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Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Use $100 to Run Your First Successful Facebook Ad

bshelling
bshelling
Jan 20, 2020 · 5 min read

With a great strategy, any Facebook ad can perform well with a small budget

When it comes to running a digital ad the strategy comes down to a science in most cases. It’s even more of a science if you’re looking to run ads within the Facebook ecosystem. Mastering how to appease their algorithm comes down to understanding human psychology and behavior, but I can save that deep dive for another day.

Recently I discovered a pattern with 3 of my latest ads. When I found success from the first, I used the same strategy for the second and third ad. Different audiences and budget, but same success.

So how do I use $100 for an ad I run for 7 days? Here’s some things that should be considered to achieve the same success:

Use compelling image(s)

Imagery is probably the most important component to every ad because it’s the first thing users see before they read the caption, even though the caption comes before the image from top down in the layout. It’s important to know that any image you choose, stock imagery should be the last choice. Some of my lowest performing ads were the ones with stock photos, they come off too polished and unauthentic.
The image should be relevant to what you’re trying to market. For example, if you’re promoting a t-shirt, take the time to find someone to model the product and plan a small photoshoot. There’s value in having a good photo and it could make or break the ad.

Create an engaging headline

Drafting a compelling headline shouldn’t require much work but at times I would myself spending too much time trying to create something catchy. I’ve found the most success by asking a question. Asking a question may not be relevant to every ad but when it comes to asking someone to take an action or engage, this is the best strategy. After the question I follow up with a message to convince the user to take an action. For example:

“Here’s a Valentine’s Day T-Shirt your partner will be sure to love. Do you think they’ll love this? Tag someone who would love this shirt.”

I found emojis to be effective when I use them in my ads. Stay away from the overuse of emojis. While they’re great to use, overusing them looks a bit tacky and spammy. So be mindful of how you plan to use them in the headline or caption. Think of using emojis that are relevant to the ad. In the case of the Valentine’s example I may decide to use the emojis that have hearts, usually ones that invoke some emotion or action.

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Heart Emojis

Hashtags are great to use in a headline, because they’re now a used as a tool to search on social media platforms. Just like emojis stay away from overusing them. Before deciding to litter the headline with hash tags, use enter your hashtags in the Facebook’s search bar and decide from there. You’ll see everything related to the hashtag your entered, from posts, other ads, groups, etc.

Picture of Facebook hash tag search for valentine
Picture of Facebook hash tag search for valentine
Hashtag search on Facebook

One thing to note is there are character limits for facebooks ads but to get around that I run the ad as a boosted post. There’s an advantage to this because when a post is boosted there’s a place for it, you can see it, it’s on the business page. While a created ad just exists in the wild without an easy solution to see it.

Optimize the Audience

Targeting the right audience is also important to any successful ad. Your Valentine’s day ad shouldn’t reach a Halloween audiences. Though people in the Halloween audience might love Valentine’s day but that’s a small sample size. We want our audience to be majority Valentine’s day lovers.
Using Facebook’s Audience Insights tool will help build your audience before creating the ad. The size of the audience is related to the budget. It makes sense to start with a small audience and scale appropriately if ad has some success. The two factors that affect an audience’s size is location and age. To cut down on the size, search the audience interests. For example the location is scoped to the city of Houston, ages 24–55, with an interest being Valentine’s Day. This puts the audience size at 250k-300k.

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To see if you’ve built a viable audience, take a look at the pages liked and their affinity value. The affinity value is the likelihood people will like the page more than any other user on Facebook. The higher the value, the better. Use this information to target users that like these pages.

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Engage in the comments

When the ad launches it takes some time for Facebook to optimize your audience for the ad. Once user engagement starts (likes, comments, sharing, etc) to build momentum I recommend replying to user comments. For every comment or user tag, reply with a positive message.
For instance, if a user comments “Wow this is beautiful”, even if they’re not asking for anything follow up, “Thank you, would you like us to email you more sample?”. If a user comments with a tag of another user reply “Thank you, we can send you more information about this product, can we message you?” Even if there’s a negative comment reply with something positive.
This strategy of replying to comments shows that you’re engaging and it also lowers your response times on the business page. There’s a likelihood that users are more likely to engage in an ad when they see others engage, if it’s likes, comments , or shares.

Results from my latest ad

Here’s the results from my latest ad. From this success I created a look alike audience that allows me to scale the budget and audience size appropriately.

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Finally, it’s always recommended to monitor the analytics to know that money isn’t being wasted. Be sure to set a goal for your ad so there’s expectations as to how you hope it performs. Before my recent success I would check my numbers on day 3. If the cost per result or cost per click was higher than what I intended to spend I would stop the ads. Be smart and don’t waste money.

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bshelling

Written by

bshelling

Shelling is what they call me. A forward thinker debugging life's code line by line. Creator, crossfitter, developer, engineer

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +771K people. Follow to join our community.

bshelling

Written by

bshelling

Shelling is what they call me. A forward thinker debugging life's code line by line. Creator, crossfitter, developer, engineer

The Startup

Medium's largest active publication, followed by +771K people. Follow to join our community.

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