Growth Marketing

Pro Facebook marketers would never launch a campaign without these 7 conversion-boosters

It’s time for better results – more leads, more revenue – with Facebook ads.

Today, you’ll get 7 advanced tactics for Facebook ads.

These are the best of the best techniques I use to increase conversions for myself and my clients.

Before we dive in, there’s one essential piece of “pre-work” for you. To help you track sales and conversions, you’ll need to have the Facebook Pixel installed on your website as well as one of two methods of conversion tracking implemented.

Start with the Facebook Pixel

Facebook Pixel is just a bit of code (also known as a script) that you put on your website that sends messages back to Facebook for tracking purposes.

When you install the pixel, you’ll be able to retarget people who have visited your website, track events that happen on your website and attribute that activity directly to the specific ad that brought the website visitor to your site.

You can find your Facebook Pixel (unique to every ad account) in the Assets area.

I won’t rehash the step-by-step Facebook Pixel installation, but what you do need to know is how to then measure your conversions at every stage of your funnel. You can measure conversions on your site with either the Standard Event code or a Custom Conversion.

The Standard Event is an additional line of code you add to the base pixel code and place on the “thank you” page of your website (or the intermediary place in your funnel).

A Custom Conversion is a URL Rule that’s set up to indicate the desired action has been met. Each account is allowed 40 Custom Conversions.

Make sure you have one of the measurement strategies in place before you place your ads. Once you have your tracking system, you’ll know how much it costs to get a lead, to get a sale, and to have other actions take place from each ad. Then you get to continue to test and run the ads that give you cheaper clicks, leads, and sales!

Now, on to the Advanced Facebook Ad Tactics…

#1 – Use Video Ads to Build Audiences

Video on Facebook. So hot right now.

Facebook is making a play for YouTube and giving preferential treatment to videos.

…So that’s one huge benefit to using videos in ads.

That said, the higher engagement video ads can create doesn’t always lead to the best cost per website click. So be sure you do your own tests to get the best results for you.

Using video also works well with one of the newest features of Facebook marketing—the ability to target people who have already engaged with your content. This feature is just rolling out and isn’t available to all marketers yet, but it should be coming soon if you don’t already have access.

To use this feature, go to the menu in the upper left corner and select Audiences.

Then select Custom Audiences from the dropdown menu.

And then you can select Engagement on Facebook to create an audience of people who have already engaged with your videos in the past. 

(If you don’t see this option, this feature isn’t available to you yet, but it should be soon.)

You can choose the engagement level for your videos so you are targeting people who have watched a larger portion or a smaller portion of your video.

I prefer to go with at least 10 seconds so that you know a person is more engaged. One limitation is that the video needs to have a decent amount of views (over 1000) to retarget people who have watched it. As a general rule, you can’t target an audience size of less than 1000 with Facebook ads.

But with video views costing around $0.01 or $0.02 each, getting your initial video up to 1000 views will only cost you around $10-20 and possibly less depending on your audience. Plus, you can group a set of videos into one audience so you capture anyone who has seen your recent videos.

By creating an Audience of people who have already viewed your videos, you’ll be showing your ad to a warm audience who is familiar with your content.

#2 Sequence Your Messages

Another powerful technique that advanced marketers are using is message sequencing. This gives people a series of tips or directs them to different content based on how they interact with your first ad.

I used a combination of an ad with an image that went to a free mini-course then a series of 3 Video tips.

Then I scheduled the ads so that they would go to the same audiences, but I also used the Custom Audiences to re-target the people who had already seen my first Video tip and my second Video tip.

I ran ad #1 throughout the campaign but then sequenced the three Video Tip Ads to run 1 day each on sequential days.

You probably noticed that my retargeted video views were more expensive, but that’s because a very narrow audience costs more.

 

On the final day, I ran two ads that retargeted both people who had visited my website and the people who had seen any of my videos. What resulted from this sequenced campaign was an increase in sales of 350% over my last promotion just four months earlier!

You can also do this sequencing slightly differently by directing people to content on your website, creating a custom audience of people who have visited that particular page on your website and then show them a different message.

Jon Loomer does this particularly well with a Carousel Ad with three different images, each leading to different “tests” on his website. When you select which type you are, he is then able to build a Custom Audience from your website visit and direct different type of content just to you.

One limitation of this approach is that you will have to have over 1000 visitors to each page to then use that custom audience for additional advertising. So something to keep in mind!

#3 Only Sell to Warm Audiences

Selling on Facebook is challenging. It’s different than Google because people may not actively be looking for your solution. You are targeting by interests and demographics, not search terms that someone is looking for right in that moment.

Custom Audiences can be set up to connect to your email subscribers who have opted in on an offer, website visitors who have viewed particular pages, or people who have watched your videos. Doing so keeps your costs down by only showing your ads to people who are more likely to convert.

#4 Use Breakdown Reports to Spot Weaknesses

Many people aren’t using the Breakdown Report to see what segments are converting better for them. While we can’t see things like which keywords are converting best (separate those out into different Ad Sets if you want to compare that), you can break down results by Placement, Age, Gender, and even Time, as well as other segments.

When you use the breakdown report, you can stop the underperforming segments. In this example, the Mobile News Feed placement is converting at a 26% better rate!

You can also separate out your placements into different Ad Sets so that those budgets are controlled more tightly. When you choose multiple placements in one ad, the budget is optimized across all of them and is not spread evenly.

Notice in this set of ads, the Right Column placement for retargeting does better in terms of cost per conversion compared to the News Feed on Desktop.

The right column placement usually doesn’t get high visibility because it only shows up on Desktop, but I find that it does well in Retargeted ads because people recognize your brand.

#5 Segment Audiences and Tailor Copy

Segment your audiences to test which ones are converting better so that you can tailor the copy in your ads specifically to that market. You can draw attention to your ad by mentioning that segment by name.

For example, these ads featured images with industry-specific equipment with copy like “Are you a plumber that is frustrated with …” Some of the segmented ads are even converting better than the retargeted traffic, which usually converts at the lowest cost.

We used Job Titles and fields of study for the targeting.

Using a combination of demographic and interest targeting can help you reach your perfect customer, but be sure to do a variety of tests.

#6 Use Engagement to Spot Content that will Get Cheaper Clicks

Boosting your Posts can be an “easy” way to push your content into the News Feed with the decreasing organic reach. But I’ve always been a proponent of only boosting your content to your current Fans. That way your Boosted Post is naturally optimized to get engagement on that post only. Plus, you don’t waste money getting Likes on a post from a non-fan who will never see your content again.

Dennis Yu recently showed me some cases where using Boosted Posts combined with great Custom Audiences and Targeting helped increase fans and conversions.

In this case, $20 in spend led to huge interaction and 20% conversion for apparel of the Golden State Warriors. (Images courtesy of Dennis Yu.)

And by using targeted keywords that specifically relate to the post, along with a video, they’re getting big reach and video views on a small budget.

How does Dennis determine if a post is worth boosting? He looks at the current Reach of the Post and if there is already 10% Engagement (at least 10% of the people Reached have interacted with the post), they know that by giving that particular post a “Boost” it will essentially go viral and cost very little for big interaction.

His rule of thumb might not be right for everyone. Look at the Engagement Rate of your Posts in the Insights area and see which posts got good engagement. Your magic number might be something like 8% or 7% or whichever posts you decide are already getting good engagement.

#7 Watch All Parts of Your Funnel with Conversion Tracking

If you have a multi-step funnel, make sure you track each step of the conversions by using the appropriate Standard Event codes. 

Add the Standard Event code to the base Facebook Pixel that’s installed on your web pages to see where people are dropping out of your process.

Now when someone adds something to your cart but doesn’t purchase, you can see that in the Facebook reports. In this example, the top ad converted to a sale at almost twice the rate of the 4th ad down, which had a lot of Add to Carts but not as many full conversions. 

Now you can create a Custom Audience of all the people who added your product to their cart but didn’t buy. Then target a special ad to that specific group – super powerful!

Facebook ads can give you crazy-good return on the money you spend, but you also have the potential to waste a lot of money if you take a “set it and forget it” approach. Make sure you’re vigilant about watching the right stats, running a variety of tests, and putting a stop to what isn’t working.

Hope that gave you some great ideas for improving your next Facebook Ad campaign. Have I missed any fave advanced Facebook ad techniques??

~Andrea

 

About the author

andreavahl

I co-authored the book "Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies" and I was the Community Manager for Social Media Examiner for over two years.

  • Good Stuff Andrea!

  • Justin

    Very helpful. I’ve been searching long and wide for good resources that aren’t all fluff. I’m definitely buying a copy of your book just on sheer principle! Thank you 🙂

  • Thanks for weighing in, really interesting observation, we’ll do some experiments on the manual bidding point!

  • I have came across your site while doing a research on FB Ads when I stumbled on the comments that you suggested on the usage of AdEspresso. Curious as a FB user and managing the ads at the same time, how do you differentiate the usage between direct FB ads and AdEspresso?

  • Exactly what I needed Andrea. Thanks for the very helpful tips. I was wondering, does video ad in Facebook cost more than the other types of ad?

  • Andrea, I’ve always loved your tips but these just blew my mind completely… I’ve been doing the breakdown analysis as well as boosting posts based on existing engagement {something I in fact, learnt from Jon Morrow, I think} and now after reading your post I’m particularly keen to try out the sequencing of ad messages and the tailoring of ad copy for various segments… One thing I found that works really well for us is turning off the ad networks setting for placements because that we’ve found has converted the worst across a range of campaigns and clients.. 🙂

  • Wonderful resource, Andrea! I’ve understood that FB is great for building an audience, but sometimes using FB ads feels like a maze. I can also see how targeting warm leads means you get engaged subscribers, so that’s definitely something I’ll try out! 🙂

  • Great insights, Andrea.
    Thanks For The Awesome Informative Post, It’sMy first Visit Your Blog, Great Stuff, and Good Work,
    Keep Sharing have a Nice Day,

  • Great insights, Andrea. Thank you for sharing this with us. I have plenty of experiences with SEO, Twitter and even Google+, but no so much with Facebook.

    I’ve always heard that it’s too hard to sell on Facebook. People are hanging out on Facebook for entertainment, not to buy stuff. What’s your opinion on that?

    My target audience is Marketers, Designers, Social Enterprises and Non Profits. Twitter seems like a better marketing channel. Though, I see Brian Dean re-targeting me on Facebook too.

    Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

    • Hi Raul – Yes I do feel like it’s hard to sell on Facebook to a cold audience – but not impossible if you have good target keywords and do your testing. In general, I only sell to my warm market using re-targeted ads – my website visitors, my email subscribers, and my current fans. I mostly use Facebook to grow subscribers and then use email to build to the sale. Hope that helps!

      • Thank you for sharing this, Andrea. This helps, indeed. Funny how channels only work when you truly understand them. People saying: “Channel X is dead” are most of the time just not utilizing the power the right way. Talk soon.
        Best,

        Raul

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