When it come to search and digital marketing, one of the most commonly asked questions is around the topic of paid social. Brands and businesses want to know the benefits of expanding your strategy to include this and the rewards for doing so
In terms of the best platform to use for paid social, there is arguably a clear winner – and that’s Facebook. We therefore thought we’d take the opportunity to explain how we go about building and assessing a paid social strategy, and the things you can do to run successful campaigns using Facebook Advertising.
Our expert Adam Warriner highlighted the following five areas to concentrate on…
Setting up your Account the ‘RIGHT’ way
Facebook, unfortunately, isn’t as plug-and-play as Google when it comes to setting up your account. With Facebook, there’s a lot of different levels and ways to advertise your page – and it’s crucial that you’re advertising in the right way on Facebook if you want to get the most out of your performance and make the most impact.
It’s easiest to think of Facebook Advertising as having 3 core ‘levels’.
- Facebook Business Manager
- Facebook Ads Account
- Facebook Page
You can run ads at a ‘Page’ level, boosting the posts which are doing well to try and increase their reach – but you’d be limited to only Impression, reach, and engagement metrics within the interface.
You could go a level up, running ads from your Personal Ad Account. This would give you more access to choosing your targeting, as well as letting you see more performance metrics for the ads you run. It would also put you in better control of how the budget is spent for each campaign as well as opening up the Facebook Pixel – which allows you to properly track events on your website, and control what you’re optimising for more granularly on a campaign by campaign basis. Most of all, however, this level allows you to target Lookalike audiences – some of Facebook’s best performers.
The highest level – the Facebook Business Manager, allows you to control and manage the access to your Ad Account, as well as have multiple Ad Accounts if so required. It unlocks the ability to use a Line of Business, which helps you look at your performance data under different Attribution Models and Attribution Windows. In our mind, the more data and information you can get and play with the better, so we believe it’s imperative that you set up your account the right way from the beginning in order to run your ads effectively.
Campaign Structure is key
Facebook has a wide breadth of targeting options – so, where do you start? It’s best to think of Facebook activity like a funnel – similar in concept to a ‘purchase funnel’ on a website.
Top of the funnel are ads for those that aren’t aware of your brand.
Middle of the funnel are for those that are aware of your brand but aren’t actively engaged.
Bottom of the funnel are the low hanging fruit – people that have engaged with your brand and visited your website, but not taken that last big step to purchase.
When you break up your audiences into a funnel like this, it becomes less daunting as a management task. We mimic this funnel breakdown in the campaign structure, having separate campaigns for each area of the funnel. This allows you to break up the performance by quality (as the bottom of funnel users are going to be better engaging and better converting on your ads), and see at a glance how the different areas of the funnel are helping boost your business.
Choosing your audiences
It’s no secret Facebook has plenty of information available about its users. From relationship status to political affiliation, where you like to buy your eggs to your educational level. But how can you best use this data?
There are 3 main types of audiences:
- Interest Based audiences
- Demographic audiences
- Custom audiences
The demographic audiences are self explanatory – what are the demographics of your audience. Limiting who your ads show to by age, gender, marital status etc. These settings are best used to hone in on any personas your business has. We wouldn’t recommend however, excluding any demographic groups outside of this – instead, move them to a different ad set and see how they perform. This may just shed light on a new target persona you’ve been missing out on!
Like the name suggests interest based audiences are targeting the interest your user has. What brands do they interact with? What industries are they in? What football team do they support?
It’s important with interest based targeting to think beyond the standard match-ups and take advantage of the data Facebook has. For example, you’re a company that sells biscuits so you target other biscuit brands – that makes for a strong audience. But what other audiences can you do – maybe you sell fancy biscuits – what other shops are your fancy-biscuit-eating audiences going to go to?
Custom audiences can be retargeting audiences set up through the Facebook pixel, (GDPR compliant) email lists, audiences created through 3rd party tools, or those generated by Facebook, such as Lookalike audiences.
Lookalike audiences are some of the strongest performing audiences we have, and are based on a seed audience. You can show Facebook the users who have visited your site in the last 2 months, and Facebook will look at all the information about those users, and find those most similar to them.
Optimising your campaigns
So you’ve got your campaigns and audiences running, what’s next?
For Facebook, ad copy is key. It’s easy to sweep it aside and add in some standard headlines and body text like you would for a platform like Google – but the key difference between Google and Facebook is the search intent. People aren’t searching for your ads on Facebook, they’re being shown them while they’re trying to do something else. Having striking, eye-capturing copy that’s relevant to your audiences and their needs is crucial above all else on Facebook. You want to be running multiple variants of your ads – constantly testing to see which bit of ad copy or CTA is evoking the strongest response. It’s staggering the difference you see in performance by changing even 1 word on your ads.
You also want to be getting knee-deep into your campaign’s performance, looking for every opportunity to split out a group into a new ad set. Maybe you see a spike in sales during the mornings – you want to get the best control you have over this time of the day, and ensure enough budget is being allocated to it. Don’t assume Facebook’s automatic optimisations are doing the best job possible!
Reporting on your success
Because Facebook doesn’t have the search intent that Google has, it’s important to recognise how it’s helping audiences convert without you realising it. Although you will see ‘last click’ conversions that happen in the same session, a lot of users aren’t ready to convert there and then – and may be busy in the real world. Remember that this isn’t time they’ve set aside to look something up like on Google, this is an extra 2 minutes they had to look at their phone.
Facebook’s Attribution Windows are a great way of accounting for this, bringing in the assisted conversions into the interface. Facebook’s automatic attribution window is 7 day click (previous 28 days) and 1 day impression. This means if they click on your ad and convert within the next 7 days – even if they come back directly or through organic search, Facebook will claim this conversion. You can also look at your Facebook performance through different attribution models (if you have your account properly set up!) and compare and contrast. There is no ‘one size fits all’ method of attribution for every business, so it’s important to think about the way your users go through to purchase or complete a lead form, and find the right method for you.