How to create profitable Facebook and Instagram Ads?
Updated: Jun 2
Do you struggle to see results on your digital advertising? Here are 8 eye-opening strategies guaranteed to help improve the performance and profitability of your Facebook and Instagram digital advertising.
Ever been through the Facebook Ads cycle of doom? You spend months putting together a brilliant product. You have invested heavily in stockpiling inventory, setting up shop and hiring the right team.
You then head to Facebook Ads and run some vaguely targeted ads not knowing what will work. You wait patiently. Progress is lackluster. Audiences don’t seem to get excited about your ads and no one’s clicking on it. And if you do get some clicks, none of them convert into customers.
A month later you see a large bill in the mail that doesn’t impress you and you then begin to question your entire business model. Yes, that is the Facebook ads cycle of doom and you do not want to be stuck in it.
The truth is that most experienced advertisers and business owners started off there.
Experimenting with a myriad number of ad types and configurations, trying their luck and effectively gambling with their advertising budgets, hoping and praying that the ads they’ve set up perform well.
That is akin to touching your nose going around your head as opposed to simply touching it from the front of your face. Why would you do it the hard way?
Gambling with your Facebook ad spend, hoping to learn things along the way has a steep learning curve and chances are you’ll burn a very large hole in your pockets before you do much learning.
Fortunately for you, I am here to save the day and tell you that there is a better, more efficient way of going about Facebook and Instagram Ads. We will discuss several points in this article catered towards improving ad performance, increasing profitability and ensuring a good ROI on your ad spend.
If of course you would like to have a more detailed one-on-one conversation with regards to optimizing Facebook and Instagram Ads for your business, feel free to contact us via the contact form or phone number below this article.
This brings me to my first point;
(1) Enlist the right expertise:
If you are not an advertiser, who are you taking advice from?
You need the right employee, consultant or agency to delegate your advertising to or seek advice from. What you are looking for is someone that is experienced with such campaigns for your type of business in the past.
Track record and past performance is everything in this game. Before you take advise from anyone or hire a consultant, it is imperative that you ask to see their track record and past performance.
Having the right consultant on board can drastically speed up your learning curve, whilst also ensuring that your advertisements perform well from the get-go.
Ask around in your circles, leverage the power of LinkedIn, or put a job application out there to access the right talent. This is of course something that we can help you with too, and should you be interested to have that conversation with us, you know where to find us.
We shall now look at some more technical aspects to optimizing your Facebook and Instagram ads.
(2) Cold audiences are a sucker’s game:
Too many advertisers make the fatal mistake of thinking that they can go out there without any brand presence or audience, target a bunch of random people based on some interests and expect a good response.
Newsflash, it isn’t going to happen, particularly in the case of eCommerce.
People that do not know your brand or products are extremely unlikely to buy from you. Add to that extremely low engagement on your ads and a small number of followers, and audiences may even begin to question the legitimacy of your brand.
You see, social confirmation is the currency for credibility in the eCommerce space.
Although it has its downsides, social media audiences assume brands with prominent audiences and high engagement to be more credible and trustworthy. Further, social media users that know of your brand either from previous ads or word of mouth referrals are significantly more likely to trust you and purchase your products.
Such an audience is known as a ‘warm audience’- audiences that have heard of your brand before, seen others interact with your brand and leave positive feedback, and therefor trust what you have to offer.
How to target warmer audiences with Facebook and Instagram ads:
Audience growth for new brands: As a new brand, focus the bulk of your marketing efforts on building an audience- via organic content as well as advertising. In the first couple months of your business, you want to focus explicitly on sharing content that promotes audience growth and running Facebook ads with ‘brand awareness’ or ‘engagement’ as the target criteria.
Remarketing campaigns: These are campaigns that you can use to specifically target those that may have visited your website previously, made previous purchases from your business, or abandoned a cart on your ecommerce site. The objective here is to “retarget” warm audiences- audiences that know about your business.
Leverage lookalike audiences: “Lookalike audiences” is a very powerful tool that Facebook makes available to its advertisers, wherein they can take an existing audience that performs well and leverage Facebook’s insights to find other users that also have similar interests and are likely to interact in a similar manner.
Remember that when it comes to remarketing, you can implement a cross channel strategy too there- you can remarket via YouTube or another social media too. You don’t have to stick to Facebook. This is a little tricky to set up but possible, nonetheless.
Do get in touch with us if you’d like to have a more detailed conversation on implementing such tools for your advertising.
(3) Optimal strategy for Facebook and Instagram ad Spend:
Spending either too little or too much on your Facebook Ads can be counterproductive.
As a rule of thumb, it Is a good idea to stick to an absolute minimum of a 10-20 $ daily budget for each ad set that you run.
Again, this is just a generalization based on my experience with clients in several different industries. I cannot specifically quote a figure for your business without knowing the specifics of your industry, product and objectives.
Spend too less and you risk not showing your ads to enough people and overpaying. Spend too much and you risk showing your ad to as many people as possible, while still overpaying.
A huge misconception is that ad performance is linearly proportional to ad spend. Wrong. After a certain point your ad will reach a saturation point where you’re not really going to reach more people but will simply overpay for it.
The right approach to handling budgets is to start with a bare minimum, say 10$ , test the waters and make incremental 10-20% increments every 1-2 weeks until you see an optimal return on your ad spend.
(4) Do more of what works:
I’ll keep this short and sweet.
It is a simple idea, but one that works brilliantly.
Once you have run your ads for a while and have a considerable amount of data to work with, take a look at which ad sets and audiences perform better. Get rid of ones that don’t work, keep ones that have an average performance and double down on ones that work best.
(5) See what is working for other Facebook and Instagram advertisers:
Another simple concept.
Use a resource such as the Facebook Ad Library and see the type of ads others are running in your industry. See the type of ads that seems to be working for similar brands.
You can either use that as inspiration or a starting point to design your own; or try and find unexplored opportunities in terms of ad content that you can capitalize on and use to differentiate your ads from the competition.
Facebook Ad Library shows you all the other ads in your space. If you can see that people are spending a lot on ads that are competitors, they have specific messaging, you know it's working really well for them, and there's a good chance that if you do something similar, it may work for you as well.
(6) Ensure you have engaging ad content:
Whether or not your user goes through with the order flow is predicated firstly on whether they click through the ad itself
Ensure that the ad is compelling and engaging- clear imagery of your product or service, short engaging videos, intuitive content, a strong call to action (CTA), and more.
Don’t hesitate to A/B test or experiment with different content or CTAs to see which of your ides perform better.
(7) What does your order flow look like?
Often a poor performing ad has nothing to do with the ad at all, but the user experience and order flow that follows.
If users clicking on your ad are greeted with a slow, unappealing website they very likely may not go through with a purchase. In this case, there may not be much wrong with your ad or targeting, but rather the user experience that follows.
Map out your order flow. For example, a user clicks on your ad, is taken to the app store to download an app, registers on the application, and then makes a purchase (ad > app store > app download > registration > purchase).
Once you have mapped out the order flow, make sure each step is quick, intuitive and easy to use.
Also ensure that you have an outcomes-based approach. Don’t just optimize for a click, optimize for a sale. Optimize the entire process so that users not only click through via the ad but also go through with a purchase.
If you find it difficult to handle all these aspects yourself, consider using a tool such as ClickFunnels to seamlessly set up a “funnel” or an order flow as you would prefer and monitor it at a glance.
Look around and see what your competitors are doing. Visit their landing pages, see what their order flow or funnel looks like, and if you see two or three of your competitors using a specific funnel, specific sequences, or a specific type of ad copy, it is very likely because that approach performs well. Use that as a starting point or inspiration for your advertising.
(8) Use the right tracking tools:
One of the main advantages of digital advertising via channels such as Facebook and Instagram ads is the fact that all important audience interactions can be tracked.
The number of people that saw your email campaign, how many opened it, how many clicks your ad received, how much each click cost you, how many registrations and ticket sales the ad brought you- it can all be tracked. And that is simply brilliant.
Use all this data as feedback to see what works and what doesn’t. As I’ve mentioned before you must be able to identify what works and double down on it.
Key tools to track the performance of your digital advertising:
Facebook Business Manager: A great free tool from Facebook to manage multiple pages and ad accounts from one dashboard, track ad analytics and prepare reports.
Facebook Pixel: This is one of several tools you will find on the Facebook Ads portal, but arguably on one of the most important tracking tools. Facebook pixels help you track exactly how audiences react with your Facebook ads, track conversions, and much more.
Google Ads Conversion Tracking: Very similarly conversion tracking on Google Ads helps you track the performance of your ads on Google’s platforms. A must-have tool, to gain meaningful insights on the performance and effectiveness of your campaigns.
These are just a few among several tools that we implement for our clients to thoroughly track the performance of all advertising efforts, and track ROI.
I strongly recommend you seek the advice of an expert when setting up these analytics tools as a wrong configuration can often lead to wrong and distorted data which provides no real business insight. This is something we can help with.
I sincerely hope that this resource gave you some valuable ideas to work on your Facebook and Instagram ads, and look forward to hearing from you with any questions, inquiries or suggestions that you may have.
Until next time, have a good one.
Contact Strideplus for more insights on optimizing the performance of your Facebook and Instagram ads