I’ve resisted investing in social media advertising for a long time, believing that there is a host of free and helpful tools and free strategies. I have always felt such tools and strategies can help your business grow on social media organically. Here are some of the best Facebook ads design factors that can take you beyond this type of thinking.
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But I have learned quite a lot in the last few years. What I’ve come to learn through my research are these secret design factors:
Social media ads can earn you the biggest returns
In some cases, it’s the cheapest way to reach people.
There are so many inspiring digital marketers who are pioneering the best practices and cool strategies for social media advertising.
As we dip our toes further into social ads here at Buffer, it’s been fun to discover all the great tips we might try. I’ve collected eight of my favorite ones here in this blog post—a list of simple, actionable tips that drive successful Facebook ads.
Best Facebook ads … focus on Facebook relevance score
Ad relevance score is a metric in ads reporting that provides an estimate of how relevant an ad is to its target audience, based on how the ad is performing and other factors.
When your ad’s score is high, it’s more likely to be shown to your audience than other ads. You also pay less to reach more of your target audience.
The score will range from 1 to 10, ten meaning we estimate your ad is highly relevant and one meaning we estimate your ad isn’t very relevant. It will be based on some factors, including positive feedback we expect from the people seeing your ad (ex: clicks, app installs, video views) and negative feedback (ex: someone clicks I don’t want to see this on your ad).
You’ll be able to see this score once your ad has had about 500 impressions.
Jon Loomer wrote a detailed breakdown of Facebook’s relevance score, explaining what it is and how it’s calculated.
Briefly, relevance score helps explain the way Facebook views your ad and why it might prefer certain ads you’ve created versus others. It is a very valuable metric.
Secret Facebook ad design factors … reverse psychology
When marketing thinkers talk about “the death of traditional advertising,” they may not only mean the shift to digital but a much larger transformation to alternative methods of genuinely reaching the consumer.
According to Indrajit Sinha and Thomas Foscht, authors of “Reverse Psychology Marketing: The Death of Traditional Marketing and the Rise of the New ‘Pull’ Game,” reverse psychology marketing, pull marketing, and anti-marketing may not be familiar buzzwords. However, there is a global change happening regarding defining the most effective ways to communicate with consumers and increase sales.
To accomplish these goals amid overwhelming noise in the digital world, it often takes the most daring ideas.
Regarding alternative marketing, capitalizing on psychological principles is certainly not new territory. Leveraging reverse psychology can be a controversial choice, and certainly a risky one, but even church billboards have seen success with this simple tactic.
Reverse psychology can be loosely defined as a method of getting someone to do what you want by pretending not to want it or by pretending to want something else. This is largely tied in with reactance theory, the idea that people who feel their sense of control is being taken away from them will grab it back by not doing what they are asked.
Blogger Jens-Petter Berget writes, “The reason why reverse psychology in marketing works is that it generates curiosity.” For this reason, it is not a technique that can be drawn upon frequently and remain effective, as it will quickly lose its magic.
Create multiple versions of the headlines or ads
When I write headlines for many of my posts, I try to define 3-4 options. This gives me test options and alternatives for blog posts.
The same idea works with social media ads.
When you read about a successful social media ad, it’s likely that the ad has gone through a few key variations based on these actions:
Write several versions of ad copy
Test a variety of images
Adjust for your target audience
Regarding testing out different ad copy, there are many popular recommendations which can include power words, time prompts, and question marks.
For images, you can test things like product pictures, people, and faces, even memes.
Best Facebook video ads … the “Learn More” button
When creating ads for the Facebook News Feed, you get the chance to include one of seven buttons with your ad.
If in doubt, it’s best to choose a button instead of no button.
And the best button of all? The “Learn More” button.
You can add the button in the bottom section of the Facebook Ads editor. These are the seven button options to choose from:
- Shop Now
- Book Now
- Learn More
- Sign Up
- Watch More
- Contact Us
The theory behind why these button works are that it helps focus your ad to an even greater degree, like a Mario mushroom for your already great copy. Adding a button enhances the call-to-action and primes a reader to take action.
As for which button works best, you might notice that one fits your niche particularly well (“Book Now,” for instance, would be great for vacation spots). For the “Learn More” button, there seems to be growing evidence that it’s the best overall bet for engagement.
Pay attention to mobile traffic
When creating a social media ad, you’ll typically have the option of segmenting the audience by some factors, including those using a desktop/laptop versus a mobile device.
To fully optimize your conversion rate, show your ad to those on desktops and laptops. Don’t show your ad on mobile.
A couple of additional notes here also:
Not only do the most successful social media ads hone in on the device type, but they also keep in mind the location of the ad.
Typically sidebar display ads—like those offered by Twitter or Facebook—see lower click through numbers (they’re recommended as a great option for retargeting). The best results are those that appear natively in the News Feed or timeline. Ezra Firestone calls these “advertisements that blend in with the platform.”
Removing mobile display from your ads is an often-recommended strategy, though there are two sides to the discussion.
Brian Honigman, writing at SumAll, mentions that your ads should focus on mobile first to capture the huge volume of Facebook traffic that accesses the site from mobile devices.
Promote a deal
In a survey of Facebook users, 67 percent of people said they were likely to click on a discount offer.
A simple strategy for a successful social media ad: Mention a discount in your copy.
The custom landing page
If the goal of your social media ad is conversions—sales, signups, what-have-you—then you’ll want to think not only of the ad itself but also where a person might end up once they click.
Picture social media ads as a two-step process:
- Create the ad
- Create the destination
Some of the most successful social media advertising campaigns include custom landing pages, where the copy carries over from the ad and the action crystal clear.
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The more targeted your ad, the more targeted your landing page needs to be
You’ll see this often with e-commerce ads that do a great job targeting a single product and then send the person from the ad to the main product page, full of menus and related products and all sorts of potentially distracting (albeit eminently useful) places to click.
The bottom line
To be effective in this new era, we as marketers need to see our jobs differently. No more just focusing on metrics like clicks, video views or social media shares. We must successfully integrate our function with other business functions to create entire brand experiences that serve the customer all the way through their experiences throughout the business.
We can do better. Much better. But first, we need to stop seeing ourselves as crafters of clever brand messages and become creators of positive brand experiences.
There can never be enough focus on continuous improvement in social media marketing, independent of how well the business is doing. This is an excellent time to make a statement with their brand marketing. Changing before you have to is always a good idea.
Need some help in capturing more customers from your marketing strategies? Creative ideas to help the differentiation with potential customers?
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Do you have a lesson about making your marketing strategy better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
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