Facebook Advertising Tips: How to Beat 99% of the Competition (We Did)

Posted by Bill Colbert on Feb 20, 2017 7:33:47 PM

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"Your ad is performing better than 99% of ads like yours." 

Music to the marketer's ears.

But how did that happen? 24 karat magic in the air? 

No, that's a fun song but not why this ad is beating the pants off the competition. 


Understand your ad unit and the outcome it's built to generate.

Not all Facebook ads units are built the same. Why? Because Facebook knows that not everyone in a target audience you select has the same internet tendencies. For example, some people have no problem signing up for things, they "convert" on web form offers, where they enter their personal information into a form. These are generally the type of people you want to get if you need leads to feed a sales team. In this case, you would want to run ads set for conversion. In these types, you're evaluating your CPC primarily. You may not even pay attention to your CPM, or cost per 1,000 impressions.

For some types of businesses, page views are king. If you're a business relying on page views to support display ad sales, you need your Facebook ads to generate page views. If this is what you need, setting your ads for "page views" is what you want. You can run identical creative to identical landing pages and if the difference is ads set for leads vs. ads set for website clicks, you will see dramatically different results. It can be hard to believe, but take it from someone with nearly $1,000,000 in Facebook ads experience - it's true. 

For this particular advertisement, a promoted post, we are working to raise awareness for a client's service. Also, we are not able to run Leads ads (ads set up to, you guessed it, capture leads) to an audience below the age of 18. So what we did was use a promoted post ad to create something of a reverse referral program, where students would learn about a camp they could go to and then refer their coach, the buyer. 

I had coffee with a young entrepreneur recently who talked about how they "created 30 variations of images prior to running a single ad. While the images you use in ads are certainly important, don't spend too much time making subjective conclusions over images. There are dozens of other variables to take into account first.


Facebook advertising tips: Promote engagement between peers to drive down cost.

Most ads have a single call to action. The point after all, is to get people to do something. With Facebook video ads, things get more interesting. With Facebook Live, or video, your video can contain a call-to-action, while the text of the post, or ad, can prompt viewers to do something else, like "tag a friend". What's great about "tag a friend" is it drives up your ad's engagement / relevance score, and also brings someone into viewing your ad who was recommended by a friend. Peer recommendations are what we all want more of, right?

So in effect, by prompting viewers to tag a friend, you're prompting viewers to recommend that their friend take notice of a particular ad. 


Facebook Advertising Tips: Targeting is (almost) Everything.

If you're going to run an ad for engagement, the audience you run it for matters greatly. In this instance, the audience was a high-school-aged group who've expressed interest in cheerleading. The audience has to be a group that's prone to engaging online. But what you're asking your audience to engage about is also key. In this example, we asked our audience to "tag a friend who you want to go to cheer camp with." Going to sports camps is a fun thing you get to do in high school. It may be one of the first times students get to spend the night in a hotel away from their parents. It's a new, fun, exciting experience that teenagers look forward to. By asking the audience to tag a friend with whom they'd want to do something fun with, we put ourselves in position to succeed, improve performance and drive cost down.

If we were running this ad for a law firm and were asking attorneys to "tag a friend who just made partner!" I'm not confident we would be able to achieve the same results with similar ad mechanics. Not only is the audience much more serious, busy and buttoned up, it's not necessarily the right type of thing to ask someone to pull in a friend about. Not to mention, there are far more attorneys in your target audience than there are those who recently made partner.

Curious about how you could improve your Facebook advertising? Book time to chat and we can jump right in. 


Conclusion: All the variables of the equation matter. 


It's important to note that there are no certainties in any type of Facebook ads. Just well run ad experiments. More important than any of these variables is running ads with within a framework where all variables are tightly controlled. 

The ad is performed great, but the type of ad unit, our specific call-to-action, a professionally-made video AND the type of audience we are targeting all work in tandem to deliver the cumulative results. It's important to note also that the screen shot above shows results through 4pm CST on 1/26, not the entire day, which is why the decline appears somewhat steep.

What other variables might you want to optimize? Check out our Customer Acquisition Strategy eBook to get a sense for the number of variables we took into consideration in a single type of customer acquisition channel.


Topics: Facebook Ads


300 to 18,000