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Five Tips For Navigating Facebook Ad Creation

Posted: (Tuesday 27 October 2020)


As amazing a resource and social platform as Facebook are for businesses and marketers, the ever-changing algorithm and updates to Ads Manager can make you feel like you're always behind the ad-ball.

This is especially worrisome when your business is about to spend money on an ad. You may find yourself asking questions: What type of ad currently performs best? What parameters should be set for maximum success? What about budget, settings and tracking? To help you make sure you are confident with the main components of a successful Facebook ad, I've put together the most important tips based on my experience in the digital marketing sphere.

What Type Of Facebook Ad To Run

As both a blessing and a curse, Facebook offers you a wide variety of options when it comes to the types of ads you can launch. While your selection should always be based on your specific goal or ad objective, two of the most common ad types — ones you might utilize the most — are traffic and conversions.

Facebook traffic ads are made for the goal of increasing web traffic, and conversion ads take it a step further by encouraging visitors to take a specific action once they're on your website. Whether you want to promote a product or offer, get an email, increase the general awareness of your business or boost the total number of web visitors for a future retargeting audience, traffic and conversion ads are the way to go.

When you select traffic or conversions as your campaign objective, which is the first step in creating an ad in Ads Manager, you will have the option for the ad to be a single image, slideshow/carousel, or video. 

Next question is, which is the best?

Why Video Ads Perform Better On Facebook

There is no argument — video ads perform better on Facebook. In a small survey of marketers comparing video ads to image ads, participants shared that videos in their campaigns receive a higher CTR and percentage of conversions. One marketer surveyed points to Facebook's own focus on videos as part of the reason for better-performing ads. There is more than likely one explanation for the performance of video ads, but most importantly, the stats — including the 8 billion average video views per day — point to video for increasing ad success over images.

If you read that and felt panic because your mind immediately went to budget, more specifically that you don't have the budget for a video — think again. The video doesn't have to be the highest quality or elaborate. There are many great affordable video creation websites you can use, such as Promo.

Whenever possible, we suggest using a video for your Facebook ad. 

Parameters To Set In Ads Manager

Here are the main parameters you don't want to forget to set in Ads Manager: 

End date: You can always change it, but you don't want to forget the ad is running and then spend more money than you want to.

Daily maximum budget: We recommend at least £5 to £10 a day if it's a video ad.

Set a specific name: This makes it easier to keep track of your campaign, ad set and ad.

Build your custom or saved audiences: Build your audience in the audience tool before running your ad and always select the proper one underneath the ad set step.

Ignore certain fields: Unless you have specific needs, you can completely ignore the cost control, dynamic creative, placement (automatic is already chosen) and special ad category fields.

Upload your UTM code: If you track your web traffic, make sure to upload your UTM code in both the main website URL and URL parameters fields. Otherwise, it won't track properly. 

Choose the call-to-action button: Pick one that most closely aligns with the goal; don't be afraid to move away from the "learn more" call to action.

Manually select the thumbnail shot: If your ad is a video, make sure to manually select the thumbnail shot. Otherwise, Facebook will do it automatically, and it often isn't what you would really want to be highlighted. 

What Can Negatively Impact Your Ad's Performance 

There are two attributes that can easily impact the performance of your Facebook ad negatively: too small a budget and too small an audience size. Sometimes it happens without your even realizing it.

Facebook won't always notify you when your budget or audience is too small, but one sign is when you see a small yellow triangle and then the words learning limited next to your ad overview in Ads Manager. This means Facebook isn't able to show your ad to enough people for the algorithm to kick in. This can basically choke the performance of your ad. You will have next to no success.

How To Track Your Facebook Ad's Performance

While Facebook does provide you with some analytics for your ads, it's not much. You basically get the reach for your ad, or how many people saw it, play-throughs if it's a video and clicks. This is good for the basics and maybe all you need for now. But as you grow your use of the platform, there are more in-depth tracking tools available.

One option, and one our team uses, is Google Analytics. We found we can get a more accurate number of web visits and a picture of what users did once they landed on our website or landing page from the Facebook ad. We can see if the desired action communicated by the ad actually occurred — enter email, download offer, buy a product, start a free trial, etc.

We connect specific Facebook ads to Google Analytics by attaching campaign-specific UTM codes to the Facebook ad. Our favourite way to generate uniform and clear UTM codes is through this tool.

Staying up to date with your ad's performance is key because then you can make improvements even as your ad is running.

Above all, achieving success with Facebook ads is a trial and error process. However, if you have all the necessary components — combined with your knowledge of the system and creative flair — you can drive the results you're seeking.

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