The start of 2018 saw Facebook announce that it would make significant changes to its News Feed algorithm, which emphasized posts from friends and family.
Some publishers claim that the change has resulted in their website traffic being cut in half, while even those that didn’t quite see that steep of a drop still suffered significant decrease in traffic.
Although this forced publishers to diversify their social media marketing approach, to some, the draw of Facebook’s 2.23 billion monthly active users is too much to pass up on.
This is why publishers’ Facebook strategies has shifted to Facebook Ads.
Below is a guide on how to best leverage Facebook Ads, how to cut through the advertising noise and be seen by the right audience, a list of the best practices, and examples of brands that have enjoyed Facebook Ads success.
Why Facebook Ads?
Facebook’s massive 2.23-billion audience base comes with its drawbacks. With more and more brands turning to Facebook Ads, publishers have been forced to be smarter in their ad strategies on the platform.
While it’s become more challenging, there’s still no denying the vast opportunities presented by such a large user base. And with more creative Facebook Ads formats being introduced regularly, brands are given plenty of tools to help them stand out from the advertising noise.
Why it’s great for your e-commerce biz
Unlike other ad platforms that’s centered on demand fulfillment (like Adwords), what Facebook does is generate demand – making it a great tool for e-commerce.
This unique value proposition (potential to generate curiosity, interest, and eventually, sale) is applicable both to previous and existing customers, and those who would’ve otherwise not known about your brand.
In the US alone, retail ecommerce sales worldwide is projected to reach $3.4 trillion by 2019. Facebook’s ability to become a virtual theater for your products, and how it can bring value to your audiences’ lives is why every e-commerce brand should cultivate a strong presence on the platform.
Types of Facebook Ads campaigns
The type of campaign you should choose is dependent on which stage of customer awareness you identify your audience to be in. Facebook’s Ads Manager breaks these three stages into campaign objectives.
As pointed out by Big Commerce, when you choose an objective, Facebook optimizes your campaign for a certain result/goal, while also determining how your ads will be delivered to your desired audience.
- Awareness stage
This is when your audience is just starting to learn about your products. As such, engaging new audiences is the main goal.
Facebook’s brand awareness ad type is designed to reach people who are more likely to be interested in your brand/products. This ad type is optimized for views by people in a particular niche or audience.
Reach ads, for its part, are designed to show your ads to the maximum number of unique viewers within the duration of your campaign. Some of the options you have for this category include boosting posts and promoting your page.
- Consideration stage
Essentially, this stage is when people know about your brand and are in the process of deciding whether they want to purchase from you or your competitors. Also referred to as the lead generation stage, this is also the stage when you need to foster relationships with potential customers.
Ads for people in this stage are designed to accomplish things like:
- Increasing website traffic
- App installs
- Video views
- Downloading content
- Even responses
It’s important that you focus on building longer-term genuine engagement with your audience, and not just commit to making a sale. Using the platform to educate and engage will go a long way towards building customer loyalty—something far more valuable than making incremental sales from ads.
- Conversion stage
While the main goal in this stage is to get revenue-generating activities, this is also when you want a potential customer to take action. The beauty of Facebook ads is it tracks all of these conversions, making remarketing for later on that much easier.
Some of the things you’d want to accomplish during the conversion stage include:
- Increasing conversions on your website
- In-app sales (You can use to integrate your catalog in your page, using catalog sales ads to promote your products).
- Increasing store visits (You can target people nearby and entice them to visit your brick and mortar store by offering incentives).
8 Ways To Optimize Your Facebook Ads For Better Conversions
- Use high-quality images
You’re competing for people’s decreasing attention spans, so you would want to make sure that you use high-quality images. You don’t want to get noticed for the wrong reasons. Note that highly-saturated colors usually do well in standing out against Facebook’s white background.
Make sure to track results as well. There are studies that found significant differences in how varying image styles perform, depending on the audience. Learn from those insights and adjust accordingly.
- Use correct specs
Facebook’s recommended image width is 600 pixels. Take note of this to avoid having your images resized. You may have high production quality images, but if they get resized without you realizing, it may take away from the desired effect.
- Minimize text
Of course, you’d want some form of text, but perhaps you should stray from putting them in your images. AdParlor found that ads featuring images without copy produced click-through rates that were 40 percent higher among women, and 54 percent higher among men.
- Focus on grabbing attention
There are many factors that would go into what makes an attention-grabbing ad. You can, however, start with looking at what your competitors are doing to give you an idea of how to stand out and to see what works with that type of audience.
- Refresh creatives
Make sure that you present your target with fresh images (particularly if you’re targeting the same audience for an extended period). Audiences tend to get familiarity blindness when they’re presented with the same image again and again.
When you notice your engagement decreasing, it could be a sign that it’s time to change up your creatives. You should also look into the best times to place your ad on Facebook, so you can increase your brand’s reach.
- Utilize compelling headlines
These days, compelling means something that not only resonates with your audience but a headline that’s simple and uses direct language.
Little tweaks can make a big difference, as when it saw ads that didn’t mention a specific discount produce higher click-through rates compared to those that did.
- Unique value proposition
Tell them exactly what makes your products unique, and what distinct value they can add to your audience’s life. It could be as simple as having a lower price point, or it could be the cause you’re supporting. Whatever it is, make sure you communicate your unique value proposition.
- Stay on brand
Using a consistent color scheme, tone, and visual style across all your channels not only makes your brand more recognizable, it also breeds trust. A Facebook Ads image that’s also in your landing page is one way to accomplish this.
Winning Facebook Ads examples
E-commerce giant Amazon’s simple, yet highly effective approach to event ads ticks off a number of boxes for successful Facebook Ads.
Its combination of warm colors, white space, and directional lines does a great job of guiding audiences’ eyes towards the featured product. It is clearly targeted towards cat lovers, has a clear CTA, and as a bonus, even shows an honest rating of the product for that crucial social proof.
As noted by HubSpot, if you’re an e-commerce company, you can build a list of holidays and special events in the calendar year that can be related to your products. You can then align those that match with certain ongoing campaigns.
Allbirds also uses simplicity to stand out with this short video.
While most ads use flashy imagery to catch audiences’ attention, Allbirds went the exact opposite with its use of white space, clear focus on the subject, and subtle movement that suggests that comfort their shoes provide. The text in quotation also suggests social proof, while the offer of free shipping and returns provides added value.
Winc’s retargeting ad is intended for those that have browsed wine-related content. And if you’re interested in wine, it’s hard to pass up the deal Winc provides. Apart from the steal of a deal, they also entice clicks by offering an additional discount on customer’s first orders.
With the death of organic reach, Facebook Ads has become a highly-competitive space. But while you may not get it right on your first try, the in-app analytics and insights the platform provides allows you to learn from what works and what doesn’t. If you’re able to glean insights from the data and adjust your strategy accordingly, you’re bound reach your goals.
What types of Facebook Ads have you used? How would you like to utilize it going forward? Let us know in the comments section.