your business and your audience. These are the same steps we use to determine our strategies. There is no one-size fits all solution, testing is the answer.

4. The Notorious Facebook Pixel

Facebook PixelThis is where all the magic happens (well…sort of). The Facebook Pixel is nothing more than a snippet of code you need to install on your site. The purpose of this code is to use tracking cookies on your visitors so you can retarget them later and find similar audiences. This little tool helps make your Facebook marketing so much more effective by tracking conversions on your site. You can implement specific Pixels to discover how many people bought your products or services as a result of Facebook ad, learn how many leads you got from form submissions, or understand how many people abandoned shopping carts before completing their purchase. Have you ever been browsing a site, only to go to Facebook and almost immediately see ads from that website? Yep, this is how that’s done…magic.

5. …But Wait, There’s More!

Now that you are comfortable creating Facebook ads, it’s time to dive into advanced options! Did you know you can schedule your ads to run during specific days and times? For example, let’s say you own a restaurant. You could decide to run an ad for a lunch special to people in a 5-mile radius ONLY during lunch hours. How’s that for relevance?

These advanced options will even let you decide to only show your ad to people on WiFi. This is beneficial if you have a large file download or a video you want them to watch. Data still isn’t free, so make their life easier and your chance of conversion higher. If you have an app for iOS, go a step further as you can specifically target people on iOS devices. I think you get the idea.

Facebook Ad formats

Facebook has packed a ton of value into this “simple” tool. If you’ve never tried Facebook Ads before, or even if you have tried it, but didn’t get the results you wanted, don’t get discouraged. Just keep trying. With so many options available, you just need to test and see what works for you and your business. There are so many ways to set up your promotions with different audiences and media that you just have to go through some trial and error to figure out the perfect mix that works for your business. It’s important to note that you need to give these some time. Don’t go placing ads and assume that they aren’t working after a day and try something new. It takes at least a good week to get enough data to see if it’s working for you.

One of the reasons Facebook ads are so successful is that you don’t have to spend a fortune (though, you could easily if you wanted to). Start testing different ads with a $5 daily budget. Once you find what works best for you and brings you a return, you can increase the budget for that ad or run a few different ads simultaneously. It really is that easy.

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