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Guide to Facebook Ads, part six: Advanced optimization

It’s time for another installment of my Guide to Facebook Ads! So far, you’ve learned about the basics of ads, discovered the Ads Manager interface, learned how to create a campaign from scratch, how to use the Facebook Pixel and explored the analytics side of ads. It’s now time to improve the results of your ads!

As you will see rather soon, testing different strategies, ads, audiences and more, is key to succeeding with Facebook Ads. You will constantly be looking at your Analytics and tweak your ad parameters to optimize your results with the least amount of money.

Let’s dive into a few strategies you can implement to improve your results. The goal here to get you better results for your money. You, of course, need to know what your end goal is (see my first post about Facebook Ads). If you have a clear objective, it’s easy to measure your results.

A/B testing

The first thing you can easily implement is A/B testing. The goal of A/B testing is to have two versions of your ad with only one thing that is different between them (maybe the headline, or the image, for example). The key is to have only one change, so you can measure if image 1 works better than image 2, with all other parameters being equal. As long as you only change one setting, you can have several options, like testing five different images.

You can set this up yourself, by simply duplicating an ad or an ad set: Click on Duplicate when you hover on an ad or an ad set on the main screen. Then only modify ONE parameter of your ad set or your ad and publish your campaign.

The other way to do A/B testing is to use Facebook’s Split Test option. When you create a new campaign, you can toggle Split Test on.

Facebook asks you what kind of parameter you want to test: Creative is how your ad looks; Delivery Optimization is what goal you focus on (like Link Clicks or Landing Page Views); Audience is who you’re targeting; Placement is where your ad will be displayed on the platform. Then you need to pick how many versions you want to test (Facebook will create an Ad Set for each version) and name your ads and ad sets.

After that, you’re all set to create your Ads and Facebook will make sure your settings match so your A/B testing is correct. Once your campaign has run, Facebook will issue a Split Test report to tell you which version worked better.

Audiences

A lot of strategies can be put into place around audiences. Your goal is to find the most responsive audience so you don’t waste time and money targeting people who don’t respond to your products or services.

Detailed targeting

Of course, testing different audiences with A/B testing is your first step: Test different locations, age groups, interests, etc. That’s where Detailed Targeting (when you create a Saved Audience) is key:

Here are a few examples of targeting you could implement depending on your business:

  • Demographics > Life Events > Newly Engaged for wedding photographers
  • Demographics > Life Events > New Job for headshots photographers
  • Interests > Family and relationships > Family for family photographers
  • Behaviors > Anniversary for boudoir photographers

Go through all these options and find some creative ways to target people for your business. Then do some split tests to figure out what works best.

Connections

You can also target people who have interacted with your Facebook page, app or event. When creating a Saved Audience, at the bottom of the screen, you have a Connection drop-down menu. It allows you to target people who have liked your page, who have used your app or who have responded to your events (and some variations of those). It’s a powerful way to keep marketing to people who have already expressed an interest in your products or services.

 

Custom audiences

You can go even further and target people who have interacted with your business outside of Facebook. This is very powerful, as your customers might come from other places (website, brick-and-mortar store, etc.), but you might still want to reach them via Facebook.

To do so, head to the Audiences menu:

When you create a new audience, select Custom Audience and you will be presented with several options.

Explore these different options, depending on your needs and your customers. Having created a Facebook Pixel is useful, especially to target website traffic.

Ad placement

The last advanced optimization we’ll talk about today is Ad Placement. When you set up an ad set, you can choose where your ads will be placed. If you do select Edit Placements, then you get several options:

The first drop-down, Device Types, allows you to target people on Mobile, people on Desktop or both.

The Plaftorms section is about all the places where Facebook might display your ads. If you know your ads perform poorly in some places, or if your image doesn’t fit well in some places, you might want to remove them. From experience, Facebook does a good job at optimizing costs through different platforms.

The last drop-down allows you to target people on Android, people on iOS or both.

Wrapping up

I hope this has given you some ideas as to how to improve your ad results. The key word is experiment! Try new things and figure out what works and what doesn’t. And come back to share in the comments what worked for you!

 

Header photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash.

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