If you’ve ever tried to run Facebook ads on your own, it’ll come as no surprise to you that it’s no easy feat to create campaigns that actually get you results. Facebook uniquely provides mom and pop shops, startups, mid-size businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike access to unprecedented, robust data and a huge variety of advertising options that, while incredibly effective when used properly, can overwhelm the most seasoned business owner. If you’ve struggled with navigating all the options, never fear. Check out our favorite types of Facebook ads and consider how you can apply them to your own business.
1. Lead Generation Ads
This type is particularly helpful for building email lists. In just a few clicks, your audience can sign themselves up for your email list in seconds flat. Facebook leverages its knowledge of sales psychology and auto-populates most of the fields, which is great for businesses; it means even those with the shortest attention spans are much more likely to follow through and fill it out.
You can even automate the process of email collection by using an integration tool like Zapier to connect with an email campaign provider like MailChimp. New contacts will be added to your list as they come in and will be entered into any automated workflow you create. Lead generation ads have a host of other uses, as well - just be creative!
2. Dynamic Product Ads
This one's our favorite for eCommerce retailers. One of Facebook's newest and most powerful additions to the ad platform, many of our clients are beginning to see ROI similar to paid search, but at a fraction of the cost!
DPAs connect with your Facebook ad account and your product store's pixel to give you a great advantage on the Facebook platform. When a website visitor checks out a product on your site and later visits Facebook, they will see an ad pop up in their news feed that features the exact product(s) they were looking at before. This new approach to Facebook advertising is incredibly powerful, providing an extremely personalized and relevant experience. DPAs are a perfect addition to any retailer's retargeting strategy.
While there is certainly nothing set-it-and-forget-it about Facebook ads (not ones that get results, at least), this type of ad is the closest you'll get to it. Given how dynamic this ad type really is - the creative is completely unique and personalized based on each individual prospect's behavior on your site, you never have to worry about refreshing this creative. But, like any other Facebook ad, you'll still need to regularly monitor its performance!
But we haven't even hit the best part yet. This ad gives you multiple objective options.
DPAs allow you to choose four different audiences to target. You can target those who:
you want to upsell products to
you want to cross sell products to
added products to cart but didn't purchase
viewed products but didn't purchase
Depending on the ad you select, the ad will be automatically optimized for each objective. Once again, this saves you time and leads to better results.
The results that are possible with DPA ads are truly incredible. Many of Facebook's largest marketing partners are seeing some serious results; some that represent some of the largest travel brands such as Trivago, saw a 3x increase in conversion rates and a 65% decrease in CPCs by using DPAs. Our agency, which specializes in running ads for small to mid-size businesses, has seen a 2.4x increase in conversion rates and a 54% decrease in CPCs. When small and large businesses alike can run what is essentially a unique ad for each user, those results come as no surprise.
3. Retargeting Ads
Retargeting isn't just for retailers. Over 70% of people intending to buy a product or service will leave your site without having done so. You've done the work in terms of getting them this far, how do you get them to return and close the deal? Email works, but less than 10% of website visitors are likely to give you their email address, which leaves a ton of opportunity (and sales) on the table.
Luckily, this type of ad takes care of that for you. This allows you to run highly targeted Facebook ads to those who have already demonstrated an interest by checking out your site and were this close to converting into a customer. The most effective strategy is to offer some sort of incentive, like 15% off, free shipping, or an added bonus to their purchase, if they click on the ad and buy.
Just like any other type of ad, creativity goes a long, long way. For an eCommerce client, we ran a video retargeting ad that was modeled after a public service announcement - very Save the Children style - telling the viewer that carts have feelings too and are hurt when someone abandons them and leaves them all alone in cyberspace. Super dramatic? Yes. Totally ridiculous? You bet. But extremely effective. We garnered high engagement, a lot of laughs, and got a 13x ROI for this client.
4. Cold Traffic Generation Ads
Of course, retargeting only works if you're already driving quality traffic to your website. What if you aren't yet? Having an ad campaign that drives customers and clients to you is critical. Cold traffic refers to the segment of your audience who doesn't even know you exist and has never heard of you.
These types of ads are notorious for having higher CPC (cost per click) rates and lower CTR (click through rates), which makes sense when you consider that you haven't yet established brand recognition, credibility or trust with this audience. However, there are a number of expert methods to consider that will allow you to improve your ad's performance and get the most bang for your buck.
Start with a Lookalike Audience
If you've got a customer list or list of prospects, you're in luck. You can easily import that into Facebook's platform as a custom audience. Facebook will then take the profile data associated with those email addresses to find other individuals who match those who purchased from you or demonstrated interest in your products or services. That's 2 to 20 million people who match those on your list!
We never run an ad campaign without split testing, and it's even more critical that you do this if you're aiming to reach cold traffic. Before you launch a campaign, create multiple copy and creative options to test on multiple audiences. I advise starting at $5/day for each ad variation for a week or so and then analyzing the results. Then identify the best performing ad and scale up your spending at that point.
It's not uncommon for business owners who are new to Facebook advertising to struggle with identifying their target audience using Facebook's platform. There are hundreds of options, which makes targeting a daunting task for many. Audience Insights is a great tool that provides you with the largest database of behavioral, demographic, and interest data on the planet. By inputting your competitors' pages into Audience Insights, you get very valuable insight into who is most interested in those pages - insight which you can then use to shape your targeting strategy.
The key to success in Facebook advertising is to build a system that will give you positive ROI. For our clients, we painstakingly work to build a magic box that, when you put in $1 and close the lid, and then open it again, you get $3, $5, $10, $15 as a result. The key to building that box is constant experimentation, analyzing results, tweaking, and then iterating. The types of ads I've listed here is by no means an exhaustive list, but they can serve as a foundation for you to take your business to new heights. Want to learn more about these types and others? Get in touch and schedule some time to chat for free - we're happy to answer all your questions.