Organic reach for Facebook posts has been dwindling at an alarming rate over the past three years as Facebook attempts to covertly push businesses to pay for reach through sponsored ads. Unfortunately, considering how the uptake of Facebook marketing has exploded, there is no hope that we shall go back to the good old days when organic reach was easy to attain for both experts and novices on Facebook. This is because the more popular Facebook marketing gets, the more Facebook is likely to charge for it and curtail organic reach. It all boils down to the old adage of demand vs. supply.      

This means that any digital marketer worth his or her salt (of the name) needs to be conversant with how to create effective Facebook ads. Facebook ad creation is not as straightforward as boosting a post. In fact, expert Facebook marketers never indulge the common suggestions by Facebook to boost a post directly. Practically, every Facebook user, particularly those who manage a Facebook page, has seen a suggestion by Facebook to boost a post. Never take Facebook up on this offer. Never!

Use Facebook Business Manager

Instead, create your ads and boost your posts from within Facebook Business Manager for pages or within the Ad center for profiles. This allows one to have more control on the ad by narrowing the audience through the creation of custom or lookalike audiences. Facebook Business Manager also hands control to a marketer to test variations of the same ad using the “split test”, which can allow you to identify the best variation of an ad and apply it for maximum value. Ad manager also gives access to a metric for “audience size” that can guide you to select the right audience size to increase the likelihood of your ad leading to conversions. 

A Facebook business manager has additional benefits including allowing the owner of a Facebook page to create page roles for other users and give them access to the ad account to assist in managing the ads. Another advantage of a Facebook business manager is the fact that one can manage multiple Facebook pages and ad accounts simultaneously. To learn more about the Facebook Business Manager, check this previous article.  

Back to Facebook ad creation, there are five main concepts that every social media marketer should understand: Custom audiences, lookalike audiences, the Facebook pixel, split tests, and campaign budget optimization.

Custom Audiences

Facebook users have different interests. This means that targeting a generalized Facebook audience is unlikely to produce sufficient conversions. The solution is to create custom audiences based on common interests of people that are likely to purchase your service or product. For example, Facebook users who have expressed an interest in skating in their profile and those who like multiple pages on skating are more likely to buy skateboards than those who do not express such interest in their profile or liked pages. Custom audiences can also be created from emails in your possession from past sales or marketing campaigns.

While creating a custom audience, ensure you optimize it for interests, demographics, location, activity, and page likes. You will find all these features in the Facebook Business Manager while creating a custom audience for an ad campaign. For instance, if you want to create an ad for digital marketing in Eldoret, for instance, optimize your ad to target people living around Eldoret rather than targeting everyone on Facebook.

Learn how to create effective Facebook Ads using Facebook Business Manager.
Facebook Business Manager is the experts’ choice when creating Facebook Ads

Lookalike audiences

Like the name suggests a lookalike audience implies an audience similar to the people who currently like your page, those you have targeted as part of a custom audience, or those who have expressed interest in your page in the past by engaging with it. You can also mold your lookalike audience from the current audience or followers of your competitors.

Facebook pixel

The Facebook pixel is a piece of code generated from Facebook and then inserted in your website to allow you to track the Facebook profiles of the people that visit your website. Once you have tracked them back on Facebook, you can then add them to your custom audiences and target them with ads. This enhances the likelihood of successfully converting them to your clients or customers.                      

You can learn more about the pixel on this article.

Split test

Split test is a relatively new Facebook ad feature that allows marketers to create two similar ads that differ on only one aspect, such as image, heading, or audiences. This goal of split testing is to test the performance of the two ads and identify the best performing one for future application. The split testing is done automatically by the Facebook algorithm and a reach of at least 500 people is needed for the algorithm to develop conclusive or actionable results. 

Campaign Budget Optimization (CBO)

CBO allows the Facebook algorithm to optimize the ad budget across ad sets. If, for instance, you’ve created two ad sets for use in the split test described earlier, you want to activate the option for CBO while creating the ads to give authority to the algorithm to direct most of the available budget to the best performing ad set. This way, you get the best value for your budget.   

So, there you have it, the cheat-sheet for creating effective Facebook ads in 2020. You can learn more digital marketing tips and hacks by subscribing to our YouTube channel.