Paid Media Executive
Or, perhaps you’ve been seeing results, but it’s just costing way too much. Both of these outcomes are far from ideal, but you shouldn’t close the door on Facebook just yet; we’ve got a few tricks up our sleeve that will contribute to more efficient use of budget – giving you more bang for your buck.
It is very common for advertisers and/or individuals to press a button, send live and examine some miserable results and then blame Facebook. Let’s be honest, it’s an easy thing to do and they probably won’t provide any sort of rebuttal. However, if you can’t diagnose a problem, you seek out treatment, and it’s no different in the world of Facebook ads.
The cost of your ads and the CPC of your ads depends on many factors, like all things CPC. In some cases, it’s a matter of modifying one small aspect and boom– down goes the cost per result and up goes the value for money.
There are two ways in which Facebook charges for ads:
If you select to be charged via impression, it means you pay a portion every time people view your ads on the Facebook network (Facebook & Instagram placements). This is a sound bidding method if you want to reach the mass and want to get your brand in front of enormous volumes of people, the downside is, if nobody clicks on your ad, Facebook CPC algorithm will still take your dollars.
Link Clicks are equivalent to Google’s CPC bidding method. As the same suggests, you pay for each click or pay for each link click. This is the preferred and certainly the most common method of bidding and which we suggest you use this method. However, we do understand that some objectives do not permit this type of bidding.
While we’re here, let’s take a look at how Facebook defines CPM and CPC.
CPM is the average cost for 1,000 impressions.CPM is a common metric used by the online advertising industry to gauge the cost-effectiveness of an ad campaign.
How it’s Calculated: CPM measures the total amount spent on an ad campaign, divided by impressions, multiplied by 1,000 (e.g you spend $100 and got 20,000 impressions, your CPM is $5)
CPC is the average cost for each click as the name suggests.
Source: Facebook Business
Before we jump into the specifics, we have to ask this one question time and time again. It’s silly how many times people get the most important question wrong. You can’t run an ad until you’ve broken down your objectives to their most fundamental form. It’s not uncommon for people to think they want one thing when they actually want another.
If your goal is to maximise traffic to your site, don’t optimise for reach and expect to achieve the same outcome. If your goal is to maximise sales, optimise for conversions and not brand awareness…getting this wrong will most likely eat up the budget at a rapid rate, fail to give you desired results, while also complicating the optimisation process.
When there is an opportunity to split test, take the opportunity and use it. Even if you feel like you’ve hyper-targeted your audience or even nailed them on the head, the simple and best way to start out a Facebook campaign is to run a/b tests. This helps you get a really good idea of what resonates with your target audience and what doesn’t. Some things may work in theory but fail in practice.
The elimination method is by far the easiest form of optimisation. Here’s a scenario; you create 3 different creatives, with 3 different messages. 1 is performing exceptionally well and generating link clicks at a low cost and has a relatively low CPC. The other 2 however, has a high CPC, low engagement and large cost per link click. You pause the 2 underperformers and after two days your CPC has halved and budget is being used more effectively. Happy days. If you hadn’t done this though, and run with 1 creative or the other 2 that were inefficient, then you’d probably be scratching your head. Refreshes also assist to keep creatives clean, reduce the frequency and improve CTR’s in the long run.
Tip: Don’t buy a car off Facebook marketplace without a/b testing a few different copy options.
There are two methods of selecting placements that actually work for your ads and your offering.
If you have the time and fancy yourself as a bit of a graphic designer, you can run your ads on all placements to begin, see where the results are cheaper and then create customised creatives for those placements. For example; you might find that your messenger ads are doing surprisingly well and generating link clicks at a lower cost than any other placement, so you exclude all the others and create a custom graphic for the placements that work.
The second method is less time consuming than the first and quite frankly can have an equally as decent effect. This is to only place your ads on the Facebook news feed and Instagram feeds from the get-go. These are traditionally the highest converting placements. Further, Facebook feed ads have higher engagement and CTR rates than other placements, which can enhance relevance score at the same time. Yes, people will argue that you’ll reduce your reach by eliminating placements and yes that’s true. But, by doing this you can display your ads to them in a larger format, enhance your CTR and get better results at a lower cost. It’s similar to running your Google Ads in-app placements, yes you will receive a tonne of impressions and a heap of clicks, but these are most likely from your ad interrupting kids playing Angry Birds and being tapped by mistake, which consumes your budget.
If your goal is to get people to take a specific action on your website, use a conversion campaign goal. This goal might be to get potential customers to view a specific content piece, to contact you, to receive a lead via email, phone calls etc.
Once you have selected this, you have to consider your bidding strategy. The specific strategy you choose will actually have a monumental impact on how much expenditure is injected into your campaigns and how quickly it is spent. So, we encourage you to test a few to examine which types give you a cheaper result.
Within the conversion goal, you can select 2 bidding methods. Lowest Cost bidding is usually pre-selected and helps get you impressions and clicks for the lowest cost. However, this can spend your money where you don’t want it spent, which can hurt CTR and actually bump up the cost per result while reducing outcomes.
Instead, you can maintain a stable average cost per conversion as the budget is raised with Target Cost. This way, you can raise your budget and not hurt your cost per result, especially when you have selected the right placements like discussed above.
A relevance score is a metric between 1-10 that demonstrates how well your ad is resonating with your target audience. In this case, 1 is the lowest (not good) and 10 is the highest (excellent job) and helps to communicate your performance.
If your relevance score is below 3, you will rarely get results. If your relevance score is 7 or higher, you will usually get much better results, have a lower CPA and more sustainable performance.
Well, most importantly, a relevance score gives you critical feedback on your ad and how your target audience is receiving it. It’s actually a great tool to check frequently because if your ad is spammy or has messaging that is unaligned with your target audience, you’ll know as soon as possible.
Ads that have a low relevance score are actually punished with greater costs, whereas ads with higher relevance scores are actually rewarded with cheaper costs. The more attention you dedicate to relevance scores, the more successful you are likely to be. Plus, the difference in cost between a good and a bad score is quite large, which means you should probably stop running ads with a score below 3 to save some dosh.
We’ll start off with retargeting. Remarketing/retargeting is essentially displaying your ads to a list of customers that have already interacted with your brand in some way. This can range from landing on a specific page to taking a specific action ( those who didn’t fill out a form).
With a highly targeted audience that is extremely specific and relevant to your offer/product, you’re more than likely to achieve better results than wasting money on a broad audience and delivering your ads to the wrong person. So it is often wise to run a remarketing ad set after a while, in conjunction with your interest-based saved audience. The viewers are more likely to be receptive to your ad, as they’ve already had some association with it in the past ( just watch the length of the remarketing list).
By using a remarketing audience, you are essentially hitting a ‘warm’ audience as opposed to a ‘cold audience,’ therefore they are more likely to interact with your ad, which assists with CTR increases and CPC reductions. Whether you remarket to those who have watched your previous video, liked your Instagram profile, played your app or visited your site, they will be much more relevant than those that have never heard of you.
Data suggests that lookalike audiences (and custom audiences) usually outperform your interest-based audience, depending on how specific your targeting is. Lookalike audiences are similar to remarketing audience, but it tries to find similar customers to your custom audience. Essentially, it’s like a remarketing audience, but wider and less restricted.
So, with that said a smart use of a lookalike audience will allow you to create an ultra-specific hybrid audience, that only focuses on your most profitable buyers.
Site: Social Media Examiner
If you create a lookalike from those that have already engaged with your brand, bought from you or visited their site – it will deliver that ad to more people that are likely to do so. Which again, helps to improve your quality score and ensure you’re reaching the right audience. These are great to use when your remarketing lists are increasing in frequency.
Regardless, using these audiences are considered very ‘hot’ as those who see the ads are likely to have some knowledge of your brand or have the potential to be interested, meaning they are more receptive, engaged and inclined to at least learn more. This increases your budget efficiency.
This last little tip requires a little bit of data (in theory). So now you’re targeting the right people, but are you targeting them at the right time?
Yes, the message is there and the audience is good, but the data can become a little skewered.
Now, I suggest running your ads for a few days for some data collection. Then go through your delivery and see what times of day you were spending money, and not getting results. Then set the add on a schedule and remove hours that are unprofitable for your business. This will minimise wasted expenditure and free up budget to use during your best hours. Also, if you use accelerated delivery, it will spend faster during your best hours. Pretty neat? Yep.
Check Out The Funnel
Lastly, you may want to consider your sales funnel. Perhaps people are not ready to buy yet, or maybe they are not familiar enough with your brand. Therefore, you should introduce them and warm them up. This might cost more initially and certainly takes more effort, but can be cheaper in the long term.
Start off with a reach optimised ad to a cold audience, then warm them up with traffic and lastly retarget your best customers with a conversion ad (which is certainly one way to do it!).
Facebook can be an expensive place to be in the world of ads, but play your cards right and you can come off with the double zero (in casino terms, that’s a good thing). If you action the methods outlined above, you increase your chances of dramatically reducing your expenditure and/or increasing your ad efficiency.
Still having trouble with Facebook ads? Get in touch with us today!
Paid Media Executive
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