Last updated on December 14th, 2022
Facebook is a huge social media platform for business owners and marketers who want to promote their brands aggressively. Today, businesses of all scale use Facebook advertising to enhance their reach amongst the target audience. But, very few of them can explore this social platform’s full potential for advertising. In this Facebook workshop transcript, our guest speaker Kristian Downer, the online marketing expert, advises on the right use of this medium. Have a look.
Today, almost all businesses have their advertisements on Facebook. This social platform has millions of people who convey and get messages from across the globe. This means that your advertisement becomes a potent tool in driving the attention of your audience to your brand. When done efficiently, Facebook advertising can drive traffic to your business website. You can then convert those visitors into buyers from your site.
However, not all business owners do Facebook advertising strategically and end up getting no results. Since they are unable to drive potential customers, these adverts ultimately prove to be costly in the end.
So, to discuss the fine points of Facebook advertising and how to do it correctly, Designhilll organized an online workshop with Kristian Downer on 18th August 2020 which was a huge success.
Talking about Kristian Downer, he runs DowSocial, a social media training and support company from Peterborough in the UK for the last 7 years. He has helped many businesses in understanding the strategy and marketing part that social media can play in the growth of their brands.
During the workshop session, Kristian gave tips on several aspects of Facebook advertising. He taught the attendees how to set up and get started and how to define a target audience. The other topics he discussed included the setting of objectives, targeting, ad creative, and copywriting.
Here Is The Video Of The Workshop With Kristian Downer
Here Is How You Should Get Started With Facebook Advertising For Business
Kristian: Like any kind of advertising or marketing, if you don’t do it well, it can feel very expensive. When we have clients to go we don’t do Facebook ads because they are very expensive. We know they are in an industry where they can work well but if you do not know the kind of attention or action people should take, these ads become expensive.
After all, Facebook is a business. If you offer them money to run adverts, they are going to take that money. But conversely, the better your adverts the more targeted they are, and the better they run, the cheaper they are to be delivered and the more effective they are as an investment.
Free User Group
When it comes to Facebook ads, we have this dynamic where you have a free user group. So, you have a Facebook user who doesn’t want to see any adverts but will tolerate them because they’re getting his service for free. There’s no charge. I would say speak if you’re on Facebook, you are part of the product. Facebook makes money by selling that advertising. Therefore, you have got your users who want to see if they miss the outcome to be relevant, interesting, and honest.
Then, you have the advertiser who wants to reach the right people for the least amount of money. They want to get the most effective return on their investment. You also have Facebook, which wants its users to be happy. But it also wants to sabotage us to be happy. It is trying to balance the two. They reward ads that are highly touted, have a clear message, and a clear call to action. Such ads follow very strict policies at times to make sure they are fair and non- discriminatory.
So those are an example of what would be during the current crisis. You can’t run ads around things like personal protective equipment, pp mask, or someone on Facebook. This is because they’re worried about the impact that would have of people trying to take advantage. You also can’t run ads and things like cryptocurrency or products like CBD oil.
Now, I know some people say that there are legitimate parts of all of that. But I think Facebook is taking a blanket decision not to allow those ads as part of a kind of a way of protecting its platform and making sure that the users are happy. There’s too much controversy.
Three Key Things To Do On Social
So, when we’re looking at our social media in general, there are three key things we want to do. Objectives are possibly going to be with our society. Therefore, we want to build our brand and our visibility and want people to know who we are.
And we want them to trust what we do. We want to build relationships and trust so that those people are more likely to buy. Then ultimately every business goal is to take notice to generate sales and lead to people coming out at the bottom.
So, if we’re trying to set our objectives, we need to think well. Find out what we can do on social relationships to our bottom lines.
Tangible ROI Measures
Some of these things are going to be quite easy to measure. People go to our website, buy our products, download a prospectus or a lead magnet, ebook or something like that. This allows us to put them into our email marketing or other networking or marketing channels. It could be the number of people coming to our showroom, restaurant, and redeeming coupons, etc.
Then on a slightly similar note, there is the number of likes and followers that we get and engage again and again. I will see followers and Likes as a vanity metric. We don’t tell us to focus on those. We say, well, if we’re doing our content for running good ads, then likes should come automatically. It’s kind of a byproduct of that as we build our reputation. And of course, we’re looking for sales inquiries.
Intangible ROI Measures
But you cannot measure all the things. How do you measure your enhanced reputation or people’s trust? Even big brands find it harder to measure the success of their Facebook objectives and how many customer service issues they’re able to resolve and that’s across all social media. So, you think of big brands, when people are unhappy, they don’t tend to bring in anymore or visit and complain. They will go on Facebook or Twitter and they make their feelings very unclear as someone who has been waiting for refunds for their flights and so on.
I can see this every day when you go on those companies’ web, social media, you can see people using those places to raise their concerns rather than traditional methods. So, a good measure of success can be how many issues that you have fixed and the reputation you rebuild for your business.
Pick Your Objective
So, when we are in Facebook’s ad management platform, Facebook shows us the objectives. It asks us to pick one. The first question asked is what we are trying to achieve. So, again, from that sales funnel awareness consideration, through down to conversion, the simple questions are related mostly to one’s brand awareness.
They show you an advert and that’s how many people remember seeing your advert. After a certain number of days, it helps you build brand awareness. It could be that you just want to reach as many people as possible with your offer. You may be a local restaurant and you wanted as many people as possible to see what you’re doing. You might choose the one that helps reach the objective.
Then, you have got things where they are even the first step in the sales funnel. For instance, filling out a lead form or message shows that they are taking at least some kind of interest in your product or service. Or, what you have got to say. For example, traffic means visitors to your website so talk, and then engagement is people commenting and sharing your content. They install your app, video views, how many people are viewing the video that you’ve put up.
Now, you might choose video views, engagement or traffic is your objective because the idea is that you’re trying to get people to raise their hands and show that they’re interested so that you can retarget them. So for example, if I wanted to run a course on fate, a paid course on Facebook ads, what I might do is do a video where I talk through a tip. Or, I may do a trick on how to do that and then run an advert to that video.
Know Who is Interested
Then anyone who watches video ads for more than 30 seconds must have some interest in Facebook ads. Or, why would they have watched my video for 30 seconds and now I’ve got an idea that they’re interested. I can use one of the Facebook audiences that will come to retarget those people. I can put them on to the next stage of our sales process. This can be another piece in consideration like downloading an Ebook, etc. It could be with sending them straight to a place to buy the product or service or to take that next step in that sales funnel.
So, for more direct approaches lead generation, know that people want to get a quote. They fill out that information with their name, phone number, etc. and maybe answer a couple of questions. Then, your sales team can give them a phone number to call back and take them through the process. For a lot of our clients, we find that the messaging objective is valuable. So, for example, with our landscape gardening clients that do like home lines, and even our florists, they use the messaging objective because people like to feel like they’re speaking to a human.
I have that back and forth conversation and we’re able to quantify them a little bit and then take them to the next step. But when you’re using that lead generation or messages objective, it’s important to note that there’s always going to be the next step. Normally, the next step is that process. If you’re going to convert that generally works best if you’ve got a higher Value object, product, or service. Or, if you’re trying to sell some infant 20 or 30 pounds or a free piece of dollars, depending on where you are in the world.
So, and then you’ve got your conversions. Your e-commerce is literally measuring how many people are converted. Then, you can also use that conversions objective around downloading those ebooks by using the Facebook pixel.
And then the really interesting one for the e-commerce people are the catalog sales. Here you can see if someone has looked at this item and added it to their basket, but they haven’t bought. I want to show them an advert for that specific product, giving them a 5% discount if they buy that product today. Or, give some kind of incentive rather than just losing them, we have an opportunity to retarget them.
When we work with our e-commerce clients, we find that most of the value in our Facebook ads is retargeting people that have come to the website from several different places. We retarget them so that they end up completing their purchase and buy that product or service.
An example of how we might apply this to different types of business can be given here. It could be that if we’re trying to get people to it we run an event. And you’ve been using the Facebook Event store. It might be that you might use something like Eventbrite or one of the other providers out there that integrates and you have many people to sign up for your seminar or your webinar is your measure of success. This is because if you can get people to come to a webinar, then you’ve got the details, and also you get to show your knowledge built on that reputation, trust, and hopefully that will lead to a sale down the line.
It could be that you’re looking for the messages received. I mentioned the landscape gardening company. We asked them where they are, what they’re looking for, and asked them a few questions. And if it looks like they’re still interested, we then ask for a phone number. We booked them in for an appointment and one of their team goes and visits and does that same with the lead from. You could use the same approach there.
Use It for Brand Building
The other way could be they fill out that form that you put into your email marketing platform as well. But generally, we do have it where we’re going to give them an action like a phone call or some kind of follow up. So, a useful tool for reaching awareness generally tends to be brand building. But, if we’ve got a set restaurant or something that’s quite local with Facebook, the audience is great for obtaining the map.
So, I want to target anyone within one or two or 50 kilometers of that area. You can even be selective in those areas. And you can run specific ads of which are many as possible in those that drive distance or that travel distance to your venue. Again, page engagement is to kind of build brand show and build that trust to show that you have something worthwhile.
We talked about video views already and about how you can build a retargeting audience based on what you are doing. It is a starting point to bring people through your sales funnel and then yeah, with e-commerce, talking website traffic, and ultimately our objective is we want people to make purchases.
The Objective and Audience Matters
So, when it comes to getting started with Facebook ads, knowing your objective and your target audience are the two key things. When we are looking at the audience, we don’t just want to be thinking about the demographics. We also think about how old they are, where they are, and what they do. The other considerations include what are their aspirations and particularly what we will then do and what’s the pain? Find out what was the problem they’re trying to solve and what is the problem we can solve for them?
So, if people in the chat just tell us what they do we can start building this out a little bit together. We try to make this a little bit more interactive. What and why people buy from you and what pain are you solving for them? For me, people buy from us because we can help them use Facebook ads effectively. Generally, the pain is they’ve tried to do it themselves and it hasn’t worked. Or, they need to use Facebook ads, but they just don’t know where to start.
Know The Audience to Write Adverts
We focus on that if we run any Facebook ads targeting those people. If it is for gardens, it could be just wanting to enjoy that space, or understanding who they are, and where they’re located. The more you understand this, the easier it is to write effective adverts. You should remember that nobody cares about your business. You have to make them care about your business.
They don’t want to hire a social media expert, and they don’t figure out an account or pay someone to do their garden. You have to make them see these things. So, that’s an important thing to consider when we’re thinking about target audiences. We want to make sure our advert is focused on their pain. This is because if we are not speaking to them, we’re not speaking to anybody at all.
Designhill: You mentioned that the boost button is not your friend. Can you explain a bit about it and why boost doesn’t help much?
Kristian Downer: The boost button isn’t your friend. This is because even Facebook will have said that it’s designed to be a lightweight tool to make it easy for people to spend money on advertising. It doesn’t have all of the targeting tools, the objectives. Also, it does not have the kind of guidance in running the effort and the setup to be more effective.
Sometimes I do click the play button but it’s because I know what I want to achieve. And I know that I can get it out of doing that. If you are using Facebook for the ads for the first time, generally you’re going to find them to be more expensive using the boost button. You are unlikely to get the level of results that you could by using the ads manager, which is where your Facebook ads sit. This brings me on to another point.
So when you’re doing Facebook ads, generally I recommend you set up what’s called a business manager account. Now, this is a container, if you like it for your business and your home of your business from an advertising perspective. You can make it easier to control to see your ads, ads manager itself, things like the pixel, and the audiences that we’ve already talked about. And then you have the ads manager, which is where you can create and generate the ads.
Designhill: What sort of creatives work well in attaining good reach with Facebook ads?
Kristian Downer: When you create content, you always need to think about this. Most people using Facebook use their mobile phones and they spend their day. I think the last time I sort of stopped on it was when they scroll through their phone, as if from the bottom of the Eiffel Tower to the top. So, you need to make sure that you’re capturing their attention with that when you’re talking.
If you’re talking about software and sites to create good ads and work within Facebook, you have the Facebook publishing tools. These tools are well worth looking at in the creative studio and are a really good piece of software. Sometimes when we deal with clients, we want to show them how things are going to look. We have used a piece of software called add part of the folders which is an interesting piece of software to do that.
And then a really interesting thing about Facebook, when you use the ads manager is you can get access to Shutterstock stock images as part of your advertisement with Facebook. Therefore, if you are struggling with images, and what you are doing, you can use stock images by hand and buy them within your Facebook app, which you can’t do when you use them. You can also create your custom design for your Facebook app ad with the help of a Facebook app ad template. You can get the boost button within the ads manager functionality.
Designhill: What are the best practices to reduce ad cost on Facebook ads?
Kristian Downer: Imagine you have these three groups of people as stakeholders in this ad process. You have the user, Facebook, and yourself. So the best way to reduce your ad costs is to make your ads. Make the ads well targeted and appealing as possible to your target audience. If you hit the right target audience, and Facebook does rank this on your ads, you can see that in there.
It used to be a lot simpler and they used to give you a relevancy score between one and 10. If you scored a one, on your advert, when once it’s been shown to a few people then go out and probably not be working and be very expensive. And if it was a 10, you would probably be getting the cheapest possible best returns that you could get.
Clear and creative Ads are less costly
Now, they’ve changed that a little bit and they now measure it for engagement and conversion, readability, and style. But the same thing applies the more in tune to your advert or your audience or you. The clearer your advert is and the better the creative, the lower your cost is going to be.
So there’s no kind of silver bullet but by using good creativity by speaking to that audience, you will be able to keep your costs as low as possible. It’s also going to be about testing.
Create many ads as part of testing
Very rarely, we come up with one Facebook ad for one client and just let it run. Instead, we create maybe 10 adverts, and then we’ll test different types of images, we’ll test different texts, audiences, and objectives. We find out if it is lead forms orIs it messages, traffic, and we’ll test all these different things.
For some clients, we have created one campaign, maybe 100 adverts, because we want to test and see which one’s going to be the most effective. And then, the ones that don’t work or are expensive, we throw away and the ones that do work, we gently increase the budgets, and they rise to the top.
Think of the client relationship
So the lady in that first video game raised an interesting point. She talks about winning a client and then getting one more piece of business, and then another piece of that the value of her business with that client was much larger.
When measuring your Facebook ad success, think of the whole relationship with a client. We don’t want to always stop the one thing that tends to work quite well on Facebook. So, you go into marketing and then expand that out to capture their attention. Then, sell and upsell them other products, and build that relationship. In this way, you move on to the types of Facebook audience.
Three Types Of Facebook Audiences
01. Saved Audience
So, there are three different types of audiences on Facebook. You have what’s called a saved audience. This is where you use Facebook’s data. The demographics, the age, and the targeted interests that they have. I think Facebook last time I checked was over 150,000 potential data points they might have on you.
Facebook is constantly picking up information and using it, then Facebook will show your advert based on that data to people that are interested based on your targeting and your creative you’ve done, and the ad you write.
02. Custom Audience
The custom audience is once you’ve run an ad for or if you’ve got a database of existing customers, it’s information based on behavior. You can create a custom audience from people who visited your website and viewed a video. You can also create an audience from people that have engaged with your page.
03. Lookalike Audience
Also, create an audience from people who can upload your customer list. You can run adverts to people that have already bought from you in the past. Once you have done that, you can create from say customer list and Facebook essentially.
You can say to Facebook that hey here is a list of my customers to create an audience of people that can run adverts to those using all the information you have. These people look similar to the people that have already bought from you in the past. That is called a lookalike audience. And, that’s an incredibly powerful tool as those custom audiences look like audiences to retarget, refocus and reach exactly the people that you’re trying to target.
Sources of Data For Custom Audience
i. Website Traffic
So again, we’re looking at that custom audience and the different ways to source data for these audiences. You have website traffic as a source of data.
ii. App Activity
People use your app which is also your source of data about your potential audience and customers.
iii. Offline Activity
People have a way to use your app as an offline activity. If you’ve logged that and uploaded that to Facebook.
iv. Customer List
Your customer list is also a source of data to create your custom audience.
v. Your Facebook Sources
You can also use your own Facebook sources to build a custom audience. These sources include videos, activity on your Instagram account, events that you have mentioned on Facebook. You can also know about how they have interacted with your Facebook page, or fill out the form, watch the video posted that you created with the help of a Facebook video template, or they bought something from the Facebook shopping experience.
Business Manager: When creating our ads, we have got that audience. But when we are setting up, we want to have a Facebook Business Manager. It helps share access and billing, better reporting, more tools, and better access controls.
Facebook Pixel: But we also want to make sure we’ve got the Facebook pixel installed, which is a piece of code added to your website that tracks the visits. You will meet a cookie notice and make sure that you’re fully GDPR compliant and or whatever the data regulations are in your country compliant around collecting this information.
It allows you to build custom audiences around those people that visit your website, or specific pages on your website and allows you to retarget them.
We should also pay attention to the process when we run adverts. This looks quite complicated, but it’s relatively simple.
Step 1: First, we identify our audience, set up our business manager, and do the technical within the pixel. We create a target audience avatar and map out who we think our target audience is. From that, we create our saved audience we talked about.
Step 2: Then, we run an ad to a piece of content, such as a video or a blog to retarget them. Or, we can run directly to an objective such as a messaging or lead generation tool.
Step 3: Our third step is to create behavior audiences. We create a custom audience of people who have viewed our videos or blogs. Then, we also create a lookalike audience for those people.
Step 4: After that do re-marketing. We run more targeted and more sales-driven adverts to those who have visited our website.
Step 5: Then, review and refine to make sure that we’re getting the best return on investment as possible from our efforts.
Then, we split test different types of creatives, audiences, and texts. Now, with some businesses, Facebook ad processes can be very simple. It’s quite simple to generate lots of opportunities there.
For others, we have to do a detailed retargeting and build up your excuses. It may be a more complicated product or a longer sales funnel. We need to have a more robust and targeted process. So, this is if we were creating a saved audience, these are the fields that we would be able to use. So, we would be able to use location, age, gender, or detailed targeting.
However, when we run adverts, we don’t tend to use this detailed targeting. We tend to use a process, which is more about using the language and the creative to target people. Facebook’s algorithm selects rather than use the detailed targeting option.
Different Ad Elements
So, when we’re running our ads, essentially, we’ve got a few different pieces. We have got the text that goes above the image, and we believe you should call your audience to make it clear who you’re targeting. You need to explain the problem they have and the solution that your content offers. We are doing direct response, and they should end with a call to action. Creative is an important image.
You never want to have more than 20% text in the image, if any at all. Because your app will perform worse. On Facebook, if it has more than 20% text, it is because Facebook believes that the core message is hard for them to review. And it also graphically doesn’t look as good if you’ve got an image with lots of text crammed into the headline. So you’ll see that next the call to action button is a summary of what the ad says.
Call To Action
And so on the right here you can see that we’ve caught our audience explaining the problem solution. Then we’ll have a call to action. If someone wants to put what they do in here, I will try and write an advert on the fly for them of how I might approach it. What they do and what they’re looking to sell and who they’ll be selling that to I might have a crack at that.
So again, we called out who we are targeting or what we’re doing, and how it works. You have friends, birthdays coming up, we have made it clear to send message objective on here as well. Then, we’ve got one for a company that does artificial grass. The same kind of idea and explains the problem. Get a beautiful garden without the fuss explaining the resolve and the nice clear
Designhill: Is there any software or website that could help us create a good ad?
Kristian Downer: You have got Facebook’s creative studio. You can use Facebook stock images. To create good stuff you have got designers at Designhill. There is no simple kind of software that I recommend.
Designhill: How do people know the right target audience?
Do Research and Testing
Kristian Downer: The key is good research and testing. When I say the target audience, I mean, the pain that we solve for the group of people. You should be thinking what’s the pain that we solve in our business? If you are running headfirst for a charity, then actually you are painting or solving is making people feel better. You help them out and they feel that. They are supporting people that may be local to them or share their values.
So, if I was going to run an advert for a local charity, helping truck drivers and their families. It might support local truck drivers, and help us raise the funds. Its call to action might be a message to talk about volunteering. But you never want to talk about what the impact is going to be. So, for the truck job might be worth it by volunteering, you can help us organize a food drive, which will allow us to make sure that all the truckers get Christmas.
Focus On The Pain Point
Now, I don’t know much about the charities and I’m kind of guessing. But that might be a way to approach and just think about those people. Think about talking a little bit about their problems and why that issue exists as well. So that would be your target audience. Think about the pain that you’re solving. Make sure that you make clear to people and they will find you. We focus on that pain point.
Designhill: What are the top mistakes people are making while creating an ad on Facebook on that day?
Avoid Many CTA’s
Kristian Downer: Amongst the major mistakes are people not making it clear what they’re trying to say. They have lots of text, which is not broken up into different paragraphs. Another mistake they make is not having a clear call to action. What is even worse is that many of the ads have more than one call to action. These CTAs include saying call me, message me, and visit my website in the same ad. Instead, give them one clear instruction on what to do.
This is because if you tell a young child, I want you to do this and then you need to do this. They might remember to do the first thing but by the time you get to the third or fourth day, they’ve got lost or they’ve given up and they’re doing something else.
So, common mistakes are going to be not having that clear. target audience, not being clear in what you’re doing and waffling and having a creative which doesn’t capture attention. Also, in the scroll not telling people what you’re talking about.
Designhill: How does Facebook audience differentiate from other social media like Instagram and Twitter and does Facebook present a more powerful platform than others?
Know if the target audience is active
We think about our target audience. First, we need to think if your target audience is active on Facebook. Do not forget that Facebook owns Instagram. And you can run Instagram adverts using the ads manager. I recommend if you’re just going to do Instagram ads, you use the Instagram platform, but you can use the same data between Instagram and Facebook.
They are intertwined and that’s very powerful. The average user of Facebook is between 30 and 65 years of age rather than the younger crowd. But Instagram has a slightly younger audience, which is trending upwards.
In the longer term, you have got platforms like Tick Tock that are very much the early phase of their growth of the development. We love Facebook ads because of the work and just the targeting we can do to reach people, and for simply the pure scale of adaptability. In the UK, more than half the population has a Facebook account. This means that your target audience is going to be on Facebook.
Linked is Specific and Expensive
LinkedIn is a more expensive advertising platform, but their targeting is incredible. You can tell people that work for businesses of a certain size and in a certain area and have a certain job title. So if you are selling business to business, the trend in six months to two years is going to be the LinkedIn advertising platform becoming more powerful. And providing another option for those who are looking to promote their businesses.
But, Facebook is such a powerful platform in combination with Instagram, even more. How is it compared to Twitter? We don’t use Twitter for plenty of ads. I think the kind of companies to use Twitter would be branded, just keep that brand out there. But, when we are running ads for small businesses. We tend to want to be able to see action. Also, we want to make sure that we are hitting the right people on Facebook allows us to do that.
Designhill: What is your secret to create ads that convert to sales?
Kristian Downer: It depends on what your target audience is and what you’re selling. But if we’re going to look at our sales process, many of our clients know if they can get on the phone or in the house of a customer. They know that they are going to convert sales. Therefore, they know their objective is to get to the person’s house and to sit down. We use Facebook to make sure we get messaging conversations or leads where we can bring them up.
If we are looking at an e-commerce website, we want to be driving traffic to the right page on our website. But the key part is to make sure we have a dynamic retargeting campaign. This campaign is for making sure that if someone adds our product to their basket, they get a message reminding them we’ve all seen those adverts. We go on our website, and then we go somewhere else and we see that advert.
That is so important for e-commerce to make sure that we’re retargeting people that have taken action. And, that is the same across anywhere. What we are trying to do is make sure that we can’t target and reach everybody but ensure that we reach people. We don’t let them go on Facebook retargeting. Facebook ads in general are a great way to make sure that people don’t forget you. Also that they don’t disappear, that you want a little bit, almost a stalker, what’s once where they are, don’t want to let them go.
So, these are the wise tips you must pay heed to when getting started with Facebook advertising for business. But always review your approach and strategies and adopt the one that best works for your brand advertising.
But you also need to make your advertisements attractive and pleasing to the target audience. For that, you can outsource its graphic design work to the leading creative marketplace Designhill.
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Facebook advertising is amongst the most effective ways to enhance the reach of your brand. But you need to apply a professional approach to getting started with advertising on Facebook. Kristian advises to set the right objectives and take tangible and intangible ROI measures. Then, target and re-target people with a strategy.