Could Your Facebook Videos Be Doing Better? - Tools N Tips
Could Your Facebook Videos Be Doing Better? – Tools N Tips

Facebook video, it’s one of those things that we marketers have been talking about, constantly, in 2017. Video is definitely the thing this year.

The problem is it’s not always as easy as we think. We create the videos, it takes a lot of time and sometimes they don’t perform as well as we expect.

It’s frustrating. I shared a video from another business on my page recently and the reach and engagement were huge. I looked at the video, why did it work? Why didn’t my own videos do that well?

Time to investigate

How to get more from Facebook Video

Square video rules

Mari Smith talked about square video at Social Media Summit earlier this year. She pointed to research from Buffer and Animoto showing that square formatted video gets between 80 and 100 percent more engagement on Facebook. I decided to give it a go.

I took my standard, landscape formatted video for YouTube, and looked into ways to squarify it. I settled on a simple solution. The Instasize app available for iOS and Android allows you to add a square background to any image. It has a library of backgrounds and wallpapers but you can also choose a photo from your camera roll. I created a selection of backgrounds for videos and sent them to my phone, this allowed me to brand my content.

See the results here.

Vertical video

As you may know, I’m not a fan of vertical video. At least I wasn’t until Snapchat came along. Once I’d started using it I realised that some videos did work better in the portrait format. Vertical video is here.

If your Facebook audience uses their mobile to view your content (and most will) Vertical video could be a good choice. When they hit the play button the video expands to fill the screen. A great way to retain their attention.

Subtitles

This is something I’ve been doing for a while now and I did see a bump in my views when I did. Subtitles are important on Facebook, according to Digiday, 85% of video on Facebook is watched with the sound off.

This is very different to YouTube where 96% watch with the sound on.

Why the difference? We treat Facebook and YouTube differently. When we go to YouTube we go there specifically to watch a video. On Facebook we’re scrolling, passing time. A video might catch our eye but if we press play and unleash the sound we’ll be broadcasting to everyone around us.

So if we want to capture the attention of the Facebook audience we need to give them a taster of what is in the video. If we want them to keep watching we’re going to have to accept that they’ll be watching it with the sound off. We need to subtitle.

Facebook make subtitling easy. You can auto-caption videos you upload.

Here’s a quick tutorial showing you how:

You will need to edit the auto-generated captions. Facebook doesn’t always understand what you’re saying.

For cooler captions, if you are an iPhone user give the Apple Clips app a go. It will caption your videos either in real time as you record or will add them once you’ve finished recording. As a bonus the videos are square shaped, perfect for sharing on Facebook.

Go live

I love live video, I enjoy my weekly show but it’s not always been easy for me. Even after years of recording video of myself, I found it hard to go live for the first time on Facebook. There’s something about that raw, live moment that is scary.

If you can overcome the nerves give it a shot. Live video gets great reach, it’s the best way to connect directly to your viewers and according to Facebook people will watch a live broadcast (whilst live) 3x longer than a non-live video.

Find out more about going live on Facebook here.

These tips will help your video reach more people and get more engagement. The videos I have shared that got the most engagement were square, were subtitled and although they weren’t live I’ve seen from my own experience that Live video works exceptionally well for engagement and relationship building.

Do you have and tricks you use to get more from your Facebook video? I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas so I can give them a try.

 

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Could Your Facebook Videos Be Doing Better? - Tools N Tips
Could Your Facebook Videos Be Doing Better? – Tools N Tips
Should You Hire Someone To Manage Your Facebook Ads For You? The Pros And Cons
Should You Hire Someone To Manage Your Facebook Ads For You? The Pros And Cons

Facebook ads are relatively simple to set up but sometimes hiring a specialist to manage them can be an advantage. Their expertise could take your flagging campaigns and make them work.

Before you decide if you need help with your Facebook advertising campaigns weigh up the pros and cons

Should you hire a Facebook ads specialist?

Pro #1 – Eliminate Stress

I hire an accountant to do my tax returns and handle my finances. I hire him because doing my own taxes would stress me out. It’s such a long tax form, so many details need to be added and if I get it wrong there are fines.

By hiring a professional I can sleep at night. Hiring a Facebook ads specialist (like me) is the same. Someone who knows the ins and outs of ads will work out the best way to spend your money for the best results.

You don’t have to worry that you might be making mistakes or wasting money, your Facebook ads manager will be on the case.

Con #1 – Additional costs

You’re probably already spending money on your Facebook ads. Hiring someone to manage them for you is going to cost you extra.

If you have a low budget this can hurt. Your ad manager could be getting you results but you’ll need to figure in the cost of hiring them against the value you are getting from your ads.

How much are you prepared to spend per customer? Per lead? Know this and you will be better armed to decide if you can afford to outsource this job.


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Pro #2 – Keeping up with changes

Facebook is always evolving. They are constantly adding new features and tweaking old ones. All this makes for a better ads but it’s hard to keep up.

A Facebook ad specialist spends a large chunk of their week running campaigns. They will be first to know if there has been an update, change or new feature and will be able to advise which will work best for you.

Con #2 – It removes the learning process

When I asked my Facebook group what they thought the disadvantages of hiring someone to run your ads were, one person pointed out that they enjoyed learning about things. Outsourcing would rob her of the opportunity to learn.

I’m a compulsive learner too and I can understand why this would be a problem. On the other hand, I have no wish to learn about accounting! If you want to learn ads from the ground up, hiring a professional may not be the way to go.

Pro #3 – Time saver

No matter what industry we are in small business owners have one thing in common. We are time poor. We wear lots of hats and balancing our day between client work, admin and marketing can be a challenge.

Setting up and managing Facebook ads may not be the best way to spend your time, hiring someone to do it for you leaves you time free to invest in other areas of your business.

Con #3 – Is it safe?

When you hire any professional you need to trust them. If you are going to hire a Facebook ads specialist you will be giving them access to your Facebook page, all the data that is collected from it, your Facebook ad account and you’ll be giving them permission to run ads using your account.

Could handing over the keys like this be risky? Will they be tempted to pass that data on to others? Could they use your ad account to run ads on their own pages?

Just like hiring any professional you need to choose someone you can trust. You can look for a referral from someone else, get to know them online or off or ask for references from their past customers just like you might when you hire an accountant.

Pro #4 – Reporting

Getting your head around Facebook reports is a challenging job. Even when you navigate the reports dashboard it’s hard to interpret the data. Should you be excited you got so many video views? How can you tell if people actually took action on your ads?

A good ad manager will give you a detailed report showing you the key statistics on what’s working and what’s not.

Con #4 – Not knowing how it works

Every year when the accountant sends me my finished accounts I go through them in detail. I want to understand the return that we are sending in and know that everything is in order. Even though I’ve hired him to do this job for me I feel I should know the basics.

When you hand over control of your ads it can feel the same. Not knowing or understanding what’s going on can make us nervous or uncomfortable.

If you find yourself feeling this way about your ads once you have hired someone, get in touch. Ask them to show you around the ad reporting so you can better understand what’s going on. We’re here to help!

 

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Is It A Good Idea To Get A Specialist To Manage Your Facebook Ads For You
Is It A Good Idea To Get A Specialist To Manage Your Facebook Ads For You?

 

 

 

These 6 Lookalike Audiences Will Improve Your Facebook Ads Campaigns Overnight
These 6 Lookalike Audiences Will Improve Your Facebook Ads Campaigns Overnight

Lookalike audiences have always seemed like the poor relative of custom Facebook audiences. Or so I thought until I talked to Stefan from LeadsBridge.

If you haven’t come across Lookalike Audiences before, they consist of people who Facebook considers ‘similar’ to members of your existing audiences.

In this guest post from Stefan you’ll discover some of the more interesting lookalike audiences you can create.


It’s easy to find more customers and clients on Facebook, if you know how to do it.

Advertisers spend a huge amount of money on Facebook ads, often with disappointing results. Common problems are:

  • Non-reactive prospects
  • High cost per lead
  • Low sales volume

I’m not going to tell you how to create a complete marketing campaign that sells. I won’t show you how to get rich quickly.

Instead, I’m going to show you how to reach the right people for your business through Facebook.

Why Lookalike Audiences?

A good marketing plan needs a fresh flow of potential clients discovering your business.

Lookalike Audiences are a great way to do that.

Let’s start by looking at the source of your Lookalike audiences. You can create lookalike audiences that have similar traits and interests to ‘warm’ audiences who have already come into contact with your brand.

These could be:

  • Custom Audiences
  • Website visitors
  • Facebook Page fans

But remember, lookalike audiences aren’t warm leads. You’ve just found people who are similar to those who are.

When you target them with ads you shouldn’t aim to sell your products and services straight away. Instead, you need people to get to know you first. Perhaps entice them into your site with a good piece of content or entertain them with a video from your Facebook page.

If they interact with this soft content it will be easier to convert them into prospects and customers using retargeting campaigns.


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Getting started with Lookalike audiences

How to create a lookalike audience

Lookalike audiences are based on custom audiences and page likers. The warm audiences we mentioned earlier. If you haven’t created a custom audience yet,  you’ll need to do it.

Here’s how:

Go to your ads manager (or Power Editor)

Select “audience” from the main menu. If you don’t see it straight away click ‘More’ at the bottom of the menu and you’ll find it under ‘Assets’.

Select audiences from your ads manager menu to create a custom audience
Select audiences from your ads manager menu to create a custom audience

In the next window, select Create Audience – Custom audience.

Select custom audience
Select custom audience

Choose from:

  • Customer File
  • Website Traffic
  • App Activity
  • Engagement on Facebook
Custom audience options
Custom audience options

To create a website custom audience you’ll need to instal the pixel on your site. The others can be created straight away.

Let’s take a look at some of the most beneficial lookalike audiences you can create.

#1 Website engagement lookalike

If your website receives a lot of visitors, great! That’s good news.

But how can you identify people who are really interested in your services? And how does this help create better ad campaigns to reach more potential clients?

Your website visitors are in fact the best potential customers to acquire. You know they are already interested in what you do.

To reach people similar to your top website visitors, create a Custom Audience based on website traffic.

Select 'Website traffic' from the options
Select ‘Website traffic’ from the options

Then, create an audience of users who spent more time on your website. (not available to all yet but you should have it soon).

This new feature in website custom audiences lets you target your most engaged readers
This new feature in website custom audiences lets you target your most engaged readers

To create a lookalike of this audience, select the audience you just created and click ‘actions’/’create lookalike’.

Create a lookalike audience from your custom audience.
Create a lookalike audience from your custom audience.

Repeat this action to create lookalike audiences from any Custom Audiences.

#2 Key web content lookalike

If you cover multiple topics on your website you will attract different types of audience to each topic.

For this reason, narrowing your audiences to specific web content can be a better way to target your Facebook advertising campaigns. A lookalike audience from these visitors will be more relevant than the wider audience we created before.

Create a custom audience from those who visit specific pages on your site.

Here’s an example:

If you are a car dealer and you wrote a post about the 6 best auto vans in 2016, people who visit this post will be a good source for your lookalike audience. You could create a brand-awareness campaign or a test drive offer to turn them into a warm audience.

By narrowing your lookalike audience to those similar to specific webpage visitors you can target people with an interest in those topics.

#3 App activity lookalike

You might have been ignoring this custom audience type because you thought you didn’t have an app? You probably didn’t realise that the Facebook comments plugin is considered an app?

You can use the comments app to collect a custom audience based on people who comment on your blog and build a lookalike audience based on that source.

Create an audience from app activity (including the Facebook comments plugin)
Create an audience from app activity (including the Facebook comments plugin)

Targeting people similar to those who have taken the time to comment on your blog with ads is a good way to build a more engaged audience.

#4 Facebook Page engagement lookalike

Creating a Lookalike audience from people who engaged with your Facebook page, is a good way to reach more people who could be interested in your business.

Create a custom audience from people who engage with your page on Facebook
Create a custom audience from people who engage with your page on Facebook

It’s been possible for a while to create a Lookalike audience of people who Like your page. The problem with this is that many who Like your page probably haven’t seen an update from you since they clicked the like button.

So, instead of basing your lookalike audience on your page likers, you can create a custom audience from the people who engage with your page and build your lookalike from that.

Create a custom audience from people who engaged with posts and ads from your page
Create a custom audience from people who engaged with posts and ads from your page

Because these people have engaged with your page they are a more relevant audience for you to replicate with a lookalike.

#5 Video engagement lookalike

Posting videos on Facebook is one of the best ways to create engagement with your fans and make them aware about your brand, services and products.

It’s a great way to build a warm page engagement audience. Creating a lookalike audience based on this is a good way to find new people who are interested in the same topics as your existing audiences.

#6 CRM lookalike

A CRM audience is one you base on a customer list. If you have a good CRM (customer relationship management) system implemented for your business this could be the most effective audience you create. It will help you classify prospects with tags, providing important information about your lists.

Knowing data – like which links have been clicked, which email has been opened and so on – means that you will be creating a far more sophisticated lookalike audience.

With a CRM, you can track the behaviours and interests of your prospects and customers, creating specific Custom Audiences and, consequently, most effective lookalikes.

The problem is, when you have several lists you will be constantly importing and manually updating your custom audiences. We’ve been working on this issue at Leadsbridge and have come up with ‘Custom Audience Sync’. It will help you create custom audiences from CRM and create lookalikes from them. Find out more on our site.

Conclusion

In this article I shared with you 6 lookalike audiences that will allow you reach more potential clients:

  1. Website engagement lookalike
  2. Key web content lookalike
  3. App activity lookalike
  4. Facebook Page engagement lookalike
  5. Video engagement lookalike
  6. CRM lookalike

If you want to create more effective campaigns and target the right people through Facebook, these lookalike audiences are what you need to improve your ads campaigns (almost) overnight, by reaching new prospects who could step into your Funnel.

What about you?

Which lookalike audiences are you using to grow your business through Facebook?

Leave a comment below, if you want, and feel free to ask questions about the Facebook Ads strategies you just learned.


Stephan Das is CEO and co-founder at LeadsBridge. A suite of automation tools for Facebook Advertisers.  Social Advertising and Marketing Automation enthusiast. You can download his Facebook Ads Insider’s Hacks here.


 

 

 

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These 6 Lookalike Audiences Will Improve Your Facebook Ads Campaigns Overnight
These 6 Lookalike Audiences Will Improve Your Facebook Ads Campaigns Overnight
What On Earth Is A Facebook Canvas Ad And Why Aren't We Using Them?
What On Earth Is A Facebook Canvas Ad And Why Aren’t We Using Them?

Facebook Canvas ads were launched in February 2016 and until today I’d never created one. I’d played alright. When I checked today I found two empty drafts. Why have I been ignoring what could be a great advertising tool?

The killer statistic

In May 2016, Facebook released some pretty impressive stats about Canvas ads. The most eye-catching being

The average view time is 31 seconds, 31 seconds of someone looking at your ad. That’s pretty great. 31 seconds someone is spending with your brand.

I’m not sure if they are still getting that sort of traction but I’ve decided to stop procrastinating and set one up. But first…

What are Facebook Canvas ads?

Canvas ads are an ad creative type that work exclusively on mobile. They can consist of a single, large element or a series of elements that help tell a story about your business.

When people click the ad they canvas fills the screen and users can interact with them. The good ones are essentially mini interactive websites.

Look at this one from American express blue

And this one from Citrone


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The Canvas options

When you set up a Canvas ad you are prompted to choose from three options:

1. Single screen

This is a big image that will be revealed when someone clicks. It will fill the whole screen. In their guides, Facebook recommends adding a headline to the image using photoshop. At the bottom of the image is your call to action, you can send people to a blog article, a landing page a services page, whichever will work best for you.

2. Storytelling

This type of Canvas ad is the one that captured my imagination. You can add multiple elements including video, images, canvas and text blocks to tell a story about your business.

In their guide, Facebook suggest you to start with a hero image. Those who click will be able to interact with each aspect of the story. The American Express ad above is a great example of how this will work.

3. Fullscreen Media

Start with a video and show people more images and media to guide them through a story. This is very similar to the Storytelling option above but you are limited to where you can add links

The elements of a canvas ad

A Storytelling of Fullscreen Media ad can consist of different elements. These are:

  • Full canvas
  • Header
  • Photo
  • Text block
  • Button
  • Carousel
  • Video
  • Product set

Access the Facebook guide to find out the dimensions for each of these.

How to create a Canvas

At the heart of a good canvas ad is a story. It’s the story that should drive your ad creation.

Start by defining the story you want to tell. What is the problem that the content, product or service solves. What is the key takeaway for your audience?

It’s a bit like writing a blog post.

Take another look at the American Express Blue example.

The takeaway is:

‘You can create these amazing Smores right now if you order the ingredients on Instacart with your American Express blue card’

It reels us in with the temptation of smores and shows us how to make them.

Breaking down the story

Now you know your story break it down into elements

  • How will you present the problem?
  • Do you have an image that will tell the story?
  • How can it be solved?
  • Can you include a how-to video (like the recipe video in the American Express example?)
  • Do you have a series of products that will help? You can create a carousel of images each one linking to your website product pages.
  • Do you have a testimonial you can include?
  • Do you have an image to accompany it?
  • What’s the result of your efforts. A happy customer? A problem resolved?
  • Don’t forget the calls to action, ad more than one so you are capturing people who don’t reach the end of your ad.

Now you have the elements in place you can go and create your ad. You can set up a Canvas in the ‘Publishing Tools’ section of your Facebook page or within the ads interface.

Create a Canvas in the 'Publishing Tools' section of your Facebook page
Create a Canvas in the ‘Publishing Tools’ section of your Facebook page

*Note: It’s much easier to create your canvas in the Publishing tools section and select it when creating your ad.

Measuring results from your Canvas ads

We saw the statistic above from Facebook, People stay looking at Canvas ads for an average of 31 seconds but what metrics can we measure from our Canvas ads and where do we find them?

Metrics

Facebook offers us the following:

  • View Duration
  • View Percentage
  • Canvas Component Duration Percentage

Where to find your results

From ads manager select ‘Customise columns’ from the drop down menu

Choose 'Customise comments' to find your Canvas metrics
Choose ‘Customise comments’ to find your Canvas metrics

Select the ‘Canvas metrics’ from the list

Select the Canvas metrics
Select the Canvas metrics

What’s next?

Canvas ads offer an immersive experience to your audience. They could end up engaging them far more than any other ad type but they take time.

Sit down and think about the story you could tell with a Canvas ad. It could be well worth the time spent.

 

 

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What On Earth Is A Facebook Canvas Ad And Why Aren't We Using Them?
What On Earth Is A Facebook Canvas Ad And Why Aren’t We Using Them?
A Busy Business Owners Guide To Writing Better Facebook Ad Copy Quickly
A Busy Business Owners Guide To Writing Better Facebook Ad Copy Quickly

I want to ask you a question. Promise you’ll be honest when you answer?

The last time you ran an ad on Facebook how long did you spend writing the copy, the text that accompanied it?

Was it an afterthought or did you spend time crafting it?

I’m guessing, but I’m imagining that as a time-starved business owner it’s something you put little time and effort into. I know I’ve been guilty of that in the past.

The thing is, you’re paying Facebook to show this ad to people. You have to spend time making sure you’ve got everything optimised so you’re not wasting money.

I’ve compiled a list of tips that will help you create better copy for your Facebook ads that will deliver better results.

9 Facebook ad copy tips to boost your results

Before I share those Facebook ad copy tips let’s just take a quick look at the basics

What do you want people to do when they see your ad?

Depending what you are advertising you’ll have different objectives.

Are you:

  • Trying to get people to read a blog post?
  • Watch a video?
  • Sign up for a freebie?
  • Buy?

Your objective needs to be at the heart of your copy.

3 text placements

There are three key areas of an ad that can include text.

Text overlay

The first place to add text is your image. Yes, it’s true, Facebook doesn’t want you using too much text on your image but a few words or even a headline can work. It’s the image that will grab your audience’s attention afterall.

More ad image tips here.

Last week I showed you the carousel ad from United. The text overlay was enough to tell me their destinations without a big chunk of text.

If you’ve got a strong offer or a hot headline consider adding it to your image.

Body text

This is the text you traditionally think of when you are creating your Facebook ad. It appears above the image on the Facebook newsfeed, Audience Network and below the image on Instagram ads.

When you’ve captured your audience’s attention with your image it’s this text that will encourage them to take action.

Your body text should reinforce the text overlay you’ve included on the images.

Link preview text

If you are sharing a link you can change the text that appears in the link description. At the very least you should review it and make sure it enforces and enhances the key message of your ad. Make it interesting enough that people will want to click to find out more.


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Depending on the objective of your ad you will use a mixture of the copy tips below.

1. Urgency

Use urgency in your Facebook ad copy
Use urgency in your Facebook ad copy

There’s a lot been written about urgency and if you are selling something there’s nothing like a deadline for making sales.

That doesn’t just apply to your ad copy but every part of your sales process. When we promoted courses for We Teach Social it was the email that told people they only had 24 hours left to book that got the highest sales.

It’s harder when you are creating Facebook ads as you’ll be running them over a number of days or weeks. You can either create new versions of your ads counting down the days or hours until an offer ends or you can simply add a date to your copy letting people know when the deal expires.

But urgency isn’t always about time. It could be that you only have a limited number of a product or seats on a course to sell. Adding this to the copy (and updating it regularly) can help push the sale.

One note, be honest with your countdown. You’ll lose your audiences trust if you continue to change the deadlines or your number of spaces available looks unrealistic.

2. Consistency

Be consistent with your language in all areas of your Facebook ad copy
Be consistent with your language in all areas of your Facebook ad copy

You don’t have to write the exact same copy in each of the three text areas but make sure the tone and the offer match.

Again, it’s all about trust, if your ad looks suspect people are less likely to click.

3. Make is short

Short copy in Facebook ads grabs attention
Short copy in Facebook ads grabs attention

You need to get your message over quickly on Facebook. Make it simple and to the point.

This doesn’t just apply to ads, it applies to all your Facebook content.

Shorter text = better engagement (Although there are always exceptions to this rule).

Or make it long…

There’s always an exception to the rule. Eleanor Goold who runs the amazing The Copywriter Facebook group suggests longer stories but don’t give it all away at the beginning, reel them in from the beginning and they’ll keep reading.

“Too many people are in a hurry to get to the benefits and forget they are telling a story, what’s more, that they are telling their target audience’s story back to them.

Make sure there is a hook to entice your audience in and curiosity to move people forward to get them to read the whole ad. A well told story will trump a hackneyed FB copywriting script when done right.”

4. Use CAPS and Emoji

Add emphasis with emoji and caps in your ad copy
Add emphasis with emoji and caps in your ad copy

There’s no text styling within Facebook ad copy. No bold, no italic, no differing text sizes. If you want specific words to stand out you’ll need to use capital letters. It can be an effective way to draw attention to the important words in your text.

Emoji also work well, adding that little bit of colour to a bland space.

If you do choose to use either of these in your copy use a light touch. Too many capital letters give the impression of shouting. Too many emoji can confuse your key message.

5. Use words and a tone that matches your audience

Use the language or your customers in your Facebook ad copy to foster trust
Use the language or your customers in your Facebook ad copy to foster trust

I don’t know what happens to businesses. I’ve seen pages that have been writing successful Facebook posts seem to lose the knack when they start advertising.

Just because you are paying for an ad it doesn’t mean you should slip back into an old-fashioned writing style.

Write copy in a tone that matches your ideal audience. You want to make users feel comfortable when they see your ad. Comfortable enough to click or buy.

I recommend reading your copy out loud before hitting publish on an ad. Does it sound natural? Are you using language you’d use if you were having a conversation with a customer?

6. Tell me why

What's in it for your customer? Tell them in your copy
What’s in it for your customer? Tell them in your copy

If you want your audience to take action on an ad be tell them what’s in it for them. What are they going to get in return for clicking?

  • Will they get a special offer or deal?
  • Will they find the answer to their question?
  • Will they save time if they invest in what you are selling?

If you answer a customer need with your product or service make sure you communicate that in your ad.

7. One CTA to rule them all

Tell people what to do
Tell people what to do

Your ad should be there to serve one purpose and one purpose only. Don’t purchase an ad to get people to Like your page and then try and sell an offer at the same time. It will dilute the effectiveness of your ad and you could end up getting nether the like or the sale.

8. Mention price

How much? Sometimes revealing the price will encourage click throughs
How much? Sometimes revealing the price will encourage click throughs

Facebook’s own guide to writing ad copy recommends mentioning your price (where appropriate).

Doing this will mean that when people click they are ready to spend. It also means more people will click. I’m often reluctant to click the link and wait for a site to load just to find out if the product is within my budget.

9. Ask a question

Questions inspire engagement and grab attention
Questions inspire engagement and grab attention

There’s something about seeing a simple question on Facebook that grabs attention. Make it something that resonates with your audience and you’ll pique their interest.

Go back to point 6 and find the question that you are answering for your customer. Make that question part of your copy and you’ll attract the right eyes to your ad.

What’s next?

If you are creating ads for your business it’s well worth setting some time aside to polish your copy. Experiment with some of the tips above and let me know if you see better results.

What are your top ad copy tips? What works for you? I’d love to hear your ideas.

 

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A Busy Business Owners Guide To Writing Better Facebook Ad Copy Quickly
A Busy Business Owners Guide To Writing Better Facebook Ad Copy Quickly
Are You Ready To Create Thumb Stopping Facebook Ad Visuals To Grow Your Reach and Results?
Are You Ready To Create Thumb Stopping Facebook Ad Visuals To Grow Your Reach and Results?

The term thumb stopping is one that truly belongs in the 21st century. When we scroll through our Facebook feeds on our phones what stops our thumb on a particular post or ad?

The first thing to grab our attention will usually be the visual content.

If you are paying for Facebook ads being thumb stopping is crucial. Why spend money to reach the newsfeed if people just scroll on by. When I create ads for clients I’m always trying to create images and video that will catch the eye (and the thumb) and encourage them to click.

Here are my tips on creating thumb-stopping Facebook ad visuals:

1. Go easy on text

Facebook abandoned it’s confusing 20% text rule some time ago and replaced it with another, more confusing guideline that categorises your image as:

  • OK
  • Low
  • Medium
  • High

You can use the Facebook text overlay tool to see which category your image falls into.

Too much text and Facebook will limit the reach of your ad, or so they say. I’ve seen some great results with ads that have a medium to high text overlay.

Having said that, if you want to ensure good deliverability go easy on the text and make sure it’s large enough to be read on a mobile ad.

I love the way United have used the text on this carousel ad

See all of USA's beauty by making the West Coast your first stop.

Posted by United on Tuesday, February 14, 2017

And whilst I’m at it, it’s not just cluttered text that’s a problem

2. Avoid cluttered images

Make sure it’s clear what the Facebook user should be focussing on in the image.


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3. Colour

Without visual content, Facebook is a bland looking place. Blue, black and white it doesn’t scream excitement or interest.

It’s the images and the videos that make it interesting and it’s strong, vibrant colours that grab our attention and our thumbs.

There’s a reason that Facebook has started allowing us to make plain text updates with coloured backgrounds. It’s the colour, the visual impact that stops the thumb.

So when you are sourcing images or designing them focus on vibrant eye-catching colour.

Who wouldn’t be attracted to this Whoppee pie?

How can you resist the image below?! The best gourmet food shipped right to your door. Don't miss out this holiday season!

Posted by Goldbely on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

4. Faces

In 2017 the person or people behind your business are what matter. Customers are tired of faceless brands, they want to see you, your team, your customers.

Luckily as small businesses, this is something we can do relatively easily. Choose images that represent your customers or use photos you’ve taken yourself of you, your team, your suppliers or customers.

A person looking out of the screen at us can stop that thumb.

I loved this recent ad from The Westbury Hotel in Dublin showcasing their doorman.

We pride ourselves on a quality service from start to finish with our staff at the heart of that service. Our Concierge Joe Daly is ready and waiting to greet you.

Posted by The Westbury on Thursday, February 16, 2017

5. Video

Facebook loves video. I’ve found that including a video rather than, or as well as an image in an ad will get you extra reach, engagement and results.

But isn’t making video hard work?

It doesn’t have to be. Facebook has its own tool for creating slideshows from multiple photographs. The movement as it transitions from one slide to the next can be enough to grab attention.

I prefer to make the videos myself first so I can use them elsewhere. Flipagram is an app that lets you do exactly what the slideshow video function on Facebook does. You can adjust the speed, add captions and download the result to your phone.

You should also experiment with shooting video yourself. I’ve been creating a lot of video on my phone recently and have started trialling them in ads.

Be aware, if you are making video that people rarely click to turn on the sound. For that reason, if there is speaking in your video you’ll need to caption it. The new Apple Clips app is pretty amazing at doing this, in real time, as you speak.

Here’s a cute video ad from 7-Eleven. Not only do we see a person but it’s a quirky fun video that is bound to resonate with the target market.

KRISPY SKREMES in store NOW!!!!!! #Halloween

Posted by 7-Eleven Australia on Thursday, October 15, 2015

6. Emotion

Can you make someone smile, laugh, cry, gasp? Can you make them curious with your ad imagery? In the same way that emotionally charged text will grab your attention emotional images will too.

This picture certainly has the awww factor.

If this doesn't warm your heart, I don't know what will! <3

Posted by Puppies Way on Friday, January 1, 2016

Image sizing

You’ll need different sized images for different types of ad and different placements.

Bookmark Jon Loomer’s frequently updated image dimensions for Facebook chart for easy reference.

If you use a tool like Canva you’ll find template sizes relating to the most common ad types.

Still stuck for ad inspiration?

Try some of these tools. I picked most of the examples in this post from the Ad Espresso gallery and the rest from my swipe file.

Your visuals are what will sell your ad, stop the thumb scroll, grab attention and inspire people to take action. Don’t make it a last minute consideration. Spend some time creating graphics and videos that will pop out of the feed.

And then split test them. It’s often surprising which images do best.

Your Turn

Do you have any tips for better ad images? Have you tried something quirky that has worked? Tell me about it below.

 

Are You Ready To Create Thumb Stopping Facebook Ad Visuals To Grow Your Reach and Results?
Are You Ready To Create Thumb Stopping Facebook Ad Visuals To Grow Your Reach and Results?
What Should You Be Spending On Your Facebook Ads?
What Should You Be Spending On Your Facebook Ads?

It’s an almost impossible question to answer yet it’s one I find myself estimating over and over again to a varying degree of success. How much should you spend on your Facebook ads?

There are lots of answers I could give you. I could tell you that you set the daily or lifetime budget and Facebook works out the rest.

I could tell you that the minimum spend for an ad set is €1 a day but I can’t tell you exactly what results you should expect for that.

I could tell you that the cost per result will depend on audience size or as Facebook say, it will be the ads that provide:

” …positive, relevant experiences for people using Facebook, Instagram or Audience Network”

that see the best cost per result.

How much should you spend on Facebook ads?

Testing

In reality, for each new client, I have to test. The cost per result will depend on:

  • The objective of the ad
  • The size of the audience we are targeting
  • How competitive the audience we’re targeting are
  • Where they live
  • How much our ads appeal to our audience

With all these variables it’s essential that we keep honing our ads, that we split test them and keep a keen eye on results.

How to estimate ad results

All this seems a bit vague but we can, with a little more investigation make a good guestimate of how much it’s going to cost us to get the results we want.

In Ads manager, when you are setting up the ad you can find out how much Facebook anticipates your results are going to cost.

Set up your ad as usual, when you get to the budget section click ‘Manual’ under ‘Bid Amount’. Here you’ll see what Facebook estimates it will cost to meet your objective.

facebook ad budget estimate
Find out how much Facebook anticipates your ad results will cost

We’re just using the manual bid option here to get an estimate, you can return to ‘Automatic Bid’ once you have made a note of the costs.

How to keep ad spend at €1 per day

In 2015 I wrote about Facebook ads and how much you could get for a €1 a day. Since then Facebook has increased the minimum spend on website click ads and app instal ads.

The minimum daily spend for a website clicks ad set is now €5 a day. Although it’s not going to break the bank, for a small business wanting to split test and experiment with multiple ad sets for one campaign it’s a little high.

There is a way to get around the €5 minimum spend.

Go back to the budget section in ads manager and click ‘more options’ next to ‘When you will get charged’.

Click 'more options' next to 'When you will be charged'
Click ‘more options’ next to ‘When you will be charged’

Select ‘Impression’

Select 'impressions' to get access to a lower daily budget
Select ‘impressions’ to get access to a lower daily budget

Once you’ve selected this option Facebook will let you set a minimum budget of €1 per day for your ad.

What to keep an eye on

Facebook grades your ads for relevance. An ad with a high relevance score will reach more people and get better results than an ad with a low relevance score. It will also ensure that you compete favourably against others targeting the same audience.

Relevance is based on how well your audience reacts to your ads. You can view your relevance scores for recent campaigns in ads manger in the ads section.

A higher relevance score ensures better results
A higher relevance score ensures better results

The real measure

So far I’ve shown you how to measure results within Facebook but the real results are measured on your website or in your business.

It’s great when you get a good cost per click but what are people doing when they arrive on your site? Don’t stop measuring on Facebook.

Use tracking links and Google analytics to follow your Facebook audience as they move through your site. Use the Facebook pixel to measure conversions but set up goals in your Google Analytics to verify them.

So how much should you spend?

As you can see there is no right answer. If you’re new to ads and experimenting start with a low budget. Make a note of your cost per result for each ad type you run so you have something to benchmark against.

Experiment with your audiences, your placements and your creatives and you’ll soon be able to gauge what the real cost is.

 

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What Should You Be Spending On Your Facebook Ads?
What Should You Be Spending On Your Facebook Ads?
Facebook Website Conversion Ads Aren't As Complicated As You Think - Go On, Give Them A Try
Facebook Website Conversion Ads Aren’t As Complicated As You Think – Go On, Give Them A Try

Here’s the thing. You can run a Facebook website traffic ad that drives people to your site. But you’ll never really know if they are buying your products, signing up to your mailing list or downloading as a result of your ad unless you use the Facebook pixel.

By adding this little bit of code to your site you can see when someone takes action as a result of your ad. You’ll know if your ads are really working.

I know it seems like a lot of hassle but once you’ve installed it you’ll be annoyed you didn’t do it earlier.

Here’s why

A few weeks ago we looked at the advantages and disadvantages of website conversion ads over lead generation ads. Last week we looked at Lead gen ads in more detail, but there’s a part of me that will always believe that conversion ads are the real deal. The proper way to manage lead collection.

Website conversion ads?

Facebook website conversion ads work by tracking visitors to your website. Facebook will give you a bit of code that you add to your site called a pixel. This lets Facebook see who visits and which pages they look at.

In my case, I’m trying to gain new email subscribers. I’ve created a ‘Thank you’ page on my site that people are directed to once they subscribe. If I want to see if my ads are working, I add a bit of extra code to that thank you page. Facebook will log a conversion each time someone visits that page as a result of clicking on my ad.

What can you measure?

They’re handy for me but they’re vital if you are running an eCommerce site. You’re going to want to measure the monetary effect of your Facebook ads. The Pixel and conversion ads are the perfect fit.

Facebook gives you conversion code for:

  • Search
  • View Content
  • Add to Cart
  • Add to Wishlist
  • Initiate Checkout
  • Add Payment Info
  • Purchase
  • Lead
  • Complete Registration
  • Custom Event (you define its name)

Setting up conversion ads

Setting up a conversion ad is as straightforward as setting up any other ad type in Ads Manager or Power Editor. The hard bit is setting up the pixel. But it’s not actually as complicated as you might think, it’s something you’ll regret putting off.


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Here are the basics:

1. Go to ads manager and get the pixel

From ads manager click the three lines at the top of the screen. Expand the menu click ‘All Tools’ at the bottom of the dropdown.

Select ‘Pixels’ under the ‘Assets’ menu

Find your pixel from Facebook ads manager
Find your pixel from Facebook ads manager

If you’ve never set up a pixel, Facebook will help you get started.

If you have created your pixel click ‘Actions’ and ‘View Pixel Code’

Click to view your pixel code
Click to view your pixel code

Copy the base code and install it in the head section of your website. You may need your website developer to assist here.

Copy the base code and add it to the head section of your website
Copy the base code and add it to the head section of your website

Once this is installed Facebook should recognise it.

Now you just need to add the ‘Event code’ that measures conversions to your individual pages. These could be payment confirmation pages for eCommerce or thank-you pages for email signups or lead magnet downloads.

You’ll find the code below your base code.

Add event code to your thank you or payment confirmation pages
Add event code to your thank you or payment confirmation pages

Argh, can I do that on WordPress?

If you are a fellow WordPress user you’ll run into a problem at this stage. You can edit your head code but when you do, it edits the head section on every page, not just the one you want to manage conversions on.

The solution is to use a plugin. There are lots available but if you want to make pixel installation really simple you can’t beat Pixel Caffeine from Ad Espresso. It’s free to use and it will handle not just your conversions but the entire pixel.

I managed to have it up and running in a couple of minutes.

Is this thing on? How to find out if the pixel is working?

If you’ve set up everything correctly you’ll get a big tick on your Pixels page in ads manager

Is your pixel set up correctly?
Is your pixel set up correctly?

If you are a Google Chrome user you can also check individual pages on your site using the FB Pixel helper for Chrome. Once installed you can check the pixel status on any page on your site.

As you can see mine is registering as it should on my thank you page.

FB pixel helper plugin for Chrome
FB pixel helper plugin for Chrome

Setting up a website conversions ad

Your pixel is in place all that remains is to set up an ad. The process is the same as setting up any ad.

Start by selecting the ‘Conversions’ objective.

Choose the conversions objective
Choose the conversions objective

Click inside the ‘Website or Messenger’ box to find your event. Select it from the drop-down menu.

Select your conversion event
Select your conversion event

Continue to create your ads as normal.

Tip – You can measure conversions from any ad type

Website conversion ads are optimised to be targeted at people within your audience that are most likely to take the action you have specified. So, as I’m collecting leads, Facebook will choose the people from my audience who are most likely to fill in a lead form.

However, you can measure conversions from any ad your run. For example. I have a pop-up on my site directing people to my lead incentive. If I’m running a website traffic ad there’s a chance that some of those people will also end up on the thank you page I’m measuring.

To measure these conversions create your ad as usual. Right at the bottom left of the ad creation interface, just before you purchase your ad you have the option to track all conversions from your pixel.

Track conversions from any ad
Track conversions from any ad

That’s it, now you’ll know if you got any conversions as a result of your ad even if that wasn’t what you optimised for.

What’s stopping you?

If you haven’t tried website conversions ad now give them a try. It’s really not as hard to set up as you think and you can measure conversions and results to know you are getting return on investment.

Have you tried conversion ads? How did you get on with the code? Did you see good results? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

 

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Facebook Website Conversion Ads Aren't As Complicated As You Think - Go On, Give Them A Try
Facebook Website Conversion Ads Aren’t As Complicated As You Think – Go On, Give Them A Try
What Is A Facebook Lead Gen Ad Anyway?
What Is A Facebook Lead Gen Ad Anyway?

I can’t really understand why more businesses aren’t using Facebook Lead-Gen ads. Or if they are they aren’t targeting me with them.

Lead-Gen ads help you capture information, like an email address or a phone number, from your Facebook audience so you can market or sell to them later.

The Problem With Selling On Facebook

As we know, Facebook is a social network, people go there to see what their friends are up to or share their own stories with friends and family. Some people will like our page and will enjoy seeing updates from our business. Some will even want to buy what we have.

But there’s a problem. Even if they see our ad and want to buy we will rarely be capturing them at the right time. Think about it, if you are browsing your Facebook feed you may not be ready to buy that pair of shoes, software, gadget that you want. You see it, you might be interested but perhaps you’re on a bus and getting your credit card out then and there would be inconvenient.

Maybe you haven’t been paid yet so although you really want that thing you can’t afford it until payday.

When you are ready to buy the ad is gone and you can’t find it. The moment has passed.

So when we advertise we have to realise that not every customer is going to be ready to buy. We should invest some of our advertising budget in lead capture.

There are two types of lead capture ad you can run on Facebook. In this post we’ll look at Lead Gen ads, in the next we’ll look at conversion ads.

Lead Gen Ads?

Lead Generation ads are and ad type that allows users to complete a form on Facebook relating to your business. You can then use this information to add them to a lead nurture sequence or to advertise to them again later on.

They’re great if you’ve created a lead magnet that you want to use to build your email marketing list, they’re also great if you are running a contest and want more that a bit of engagement on a post. Imagine instead of an empty like or comment you got a potential customer from your competition that you can sell to over time.

The nice thing about Facebook lead-gen ads is that you can get started straight away, there’s no messing with code on your site.

 


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What you’ll need

1. A privacy policy on your site

I know, I know I said you didn’t need to fiddle with code on your site but you do need a privacy policy. You should have one of these already. If you don’t you can use this site to create one in a couple of minutes.

You’ll need to link to this as part of the ad creation process.

2. Graphics

Like any ad you run on Facebook it’s a good idea to split test images. Create at least 3 images so Facebook can split test them for you.

The ideal size for the images you use in lead-gen ads is 1,200 x 628. If you use Canva for your graphics that’s the standard Facebook ad size.

3. At least one qualifying question you want to ask

One of the benefits of Facebook lead-gen ads is that Facebook will autofill the name and the email address of the person completing the data. Although this is useful for getting quick entries the email address is the one the user logs into Facebook with. Many people, myself included, don’t use their main email address for this purpose. You could be wasting your time following up on that address.

To avoid getting dud addresses I recommend adding an additional question asking for the ‘Work email address’. This is one of the default questions Facebook lets you add.

On top of this, you might want to ask a qualifying question so that you know if the lead is worth following up.

For example, if you are targeting people within a specific county in Ireland you could ask entrants which county they live in. If you are targeting parents you might ask them how old their child is.

Setting up your Facebook lead-gen ads

I’m a great one for procrastinating over setting up the lead-gen ads. I always imagine creating that form will take ages. Once I get stuck into it I’m always pleasantly surprised by how quickly it happens.

To set up the ad choose the ‘Lead Gen’ objective when setting up your ad in Ads Manager or Power Editor.

Choose the 'Lead Gen' objective when setting up the ad
Choose the ‘Lead Gen’ objective when setting up the ad

Start constructing your ad as usual. When you reach the last section you’ll be prompted to set up your form.

Add a Lead Gen form at the end of the ad creation process
Add a Lead Gen form at the end of the ad creation process

Watch the video below to see how to create the form.

Finding entries

When people fill in the form the entries are compiled on the back end of your Facebook page. You’ll need to be a full page admin to access this data.

On your Facebook page click ‘Publishing Tools’ and select ‘Forms Library’ on the left-hand side. This will display all your active forms. You’ll see the number of entries next to each one.

Find your lead gen entries on the publishing tab of your Facebook page
Find your lead gen entries on the publishing tab of your Facebook page

If you have new entries click ‘Download’ to download a CSV file. This file will open in excel or you can import it into your email marketing software.

Download all leads or just those gathered since your last download.
Download all leads or just those gathered since your last download.

You will be given the option to download all leads or just the new leads since your last download. From here you can also integrate your form with your CRM (customer relationship management) or email marketing tools.

There are a number of CRM integrations available including Mailchimp. However you need to connect Mailchimp via third party tool Zapier and there is a cost involved in this.

Summary

I’m a big fan of lead gen ads and they can provide a cost effective way to capture data from your audience. Remember, they may not be ready to buy when they see your sales ads, this way you can add them to a lead nurture sequence or retarget them with more Facebook, other social or even search ads later on.

If you haven’t tried them yet give them a go and let me know how you get on.

 

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You Know What? You Really Should Try Facebook Lead Gen Ads
You Know What? You Really Should Try Facebook Lead Gen Ads
Facebook Lead Gen Ads v Conversion Ads - Which Should You Use?
Facebook Lead Gen Ads v Conversion Ads – Which Should You Use?

There are so many ad types available on Facebook that opening ads manager and browsing can be daunting. 

Which type of ad should you run? There’s: brand awareness, reach, traffic, engagement, app install, video view, lead generation, conversions, product catalogue sales, store visits and every time you log in there seems to be another.

One choice you’ll have to make if you want to capture email addresses, phone numbers or if you want people to complete a form is whether you should use:

1. Lead Generation Ads – You create a form within Facebook that your audience completes
2. Website Conversions – Your audience visits your website and completes a form on site. Facebook measures the number of people who complete that action (convert) via a bit of code you add to your site (pixel).

Let’s find out:

Lead Generation ads

I’m a big fan of Lead generation ads. They are simple to set up, my client doesn’t have to do anything special to their site to enable them so we can get started straight away.

Here are the advantages:

1. No code required

Installing the Facebook Pixel (that enables lead conversion ads) is a complex process. You need to activate the code and work out how to add the various parts of it to your site.

Although there are some cool tools available that can help you install the code it’s so much quicker just to set up a Lead Generation ad. All you need is a link to your privacy policy, an image and a list of questions.

2. No need to leave Facebook

You’ve probably noticed that there’s a problem with links on Facebook. When you click a link from your mobile device it takes a long time, a really long time to load. In many cases you probably abandon the link before it opens fully. You may even be reluctant to click links in the future because of the load time.

Lead generation ads operate within Facebook. Instead of sending your audience off-site everything happens on Facebook. Your audience clicks the ad, the form opens, some fields (including name, email address and phone number) are auto-populated with information from their Facebook account. And that’s it. Simple. You’ve got a lead

3. Cheaper results

Who doesn’t want cheaper ads? The cost per acquisition (form filled) for lead gen ads is significantly cheaper than conversion ads. Possibly because you aren’t losing people to the slow loading website.

Website conversion ads

1. Site Visitors

Facebook is greedy, it wants to keep your website visitors for itself, that’s why Lead Gen ads exist. If you can drive traffic to your own site there are some significant advantages.

You can retarget your website visitors with Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and search ads. This allows you to follow your site visitors around the web.

If you are using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool like Hubspot or Wishpond (to name just two) you can track your subscribers activity on your site and market to them accordingly.

2. More reliable leads

Because Lead Gen ads are so seamless it’s almost too easy for Facebook users to complete them. Some users even manage to complete them by accident.

When people come to your site the quality of the lead, their relevance and interest in what you are doing is usually better. But don’t take my word for it, test it for yourself.

3. Integrates with your own CRM or email marketing software

You can link your lead gen forms to CRM or email marketing software but it takes a bit of work. If you are a Mailchimp user there’s also a cost involved as it connects via a third party service. When you send people to your site to complete a form the information goes straight into your system.

Which should you use? Lead Gen or Conversion Ads?

Lead gen ads are best for users who don’t have a CRM built into their website and who are unable to install the Facebook pixel immediately.

If you do choose this ad type be sure to add at least one custom question to your form to discourage accidental entries.

Conversion ads are better if you are running a cross-platform campaign (where you build an audience from Facebook website visitors and retarget them elsewhere). Or if you use a CRM where you can track the behaviour or your website visitors.

But don’t take my word for it. Test. Create two campaigns, one with each objective and see which one delivers the best quality leads.

 

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Facebook Lead Gen Ads v Conversion Ads - Which Should You Use?
Facebook Lead Gen Ads v Conversion Ads – Which Should You Use?