Facebook Ads. Love them or hate them, there is no disputing that they are still an integral way of filling events and webinars with high-quality, high-quantity, low-cost attendees. Sure, the platform has taken some battering over the years.
Costs have risen directly as a result of IOS14 this year. BUT, if you know how to run them in the right way, you can still make amazing returns. How do I know this? Because that’s what I’m doing for my clients right now.
So what makes the difference between doing FB Ads well (and getting maximum results at low costs), and doing them badly? Some would argue it’s all about the ads themselves. The content inside of them.
I would go as far as saying that how you manage your ads are just as important as the actual ads you put out. The best written ads, supported with amazing visuals, will still do bad if you manage them badly.
And that’s why today I want to show you the best practices for managing your Facebook Ads so you can get maximum results at minimum costs. Always.
Before we get started, a quick caveat. The best practices I’m going to share are what works for the ads I run right now in late 2021. But things change. People change. Preferences Change. Facebook Changes (often!).
So these best practices may not always work. Just keep that in mind if you’re reading in the future!
Now that said, there is one best practice that will never die out. It will always be critical to success, not just in Facebook Ads, or even with pay-per-click ads in general, but the wider marketing world.
And that’s a 3-step process of TEST-MEASURE-OPTIMISE.
Whatever ads you run. Whatever marketing you do. You need to follow those 3 steps to success. And never, ever stop doing it. Always test new things. Always measure the results. Always optimise according to the results.
And it’s this process which forms a key part of many of my best practices for Facebook Ads.
Whilst it’s important for you to know what the best practices are, I’m also going to share WHY they are best practices. This will help you understand them much better.
Without further ado, let’s dive in.
How do you know what Facebook Ads do best? You don’t, not if you don’t test many different ones!
You need to be driven by up to date data from your own audience. There’s no use in having some “guru” come along and tell you that a particular ad copy or creative will do the best. Sure, they may have worked for others, but every business is different. Their messaging is different, their audience.
So you must always test everything, and never stop testing. Why never stop? Because even when you find what works well, it won’t last forever. So you need to be ready with other ads to run.
One of the many great things about Facebook Ads is just how many different things you can test.
For the ads themselves, you can test;
And that’s just the ads! You should also test different audiences;
The skies really are the limits to testing. But where should you start? I would always test only 2 different ad creative, per ad set (audience), per 24 hour period. This gives the tests ample time and money to give you good data, without spending too much. It also allows you to optimise fast, having new data to play with daily.
2. Day-to-day management
When it comes to managing the ads on a day-to-day basis, my proven best practice goes against the grain. Facebook themselves tells you to test, but over longer periods of time and spending more money. This, they say, gives their platform time to understand your ads, your audience and optimise them “behind the scenes”.
I’m not here to say not to do that. I know it works for some advertisers and not others. I personally have found smaller bouts of testing to be better. So whilst Facebook recommends not touching your ads for days at a time, letting them spend your money regardless of results, I say the opposite.
Instead you want to be checking your ads almost hourly, tweaking as you go.
And when you make your checks, you want to do two things.
Firstly, look out for audiences and ads that are delivering good results at a good cost. If they’re getting you multiple results at a cost you’re happy with, up their budget for the day.
Secondly, look out for those audiences and ads that are not getting you good results at a good cost. Lower their daily budget and give them more time, but consider shutting them off for the day if they don’t improve later.
Combine this with the different 24-hour tests you run as shared in the first best practice, and you’ll find yourself churning out a good amount of results at a good cost. Do this each and every day, and you’ll create a well oiled machine only running ads that perform, and not touching those that don’t. And best yet, you don’t need to spend large amounts of money that you would by leaving the system to it.
3. Day Cycles
The third best practice is closely linked to the first and second. The first tells you to run 24 hour tests and switch and do different ones each 24 hours. The second tells you to manage the ads closely during each and every day.
The next best practice to factor in is turning ads off at night, and back on in the morning. This might seem an insignificant action to take, but I’ve found it to have a big impact on results. Why do I do this?
If you leave your ads on overnight, you’ll wake up to having spend a portion of your daily spend for little to no results. And even if you do get results, you’ll be asleep and unable to manage them almost hourly like I recommend.
That said, there are occasions where doing this isn’t the right thing to do. For example, a client of mine has audiences throughout the world. So when one area of their audience are asleep (UK), others (like parts of the US or Australia) are awake. So it makes sense to keep them going. But it does make it hard to monitor them frequently enough, unless you get help from somebody on the other side of the world!
4. Out of the box audiences
So I’ve already covered in length the importance of testing different things, including audiences and ad sets. But if you’re unfamiliar with the amazing platform that is Facebook Ads, you may be missing out on some amazing audiences.
Firstly, there are lookalike audiences.
Let’s say you upload a list of your 1,000 clients email addresses to Facebook. Facebook will then analyse the profiles of that list, identifying their demographics, interests, etc. They’ll then spit out a list of people who “look” demographically, interest based like them.
As you can probably imagine, lookalike lists tend to do really well. Why? Because they have so much in common with your current clients. That makes them your ideal target audience. You can do the same for larger audiences. Your email list. Or specific buyers of products. Or your page likes/followers.
In a similar light, you can run re-targeting or re-marketing ads. These are when you target people who have specifically made an action that identifies them as a good person to run ads to. For example, website visitors. By visiting your website they must have some interest in what you do and what you offer, so run ads to them!
Likewise, you can run ads to people who take certain actions, but not others. For example abandoned carts. If somebody views a product or sales page, or even an order form, but don’t end up buying – run ads specifically to them to help them overcome their doubts and hesitations, get them back on your website and buying.
Test lots of different lookalikes and re-targeting audiences and you’ll find some amazing performers!
5. Disable Expanded Targeting
At some point in the last 18 months Facebook Ads, and in particular the Ad Set (audience) section, was updated with a new option: Expanded Targeting.
According to Facebooks definition of this, the option allows Facebook to run ads to people outside of your specifically identified audiences if the system feels you will get results.
Does it get results? It’s hard to say. Why? Because there’s no way of seeing whether a result came from the ad set you created, or the expanded targeting.
You might be thinking, well if it helps get results it’s a good thing, right? But if you can’t accurately measure the results, it doesn’t help you to optimise and scale. So in my view this option is not helpful, and should be disabled for every ad set you run going forward.
Historically this option has been cheekily set to ON as default for a new ad set, but there may have changed now. Either way, before publishing a new ad set make sure this option is not ticked.
You may feel it will help you, but in the long term it will only hinder.
A Gift For You
As a thank you for reading today I want to offer you a free copy of our guide: The 9 Key Components For Running Facebook Ads To Your Webinars And Events.
Helping our clients fill their events and webinars, or supporting them to do so themselves, via Facebook Ads is something we do 365 days a year.
How do we do this?
Through our done for you and done with you services that you can learn more about here.
Whilst you’re here, I’d like to invite you to learn how The Marketeer continually filled the UK’s market-leading portfolio builder and property educator webinars and events over the last 24 months.
Finally, I have an ever increasing catalogue of free resources to help you fill your events and webinars.
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