How To Set Up A New Facebook Ads Campaign (The Right Way)
Setting up your Facebook Ads Campaign can be confusing at first but once you discover the Turbo Testing Method outlined in this guide the mechanics of your Facebook Ads Campaign will become easy to monitor and manage. This guide is for getting a new campaign started the right way. The structure of the campaign is geared towards getting traffic (clicks) and generating leads through your Sales Funnel. There’s lots of Facebook Ad strategies out there. While we didn’t test every strategy out there – we have been using this formula successfully for years. It is based on the strategies implemented by some of the largest digital advertising agencies in the world. Table Of Contents:Let’s say I’m advertising relationship coaching for singles. The target audience might look like this:
- What To Advertise On Facebook
- Setting Up Your Facebook Ads Campaign
- Your Facebook Ads Structure
- Your Facebook Audience
- Facebook Audience Optimization
- Your Facebook Audience Size
- Your Facebook Ad Sets
- Creating Your “Ad Themes”
- Writing Your Facebook Ads
- Creating Facebook Ad Images
- Creating Facebook Video Ad
- Split Testing Your Facebook Ads
- Optimizing Your Ads Performance
- Your Facebook Ad Budget
- Measuring Your Facebook Campaign Performance
- Testing Your Copy, Image and Offer
- Finding Your Optimal Target Audience
- Lowering Your Cost Per Lead
What To Advertise On FacebookBefore we get too deep into this guide, I want to lightly touch on what you advertise on Facebook, your offer. I recommend you start by promoting something free to get leads. This can be a free trial, free sample, free event, free webinar, free book, free video, free course, or free consultation. If you plan to scale your campaign, your free offer should be scalable too. This guide doesn’t get into optimizing your sales funnel however, I am working on publishing a guide on this topic. I have linked to additional resources at the bottom of this guide.
Setting Up Your Facebook Ads CampaignWhen we talk about a “Campaign” just think “Goal”. A campaign is the goal you want to accomplish with your Ads. Examples of goals:
- Engagement – “I want people to comment on my post”
- Video Views – “I want people to watch my video”
- Leads – “I want people to download my book”
Your Facebook Ads StructureNow that you have a goal, you’re ready to set up the Ads. In this section, we’ll clarify the Facebook Ads campaign structure and how you’ll use it. The combination of Campaign, Ad Sets, and Ads is what makes up your campaign structure. Knowing what they mean in the context of your campaign will help you understand how to monitor and manage your campaign. Facebook’s campaign structure has 3 parts:
- Ad Sets
- Campaign (Goal)
- Ad Sets (Audience)
- Ads (Message)
Your Facebook AudienceBest practices for Facebook Advertising is to start by creating and testing multiple audiences (start with 2 to 4). Testing audiences helps you in your journey to lower your cost per acquisition and increase your customer lifetime value. Start your campaign by creating, naming and (most importantly…) saving your audiences. You’ll see an option to name and save your audience on the same page where you create your audience. To create your target audience think about who your audience is and how you can target them on Facebook. Learn about how Facebook collects data on its users. Yes, it’s creepy. Here’s are some of the ways you can target people:
- Relationship Status
- Job Title
- Life Events
- Mobile Device User
This is just a portion of the targeting options. And you can stack these categories to create your target audience.
Using Inclusions and Exclusions
You can increase your audience size with an “OR” inclusions and you can narrow your audience size with an “AND” exclusions.
- People in the United States (AND) between the ages of 25 – 45 (AND) who are Single (OR) Divorced (OR) Separated (OR) Widowed.
- People in the United States (AND) between the ages of 25 – 45 (AND) who are Single (OR) Divorced (OR) Separated (OR) Widowed (AND) Business Owner (Job title)
- “AND” creates an exclusion – Audience must have Characteristic (A) AND Characteristic (B)
- “OR” creates an inclusion – Audience has Characteristic (A) OR Characteristic (B)
Facebook Audience OptimizationFacebook is a bidding system which means you will hypothetically pay $0.01 more than the next highest bidder. So if you want to target business owners and bid on an interest such as “Business Owner (Job Title)” well, that’s probably the same thing everyone else thought of too. So you’re probably bidding against one of the most popular interests on Facebook in your category! If you want to optimize your Ad Spend, you want to get creative and think of other ways to target Business Owners without actually using “Business Owners (Job Title)”. For example, you could target a list of popular podcasts that only a business owner would listen to… Or a list of book titles only your market would read. Here are some ideas on how you can target your audience and avoid “the obvious” detailed targeting. Use names of:
- Books & Authors
- Magazines, Journals, or Blogs
- Use Specific Location (Cities, ZIP Codes, or pin-drop radius around any location)
- Use your email list as a Custom Audience and then create a Lookalike Audience
Your Facebook Audience SizeThere are specific audience sizes you want to aim for when creating your audience. If you’re targeting a local audience, you want to try to target between 50,000 to 100,000 people. For targeting national or international audiences, your audience size should aim to be between 1 million to 2 million people. Typically, you want your audience size to be as large as possible while still being targeted. This can be more challenging for local businesses in cities with small populations. It will usually cost more to target a smaller audience. In some cases you may want to try targeting everyone in the city (using only age and gender if necessary) and use your ad copy to target your audience. ?TIP: The audience you choose is probably the most important choice you make in your campaign. Imagine selling umbrellas in the rain, water bottles in a drought or ice cream at the beach. Your message becomes less important the more your audience matches with your offer.
Your Facebook Ad SetsOnce you have created, named and saved your Audiences, you’re ready to start creating your Ad Sets. You’ll create one Ad Set per Audience. I recommend starting with 2 to 4 Audiences. Inside each Ad Set you’ll have 4 Ads (see “Split Test Your Facebook Ads” below) So let’s say you want to target “Business Owners”, you can create your audiences in several ways:
- Ad Set #1 – Target business owners based on their Job Titles (eg, Founder, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner, etc)
- Ad Set #2 – Target business owners based on Education (eg, Business Degree, Marketing Degree, Entrepreneurship)
- Ad Set #3 – Target business owners based on the types of Softwares they use (eg, Salesforce, Hubspot, Infusionsoft)
- Ad Set #4 – Target business owners based on a Podcast they listen to (eg, Perpetual Traffic, Marketing School, Your Next Million)
CASE STUDY: How the White Rock Home Show sold outI was working with a business that was about to host a local Home Show. The event took place in White Rock, British Columbia (an area near Vancouver, Canada). The goal was to sell the trade show booths and then tickets to the event. The booths sold out fast by targeting business owners in the Home & Garden market with an Application Funnel (learn more in the resources at the bottom of this guide). To find people who would attend the home show, I tested audiences:
- Ad Set #1: People in White Rock only
- Ad Set #2: People in Greater Vancouver who like Home Improvement (topic interests and renovation related)
- Ad Set #3: People in Greater Vancouver who like Gardening (topic Gardening and garden magazines.
- Ad Set #4: People in Greater Vancouver who watch HGTV Shows ( topic HGTV and names of shows and celebs on HGTV.
Creating Your “Ad Themes”This is where the magic happens. It’s time to start writing your Ads. To do this you’re going to use “Ad Themes”. You can use themes to test what message (or hook) your audience will respond to best. The reasons I started using themes was to help myself write ad copy faster… and it worked! Then I found there was a lot more benefits to using the theming system I had created… Creating Ad Themes will help you learn about what your market responds to, while advertising. When you start to notice one theme converting better than the others, you may consider creating more content around that theme. This could also help you adjust the copy in your sales funnel to improve conversion rates. A theme can be “save time” or “save money” or “travel the world” or “spend more time with the family.” You’re basically looking for the types of themes that are relevant in your industry for your product/offer.
CASE STUDY: How Tim Ferriss came up with the title for his book “4 Hour Work Week”Using text based Ads on Google for a few days, Tim Ferriss collected a few hundred clicks while testing various titles for his then upcoming book. One of the titles he tested was “Selling Drugs for Fun and Profit”, a totally different theme! Luckily, the title “4 Hour Work Week” out performed the other variations by a long shot. The book went on to sell millions of copies and launched the Tim Ferriss brand. ?TIP: If you need ideas, check out your competition and see what kind of themes they’re using in their marketing. Research every hook, angle and language pattern your competitors are using. This process will undoubtedly turn you into an expert in the marketing used inside your industry.
Writing Your Facebook AdsNext, you’ll start writing Ads to each of your audiences. A Facebook Ad has 3 primary elements:
- Call to Action (Headline)
- Here’s what I got
- Here’s what it will do for you
- Here’s what I want you to do next
- Is there limited time OR limited quantity?
- Is there a sense of urgency?
Creating Facebook Ad ImagesThe next step, is to use an eye catching and attention-grabbing image that POPS! Facebook says the top 3 images that convert the best are Faces, Food and Animals. So that gives us some ideas. I’ve experimented with 100’s of images and here’s what I’ve found works:
- Pictures of happy customers
- Pictures of you speaking on stage
- Picture of your product or something that represents your product (This can be metaphorical)
- Arrows or fingers pointing to a specific area of image (Point to product or down towards CTA button)
- Extremely attractive men and women (I know this is silly but it works)
- Utilize 20% text in your images (Facebook limits your reach if there’s too much text in your images. Use the amount of text you’re allowed to emphasize your Call to Action)
- Does the image grab attention?
- Is the image relevant to your product/offer?
- Facebook 20% Text Guidelines
- Facebook 20% Text Checker
- Facebook’s Free Stock Image Library
- Facebook’s Library of Active Ads
Creating Facebook Video AdsIf you don’t already have a good video ready to go, I recommend not starting a new campaign with videos.
- It’s time consuming to write and produce a video
- It will slow down the launch of your campaign
- You may not know which “hook” is going to convert best yet
- Record videos with your phone (Unpolished video Ads work)
- Record videos with Facebook Live (You can turn Facebook Lives into Ads)
- Record vertical videos (Vertical videos take up more real estate in the newsfeed)
- Make eye contact with your camera (Speak as if you’re speaking to one person)
Split Testing Your Facebook AdsCreating Ads is a creative process that involves a lot of “guesswork” when you’re first getting started. The basis of the Turbo Testing Method is to seek data and test your assumptions so you can optimize your campaigns performance. To optimize Ads and discover specifically what gets your audience to take action, you must create Split Tests. A Split Test start by creating a “Control”, the Ad that you *think* is going to perform best. Starting with your “Control” (Variant 1) you’re going to test each element of your ad – Text, Image, Call to Action (Headline). Change only one element of your Control for each Variant, example: Variant 2 change only the Text Variant 3 change only the Image Variant 4 change only the Call to Action (Headline). Here’s a chart I use to organize my Ads: Ad #1 – The “Control”
- Text A
- Image A
- Call to action A
- Text B
- Image A
- Call to action A
- Text A
- Image B
- Call to action A
- Text A
- Image A
- Call to action B
Case Study: “Freelancer” versus “Digital Nomad”A few years ago I published Ads for my Social Media Director Certification program around the theme of “travel the world”. The Ads referenced my customer as a “freelancer” while the variation referenced them as a “digital nomad.” We waited about a week to see which would get the most clicks. Can you guess which ad won? Digital Nomad! And, I had been using the word “freelancer” in my marketing for years.
Optimizing Your Ads PerformanceRun the Ads for 7 to 10 days and find the winners. You could turn the winning Ads into a new “Control” and create 3 new variants to test against it. Repeating the process. But, if you have an Ad that is getting you conversions at a rate that works for your business, you’re ready to start scaling your campaign. Take the converting Ads that won, and move them into a new campaign. If you make significant changes to your Facebook Ad Campaigns you can mess up Facebook’s Algorithm. So instead, when creating a new Ad Set, you can pull the Ads from your previous campaign. Select “Use existing post”, search in the “Select post” area, or enter the Post ID which is the string of numbers in the URL of your Ad. This method will also pull the comments/likes/shares from the previous Ad so you can continue to stack the social proof.
Your Facebook Ad BudgetYour starting minimum budget should be no less than $5/Day Per Ad. So if you’re running 4 Ads inside your Ad Set, your Ad Set budget should be set to $20. You should have more than one Ad Set (recommend 2 – 4 to start). So your daily budget will range from $40 to $80 per day to start. You won’t need to run your campaign for very long to know if it’s working (see “Measuring Your Facebook Ads Performance” below). Resources by Facebook: ?TIP: Only increase your Ad Budget budget by 20% at a time. Wait for 2 to 3 days and monitor your campaigns results closely. Facebook algorithm needs time to adjust to new budgets. If your campaign improves, increase your budget by another 20%, if it worsens decrease your budget by 20%.
Measuring Your Facebook Campaign PerformanceThere isn’t a one size fits all answer to measuring campaign performance. You need to calculate how much you’re able to spend to acquire a new customer. If you hit your target, you have a benchmark to improve upon. In order to find your benchmark you’ll need to reverse engineer your numbers to find your Cost Per Acquisition. If you have an established business you can look at how much it’s currently costing you to acquire a customer as a benchmark. Or you can simply choose the maximum amount you are comfortable spending to acquire new customers at scale. Keep in mind, if your competition is willing to choose a much higher number, they’ll outspend you and probably win more market share. Money Spent Advertising / Number of Customers = Acquisition Cost
Measuring Your Sales Funnel PerformanceOnce you’ve had 100 to 200 unique visitors from your Ads to your Landing Page you’ll know.
- Your average Cost Per Click (CPC)
- Conversion of your Sales Funnel
- If your cost per click is too high, you need to optimize your Ads or test a new Audience
- If your conversion rate is too low, you need to optimize your Sales Funnel
Measuring Your Facebook Ads PerformanceThe primary metrics you should look at for this campaign are you Cost Per Click, Cost Per Lead, and your Ad Relevance Score (6-8 points will get you good results). Your Facebook Ads campaign is not working if:
- You’ve had 10,000 – 20,000 impressions in your Ad Set and little to no conversions
- You’ve had 100 to 200 Unique Clicks from your Ad Set and little to no conversions
- Do you have the right audience?
- Does your offer appeal to your audience?
- Is there a technical glitch on your landing page or funnel?
- $1.86 per click or less (Facebook CPC average 2019)
- $11.20 per 1000 impressions (Facebook CPM average 2019)
- 1.33% average click-through rate (Facebook CTR average 2019)
- 20% conversion rate on your Landing Page (Optin Rate)