10 Inspiring Higher Ed Facebook Ad Campaigns

[feat-text]Summary: You hear how powerful Facebook advertising campaigns can be, but maybe you’re not sure what that actually looks like in practice? We picked ten winning Facebook campaigns to show how higher ed marketing is done![/feat-text]

Nobody has to tell you that the higher ed marketing scene is competitive right now. Enrollment numbers are down, and schools are vying for prospective student’s attention. It’s most competitive on Facebook, where it seems every campus and its janitor closet is advertising there. Facebook is the number one market for building brand awareness through repeated exposure because so many of us burn so much time there. For the higher education market, it’s a place to nurture prospective students into potential leads and engage those who show interest.

So you’re a higher education marketer with a budget and an assignment to rent a spot in the Facebook ad stream. How do you make your school stand out? Sometimes learning by example is the best way to learn, so here are ten examples of great Facebook higher ed campaigns and why we think they hit the target.

 

#1: Rasmussen University

We’re going to explore matching tone to message a lot with these. This warm and happy ad appeals to the bright and hopeful future, fostering young minds to prepare them for academic success. This whole photo says “fulfillment,” in a niche where photos of people draw the most response. “Be that positive force” and “steer happy childhoods” are winning word choices, focusing on the goal and motivation.

Now for the graphics:

  • The background arrow pattern is a subliminal message, suggesting progress.
  • We use green because green is the color of growth.
  • Adorable pose gets a smile out of viewers.

The call to action (CTA) emphasizes value for cost and affordable pricing. The ad points out cost considerations without drawing a blaring amount of attention to it.

 

#2: Bismark State College

Moving on from the previous ad, this is a complete flip in tone with a different message aimed at a different demographic. Why would you want to work in an oil field? Money, dear fellow! There really isn’t too much more that needs to be said after that, so the ad wisely shuts up after delivering the punchy CTA: “Fuel your future career.” Ah, because fossil fuels, see?

The visuals:

  • Bold, commanding industrial photography.
  • Sepia-drenched sunset tones suggest oil and gas itself.
  • There are no people in this photo because this industry attracts rugged individuals who like to work on the open range.
  • So butch, it’s almost spitting tobacco juice at us.

In this era of increasing environmental concerns among youth, this ad does not waste time trying to justify or apologize for its industry. We’re still burning fossil fuels, and somebody has to drill for it. Remember that there are prospective students who want to pursue this career path; ad creative like this speaks to them.

 

#3: John Hopkins

The very first word of this ad is “discover,” and there’s a lot to explore here. For a university more famous for being one of the world cornerstones of medical research and health sciences, it may not be the first campus you thought of for liberal arts. So this ad snags your attention with imperatives, then introduces a “have it your way” approach. Students do express a desire for more flexible academic programs, so that becomes the unique value proposition.

Johns Hopkins never disappoints us with their visuals:

  • Blue. The color of intellect and a serene, tranquil space for study.
  • We found a model for the photo who is ambiguously ethnic for a diversity note.
  • She’s hard at work, head down. No slacker at a “party school” here!
  • Just look at that library facility she has all to herself.

The austere aesthetics appeal to the serious scholar, that potential bright young mind that wants to prove themselves. Finally, the CTA closes with one more reminder: Online or on campus, so even a COVID pandemic can’t slow us down.

 

#4: University of Michigan

Michigan has been through a lot in history and has come out as an economically struggling state. This ad hard-sells a diversity message; it’s the first word in the ad copy and reaffirmed at the bottom with “increasing diversity.” For those who might come from an economically disadvantaged background and hence might be unsure of their preparation, the ad states “providing mentorship.” Financial considerations? We have a scholars program too! It packs a lot of value proposition into few words.

The visuals are practically a course in ad composition on their own:

  • The carousel ad format leads with two frames, one of the potential students standing on the left, the campus on the right. “Before and after.”
  • Daring choice of a graffiti mural background, embracing the urban culture of Michigan.
  • The model is dressed in street gear and looks just rough enough around the edges to count as an “underdog.” Even his expression tells the camera, “Don’t underestimate me; I might surprise you.”
  • The campus shot is seemingly neutral, but it does include the clock to remind you: Time is passing you by. Are you going to carpe diem?

This ad plainly sells itself to the low-income, disadvantaged youth who hopes to improve their standing in life. It is saturated with spirit, telling a familiar rags-to-riches story with a strong work ethic. The unorthodox composition jolts us to stop scrolling Facebook and dwell here.

 

#5: University of Phoenix

The University of Phoenix uses this ad to introduce a new resource, named their “Career Services for Life” program. This doubles down on the main reason people invest in continuing education in the first place, with a promise of career placement and guidance. And it’s “for life”! That is pretty heavy to think about. But, once you’re a Phoenix student, you’re as good as family here.

The visuals are a bit experimental since we’re selling a new value proposition that never existed before. But you can see what they’re aiming for:

  • Plain, uncluttered photo.
  • Reaffirmed motto right over the shoulder.
  • Minority alumni to sell diversity.
  • Orange tinge in the frame echoes the school logo but also suggests action.
  • He’s on a stage with a microphone in front of him but dressed in a casual sweatshirt. This strange juxtaposition suggests that he’s back before the school to seek further assistance but confident that he has the school’s life-long support. He’s comfortable, and he has the microphone and hence our attention.

If you click through on this one, the landing page explains more:

So we see what “Career Services for Life” offers. This message is very competitive, offering added value to a degree at no extra cost. We have all met a few people whose degrees didn’t match up with where they landed in life, so this program affirms that you will get the maximum value out of your diploma. This is an excellent example of introducing a new offer to the market.

 

#6: Colorado Christian University

We’re back with another unique value offer from another university. We repeat the phrase “fixed tuition” three times here, along with “endless opportunity” twice. The word “online” also appears three times in the text. “Apply now” has an exclamation point. This is an example of a harder-selling ad.

The bare graphics:

  • Just a student headshot. The focus is on you.
  • Winning smile cheers, “Yeah, I can do this!”
  • Big, bold font to establish the selling point.
  • Flaming yellow letters on a blue background, because you have to see this.
  • The school logo, a shield, gets emphasis here to suggest fortitude and endurance.

The selling point is to give students the freedom to explore their academic interests, with no consequences for false starts. “Endless opportunity” means they can pick and choose their courses unfettered by financial concerns. Here’s the landing page:

“All things possible” is a subtle choice of phrasing, echoing a familiar axiom of Christian faith but not pounding it in. The copy here is an example of “removing hesitation” since it addresses concerns about transferring credits and the convenience of flexible online courses. Those are common barriers that prevent students from choosing a school.

#7: University of California

If your school takes an active role in academic politics or even just the local community, you can use the “toot your own horn” approach. Here, the University of California doesn’t even bother making a sales pitch, instead opting to share a news story which is great publicity for them. DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a US law that protects very young immigrants from deportation and provides for their rights to education and employment.

We have lots of text and not much imagery, but it is still worth noting:

  • Rainbow icon in the top left; have we mentioned how diverse we are today?
  • Prominent branding with “University of California” as the biggest text helps associate the news with the school.
  • Soft pastel colors evoke clear skies, rosy dawn, new horizons.

U of C toots their own horn for a Civil Rights victory, making a point of mentioning that they were opposing the “Trump Administration,” sure to score points with Democrat-leaning California and its traditionally liberal students. While there is not much direct marketing going on here, a “good deed” story about your school can be the best brand recognition marketing in the world.

 

#8: Blue Ridge Community College

When you can’t decide what value proposition to put forward, why not just include them all? This down-to-Earth ad hits most of the key points that interested students would want to know.

  • Registration open now
  • Campus is re-opened
  • Affordable classes
  • Scholarships
  • Financial aid available
  • Transfers open
  • Online options available too

It’s a text-heavy ad but designed to pack in as much information as possible. Our graphic is a photo of a candidate signing up in the student adviser’s office. It’s so folksy and charming; it could be a Normal Rockwell cover. It works for Virginia.

 

#9: Molloy College

Molloy College takes a competitive bend, offering to attract transferring students from other campuses. The ad touts the school’s “top value,” safe re-introduction of campus learning post-COVID (but online is available too), in-demand degrees, and affordable tuition. They also emphasize “generous transfer credits,” an essential selling point for students.

But it’s the visuals that can make you stop scrolling:

  • Bold red field, the color of action.
  • The huge text makes sure to mention the college name twice.
  • Use of the school’s distinguished lion crest (Molloy is in New York)
  • The student model look so hip and fresh, she could have stepped out of a Nickelodeon teen sitcom.

Clicking through the CTA grants you a landing page that flows perfectly from the ad:

The landing page details the transfer policy, which is exactly what the ad was selling. It continues the branding and includes a small campus photo. The text also touts the service of experienced admissions counselors and the offering of blended learning (a hybrid of online and in-person courses). They even make a pitch for student clubs and societies to assure that full-bore college experience.

 

#10: Harper College

We close with an example of marketing to the STEM student. This ad makes a pitch for engineering students, but rather than make claims or propose selling points, it invites students to participate in a student panel and bring their questions. Engineering students are likely to be the practical sort who thinks pragmatically, so this is the best way to approach them.

Instead of a static graphic, the ad includes a video with a brief talk from a Harper engineering alumni. There’s not much more going on graphically. The Harper logo even suggests technology, with a stylized “H” rendered in pixels.

If we barge through the CTA we get this landing page:

Yep, what you see is what you get. It’s a sign-up form for the student panel. The nice touch here is that it’s the perfect hook for the top of the sales funnel. No further commitment is required, but we’re inviting you to come to our campus and give us the once-over while meeting real students to act as your tour guides.

 

Conclusions…

We’ve covered a very well-rounded tour of higher ed marketing. We’ve seen all kinds of approaches, each unique based on the school, the offering, and the target market. These examples show the many layers of composing an ad campaign, from anticipating the market’s needs to making a pitch and offering a CTA to presenting the message attractively.

A Facebook ad has a lot to do in that small rectangle of phone screen space. The more thought you put into it, with some good marketing instinct, the more that ad space will perform for you!

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5 Ways Colleges Can Improve Facebook Ad Performance

[feat-text]Summary: Is your social media presence feeling more like an absence? Are your Facebook ads sitting in the back of the class? Learn how to do more with your school’s ad budget than just showing up for attendance.[/feat-text]

The main thing to understand about Facebook marketing is that there is organic reach and then paid reach. “Organic” social media presence is the content you post to your page. Your organic reach is always limited to the number of users following you and Facebook’s algorithms. The average organic reach for a Facebook post is only 5.2% of the page’s total likes and can be lower for less active pages. If you have 1000 followers, that means only 50 people saw your latest post. Frustrating to say the least.

Facebook advertising campaigns can help you increase visibility and extend your reach. Now with a paid ad, your school gets served in front of Facebook users whether they follow you or not. When it comes to advertising platforms, it’s tough to beat Facebook since its potential reach is roughly 2.8 billion active users worldwide. The trouble is, everybody else knows that Facebook is a lucrative marketing platform, so they’re on there too.

It’s not enough just to buy ad space, have the art department whip up a square graphic, dump it in there, and hope for the best. You have to make ads pop in the 2020s, and then you have to make them pay off in results. Let’s see what the valedictorian Facebook marketing campaigns do:

 

#1: Use Outstanding Creative Design

Let’s go over the basic elements of an ad, using the above example. A higher ed ad should have:

  • Brand Identifier: Don’t make them guess who
  • Pitch: Your value proposition
  • Motivational Imagery: Anything that snags their attention or inspires
  • CTA: A “Call To Action” that gives visitors an easy first step

We accomplish all of the above with an authentic, inspiring video and concise copywriting. So you have the basic elements of an effective ad, but how do you make users stop scrolling and pay attention?

You’ll notice that university ads feature photos of people often because higher ed is a people-oriented business. The reader has to be able to identify with the photo’s subject, to think “that could be me.” We are selling the concept of self-improvement, the gateway to a better life. Keep that sense open-ended, because everybody has a different dream, but keep it uplifting and inspirational, because everybody has that one dream unfulfilled.

The ad must also be able to stand out from the crowd. This is why you don’t always want to follow trends in advertising because you end up looking like everybody else. Instead, you analyze what works in successful ads and then come up with your unique spin based on those trends. The audience has seen universities before, but they haven’t seen your university. People can spot a stock photo a mile away. To stand out from the crowd and show what makes your school unique, use original high-quality photographs and video or amplify user-generated content.

Remember that the font, typography, and layout are part of the design, not just the graphic. Your writers and designers should work in concert.

The CTA is your pointer along the desired pathway. Direct students at that first step, making it as enticing as possible.

 

#2: Market To Mobile

We’re sure this won’t be a shocking news flash, but young people spend a ridiculous amount of time on their phones. We all do. It’s our TV and movie theater through streaming video services, our game console with mobile video games, our office PDA with productivity apps, and of course our chief way to use social media platforms.

Designing for mobile is different from designing for the laptop and desktop. It’s best if you think of mobile hardware as a completely separate device from computers. On the mobile screen, it is important to:

  • Use big fonts and easily recognized images
  • Keep your message quick and skim-able
  • Compress data into simple infographics
  • Use a format that’s best for mobile (for example, vertical video ads)
  • Keep interactive features, such as buttons, thumb-friendly
  • Use color schemes with enough contrast to stand out on a small screen out in daylight

Remember the environment in which your ad will be framed. Facebook surrounding it, with all of its distractions. Readers tend to go “ad-blind” so you have to use your ad space to give them an attractive rest for their eyes for a second. In the middle of a Facebook scroll, you might just be the sole note of a positive vibe amid the latest social media tizzy.

 

#3: Create Unique Landing Pages For Each Ad Campaign

This is the part that often gets neglected. Some marketers think “We already got them to click through; they’re ours now.” Thinking like that will get you a high bounce rate and no leads.

Whatever you do, don’t just dump visitors on the front page of your website. You need an individual landing page for each ad campaign, and the landing page should look like a visual extension of the ad.

Your campaign should not be a catch-all generic advertisement for your school. Your school caters to individual markets, which demand a unique experience and offer that fulfills their needs

  • You have potential students, or you have parents, mentors, and guides to those students
  • You have first-year freshmen, or you have grads looking for continuing courses
  • You have art majors, STEM majors, budding entrepreneurs, athletes, and academics
  • You have students with motivations ranging from “change the world” to “achieve financial security”

Your landing page copy and imagery should speak to these different types of students, and compel them to take action. The message that works for an all-star athlete likely won’t resonate with an aspiring artist or entrepreneur.

Even with all these differences, your landing pages will always have a few elements in common across campaigns, like your brand identity, mobile-optimized web page design, and some supporting resources like financial aid information.

What to Include on Your Landing Pages:

Now that you have an interested student or parent at your doorstep, they want to know:

  • What courses do you offer? Give a course overview
  • What is the school like? Offer a campus tour, open house, a meet-and-greet with faculty
  • Are students satisfied here? Show testimonials
  • How am I going to pay for this? Link to the financial aid package
  • When can I enroll? Show application timeline
  • How do I start? Provide the next step as another CTA

You might also use this space to answer some frequently asked questions if they come up repeatedly. But you’re best off keeping it minimal and uncluttered since you’re still on mobile. Keep the landing page light on resources so it loads fast and keep the layout responsive and user-friendly.

Not to apply too much pressure, but this step is crucial. You have an interested potential customer here heading down the sales funnel. Put everything you’ve got into closing the deal.

 

#4: Harness the Power of Video

The higher ed industry is one where customers have to make a strong commitment; attending university is a life-determining event. We’re selling an experience, maybe even something you can think of as an adventure.

When you have a big story to tell, turn to video. Video is favored by advertising algorithms and offers higher engagement rates. Using video, you can guide the potential student through your school’s story, using these kinds of pitches:

  • Brand identity: what makes your school unique?
  • Campus tours: what is a day at your school like?
  • Alumni testimonials: how does your school enable success?
  • Video course plans: what will students learn?
  • Value proposition: why is your school worth the tuition?

You don’t need to make an epic production. A length of between 5 and 15 seconds is typical. That sounds like a short time, but try talking continuously over slides for 15 seconds and you’ll see that you can pack a lot of information in there.

Use Vidoe Engagement to Refine Ad Targeting

Facebook offers robust campaign reporting that allows you to create audiences based on campaign engagement. Facebook will identify which users allowed your ad to play and watched it for a set amount of time. This new audience is more engaged than the initial cold audience who scrolled by your ad and didn’t watch the video.

Using this information, you can create a second “chapter” in your marketing campaign’s story, targeting the more interested, engaged audience.

This full-funnel strategy moves that audience along the path to conversion by offering a compelling and complementary CTA. If they watched a campus tour video or a student ambassador testimonial, what step would they take next? Maybe they’re ready to schedule a campus tour?

The best CTAs follow the customer’s journey and guides them towards their goal: selecting a school. Consider CTAs like submitting an application, scheduling an appointment with an advisor, or requesting financial aid information.

 

#5: Give Your Marketing Campaign a Final Exam

So, you made one ad campaign, which means you can knock off for the afternoon, right? Oh no, you don’t! Testing isn’t just for students. By testing your marketing campaign, you are applying some science to all this theory. Develop different variations on each campaign, refining it down to the proven most effective message.

Facebook offers tools for A/B testing, which means running a split ad campaign and testing the response from each half. You can try out different visuals, different pitches, different incentives, and different layouts.

What kinds of variables can come up in testing? You may find that the combination of your school, your location, and your target market combine to make one message more appealing than another. Some examples:

  • Driving at financial aid is usually good, but maybe you’re in an affluent neighborhood or appeal to an upscale market that doesn’t worry about fees as much.
  • Maybe you’re targeting STEM students who care more about the rigor of your curriculum and your support for completion, such as hands-on experience, tutors, and mentors.
  • Maybe your school appeals more to the activist mindset and you need to emphasize your commitment to their values and ideals.
  • Perhaps the students in your niche aspire to white-collar professions, and they only care about interviews with your alumni who have gone on to make their mark.

You can see where appealing to the law student in Philadelphia is different from appealing to the creative theater major in Berkeley. Until you test your ad campaign, it’s nothing but a theory with a lot of hot air behind it.

No campaign is so perfect that it can’t be improved through A/B testing and focusing. You’ll get surprising results that may even defy explanation, but there is no way to get to that point without the research. We don’t know why the sign-up form worked better in the center than it did off to the right, or why this shade of lime green for the CTA button beats other colors by a 2.3% conversion rate. But we know what works, so we can put it into action and psychoanalyze it later.

 

Your Higher Ed Facebook Powerhouse

In the above list, some of these practices are mandatory, while others are worth an experiment or two. We recommend that every ad campaign focuses on mobile, follows through on the landing page, and uses testing to achieve the best results.

Universities are strongly urged to offer a video option because of the nature of their industry, but we still see successful ad campaigns that do without it. Of course, you should make your ad as easy on the eyes as possible, but don’t let that stop you from going for an attention-grabbing aesthetic if testing shows it gets results.

Per ad impression, paid social media marketing on Facebook is still one of the best options for the money. By refining your marketing process, you can be sure to get all the value you can out of your advertising dollar.

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7 Reasons You Should Hire an Agency to Manage Your Google and Facebook Ads

7 Reasons You Should Hire an Agency to Manage Your Google and Facebook Ads

 

Out of all the mediums of advertising, online digital marketing is the cheapest per impression. That’s because the Internet is the cheapest form of communication media the world has ever known. Digital media just transmits information more efficiently. You can download a book in seconds from anywhere in the world. If you print it out on paper and ship it, or try to read it out loud over CB radio, it becomes more expensive or at least more cumbersome.

Isn’t that nice to know? Small businesses start with expectations that all digital marketing has a minuscule cost, and that holds true for the most part. A web host, a WordPress blog, and a few social media accounts are all you really need—as long as you don’t mind taking a very long time to grow.

Most businesses can’t afford to be that patient, so they invest in digital advertising campaigns. And that is also inexpensive, as we said. The only problem is that they try to manage the advertising themselves. Now, some of us with a related degree happen to be gifted in communication and the media arts. But at some point, every small business owner has to let go of the small, time-consuming tasks and focus on the bigger picture, delegating the details to the staff. There are only so many hats you can wear before they start sliding off.

The thing that businesses notice over time, if they keep managing their ads in-house, is that their advertising dollar just doesn’t buy the customers at the rate they’d like. That’s because they’re throwing money at a problem but aren’t doing it efficiently.

If you’re wondering “Is it time to outsource the management of my Facebook and Google ads to an agency?” then you’re in luck, because that’s exactly the question we’re here to answer. There are a lot of factors at play, so what works for one company, might not for another. Your timeline, budget, and your market all need to be considered.

Now, let’s explore when an agency might be able to help you and what are the benefits of having an outside agency manage your advertising channels.

 

1. Advertising is a Business in Itself

There is a lot of knowledge work that goes into effective advertising management. You’re probably expecting us to bring it up at some point, so we’ll point out a classic TV show around here, AMC’s Mad Men, about mid-century Madison Avenue marketing executives. Here’s a short scene, just five minutes long, it’s worth at least ten minutes of your time.

“It’s toasted!” Advertising and stage magicians have a lot in common because they both know how to direct attention. This example, arguably one of the peak scenes of the series, shows how you market cigarettes by pointing the audience away from the health concerns and towards a simple benefit, even if it’s one the other companies have. Granted, cigarettes aren’t a popular topic now. But you take that lesson and apply it to another industry. You take two more lessons from that industry and apply it to another one.

Advertising transcends product. The person who has struggled to market one product for ten years knows only their product. The person whose product is marketing knows all products, but only for the minutes it takes to direct their ad campaign. Advertisers see beyond products, services, and businesses.

Speaking of which, here’s another area of expertise you’d rather not have to pick up yourself…

 

2. Ad Management Agencies Know the Software

Ad management agencies also know the technology behind it, and the maze of policies in place between Google, Facebook, and display ad networks. Keeping up on this field is the kind of thing you only want to do if it’s your main job. That includes using our own ad management and tracking software. Even the Google Ads’ interface isn’t exactly the most user-friendly software.

It helps to know that Facebook Ads and Google Ads differ in several significant ways.

Ad management is a field as immersive as the legal or accounting field. True, you could read a stack of contracts or pound out a folder of spreadsheets yourself, but it works better when you have a legal or accounting department.

3. Ad Management Agencies Know the Design

It’s easy to tell who outsourced their logo design to a professional and who spent five minutes in their son’s Photoshop account and called it a day. Design isn’t just a matter of training; it is also about having the trained eye of a professional to pick out what ad design will be appealing to your target market and also fits your product.

One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to Facebook and Google ads. Ads may be an image, a video, a slideshow, a lightbox, or other forms. They may call for simple text that gets to the point or dazzling eye candy that draws the viewer in through the atmosphere. There’s a lot more to say about ad dimensions and media types, but we cover that better here.

In ad design, you not only know the different design tools, you know when not to use something because it’s become a tired cliché. Like when you advertise diet plans using women laughing at salad. Or dig this: We really like those pharmaceutical commercials on TV where the drug they’re advertising makes people run around at the park or on the beach. It’s getting to where we can’t jog outdoors without hearing this voice-over going “side effects may include drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting…”

Design in ads isn’t just a discipline of fluffy aesthetic ideas. Ad managers use A/B testing to evaluate different variables with the goal of maximizing click-through rates (CTR). This includes color schemes, font choices, font size, form fields, messaging, call-to-actions (CTAs), and photography choices.

 

4. Ad Management Experience Is Invaluable

A specialized agency has a staff that has collectively seen thousands of campaigns come and go. There are a few skills you pick from this experience that you can’t pick up any other way, such as…

  • when to push for risks
  • when to play it safe and stable
  • when to reach out to untapped markets
  • when it’s important to compete aggressively
  • when to market to the bottom of the sales funnel or the top

There are times when you don’t need much experience. During peacetime, with stable, predictable growth for all, anyone can do digital marketing then. Then there’s what the old proverb refers to as “interesting times.”

We don’t mean to beat on this sore topic again, but 2020—what an interesting year! The coronavirus pandemic threw world markets and economies for a loop. In the first half of 2020, we saw the stock market crash, recover, crash again, and then just start randomly zigzagging. We saw record-breaking unemployment numbers, an economic impact so bad that it created the need for emergency government stimulus, and industries were thrown into chaos. It’s the year without Disneyland. In the middle of all that, suddenly a 1965 Civil Rights movement came back from history and riots broke out all over the world.

Is this the time to have an amateur hand on the tiller? Choppy economic seas call for an experienced marketing team that’s weathered a few crises before. There’s a difference between marketing now and marketing during the 2007-2008 subprime mortgage Great Recession. There’s a difference between advertising effectiveness under COVID-19 and advertising under Swine Flu. There’s a difference in the economic climate between the George Floyd riots and the Rodney King riots in Southern California in 1992. Yet there are also similarities, so an experienced hand knows to apply that wisdom to the present.

No doubt about it, someday we will look back on the year 2020 and, who knows, puff a CBD vape to treat our PTSD in all likelihood. But in the far view, there’s really not that many unique problems that we haven’t seen before. It’s just lots of problems in layers this time.

 

5. Ad Management Agencies Know the Sales Funnel

The Sales Funnel is a model of marketing engineering that describes a customer’s journey, from wherever they were when they first heard about you, all the way to your cash register. It’s called a funnel because it’s wider at the top and narrower at the bottom. At the top, you’re broadcasting to the whole wide world, even people who have never tried your product before. In the middle, you’re targeting people who have already entered this market but have done business only with your competitors so far. At the bottom, you have secure, loyal customers who have bought before, and you retain them with a loyalty rewards program.

We’re generalizing, of course. Whole books have been written about this funnel. It’s a fun model, but the important part is simply that you know where you are on the funnel at all times, and how you talk when you get there.

At the top of the funnel, you have mostly low-value prospects, people who have a problem or need but aren’t quite ready to buy as they’re not sure what they need or if they want to make a change. They’re the least ready to convert. In the middle, you have strong buyers who are actively trying to find a solution, they’re researching options, and some may be very interested in your product or service. The bottom of the funnel contains people that are ready to buy.

Each of these sections needs different kinds of advertising design and messaging to be effective. It makes a difference whether you’re welcoming a new consumer on board, selling a service that the consumer didn’t know they needed yet, comparison shopping with the consumer in a tight market, or offering a perk to get somebody else’s loyal customer to switch.

 

6. Digital Ads Require Knowing Social Media

That may sound like the silliest point. Of course, everybody knows social media! Don’t we all go on Facebook? Well sure, but you go on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube too? Of course, you do! How about TikTok? Not likely unless you’re in the youngest bracket right now (or you have kids). Perhaps Reddit, Tumblr, IMGUR, or Yahoo? Those are well-trafficked websites, so we know we’re not the only ones keeping tabs there.

The point is not to list how many social networks we can name (did you know MySpace and Digg are still in business?). The point is to read, study, and compare all those networks with accounts all over the world, to find out what the world is talking about today and where your target buyer is spending time online. It’s easy to miss a lot if you even skip one day. You might innocently go out there talking about pancakes only to be blindsided because Aunt Jemima is canceled and Land O’ Lakes butter just has the land now without the native American.

For that matter, you had also better know the political shades of a market, because there are some people whose blood pressure rises at the mention of the word “canceled.”

Daily phone browsers might say they spend just as much time on social media as marketing experts, but there’s a difference in quality. Most users have, at most, two or three accounts with as many websites, and spend all day on one website with a couple of glances at the other two. When marketers study social media, they mean all of it, because that’s how you spot trends and surf ahead of them.

Advertising has to work in a small space or a short period of time. To do so, it’s also important to know what’s on the Internet’s minds, what language they will respond to, or what message will resonate with them the most. Last but not least, knowing the social media platforms, in general, helps you not get flagged or banned on them; a tricky proposition in some cases because moderators are finicky creatures in how they apply policy.

 

7. Businesses have Enough to Focus On

Really, if you still want to be involved in your company’s sales conversion process, you can do a world of good for yourself and pour that creative energy into your landing page. It does no good to have the best Facebook ad campaign in the world without an effective landing page to click through. Put your value proposition upfront like you promised in the ad. Make sure the site loads quickly and is mobile friendly.

Managing Facebook ads to drive leads or scaling Google ad campaigns to maximize effectiveness is the kind of advice we’re happy to share, but we find that once companies get tucked into the rest of the work it takes to launch a small business, ad management gets neglected due to lack of time and energy. There are better places to devote that entrepreneurial energy, such as designing and producing products or services that are an easier sell in the first place.

Now that you know the benefits that a PPC advertising agency can bring to your business, you’re probably wondering how much does it cost to hire a PPC management company? You’re in luck. With this information, you’ll be able to decide if you should hire a PPC management company.

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or for more information on our PPC management services.

 

Beginner’s Guide to Facebook Advertising

Online advertising is vital for any business that wants to create awareness and build their brand’s reputation. The good news is that with the diversity of social media channels, it’s become faster and easier to reach the right audience without having a huge advertising budget.

The largest social media platform for advertisers is Facebook; it continues to grow year over year with nearly 2.5 billion monthly active users. Due to the sheer number of users, it’s likely that your target audience is on Facebook. While your audience may be there, the key to successful Facebook advertising campaigns is targeting. Luckily, their ad platform offers many ways to refine your audience so you can reach the right people.

In this article, we’re going to answer all your questions about Facebook advertising. We cover:

  • How Facebook Ads Work
  • Benefits of Facebook Ads
  • How to Get Started
  • Types of Facebook Ads

At the end of the article, you’ll be ready to create effective Facebook Ad campaigns that get you more customers.

Let’s get started.

 

How Do Facebook Ads Work?

Advertisers (e.g., business owners, marketers, and agencies) buy Facebook ads on an auction basis. The payment is determined by clicks, impressions, or actions.

Here’s exactly how it works:

Facebook ads are aimed at users based on their location, profile details, demographic, behavior, etc. When you’re done creating your ad campaign, you’ll be able to set a budget and bid for the clicks or impressions on your ad. Once your ad is published, users will see your ads on the sidebar and within their feed on Facebook.com.

Facebook ads are now available in different formats. You can advance your page, post on the page, and view user activities on your page or website, although the Facebook algorithm works better when you’re not taking users off Facebook pages. If you can engage users right on their own feeds, then you’ll quickly boost your Relevancy Score.

Most marketers prefer to send users/potential leads to a landing page where they can capture their email address and begin the follow-up process. Either way, Facebook advertising will serve you right. Facebook ad targeting is based on visited pages, location, demographics friends, pages you follow, and many more targeting criteria.

When you’re done creating an ad, you can choose a budget and offer for each click, action, or impression that your ad gets. Facebook users can see your ads (visual, video, slideshows, etc.) on their feeds while browsing through Facebook. Here’s a CoPromote Facebook ad that displays on the user’s feed.

 

What Are the Benefits of Facebook Advertising?

Advertising on Facebook comes with some tremendous benefits as it exposes your business to your targeted audience through location, visited pages, demographics, and other options. These are benefits that most businesses are out to achieve in both the short- and long-term.

1. Well-defined Audiences

Facebook currently receives a minimum of 1.6 billion daily active users, and 88% of them access from a mobile device. What would you do with an additional 10,000 to 50,000 new visitors to your website each month?

We’re being conservative here because you can generate hundreds of thousands of website visitors from Facebook if you have the budget. If you’re an eCommerce brand, that would result in hundreds of thousands of sales, depending on what you’re selling. Even if you’re into software sales, then you’ll have recurring customers who will continue to pay for your software for months and even years. Most often, what every business needs to succeed is “traffic.” As long as you can send potential customers to a relevant page, some of them will convert into buyers.

2. Easy to Use

With the help of Facebook Ad Manager, it’s simple to set up and control your marketing campaign with its easy-to-use features. With one button, you can also share your ad on Instagram, and reach even more people. Facebook is primarily designed for people to share personal updates and information, such as memories, events, causes, new songs they’ve discovered, vacation photos, and even relationship statuses, with other people in their network.

That means users already have detailed profiles with rich data that you can tap into when creating your ad campaigns. Access to that data makes it easy to hone in on the exact demographic that will buy your product or service.

3. It’s Cost-effective

Advertising on Facebook costs very little compared to other social media channels. Since it has a well-integrated and structured platform, it gives your business “more bang for its buck.” For as little as $20/day or less, you can run ads on Facebook and reach hundreds of people, depending on the cost per click (CPC) for your industry or niche.

However, make sure you’re giving Facebook ads the best shot by allocating enough budget to achieve your company’s goal. Once your ads are live, you should allow Facebook to test it out. This is the period when Facebook’s algorithm analyzes your data and starts optimizing accurately so that you can meet your objectives (e.g., engagement, clicks, site visits, leads). After this analysis, you should be able to make informed decisions based on the data you get from Facebook concerning your target audience. Then you can choose to either increase or reduce your daily ad budget.

4. Easily Measurable

With the use of Facebook pixels, it’s quite easy to know how well your advertising campaigns are performing and get insight into things like what percentage of your clicks resulted in an email opt-in or downloaded your white paper. Thirty-four percent of marketers on Facebook want to increase brand awareness while 10% are aiming for more traffic to their websites. Whatever your goals may be, you can easily measure them on Facebook.

Facebook enables you to save data so you can remember their actions, whether they bought anything, pages they visited, and other activities.

 

Types of Facebook Advertising

1. Acquire Leads Automatically Through Facebook Lead Ads

Facebook lead ads give customers an easy way to reach out to a business. Essentially, customers do not have to leave Facebook or get redirected to a page where they have to fill out a form. They can engage with your ad within the Facebook platform. Facebook lead ads give the customer access to your product or service while they’re still chatting with friends, posting new vacation photos and having a nice time.

Just by clicking the “Submit” button, they’re added to the marketer’s customer list.

The beauty of the Facebook lead ad is that it automatically fills out the user’s information such as name, address, phone number, etc., using the information in their Facebook profile.

2. Video Ads

Facebook is an effective platform for video advertisements, as the majority of Facebook users watch videos. You may argue against this, but a study from Small Biz Trends shows people watch more videos on Facebook than they do on YouTube. What this data shows is that a user on Facebook may watch up to 10 videos per day, whereas a YouTube user may watch only three videos.

Video ads make it possible for you to display videos of your products or service, which will attract potential customers and prompt them to make a purchasing decision. Video ads also help to build brand awareness and refocus targeted audiences. Here are some video ads on Facebook.

Facebook video ads provide a lot of data on viewership and give insight into how frequently your video was viewed or whether viewers completed the video. To engage your loyal audience, you can even target your video ads to users who frequently watch your videos.

3. Image Ads

Image ads are more effective than regular Facebook ads. They are built to help businesses create more online engagement, increase traffic, and drive targeted leads. Carousel ads can display several pictures on the same ad unit and are compatible with both mobile and desktop views.

4. Slideshow Ads

This type of advertisement gives you a fast and easy way to create a video-like ads using existing still photographs, graphics, or video clips. They use motion, sound, and text to tell your brand story. You can use photographs from your media library or you can select photos from the Ads Manager’s stock photo library. The slideshow ad is like a video, except it uses less bandwidth and they’re often cheaper to create. It is an effortless and engaging way of drawing attention to your brand using powerful graphics.

5. Collection Ads

This is a Facebook ad strictly for mobile devices. The Facebook collection ads format gives you the option of displaying a maximum of five products that customers can click on to purchase. It’s mostly used by eCommerce platforms that have a variety of products that they wish to promote at one time—think “economies of scale.”

Facebook collection ads are optimized for a smooth transition from discovery to purchase. By removing barriers, like slow loading websites and distracting elements, it increases customer acquisition.

 

How to Create a Facebook Advert Page

In this section, we’ll cover a few steps that will get you up and running when it comes to Facebook advertising. You’ll need a Facebook page for your business to start running ads. Once your business page has been created, you then create a business manager account. The business manager account is what allows you to run advertising campaigns on the Facebook platform.

Here are the simple steps:

1. Create an Account.

After creating an account, log in with the email and password you have used to create your business manager account.

2. Download and Install Facebook Pixel

Facebook Pixel is the tool Facebook uses to recognize the people who will visit your page. It also helps them to build a list from this audience and display your ads to them. You can also create an audience of specific people with this tool. To use this tool, go back to the Business Manager and click the “Select Audience” option from the list.

You are now ready to create your Facebook advertising campaign.

 

How to Create Your First Advertising Campaign on Facebook

If you don’t have a business Facebook page, then follow the steps above on how to build one. But if you already have one, here is how to build your first advertising campaign on Facebook.

To start, you choose “Create Ad” from the drop-down list in the top right section of your business page.

Next, you select the ad format for the campaign that you’ll build (these are the ad types we discussed the in the previous section). Now let’s dig into the specifics.

1. Choose Your Objective

These are the things you want your ad to accomplish. It includes how you want to introduce your brand to customers, generate a targeted audience, increase traffic and page likes, other engagement options, etc.

2. Name Your Ad Campaign

Here, you have to scroll down to name your advert or select your essential set-up test. You also get to choose to turn your budget optimization on or off.

3. Prepare Your Ad Account

If you already have created your account, you will be asked to click a button that will direct you to the next step. But if you don’t have an account, you will see a “Set-up Account” page. Click it to register your name and other personal information, then click “Continue.” Be sure to enter the correct details in order to curtail problems down the road.

4. Target Your Audience

Now, you will have to select the page you want to promote. You will scroll down to see options like choose your audience, their location, age, number, etc.

5. Select Ad Location

This is the geographical region where you want Facebook to place your ad. For digital sales, the best option is for you to choose the “Automatic Placement” option because this will allow Facebook to showcase your ads in places where you can get the best result.

However, if your business derives a large portion of sales from in-store purchases or only conducts local business, you’ll want to select the region near your physical location. For instance, an eye care center’s patient base is typically located within a 10-mile radius of the store. It would be a waste of their ad budget to target a larger geographic region where patients would never choose a provider that far away.

6. Set a Budget

This is the monetary aspect of it. You have to choose the amount of money you wish to spend on the campaign per day. It includes budget duration, dates, etc.

7. Create Your Ad

The final step is to choose your text and media options for your ad, then click on “Create.”

 

Now You’re Ready to Reach More People Through Facebook

The benefits of Facebook advertising in the business world cannot be overemphasized. Facebook has provided a platform where you can directly connect with customers where they spend a substantial portion of their time.

Even if you have little to no digital marketing experience, the Facebook advertising platform is ideal for you–it’s a go-to platform for bootstrapped entrepreneurs and small businesses that don’t have a huge advertising budget. An added benefit is that it’s easy to use. If you spend time learning the basics of Facebook advertising, you’ll be able to grow brand awareness, generate leads, and fuel business growth.

If you’re interested in Facebook advertising but need help developing your strategy, feel free to reach out to us. We’re happy to help you grow your business through effective social media advertising campaigns.

 

Facebook Paid Ads Ain’t PPC Ads. Here’s What You Need to Know

Each and every day, roughly 1.3 billion people actively use Facebook – a statistic that honestly is beyond comprehension.

Those daily users make up more than 66% of monthly active users, meaning that unlike other social networks where folks go through patterns of habit and neglect, Facebook users turn to the social network seemingly as frequently as they turn to their TV sets.

It’s mind-boggling.

So why do these stats matter? Well, as marketers with a PPC company in Atlanta, the answer is clear for us: Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard pet project has proven to be the place to target engaged audiences and convert them into some type of action.

The logical next question, then, is how. How do brands and marketers use Facebook’s reach to get results?

That question has stymied the best and brightest minds for the better part of a decade. It’s been such a tremendous frustration – cracking the Facebook code – that some brands have thought it best to just jump ship and look elsewhere to reach audiences.

But let’s just let that soak in for a moment: In an era where TiVo, DVR, on-demand, and streaming devices make it impossible to reach audiences “the old fashioned way”, brands are actually voluntarily opting not to publish on the world’s pervasive platform!?

Just because something isn’t easy doesn’t mean it should be abandoned. But let’s face reality, it can be challenging to find success on Facebook.

Just look at this headline from Marketing Land in 2016:

Down 52% is no small blip on the radar. It signifies a paradigm shift in how brands need to look at their relationship with Facebook.

What relationship should you have with Facebook? Simply put, a paid relationship.

Your organic strategy will never work – not if you stick to budgets and timelines

First, let’s shed some clarity here: We are supporters of organic marketing methods. Part of our offering is, of course, SEO. And social media plays a significant role in your organic strategy:

  1. Build a community that trusts you
  2. Create content that people want to share and engage with
  3. Establish a clear brand persona across a multitude of channels

But relying on organic posts on Facebook to build and grow and audience, or as the engine behind a campaign, is akin to expecting a kite to fly in space – without wind, you’re not going anywhere.

When it comes to social media, reach is your wind. Without it, your content is just that proverbial tree in the woods that no one gives a damn about.

And that’s not a fun place to be. That’s why we’re so adamant with our own clients that if you want to reach your audiences on the one digital channel where they spend the most time, then you have to implement a paid Facebook strategy.

Often times this conversation goes well; many brands realize we live in a pay-to-play world. But there are times when a client fears the worst – that opening up the coffers to yet another ad channel (in addition to their PPC budget) will bury them.

The reality, however, is a lot less frightening. Facebook ads can be your most lucrative investment, if you know how to create the perfect campaign.

And that, right there, is what we want to talk about here. At this stage of the game, an overwhelming number of brands actively advertise on Google, or know enough about it. These brands, then, assume that shifting toward Facebook advertising couldn’t possibly be that much different.

Heck, it’s likely even easier, right?

Well, for starters:

  • PPC advertising and Facebook advertising are incredibly different from one another
  • Yes, Facebook advertising can seem easier to manage and launch than a PPC campaign, which often leads to the downfall of many brands

Suggested reading: Guide to Programmatic Display Advertising

You see, there are many different factors you have to consider when you launch a Facebook campaign.

For starters, you’re dealing with different algorithms that rank the effectiveness of your ad. You’re also dealing with different targeting capabilities, including such things as lookalike audiences and the ability to target your existing subscribers. These little extras don’t just open up a world of opportunities for your advertising; they also demand that you approach Facebook advertising from multiple angles (one type of ad won’t work for everyone).

And, of course, there’s the audience. Facebook audiences are incredibly different from folks who hop onto Google to search for something.

And that’s where we’ll start our conversation – the people, because in the end, that’s what matters most, right? Your ads need to reach the right people at the right time, with the right type of messaging.

And if you approach your Facebook advertising like you do your PPC advertising, then all you’re doing is padding Zuckerberg’s pockets.

And we all know he doesn’t need any help in that department.

Understanding the mindset of the Facebook user to bolster your advertising strategy

To understand the mindset of the Facebook user, let’s first make sure we’re clear on the mindset of the average Google user.

Think for a moment: Why do you go on Google? Is it to catch up with friends? Is it to post a selfie?

No

You go onto Google to find answers. Period.

Whatever question is running through your mind, when you want to find an answer to that question, you go to Google.

Where is the nearest pizza place?

How much are the new Air Jordan’s (do they still exist?)?

Difference between affect and effect?

Is my mole cancerous?

All of these are questions, and we trust Google to come back to us with valuable answers to our questions. It’s why brands and agencies invest so much into PPC and SEO. Google processes around 40,000 search queries every single second, which equates to 3.5 billion searches every day, and 1.2 trillion searches every year. Companies are vying to rank at the top spot for searches related to what they sell or offer.

So, when I google “is my mole cancerous”, countless companies are looking to grab my attention through a mix of paid advertising and good ol’ fashioned SEO.

Here’s what I find atop my results page for my query, is my mole cancerous?

It’s an ad, from melanoma.org, and speaks directly to my mindset. In other words, this is a winning ad! There’s an incredibly good chance that I’d click on this ad.

Melanoma.org clearly built out an ad campaign that included some, if not all, of my search query. But how did they know not only which terms to use but, more importantly, which terms were worth bidding on?

Well, they merely had to skip on over to their keyword tool of choice (like the Keyword Planner in Google AdWords) to come up with some ideas. While they probably built out an entire list around the idea of “mole” and “cancer”, I went ahead and plopped in my exact query to see what came up:

Well, that’s pretty impressive. While monthly searches aren’t massive (100-1,000) they are good enough to raise a few eyebrows. Couple that with the low competition, and very low bid suggestion, and you can see why Melanoma.org invested in that phrase, and likely earned my click.

All of this to say that when it comes to Google, keywords are king.

That’s simplifying it, I realize. But all of the bid strategies you develop, all the work you do with landing pages and ad copy all comes down to keywords aimed at finding, and targeting your audiences.

Facebook is a bit different. Why?

Because with Facebook, you have to reach out to your audiences; they’re not actively searching for you.

Here’s what I mean.

How often do you go onto Facebook to find the answer to a random question? When’s the last time you looked for a “doctor near me?”

Likely never.

Sure, you might have hopped onto Facebook to search for a specific restaurant or retail store, but you don’t use it as a search engine. And, because of this, the way you approach advertising on Facebook cannot mirror your PPC strategies.

In fact, it’s safe to say that when you use paid search, you’re typically targeting low-hanging fruit: users know what they’re looking for. There are ways to expand that, of course, to target your ads to searchers who demonstrate the clear signs of someone who’d likely want what you offer (but many brands use SEO for that).

There’s creativity involved, sure, but in the end, PPC is based a lot more on formula. Facebook, however, relies heavily on the creative aspect of classic marketing. Things like branding and messaging are enormous, as is audience research and persona development.

There are a number of reasons why this is the case:

  1. Remember, you’re approaching potential customers and have to fight for their attention, vs. they’re actively being in search mode
  2. Facebook is a far more visually rich medium than a Google results page
  3. As a social media platform, Facebook brings with it a different type of experience for users. The language you u
  4. se needs to reflect that

This can be extremely challenging for traditional paid search marketers who are used to banking on solid ad copy that calls attention to a sale. That type of approach works great for PPC ads … because they speak to users actively searching for answers.

But that approach isn’t nearly as effective on Facebook.

Think of it, most of the folks on Facebook you’d reach with an ad don’t know who you or your products are. Take, for example, this ad that popped up in my feed:

I have no idea who Jaybird is, so why should I be inclined to “Shop Now”? That’s a mighty big jump for me to take, from stranger to customer?

I don’t think so.

Another factor to consider with Facebook is that, unlike PPC, it’s not as easy to gauge what stage of awareness your audiences are in. With PPC, there are various clues you can use to nail down the specific mindset of a searcher.

In other words, Facebook audiences are generally not bottom-of-the-funnel users. They don’t know your product. They don’t know you. Heck, there’s a very good chance they’re not interested in what you’re selling.

Let’s look at the headphone ads above, again. I can’t tell, for sure, why that ad popped up in my feed. Was it because I clicked on an article about the new iPhone? Maybe. Regardless, at the moment when this ad popped up in my feed, I was in no way interested in buying headphones.

So, that ad was a waste (to me, at least).

Here’s what you have to realize as you begin to shift toward Facebook advertising: you have to take the role as salesperson if you want to see results.

To paint a clearer picture of what I mean, let’s take this conversation offline. While not a perfect metaphor, think of it like this:

When you advertise with PPC, it’s like reaching out to customers who’ve walked into your store (or, at least, into a mall). They’re on the hunt. They’re purchase-ready. You just want to make sure that your ads hit the folks who are interested in your product.

With Facebook advertising, however, audiences aren’t walking into your storefront. They’re just milling around on the street and there you are, sign in hand, shouting out to passersby hoping to turn some heads.

If you go into Facebook advertising with a PPC mindset, chances are your first experience will be a failure.

Heck, even if you go in armed with Facebook savvy, you’re still likely to walk away with less-than-stellar results your first time around.

It’s one of the biggest mistakes we see marketers make on Facebook – run a single campaign, get no true conversions, and then throw up their hands in defeat proclaiming Facebook advertising as an utter waste.

But not so fast.

While outliers do exist, generally Facebook marketing isn’t focusing on the number of sales or leads driven by one campaign. I know, crazy, right?

Facebook is more about the total experience introduced to your audiences. It’s about unleashing several campaigns, utilizing remarketing, and carefully cradling users across various stage of their buyer’s journey.

Of course, these types of multi-touch campaigns require extensive planning, not just on how you establish them, but also how you message each step.

So, what does that come down to?

Go into your Facebook advertising campaign with a helping of content assets

If Facebook advertising isn’t just about one campaign, then it’s safe to say that Facebook advertising takes more than just one piece of ad copy or one landing page. Let’s take, for example, this ad that showed up in my Facebook feed (for whatever reason):

The ad features a minute-long video that goes into the background of Quip – a company I have never heard of before, never visited their site, don’t follow their Page, and so on; in other words, I’m not in the market for what Quip’s selling (but it doesn’t mean I might not be soon).

OK, let’s dissect this a bit:

Again, this is a brand-new product for me, offered by a brand-new company. If Quip wants me to become a customer, they’re asking me to take quite a leap, at this moment, to Shop Now.

Let’s see what happens, though, when I do click on that ad. Here’s the landing page I’m led to.

This is just the above-the-fold section. You can see the whole page at https://www.getquip.com/. Regardless, the company does a good job introducing me to their product, and their mission.

Still, that doesn’t mean I’m ready to buy this brush – I’ve never expressed interest, in my life, in any type of toothbrush. I’ve never even bought one from Amazon, so this ad really does come from leftfield.

But sometimes ads do that, and that’s OK, because, in reality, Quip should not expect a great deal of conversions from this one ad – that should not be its purpose. Instead, it introduces me to the brand name and, if Quip is lucky, one or two unique selling propositions of the product.

And, if I click on that ad and head on over to Quip’s landing page (which I did), then with a little help from remarketing, Quip can follow-up with me with new ads on Facebook and across the web.

But even if I didn’t click on that Shop Now button, Quip’s advertising efforts shouldn’t end there. What they should have is a flurry of content assets to promote to me over time, that successfully shows me more about the product and company.

I’m reminded, at this moment, of the company Purple, which specializing in sleeping products (mattresses, pillows etc.).

In the same feed where Quip popped up, I also saw this ad from Purple.

This is not the first ad I’ve seen from them. Far from it, actually. In fact, the first ad I saw from Purple was months ago, and boy was it a doozy.

If you haven’t seen this video, please do so. It’s right here: https://youtu.be/4BvwpjaGZCQ

I love this ad, especially as a first introduction to Purple because, well, the ad itself isn’t about Purple. It’s about how to use a raw egg to determine if your mattress is awful. That headline, alone, is intriguing. The fact that the video starts out with a character named Goldilocks, who offers up science and facts with a hint of intelligent humor, makes this 4-minute video worth watching from start to end.

Did I buy a mattress by the time I finished that video? No, of course not. That’s a huge purchase, and not one we make on a whim.

And, truth be told, despite the power of this first video, if I had never heard from Purple again following that ad, I might not have thought to buy from them when the time did come for me to buy a mattress.

Alas, Purple’s marketing team didn’t let them down. Not only did they not inundate me with the same ad over and over again, but the next time they did pop up in my feed, they had something different to tell me.

This time, they had something to say about pillows. Again, they used humor, and science, to make a compelling video that spoke to common pain points without overly marketing their product or boring me to tears. You can check out the video here: https://youtu.be/xX2FcnxrHyA

What Purple has done was create incredible content built around their core products. They then developed optimized landing pages for each of these products so that if their content assets (in these examples, videos) sparked interest, their landing pages would help funnel visitors toward conversions.

What Purple has not done is assume that one ad on Facebook would drive sales or leads. Rather, they looked at their ads as an entire campaign. Each ad they created, each content piece they promoted, fell in line with the company’s branding and messaging, thus helping to differentiate them from competitors (I don’t know a single other mattress company with that much personality, and that’s worth something).

The fact that their videos show scientific proof (in a clear – and fun – way) absolutely helps to establish trust, which is key because, again, they’re reaching out to me.

I’m not in the market for a mattress. I didn’t go to Purple’s site. I didn’t get added to their mailing list. They’re using Facebook advertising to interrupt my leisure time; they better come to me ready to prove why I shouldn’t report their ad as spam or irrelevant.

The best way to mirror the success of Purple’s Facebook advertising strategy is to come into your own campaign with a clear picture of all the content assets you want to promote to help encourage audiences to convert.

What does that look like?

For starters, you want to think about the end goal. What’s the ultimate action you want visitors to take? In Purple’s case, of course, it’s to become a customer.

Then, ask yourself, in what ways can we make this action happen? Again, for Purple, it comes down to promoting each of their products, separately, to demonstrate how they are leaders in their industry.

You should also factor in objections from your audiences. For Purple, they address objections within each of their videos; however, you might consider promoting an ad specific to customer objections. For example, if you’re a technology company promoting one product to Human Resource Directors, one of the objections of your prospects would be the pain of learning a new software.

Why not create an entire ad that focuses on that one pain point, and then target your audiences with that? By doing this, not only are you varying the messaging your audiences receive, but you’re speaking directly to their mindset.

Is Facebook advertising right for you?

If you’re accustomed to PPC advertising, then chances are you either love Facebook advertising, or you hate it. If you fall in that latter group, then it’s worth noting, again, just how prevalent Facebook is in our lives – with no signs of letting it up. Sure, there’s the occasional Snapchat that pops up from time to time, but there’s not a single social network on the planet that steals most of our time each day than Facebook.

It’s the new TV.

Navigating the Facebook Ads platform can be daunting and, despite becoming extremely robust in recent years, is still in its infancy. You can be certain that it’ll become only more complicated to work through as it continues to expand and refine itself.

You’re better off getting your feet wet now and learning the intricacies of Facebook Advertising, particularly as it pertains to your market and niche, so that you avoid falling further behind from your competitors.

While not every business type is made for Facebook, there’s a very good chance you could gain some positive traction in the social platform, if you approach it with the right mindset and strategy. Just ask yourself, do you still spend any time on Facebook?

If the answer is yes, then why would you assume your audiences are any different?

Your Facebook Engagement Is Probably Dipping. Here’s How to Fix It

There’s been a lot of talk about the demise of Facebook. When Snapchat came along, “social media experts” remarked at how teens and young adults flocked to that app, and away from Facebook.

Marketing on Facebook is useless, they exclaimed. Invest your dollars elsewhere, they suggested.

But here’s the truth: Facebook isn’t dead. It’s actually killing the competition.

Last year, alone, it grew yet another 18%, solidifying it as, without question, a company in a class of its own. Couple its revenue success with that fact that people still devote up to an hour each day – if not more – on the platform, and you’d think that it should be easy to engage your followers, grow your audience, and build your customer base.

But it’s not.

Here’s the problem: As Facebook continues to grow in popularity, so too is the volume of content that’s published. And, as more content gets added to the fray, Facebook is stepping up its game to filter out irrelevant content and deliver the best possible user experience.

That, in turn, means your ability to reach your followers is becoming harder and harder. In fact, one day, you might never reach them.

However, until that day comes, there are still steps you can take to connect with the fans you worked so hard to attract and retain. Before we get into these steps, let’s look at why your Facebook engagement is likely declining to begin with.

Too much is just too much

Some estimates claim that there are around 1 billion people on Facebook. That is a ton of people. Yet, the amount of content that’s produced each day hovers around four billion. In other words, right now Facebook users are inundated with content, at roughly a 4:1 ratio.

It hasn’t always been like this. There was a time when you could post messages and reach the majority of people who had liked your page. But even as far back as 2012, Facebook released data suggesting that on average only 16% of your fans could see your posts.

Last year, the outlook for organic reach seemed even bleaker. From Jan. 2016 through mid-July 2016, publishers’ Facebook Pages experienced a 52% decline in organic reach.

The issue here is that Facebook has made algorithmic changes that are good for its users, and not so good for brands. They’re looking to filter posts so that users only see good, and relevant stuff, and not, for example, glorified ads that a business page might post.

As such, Facebook does its best to hide that type of post from folks’ news feeds. Of course, the image above is a sponsored post (or ad), which helps it reach targeted audiences. But as an organic post, it almost surely would fail.

And as we referenced earlier, all signs point to things getting even worse for organic posting. Facebook has even admitted that your organic reach might hit zero sometime in the future.

We can go on and on about whether this is fair or not; but the reality is there’s very little we can do about it. Facebook has built an ecosystem that many businesses have rented space on. Now that the landlords are changing the rules, we can either move (which isn’t logical) or get better at playing by the rules.

We’re all for the second option because, in the end, your customers and prospects are on Facebook, which means you need to be, too.

In order to play the game like a pro, you need to know the rules. In Facebook-speak, that means understanding the algorithm.

Years ago, this algorithm was called EdgeRank, and it would assign point values to different types of posts based on a variety of criteria.

One quick example would be a post with an image would be worth more than one without an image. A more recent post, as well, would have more value than an older one.

Facebook would tally up the points and determine which posts were worth showing to your followers (or not).

The simplicity of this algorithm was its downfall: it was pretty easy to cheat the system. To combat this, Facebook, in 2011, began to introduce artificial intelligence and machine learning into their algorithm. In other words, their formula could teach itself new tricks to keep up with new trends.

It also made it easy for you to see more posts from brands that you engaged with.

Makes logical sense, right?

Today’s algorithm has gotten even bigger, and more robust; but it still operates on this same machine-learning premise, which means that the solution to keep up with it is the same:

Engagement.

How to increase engagement and win the Facebook game

The more people you can get to interact with your Facebook content, the more likely they’ll see your posts and come back for more.

Here are a few tips to increase your chances of better engagement.

1. Remind your audiences to watch out for your content

As painful as this might be to hear, no one cares about you or your brand. They only care about themselves. They’re too busy to worry about going to your Facebook page or visiting your blog.

You have to remind them to look out for your content and to keep up to date with your activity.

You can do this by asking your followers to change the way they view your content. If they navigate to your page and head to the “Following” drop-down option, they can change their view to “See First.

By doing this, your posts will now show up above everyone else’s. But this begs the question: why would anyone do that?

Well, to be honest, they won’t. At least, not unless you give them a reason to change your priority level.

So, let’s see … what could you do to make it worth their while to see your posts first? Well, for starters, you could run short-term giveaways and promotions that reward the first few people who respond to your posts.

Ah, now there’s a reason for folks to change your priority level. And, since these folks will be engaging with your posts to enter your contests, Facebook will continue to make your content visible to the masses.

2. Add videos to your mix

Video has always gotten an extra boost from Facebook’s algorithm. Apparently, nothing has changed. Facebook users watch more than 100 million hours of video every single day, which is why 2/3rds of marketers are making video a major part of their strategies moving forward.

3. Go one step further with Facebook Live (and get 3x more views)

Videos are killing it on Facebook, but it’s still being outperformed by Facebook Live. AdWeek recently commented that there is 3x more engagement of Live videos than typical videos. Part of the reason for this phenomenon comes down to scarcity. If users know that content has a time limit, they’re more likely to engage with it.

You see it all the time with ads – when you add a countdown (for when the promotion expires), that ad is going perform better than if that countdown timer didn’t exist.

You also see it with Snapchat and Instagram – there’s tremendous engagement with these Stories, because they’re only available for 24 hours.

Facebook Live streams only happen once, and then they can disappear forever. That, alone, is enough to get people to stop what they’re doing and watch.

#4. Incorporate competitions

Up to now we’ve been talking about organic Facebook strategies, but if you really want to engage your audiences, you’ll eventually have to pay to play in order to even reach your fans.

Of course, once you do reach them with some quality targeting, how can you make sure your ads and organic posts deliver quality results?

Try to focus on some competitive-based content.

This post garnered 42,000 reactions and 5,000 shares. Sure, they’re offering $100,000, but their other prizes don’t really cost them all that much. That’s the key with competitions. If you invest money in Facebook advertising, you don’t really want to have to invest even more money in a competition. As Hubspot demonstrated above, there are ways to run a competition that’s attractive to your followers but doesn’t cost you an arm or a leg.

5. Set up your preferred page audience

Your Preferred Page Audience is a lot like signing up for Google Search Console and sharing your preferred site information and sitemap to Google. Preferred Page Audience allows you to tell Facebook who your audience is and what their interests are. This, in turn, will help Facebook better reach these audiences.

To set up your Preferred Page Audience, look under your Business Page settings.

There, on the left-hand side, you’ll see the Preferred Page Audience option. Click on that and if you don’t have an audience set up yet, you’ll see this.

Once you get started, you’ll be able to specify the location, demographics, interest, and language. If you’ve done any Facebook ad targeting, then you’ll recognize that it’s similar to how you select interest-based audiences.

You can’t just rely on organic strategies

In its infancy, Facebook was a place where businesses could go to get their message out to their followers without much cost or effort.

But its popularity has forced the social network to shift how it operates, in order to continue to give its users a good experience, and not inundate them with spam and ads.

In the end, that means brands can’t rely solely on organic strategies to reach their audiences. The tips listed above will help boost your organic reach, but if you really want to see a return on your investment (the time, money and effort you commit), you have to turn to paid social media campaigns.

Of course, just making an ad and launching it on Facebook doesn’t mean you’re going to increase your engagement. You have to put some considerable thought into your ad strategies before you launch them.

That’s because Facebook will monitor key engagement metrics for your ad (like clicks, complaints, and audience relevance). A well-designed ad that targets a specific audience will generally do well on Facebook.

If, however, your ad’s performance drops too low, your ad might get canceled.

Tips to improve the performance of your Facebook ads

  • Target people similar to your list contacts–You can target a lookalike audience to find Facebook viewers that are similar in behavior and action to the customers on your existing contact list.
  • Refine your audiences by interests – If you decide to target a unique audience rather than a lookalike audience, make sure your audience isn’t too broad in scope. You can refine your audience based by interests. The narrower you are with your focus, the better your ad will perform.
  • Reduce ad frequency – Ads that frequently appear to the same people have a higher rate of negative feedback. There are a couple of ways to avoid this from happening. Either you can schedule your ad to run for a short amount of time (like two days) or you can keep your budget the same and extend your ad’s schedule to two weeks or longer. For example, if you were going to spend $100 on an ad for two days, keep the budget the same and run it for three weeks. This way, the ad won’t appear in people’s News Feed too much.
  • Refine your ad content – Make sure to use high-quality images, particularly images of people using your product or service. Also, make sure that your messaging is clear with an obvious call to action.
  • Test your ads – It’s important to know that your ads will rarely be “perfect.” Don’t be afraid to experiment. Keep trying new ads and variations. Show different ads to the same audience, and the same ad to different audiences. Look for patterns to determine what ads have the best engagement. Use these results to develop future marketing strategies.

Remember why folks go onto Facebook

Whether you focus on organic posting, paid ads, or a combination of both, it’s important to remember that Facebook audiences are different than Google audiences.

When someone goes to Google, they are actively searching for something. On Facebook, however, they’re more likely looking to be entertained and to be caught up in their world events (be it a friend’s post or an update from their local news channel).

In other words, standard ads and blatant marketing aren’t all that effective. You want to come across as conversational, informational, and entertaining, if you ever hope to boost engagement and build your audience.

The Definitive Guide to Using Facebook Ads to Drive Leads and Increase Sales

Content is the lifeblood of effective Facebook advertising.

If you want your Facebook ads to get clicks, and drive leads and sales to your business, you need to embrace content marketing.

The truth is, Facebook advertising channel is a goldmine for online marketers. If you do it the right way, you’ll not only grow your revenue, your brand would become known to your target audience.

Your ideal customers visit and use Facebook religiously. You can’t afford to ignore it.

The numbers are equally staggering: According to Statista, 22.9% of the world’s population is on Facebook. The social media network recorded well over 2 billion monthly active users on June 30, 2017. In fact, Facebook has recorded a 17% growth year over year.

Looking at this statistics above, you’ll notice a consistent increase in their user base.

Data from Buffer shows that in 2016 alone, over 91% of marketers used Facebook ads.

That being said, it’s crystal clear that Facebook advertising is what no marketer will want to avoid. Besides, it’s cheap compared to other ad channels and has a place for your budget.

Since this article is focused on how to use the right content to power your Facebook ads and grow your sales, I’ll split it into two-part:

The first part will take you through the process of starting a Facebook ads campaign while the second part will deal extensively on content audit—and what type of content page to have on your landing page before sending Facebook users to it.

Getting started with Facebook ads

Content marketing is truly a phenomenal medium to winning the Facebook advertising game.

While a lot of people send their Facebook ad clicks to generic articles and landing pages, you want to take a different approach—directing users to your compelling content pages.

We’ll discuss content audit later on, but right now, you need to get started with Facebook ads. What exactly do you need to set up a Facebook ad campaign?

i). You must have a Facebook account: I understand that some people still do not use Facebook, maybe for personal reasons. However, right now you’ve got to create one if you want to set up a campaign.

ii). You must create a Facebook page for your business: You probably already have this. If you don’t go create one here.

iii). Have a budget: It’s important you plan an explicit budget for your Facebook campaign from the start. You can increase your budget as you discover the ads that perform better.

That’s all you need to get started.

Next, log into your Facebook account and navigate to a drop-down menu at the top of the screen. Click on it and you’ll find several options.

Click on the “Manage Adverts” option—you should be in your dashboard already.

Next, you want to create your campaign. Facebook provides two tools to help you create your campaign: You have the Power Editor and Adverts Manager. To see the tools, click on the drop-down menu at the top left of the page.

If you’re new to Facebook advertising, of course, Power Editor might sound strange to you. Basically, Power editor is a tool that bigger companies use to help them manage multiple campaigns, Ad sets, ads, and more.

It allows you to create, edit, manage and optimize campaigns, ad sets, ads and Page post in bulk across a large number of different Facebook accounts and Pages.

But it can be a bit complicated for people who are new to Facebook advertising. I suggest you start with Adverts Manager — it’s the default tool.

So, here’s how to create an ad campaign on your Facebook ads dashboard.

Click on the “Create Advert” button at the top right-side of your dashboard.

To continue with this part you need to understand the different Facebook ad types:

1). Brand Awareness

If you’re looking to use Facebook to expose your brand to as many people as possible, then this ad type is what you should use for your campaign.

Even though, technically, this ad type can be used for any campaign, it’s meant to be used to promote high-quality content that drives brand awareness by seducing Facebook users as they scroll to see their news feeds.

For this ad, you should focus on creating remarkable content that will entice your prospects to want to know more about your brand. So, don’t think of what you’ll get out of it.

You’ll notice that this ad doesn’t ask you to do anything. Dollar Shave Club takes pride in producing valuable content, anyone who’s interested in their offering will most likely want to know more about them. So, they’ll click.

Here’s how you can create a Brand Awareness campaign from the Ad Manager dashboard:

From where we left off, click on the Brand Awareness campaign.

Enter the name of your campaign and continue.

Next, you want to create your audience. Enter your Advert set name. You can always re-use a particular audience setting in your next advert through the “Use saved audience option.”

So you can set the country, the city, the age, etc. If you scroll down you’ll see other options.

Go ahead and choose the age, gender, language, and connections of your target audience.

And finally, the budget and scheduling section: With the budget, you define how much you want to spend for the advert for the period it will run.

You can set a start and end date or just let it run automatically.

Once you’ve set everything up. Click on continue.

You’ll be redirected to the final stage where you’ll upload your ad design.

The first thing you should do is to add the Facebook Page. You can add either a carousel, a single image, a single video, or slideshow.

I have chosen a single image.

Upload your design with the stipulated dimensions (1,200 x 628 pixels)

After that, write a great ad copy, fill in the boxes on the left and preview it at the right.

When you’re okay with everything hit the “Confirm” button at the bottom of the page and you will be referred to a page where you’ll make payment—and that’s all, your ad will start to run.

The process is pretty much the same for other ad types. If you get need any advice on this setup process it may be helpful to reach out to a social media advertising agency.

2). Reach

Facebook Reach ad type and the Brand Awareness are a bit similar.

However, while Brand Awareness ads get your brand in front of people who will remember your brand later on, the Reach ad type is used when you want to reach a specific number of audience on Facebook and you also want to control how often they see your ads.

3). Traffic

As the name implies, if you’re looking to drive traffic to your website or your Facebook page, this is the ad type you should go for. Here’s an example of a Facebook ad directing people to Buffer’s website:

4). Engagement

With the Facebook Engagement, you will not only get more people to see your ads, you will get clicks, comments, likes, event responses, and you can allow people to claim your offers.

5). App Installs

If your goal is to increase your app Installs? Use this ad objective to boost your app install rate in app stores.

6). Video Views

This is usually one of the most interesting ads if done well video ads can improve your conversion rate to a large extent. In fact, recent statistics by HubSpot show that 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers.

The same statistics also show that 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.

As an example, this video ad has over 49,365 views, 523 likes, 10 comments, and 15 shares. That’s engagement.

It’s basically meant to raise awareness about your brand. All things being equal, the content on the page matters—it’d either hook the people who landed on the page from a Facebook ad click or discourage them. Hence you need to conduct a content audit to determine what type of content to refer your Facebook users to (more on this later).

7). Lead Generation

With Facebook Lead ad type you can quickly collect your leads information on Facebook without making them leave Facebook at all.

When the user clicks on the register button then this page shows up. Users can sign up to your campaign without exiting a Facebook page.

So once the user submits the form, they can go back to Facebook.

8). Conversions

This is one of the marketers favorite ad types. Every business owner wants conversion. However, it depends on what conversion means for your business.

Facebook Conversion allows users to click your ads, go to a specific page of your website and perform a specific action. This page must have the right kind of content—compelling, relevant, and easy to read.

It could be to buy your product, submit their email addresses in exchange for a free offer, or just anything.

In the above ad, you will notice that the sense of urgency “For a limited time” helps drive conversion rate by letting the user know that the offer is for a Limited time.

Essentially, you want to ensure your copy is clear and catchy. Your CTA must be inviting as well. Now you can see that compelling content is important for driving your Facebook ads and boosting your sales. They both work hand-in-hand.

9). Store Visits

Last but not least, if you’re looking to get people to visit your offline shop? Facebook Store Visits allows you to get your customers to visit your offline store.

At this juncture, you’ve got to understand that no matter the Facebook ad format you choose, the content page you direct clicks to matters a lot.

However, there’s no straightforward way to know which content is ideal for your audience. Consequently, you need to conduct a content audit—and it’s important for us to discuss how to achieve it, step by step.

Getting started with content audit

Here’s the deal:

Whether you’re a PPC or Facebook advertiser, you’ll agree with me that content audit is one of the scariest terms in the digital marketing space. And truly, it’s a time-consuming process. It’s equally boring!

Most marketers think that embarking on such a massive project may not be the best use of their resources and energy.

However, if you dare to devote your time, invest in the right tools, and actually do a complete content audit, the benefits will overwhelm you.

In fact, when you conduct a content audit, it will give you insights and direction when you’re running a Facebook ads audit that will boost your revenue.

I’ll highlight some of the core benefits below, so you know whether this is stacked up against or for you. But first, the basics…

What is Content Audit?

Content Audit is the act of analyzing the entire content on your website determine what’s working and what’s not working. With that, you can determine which content to improve, and which to remove or consolidate.

Why you need a content audit

Aside from determining which content to send your Facebook ad clicks to, there are several other reasons why businesses go through the rigorous process of content audit.

The truth is, if you don’t know you have a problem, you won’t attempt to solve it, it’s that simple.

In the same way, if you don’t know the quality, effectiveness, and weakness of your content, you wouldn’t know you need to improve it. You’ll keep doing the wrong thing and of course, you’ll be hurting your bottom line without even knowing.

These are some of the many reasons businesses do content audit:

  • To increase conversion rates on your Facebook ads when you direct clicks to a rich and high-converting content page.
  • To enable you to escape a content-related search engine ranking penalty.
  • To discover content that requires copywriting/editing for improved quality.
  • To update content that needs to be updated and made more current.
  • To determine content that needs merging due to overlapping topics.
  • To discover content that should be removed from the website.
  • It’s the best way to prioritize the editing or removal of content.
  • To find content gap opportunities.
  • You will uncover the strongest pages on a domain and how to leverage them.
  • Find undiscovered content marketing opportunities.
  • Due diligence when buying/selling websites or onboarding new clients.

What does a content audit include?

Most marketers record their audit on spreadsheets, which is great. Spreadsheets are very flexible.

I even like it more because it can hold a large amount of information in a fairly manageable way. The best part is that it’s easy to share them with other people easily.

It’s important that your content audit includes the following:

  • Page name: Collect information aboutthe displayed page title.
  • Navigation Title: Get information about the title of your posts links.
  • Comments: Notes of things you should remember.
  • Content Type: What type of content is on your website, basic text content, is this a basic page, publication, news story, article, technique, FAQ, or something else?
  • Basic content description: A brief reminder about what’s on the page
  • Topic, tags or category: Metadata for products, articles, news, blog posts.
  • Author: Who wrote this content?
  • URL: You may want to display the URL or just link from the page name.
  • Content hierarchy: The way to show your content relationship with other content items.
  • Owner: Who is responsible for the content?
  • Date last updated: When was the content last updated?
  • Attached files: How many files are attached, and what type of files are they?
  • A numbering system: An index to help you when referring to each content item.

With that in mind, here are the proven steps to conduct a successful content audit:

Step 1: Start with your content assets on spreadsheet

The first step to your content audit is to find all your content. There are two ways you can do that.

Use a tool like Screaming Frog — it allows you to crawl up to 500 URLs for free — use it to identify all the URLs on your website. You also have the ability to download the data as a CSV file. Just hit the export button and viola, there you have it.

Now, you can manually enter all your URLS into an Excel Or Google Docs spreadsheets.

It’s easy to upload a CSV file to Google Docs spreadsheets. Go to File > Import > Upload and select the saved file from your computer.

Even though most marketers do audits with spreadsheets it’s not the only way. If you don’t want to border yourself with spreadsheets, you can use the WordPress “Content Audit plugin”—It allows you to create a content inventory right in the WordPress Edit screens.

More like the process you might use to assess your site’s content in a spreadsheet, all you need to do is to set a few conditions (tick some checkboxes and select some options) and you’re good to go.

I’m an Excel junkie. Not everyone is. You’ll likely be more productive if you choose the tool that you’re most comfortable with.

Next, let’s collect some data we need to track:

Step 2: Collect content and page data

You can use data to make informed decisions as it concerns your Facebook ads. Unfortunately, many people miss out on this step. According to AdWeek, “Not customizing ad content per audience segment and refreshing creative” are some of the common Facebook ad mistakes you must avoid.

In line with that, there are no specific data points you must track. You just need to be tracking the data points you know will help you make scalable decisions.

This is where some of the data we mentioned earlier will be used, and we’ll use them as items menu name in our spreadsheet.

Interestingly you can use Screaming Frog to automatically get some of the data. For example, you can get the link titles and length of the titles from Screaming Frog.

You can also leverage Google Analytics to get some insights as well. Like the page views your content is getting, the content with the highest bounce rate and the average time your audiences are spending on your content.

Here’s how you can find that in Google Analytics.

From the left column you’ll find “Behavior” click on it, then click on “Site Content” and finally click on “All Pages” (Behaviour> Site Content > All Pages)

Then, you can now export it in a CSV format and import it back to your spreadsheet. Pretty easy.

You can also use tools like SharedCount to show the number of shares a post has.

Since you have the links, it’ll be a lot easier to enter multiple links here and get the result you want than opening your post one after the other to find out how many social shares they have got.

Great job you’ve done there. Next, start scoring each page on a scale of “A – F.” The pages that receive “A” score are regarded as the top performing content while those that receive “F” are regarded as your worst content and needs improvement.

Now you have a bunch of data at your disposal. Let’s get started analyzing them.

Step 3: Analyze each content at scale

When you hear success stories of companies that grew their leads and sales by 30 – 100%, you might be tempted to believe they’re lying.

But here’s the truth:

These companies know that if their Facebook ad is in sync with the page the user lands on after clicking on the ad, the conversion rate will be high.

Hence, you need to analyze each content at scale on your website or landing page. Be sure that the content is relevant and persuasive.

For large websites, gathering this data might be difficult, takes longer time, and in some cases not feasible.

However, once you have this data ready, it’s high time you start analyzing them to help you gain more insights make better decisions that’ll help you improve your content and to boost your Facebook ads conversion rate.

You remember you’ve scored your content, right? Great. Make your spreadsheet.

With the above data, you’ll notice that:

1. Your users spend more time on your video content than your text content: This insinuates that you should produce more video content. However, more to that its conversion rate is higher than your text content apart from your list content.

In this case, creating a video ad on Facebook might get you more conversions—because your target audience has already indicated an interest in the type of content they prefer.

2. Your infographics have more shares than any other content type: This is an indication that your audience loves your infographics. Even though they do, the conversion rate is still very low.

And that suggests that you could be targeting the wrong audiences or creating infographics on the wrong topic. Looking into this will allow you decide if you should update your audience persona.

It’s also important to note that the demand for infographics has increased 800% in the past year. So, if you’re not getting good conversions from your infographics, you might want to look into that.

There are plenty of insights you can get from the data assuming it’s your website’s data. Go ahead and explore it.

After your analysis, the next step is to start working to improve your content, which is the main reason for the audit in the first place. You can also use Google Analytics to find out what happens when users reach your website.

Step 4: Use these questions to improve content

Now you’ve seen your best performing content and some other insights about it.
It’s important that you move towards solving them, and answering questions like these can give you an idea of what exactly to improve.

Note: This is an important step before you set up your Facebook ad campaign. It’s fine if you want to build awareness for your Facebook page (where a website or landing page isn’t required). But if you want other objectives, you need an external web page.

Improving your content and pages (including the design) is critical.

About 73% of B2C marketers have considered improving their content creation strategy in 2017.

i). Is your content accurate and up to date?

Google and social media users love updated content. Even though that’s true, your update shouldn’t be for updating sake but you should update your content to make it more relevant to your users.

For example, when Geoff Kenyon updated his post on Moz, He noticed a significant boost.

ii). Are people accessing the content and using it

With over 2 million blog posts published per day, it’s easy for your content to get buried.

Are you using the right keywords your users are using to search for your product? Ensure you research your keywords properly and use them effectively in your content to allow search engines to quickly crawl, index, and increase your organic search visibility.

More importantly, ensure that your content is relevant to your business — it should help in attracting potential customers to your business.

iii). Does the content answer a question?

If you have mapped out your user persona very well, you most likely know your customers well enough right now — the questions they are asking, their pain points and everything in between.

If you streamline your content towards answering your potential customers you’ll likely improve your visibility and conversion rate.

iv). Is the page optimized for a keyword?

You might want to check your pages to ensure that they’re optimized for the keywords you want to rank for. And don’t over do it by adding spammy phrases, you might hurt your site’s SEO.

v). Does the content have good formatting?

For your readers to be able to easily read your content without being bored. You should consider formatting your content appropriately with subheadings. According to HubSpot, 55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website.

vi). Does the content meet basic SEO best practices?

Overall, your content should be appealing to humans and search engines. Creating high-quality content that follows SEO best practice is a must for any brand that wants to move ahead and stay in the spotlight.

Step 5: Improve your content with visuals

Visuals make content entertaining, easier to read, and valuable. Usability expert Jakob Nielsen has written that the average user reads at most 20 – 28% of words during an average page visit.

Interestingly, posts with images get more Facebook shares. This tells you that including catchy visuals on your Facebook ad and making your landing page visually-appealing will likely get you more results.

To make your content more enjoyable and to attract more shares and traffic, consider improving your content with visuals.

More so, an estimated 84% of communications will be visual by 2018. Every forward-thinking brand using Facebook ad must consider including visuals in their copy and landing page.

You can look into your A-list content, maybe some of them don’t have images or video content. Update them with relevant images to make them stand out. You can also do the same for your other content as you work on them.

Conclusion

I see content marketing and Facebook ads working together to help digital marketers achieve their ultimate objectives of generating targeted traffic and growing sales.

Facebook advertising is an exciting PPC platform that you can rely on because it’s helped small, midsize, and large businesses to scale.

Of course, there are a lot of factors that contribute to the success of a Facebook ad campaign, compelling copy and the right targeting, however, are the two most important factors.

I’d love to hear from you. How do you use copy/content to power your Facebook ads and increase sales? Share your comment in the box.

Creating a Facebook Page for Your Restaurant to Stand Out from the Crowd

[feat-text]Regardless of the size of your restaurant or chain of restaurants, having Facebook and Instagram accounts are as important – if not more important – as having TV ads or sponsoring local events. [/feat-text]

Through incredible marketing tactics such as using pixel remarketing, ads, and organic content, you can quickly gain an edge on your competition and forge meaningful relationships with your followers.

But that all assumes you follow a few key tenets when it comes to mastering Facebook marketing for restaurants.

For starters, take Facebook marketing seriously

It’s not uncommon for restaurants to hand off social media management responsibilities to a young employee on staff or, perhaps, a college student “majoring in marketing.”

We get it – it makes total sense to look to your youngest employees to manage your social identity, doesn’t it?

No, not really. Ask yourself this: would you dish out total marketing responsibilities to that same employee? Would you trust this person to talk with prospects, nurture leads, establish partnerships with local businesses and respond to criticism?

Social media marketing is serious marketing. It’s another channel from which you can project your brand. It requires far more than just quick posts and quirky images.

Restaurants require a digital marketing strategy. It requires forethought and an understanding of the direction you want your brand headed.

Be authentic

Our digital advertising company almost left this item off the list because we’re tired of that buzzword: authenticity. Of course, buzzwords become buzzwords for a reason. In this instance, being genuine is key to social media success.

It isn’t about pushing your menu all the time. It’s not about highlighting the big sale. It’s about peeling back the curtain and letting your audiences know the people behind the restaurant. This is particularly important with your organic posts. Social posting is about having a conversation.

They merely posted a picture of a car in their lot (a mighty full lot, we should add, meaning they’re likely pretty popular!).

When it comes to your digital marketing advertising strategies, that’s when you want to push your menus and promotions.

This careful mix of self-promotion and conversation will build your audience while ensuring those audiences actually convert from time to time.

Become a guru of the glass

This is our fancy way of saying – learn how to take good pictures.

Ansel Adams – the famous black-and-white photographer, would marvel at the power of the cameras we hold in the palms of our hands, masked as phones. There’s virtually no excuse for taking poor quality images.

But here are a few tips to consider:

  • Consider using angles otherwise ignored
  • Be mindful of the background of your images
  • Don’t over-filter

Just look at this incredible image from Atlanta-based The Varsity (their restaurant is in the backdrop, as well as inverted within the globe). Social media has made us all hooked on instant gratification, and quick to hit publish. But each image you publish on behalf of your business should be reviewed and, when possible, edited.

If you subscribe to Adobe’s Photoshop/Lightroom Creative Cloud plan, you can actually edit your images on your phone – via the Lightroom mobile app (which is incredibly powerful).

Resist vanity metrics

Let’s be honest: Vanity and social media go hand in hand. Still, when it comes to assessing the value of your restaurant reputation management strategy, certain metrics simply don’t tell the whole story.

Namely, most restaurant (and business) owners we know become obsessed with the number of followers they have.

That’s not important.

What’s important is how engaged your existing followers are. It is far more important to have a smaller number of people who actually engage with your content than it is to have a large group of people who ignore your every post.

Involve your community

One of the toughest concepts for our clients to understand is that their best marketing doesn’t come from them; it actually comes from their customers. It’s a lot like how word of mouth is far more powerful than an ad found on TV; user-generated content is the holy grail of social media marketing.

How can you use this as you market your restaurant on Facebook?

Fortunately, Instagram makes this really easy. Since Instagram and FB are social media siblings, it’s quick and easy to connect your IG and FB accounts. One of the reasons you’d want to do that (aside from posting IG pictures right to your FB page – minus all those hashtags) is so you can share others’ content to your FB page

IG allows your patrons to tag you with their images. It’s what happened here with NYC restaurant Tavern on the Green.

An IG user posted this shot – and tagged the restaurant. The social media manager for Tavern on the Green then took that image and shared it on their FB page.

Make sure to monitor your brand mentions across the web and social media so you, too, can take advantage of this easy user-generated content.

You might also want to incorporate some campaigns to encourage your followers to get involved. “Name our next dish” is a pretty popular strategy.

Tell your story – beyond the food

Let’s say, for example, that your restaurant touts its locally sourced organic food, from farmers nearby. Why, then, would you only highlight the food? Why not include posts, images, videos and stories about the people who bring the food to your tables?

This goes back to being authentic but raises it to a whole new level: think beyond food. If your restaurant was a person, what kind of person would he or she be? Personify your brand so you can create a social identity.

For example, perhaps your establishment is known to be the place sports teams go to celebrate after a win.

Great! Own that role! Take photos of these teams coming to your place. Better yet, once in a while go to the games and show your support (then share it on Facebook).

Believe it or not, people don’t just come to you for the food. They come for the experience. Help them to understand this experience through your FB page.

Organic is just one aspect – invest in your FB page

Don’t be afraid to invest in ads on Facebook. We’re certain that if you create a targeted ad, focused on a selective group of prospects, you’ll see some incredible returns.

Do you have a newsletter list? If so, you can upload that list to FB to create a custom audience. That way, you can create an ad “exclusive to your newsletter members.” You can then create an ad to non-newsletter members (who follow your page), that encourages them to join your list to get exclusive deals.

You can also use remarketing. Let’s say, for example, someone visits a page on your site that focuses on catering services for business lunches. You can then create an ad on FB that targets these folks with an ad that reminds them of your services. The more they see the ad on FB, the more likely they’ll eventually convert when they need to schedule a business lunch.

Go for the gold

Your Facebook Page is a goldmine of marketing possibilities. Nearly every one of your target audiences – and their friends and family members – have a Facebook account. The average person checks in on FB at least a handful of times each day.

By creating a page built around both organic and paid marketing strategies for your restaurant, you can build a community that your prospective patrons will want to be a part of – both on social media and in real life.

Embrace the Season of Instagram – Shift Your Restaurant Marketing into Summer Mode

[feat-text]Instagram may not be taking over the world, but it sure feels like it is. Instagram has become the place for “cool” brands to make a name for themselves. [/feat-text]

And when it comes to restaurants, if you’re not on Instagram, you’re not doing social media right. With a presence on Instagram, your restaurant can post great menu item shots, share behind-the-scene videos, and lest we forget, your patrons can tag you and check in, thus furthering your brand reach.

It really is a can’t lose social media strategy for restaurants.

But as impactful as Instagram can be for restaurants, the only way to really get the most bang for your buck is to design specific paid campaigns for the image-based platform, especially as summer comes into full swing.

We’re not suggesting you’ll get more engagement in the summer, on Instagram, than you would in the winter (or any other season). But the tips and examples we outline below do represent a few quick-win ideas to help you build your presence and following.

And, regardless, Instagram was made for summer. Sunshine. Bright colors. People being active. Your restaurant would do well to jump on the IG bandwagon.

Here’s how to make it happen.

Go on get hashtag happy!

If you want to jump on the summer Instagram wagon, then the platform is more than happy to help make it happen.

In a post this past spring, Get Ready, Summer’s Around the Corner, the folks at Instagram break down a few of the most impactful hashtags to use, including:

  • #beach
  • #summer
  • #summertime
  • #sun
  • #summervibes
  • #summer2017
  • #hot
  • #fun
  • #summerdays

First and foremost, it’s important to realize your posts don’t have to be obvious summer-related posts. Take, for example, this food-based post shared from a dinner at Restaurant Da Michelangelo in Switzerland:

It’s not overtly about summer, but it does display a few types of food and drink folks might want to enjoy during the summer.

How else could you use these top hashtags to promote your own restaurant? #Summervibes, for example, could be used to show off a picture of your outdoor seating, or an iced drink or cold treat.

The possibilities are essentially endless and, as a result, potentially overwhelming. That’s why our digital marketing company suggests that you test as much as possible. For each season, including summer, try out Instagram’s seasonally-based popular hashtags and see if they result in an engagement boost.

Keep using the tags that do help, that way you’re not flooding each post with 100+ hashtags.

Taking your hashtags to the next level

Using summer-obvious hashtags in your posting will certainly help gain traction for your brand; however, you can take your hashtag game to a whole new level and connect with different personas whom you’re targeting for your restaurant.

Let’s take, for example, women looking to fit into – or stay comfortable in – their bathing suits. These women want to enjoy summer – including all that food and drink – but are also mindful of the calories involved.

Does your restaurant offer carb-free meals? Why not feature that meal in an Instagram post and add hashtags like #SayNotoCarbs and explain how you made a meal look this good, without traditional ingredients.

What other ways can you use a summer slant with your business? #FatFree, #SummerSpecial, #KidsEatFree – try them all!

What we’d suggest is don’t get hung up necessarily by the popularity of a hashtag. The more posts associated with a hashtag is a good thing because it means a lot of people are using that tag; however, it also means there’s a lot of competition.

Our SEO advertising department in recommends employing a mix of hashtags, based on the weight they carry. While we suggest always including a hashtag that has at least tens of thousands of posts associated with it and/or is trending, we also suggest looking for hashtags with a few thousand and, in fact, a few hundred posts.

It’s easy to do in Instagram, using their search toolbar.

Support hashtags with images that rock

The next tactic we recommend you employ is to really assess what menu items in your restaurant fall under the category of “Summer Eats” (#summereats, by the way, is a good hashtag to use as well, with 70,000+ posts attached to it).

Check out this array of food shots that all scream summer.

Food like corn, BBQ, cold pasta, seafood, roasted vegetables, and, of course, frozen treats are all but impossible for Instagram users to scroll past without pausing.

In other words, as important as it is to find, and use, the right hashtags to garner traffic, that traffic will scroll right past your posts if you’re not using the right type of images.

Offer tips inside your posts

You’ve got the right images; you found the best hashtags, so you’re good to go, right?

Not necessarily.

Instagram is currently flooded with food shots that barely offer any type of information aside from a flurry of hashtags.

Why not use your posts for something more user-friendly?

Take, for example, that image above. @garlicandzest included a link to the recipe for this post. Problem is, Instagram doesn’t make that link clickable.

Why not, instead, add the entire recipe inside the post itself?

So, for example, your chef could introduce a simple #summereats BBQ menu idea to your followers. Take a photo of the final product, then outline the recipe in your post (don’t forget the hashtags).

Then, take it even further and create an Instagram Story that outlines the recipe in action.

Now that is a great user experience.

Good for summer; but useful all year long

Instagram is a fantastic social platform to keep your restaurant’s branding alive during the summertime lull, but truth be told, your restaurant should be using Instagram in its digital advertising strategy all year long.

Adapt these tips above to each season, from hashtags to types of food shown, and we’re confident you’ll build an impressive stable of IG followers who are more inclined to become die-hard fans.

How to use Facebook’s Ad Relevance Score to Improve Performance

[feat-text]Introduced in 2015, Facebook’s Ad Relevance Score has successfully confounded marketers and advertisers for the last two years. But with the steady onslaught of Facebook Ads, and with News Feeds becoming more and more competitive, FB had to create some type of quality metric. [/feat-text]

Your Facebook Ad Relevance Score is a rating of 1-10, given only after it has reached a minimum of 500 impressions (which will happen pretty quickly). This score is calculated on a daily basis, based on positive and negative feedback as well as how the ad is performing.

Actions such as shares and likes are deemed as “positive” actions, whereas “negative” feedback is when folks hide your ads or when your objectives (like people clicking) aren’t met.

In other words, Relevance Score measures how relevant an ad is to the people advertisers have targeted.

But the Relevance Score metric isn’t always used. While it’s great for ads that make people perform some type of action, it’s not put into use if the objective of an ad is to reach a certain number of people. Facebook has said as much in its own blog post when it states that Relevance Score has “a smaller impact on cost and delivery in brand awareness campaigns, since those ads are optimized for reaching people, rather than driving a specific action like installs.”

Your Relevance Score looks like this:

You can access these scores in your ads monitoring or reporting tool.

How you can improve your ads with Relevance Score

There are a number of ways you can improve your ads using Facebook’s Relevance Score. Seeing as images take up a significant portion of Facebook ads, and are what typically cause a user to stop his or her scrolling, let’s start there.

A/B image testing

There are a number of types of images that have proven to work for a variety of industries, including using:

  • A human face
  • A mascot
  • A brand logo
  • A text image if the content is compelling
  • A quirky image (so long as it falls in line with your brand)

See how we used a quirky image combined with text to grab attention to one of our ads:

What you’ll want to do is A/B test images for each of your ads. If you’re promoting an eBook, don’t just create one ad. Create two ads with two separate images – images that vary enough in their purpose and appearance so you can fairly assess which type of image resonates more with your audiences.

Get specific with your targeting

Many advertisers have the tendency to push their ad to a massively large audience so that they can reach as many people as possible. However, we encourage you to try to be as specific as possible when defining interests, age, gender, etc. This will greatly increase the relevancy of your ad. If you achieve a better score with this type of targeting, you can slowly fine tune your campaign from there.

You might consider using precise targeting options like Custom and Lookalike audiences to improve your Relevance Score. These targeted options allow you to create audience sets based on phone numbers, Facebook user IDs, email addresses and more. You can also upload your existing contacts (from software like MailChimp) directly to Facebook to create new audiences.

Create Compelling Calls-to-Action (CTAs)

Seeing as the actions users take impact your Relevance Score, you want to make sure your CTAs help encourage conversion.

Take a look at this ad by Viddyoze:

Their CTA says “Learn More.” Studies show that type of CTA doesn’t actually deliver stellar results. There are a lot of theories behind this, but a couple that seem to be widely believed are:

  • Learning more equates to the user having to do something of an effort, and who wants to do that?
  • You can’t quantify “learn more.” It’s extremely vague.

Viddydoze helps counter these issues within their ad text by emphasizing “In 3 Clicks.” But psychology is a tricky thing – Learn More still might deter folks from clicking on.

In this ad, the CTA speaks directly to the language preceding it and is both quantifiable (you know when you sign up – it’s a simple action you can take) and likely doesn’t exude the type of effort that learning does.

Because of the way this ad is crafted, readers know they can find freelancing jobs, just by signing up.

Analyze each of your CTAs. Do you make it easy for your audiences to understand the purpose of your ad? If the answer is yes, then your Relevance Score will likely reflect that.

And finally, turn to videos

There’s just no avoiding the reality: Facebook ads featuring videos perform better than ads that don’t feature videos. Not only can you quickly make video ads using FB’s new video views features (so that your audiences take action depending on the CTA of your video) but you can also split-test your video content.

So, for example, if you create a 2-minute video and your audiences are losing interest after just 60 seconds, you may want to alter the content at that exact mark to encourage longer retention.

Looking beyond just Relevance Score

As important as it is to boost your Relevance Score, keep in mind that the success of your Facebook ads is greatly impacted by your bid. If two ads are targeted at the same audience, and one has a higher bid than the other (despite the lower-bid ad having an excellent Relevant Score) that higher-bid ad will outperform the other.

However, a strong relevance score will still give you the power to lower your costs and improve ad efficiency. Use it alongside other metrics to measure the success of your campaigns.

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