3 easy tips for improving your Facebook campaigns

Common causes of Facebook-advertising headaches

  1. “I don’t know what strategy works best to run successful campaigns.”

  2. “I don’t know how to properly utilize the various campaign settings”

  3. “I am afraid I will waste my ad budget”

The quickest way to start developing the experience needed to run successful Facebook campaigns and ease these headaches is to run Facebook campaigns. However, properly structuring your campaigns from the offset will drastically reduce the time it takes to improve and inevitably, not be stressed out by the process anymore.

FIRST TIP — TARGETING
Utilize your customer data in your targeting settings

If you have been in business for a while or even if you are just now preparing to launch, you should have some data or ideas regarding:

  • who your customers are

  • who you want your customers to be

Leveraging this data will benefit your campaigns the most in the offset. The following type of data is extremely valuable (if not essential) when it comes time to your campaign’s targeting settings:

  • gender

  • age

  • interests

  • location

  • behavior

  • devices used (desktop, mobile, other)

In fact, we are now at a stage where these data points are considered the bare minimum of what you should be collecting on your customers. The good news is, using only these data sets still yields positive results.

We will be covering more advanced targeting methodologies in later posts, but let us first make sure we are making the most of the basics.

Start by creating a well-thought out target set for your campaign by mixing your various customer data.

If you are planning a conference in Tokyo on “How to advertise your startup on Facebook”, this perhaps will be your target audience for ticket sales.

  • age 20–55, males and females

  • interested in “startup companies, entrepreneurship, Facebook advertising”

  • living in Tokyo Japan

From this you can start to enter in your various settings directly into Facebook.

Source: Facebook Business Manager

If you utilize Facebook’s targeting capabilities to set the parameters of your campaign with this data pertaining to your target customer, you will already be on track to ensuring that your ads are being shown to those who are most likely to convert.

The next level of targeting that you will want to use in your campaigns is “custom audience targeting”, which I will cover in a later blog post.

SECOND TIP — SEGMENTS
Break it down, way down

If your target customers are 20–40 year old males and females, you will still want to know which specific segment of that large range provides the best return on your ad spend. Let us look at an example.

Daily Facebook advertising budget: 400 USD

What NOT to do: allocate all 400 USD to one campaign ad set (group of ads) that targets the entire 20–40 male and females range.

What TO do: divide your campaign into smaller, even groups, and to proportion your budget to them equally until you know which ones perform best.

Example segmentation
20–25, 26–30, 31–35, 35–40 females, and
20–25, 26–30, 31–35, 35–40 males

This would give you 8 different ad sets with a daily budget of 50 USD each, rather than a single ad set with a 400 USD daily budget. As the campaign runs, you receive the individual data for each set, meaning:

  • you know which segment performs best overall

  • you know which graphics perform best in which segment

  • you know where to allocate more or less of your budget, across all segments

  • you have new data for structuring your next campaign

You can break it down even further by creating individual ad set groups based on ad placement (mobile newsfeed, desktop newsfeed, audience network, etc…). Although the performance of these placements is reported back to you, wether you segment them individually or not, doing so from the offset will allow you to make actionable budget changes as you collect the data.

THIRD POINT — ITERATION
Don’t fear poor results, learn from them.

There are a plethora of settings that Facebook gives you to experiment with, and that is what you should do — experiment. Fine tuning every advanced option that Facebook gives you requires a lot of experience, but once you start to know what works best for your campaigns, you will start to see greater return on your ad spend.

Some of your tests will yield sub-par results. However, every under-performing campaign has a lesson to be learned, and those are the lessons that will help drive success in later campaigns.
 

a campaign only fails if you learn nothing from the results
 

Common settings to start off with when testing are:

  • Optimization: optimize for conversion, optimize for clicks, etc…

  • Bid Amount: automatic, manual

  • Placement: news feed, mobile news feed, Instagram, etc…

A general rule however is, the more you segment your campaign, the more data you will receive to act upon in future campaigns. Sometimes this means segmenting a single campaign into multiple segments, and sometimes it means launching multiple campaigns altogether.

Source: Facebook Business Manager

Each campaign will give you a breakdown of overall performance, performance per gender and age, and placement (desktop vs mobile etc…).

You can set custom reporting through the Power Editor to learn more specifically about each conversion. You will be able to track conversions down to specific locations even.

You will be provided with enough data so that even if you are not reaching your intended conversion targets, you will have enough data to learn from regarding how you can improve your campaign strategy.

 

For first timers, remember to start off minimalistic in settings, but come up with a theory that you want to test and write it down. For example:

My example theory: I believe my target customer persona, males and females aged 20–45, who live in continental USA, who love horseback riding, will respond well to my new product promotion.

Structure the campaign into multiple ad sets, and use the data from each ad set to iterate your future campaigns in order to validate your theory.

Good luck and have fun in the learning process.