At MACK Marketing, we spend a lot of our time creating, analysing and refining Facebook ad campaigns. Over the years we’ve tried hundreds of different strategies for dozens of clients, and made millions of dollars in sales along the way. Through this process of constant iteration and improvement, we’ve developed a thorough understanding of the things that work and those that don’t.
Based on this experience, we’ve put together this list of six easy ways to improve the effectiveness of your ads. The tips we’ve included are the things we see most people get wrong. Fixing these in your own ads will almost certainly result in a significant increase in your conversion rate.
USE MOTION AND/OR BRIGHT COLOURS
The single most important thing to remember when advertising on Facebook: people are using Facebook for entertainment. Your advertisement is an interruption, and if you want it to even register on your audience’s radar, it MUST be captivating.
The first step, before you start thinking about strategies to make your audience read your ad or take action, is to make them pause scrolling and actually notice you exist.
The most foolproof way to do this is to use bright colours and/or motion. A photograph full of bright colours, a graphic with a solid colour background, or any sort of video, are all going to help your ad stand out. Consider the examples below; both similar photos, but which would you be more likely to stop and look at? If you’re like 99% of people, you’ll say the one with the verdant green background.
One caveat: some shades of blue have been shown to be slightly less effective than other colours, as users intuitively perceive them to be part of the Facebook platform.
Ok, so you’ve got their attention with eye-catching visuals. Now what?
USE A “HEADLINE”
No, you can’t use an actual headline when you write a Facebook ad. Bold text, underlines and different font sizes are not things that Facebook supports. But you can write a single, sharp sentence at the top of your ad that gives your audience an immediate understanding of what your ad is about. Here’s an example:
DON’T WRITE: “We’re the world’s most innovative supplier of kitchen knives, and we have great prices on our most popular knife sets right now.”
WRITE INSTEAD: “ONE WEEK ONLY: restaurant-quality knives at 50% off RRP!”
If your headline is well-written, your audience is more likely to read the rest of your ad copy. If not, they’ll switch off and resume scrolling through their timeline.
This strategy works best when combined with the next one…
I’m going to presume everyone knows what emojis are. What you might not know is how effective they can be when used in Facebook ads.
Several words can be distilled into a single character by cleverly using emojis. When you’ve got a split second to engage your audience’s attention and communicate your offer, that can be the difference between grabbing their attention and not.
Besides aiding understanding, emojis are also an easy way to make ad copy more interesting to read, and can also assist in breaking up blocks of text (e.g. by using them as bullet points).
MACK Marketing has had particular success by using emojis to “bookend” our headline, like this:
⏰ EOFY SALE NOW ON! ⏰
A word of caution: don’t overuse emojis, and be smart about which ones you use: overusing the star emoji or the yellow caution emoji, for example, can make your ad seem spammy. This is one way to make your audience completely ignore your ad (called “banner blindness”).
The best resource to quickly find great emojis to use is Emojipedia.
Becoming an Emoji jedi is going to help with the next tip…
Just cut down on the number of words you use in your ad copy. Seems easy, right?
If you’ve ever written ad copy, you’ll know this seemingly simple principle is not nearly as easy to achieve as it sounds. Writing succinctly is the toughest skill for any advertiser to master, and the one skill that separates the successful few from the many who flounder.
Every word in a successful ad must be measured, descriptive and compelling. Sentences must be short, follow a logical sequence, and invite immediate understanding.
Most importantly, at the end your call-to-action must be powerful.
Again: your audience is using Facebook to be entertained, not to read long-winded sales pitches. If you’re arrogant enough to waste their time with waffle, don’t expect them to react positively to your offering.
As important as writing succinct content is, your efforts will be in vain if your ad is not reaching the right eyeballs. If you want to find a willing audience amongst the 13m+ Australians who are daily Facebook users, then pay attention to my final two tips.
NARROW YOUR DEMOGRAPHICS
When you advertise on Facebook, you pay for every pair of eyeballs that sees your ads. It is vitally important to have a deep understanding of the target market for your products and services, and target your advertisements accordingly.
If you serve ads to groups who are largely uninterested, not only are you paying for impressions (views) that have no hope of converting, you are also probably going to lower your Relevance Score, which is a metric Facebook uses to determine how positively or negatively people are reacting to your ad. A low Relevance Score may actually increase your cost per impression across your whole campaign.
Remember, there are millions of daily Facebook users in Australia, so you can afford to be selective and still have a huge potential audience for your ads.
If you don’t think many men will be interested in your product, don’t be afraid to exclude them. If you know your target audience is older people, consider excluding younger age groups. If you’re a local business, don’t target people who live 50km away.
Most importantly, regularly monitor your ad performance for each demographic after it goes live, and refine your targeting if necessary.
USE LOOKALIKE AUDIENCES
Do you want to harness the power of Facebook’s own supercomputers, and utilise the data they collect on every one of their users, to find other people who are exactly like your existing customers? By using Lookalike Audiences that’s exactly what you can do.
It’s beyond the scope of this article to provide a complete “how-to” guide for using Lookalike Audiences, but I’ll give you a brief overview and some links to get you started.
You start with some ‘known’ users. This could be the people who already like your Facebook page, people who subscribe to your Mailchimp list (if you have one), people who have visited your website (or a particular page on your website), or people who have previously purchased from you, just to name a few.
You set these groups up as a Custom Audience in your Facebook Business Manager (note: for most options you will need to have the Facebook Pixel installed). You then create a new Lookalike Audience, using your target group as the sample. You also choose a value between 1% and 10%, where 1% will derive the smallest lookalike audience but the chosen audience will be closest in profile to your sample.
Facebook then examines the sample you’ve given it, develops an understanding of common characteristics amongst the sample, and trawls through the data it holds on its users, looking for others who match the profile.
The result is an audience that, in our experience, will usually outperform one purely selected on the basis of interests and demographics.
If you want to know more, here’s a link to Facebook’s own guide on Lookalike Audiences: https://www.facebook.com/business/help/164749007013531.
BONUS TIP: MAKE A COMPELLING OFFER
This tip isn’t specifically about your Facebook advertising, but it is certainly relevant to any discussion on conversion rate.
As I keep saying, people are on Facebook to be entertained, not to be marketed to; if you’re going to pop up in their timeline and ask them to read your ad and take an action, you better give them a damn good reason to do so.
So before you post your next ad, put some real thought into the offer you’re making.
It doesn’t necessarily have to be a price discount (although genuine discounts do often make compelling offers), but it needs to be captivating. Some examples other than price-discounts are:
- Get a free article or e-book relevant to you (request name and email before viewing/downloading)
- Make your life easier or more enjoyable by buying this product or service
- Join other people like you who have bought this product or service (social proof)
- Be the hero this (Christmas / Mother’s Day / Father’s Day etc) by buying this for your loved one
Have you got any of your own that you’d like to share? Post them below in the comments, we’d love to hear them!