Sometimes you find the perfect resources online.
The vast majority of what I’d like to say about Facebook Marketing is covered by the Facebook Marketing guides from these two platforms:
Hubspot and AdEspresso obviously want you to signup for their marketing platforms, warming you up with their admittedly awesome free guides and documentation. But if you simply read both of these guides end-to-end, you’ll be in front of the majority of advertisers on Facebook.
AdEspresso also have an awesome range of guides for more advanced Facebook Marketing at https://adespresso.com/guides/
In practice, the first things I do when planning Facebook campaigns are:
Setup Facebook Business Manager to manage the various components of the Facebook universe:
- Ad Account
- Tracking Pixel
- Product Catalogue
It’s initially painful, and a one-way journey, forcing you to use Business Manager forevermore, but once it’s done you have the benefits of a single
platform with combined navigation menu, and the ability to control the level of access you grant to others.
If you use an agency to manage your Facebook universe, you can add them as an agency partner, and allow restricted access to each of the above components.
Add the Facebook Pixel to your website. It’s either just a setting inside Shopify, or else you can use Google Tag Manager to add it for other platforms.
This provides you with analytics inside Facebook, so you can see how many people are doing website actions such as pageviews, add to cart, checkout, newsletter signup, or product purchases.
It also lets you create audiences, using those website actions.
Don’t leave your Facebook Audience setup until the last minute when you’re actually creating your Ads.
Plan them upfront and save them as Custom or Saved Audiences.
You can create Custom Audiences, by defining rules around what people have done on your website.
For example people who visited the site, or visited a specific page, or added to cart and left the site, or who actually purchased a product.
Each of those people should have a different ad message targeted at them,
and you can prepare for this by setting them up as Custom Website Audiences.
You can also create Custom Audiences using your email marketing list.
These will be a very warm marketing, as they’ve signed up for your newsletter (or you have their details from product purchase etc).
You may wish to create Facebook Ad Campaigns with a special offer to reward them for their previous engagement.
You can create Saved audiences using the built-in Facebook targeting.
Create as many audiences as you think you’ll use upfront, using a consistent naming standard so you can work out what they were later on.
You can choose the geographic area, gender, age group, and interests.
Interest targeting is where there is the most scope for experimentation.
For example a recent campaign being built for a company offering soothing muscle gel, had the option of creating different audiences for Health+Wellness vs Fitness+Wellness. Two equally valid audiences, but the messaging of the ad and landing page varied for each audience.
You can also create Lookalike audiences, so that you can reach out to a new audience, with characteristics similar to those who have already visited your website. https://www.facebook.com/business/help/164749007013531
Ad Creation and Landing Pages
Now that you’ve identified the audience that you want to reach, you need to plan what messages you use for them.
Prepare a pool of images that you can use in your ads. A key part of Facebook advertising is avoiding boredom – if people see the same ad over and over again, they will become blind to it. Get yourself organised with a streamlined system so that you can refresh your ads at least monthly, and preferably fortnightly.
Prepare a pool of phrases and messaging that you can use in your ads. You can use text in multiple places – as image overlays, as the introductory text, the headline, the link click description. You’ll want to test the various combinations to see which works best, as well as varying the content to avoid boredom.
Facebook is continually increasing (and changing the name of) the number and type of ads. The current image ad formats are:
- Instant Experience
These two pages provide an excellent official introduction:
Facebook Campaign Tracking
Yes, Facebook has its own reporting and analytics. So you can see the Campaigns, Ad Sets and Ad Performance.
But as the majority of ads will be sending people to your website, you also want to see the impact of your Facebook Ads, inside your Google Analytics account. If you don’t do campaign tracking, your paid and organic traffic will simply appear as Facebook traffic, all rolled up. And you need to know whether your ad spend is driving revenue.
I’m an addict of Google’s URL Builder at https://ga-dev-tools.appspot.com/campaign-url-builder/
I tag my paid Facebook campaigns as follows:
- Source = facebook.com
- Medium = social
- Campaign = the campaign name (eg BackToSchoolOffer-Jan-2019)
- Content = Ad Name
- Term = Audience
I also like adding a prefix to the campaign name to show the ad platform, eg FB=Facebook, GA = Google Ads. That way, even if my reports don’t include the platform, I can see (and tell the difference) between campaigns on different platforms, eg FB-BackToSchoolOffer-Jan-2019 and GA-BackToSchoolOffer-Jan-2018.
Budgeting and Objectives
I like starting with a very small daily budget, to test the waters, like $5/day.
When creating a new campaign, Facebook will ask you the campaign objectives, for example whether you are sending traffic to your Facebook page or website, whether your objective is brand awareness, sales or leads. Consider this carefully, in conjunction with your conversion tracking, as Facebook will automatically optimise the sending of your campaigns based on your choices.
Just do it
There is a lot to think about if you want advertise on Facebook correctly. But sometimes you can get bogged down in the details and never get started. The best think you can do is try – it is a continual learning process, and the earlier you start, the more you’ll learn.