7 New Facebook Ad Insights You Need to Know Today

Are you up to date with the most cutting edge practices for Facebook ads?

These are some of our biggest insights in Facebook advertising. These are the things that we’ve learned , having done Facebook ads for over 150 clients.

Some of them are best practices that effective advertisers embrace, and some are new insights and changes you can’t afford to ignore.

The seven most important things that you need to know to be really effective with Facebook ads today based on all our data…

And if you don’t know us from Adam:

  • We’ve been doing Facebook ads for ten years…
  • We’ve done them for over 150 clients…
  • We’ve worked with many types of clients of different sizes from small businesses to medium to famous big brands…
  • Facebook ads are the Swiss Army Knife of ad platforms: there are 12 types of Facebook ads, and we run them all…
  • We analyze the audience, create custom creative, optimize e-commerce performance, create custom lead magnets, split-test landing pages and optimize the ads…
  • We have some pretty cool case studies if you want to read about them…

This is our latest stuff our latest insights to pass on to you guys to get better results… The seven Facebook ad insights you absolutely need to know today answer these important questions:

  1. How Much Do You Need to Create?
  2. What Kind of Ads Should You Run?
  3. Which Posts Should You Promote First?
  4. How Long Should Facebook Videos Be?
  5. How Important is the Pixel and Conversion Tracking?
  6. Which Conversion Window Should You Choose?
  7. What Are Retargeting Best Practices?

Ready? 🙂

Facebook Ad Insight #1: How Much Do You Need to Create?

You have to test a lot of stuff

A lot of audiences and a lot of creative.

I feel like I said it’s a billion times but hey- you may never have heard this and you’ve never heard of me before! So I’ll just say this again and give you some more specifics on it that you may never heard me say this exact way in this level of detail but…

Our most successful ad campaigns are those where we’ve tested anywhere from 10 to 20 different audience settings. 10-20 ad sets, each targeted a different way.

And that is even the case when we’re only targeting one audience persona.

Why?

Because there are many different ways to target the same people in Facebook and there are plenty of other blog post out there that you could read- Andrea Vahl has a really good post about all the different Facebook ad targeting options– there are just a ton of them and that will show you why it’s possible to create so many different ad says different ways to target the same audience.

And if you do that you’re going to get different results.

You’re going to need to find that the ad sets/ the audience targeting that works the best for your purposes regardless of what type of ad you’re running- this is true for every type of ad, ok?

Test a lot of different audiences.

So if you have not tested 10 different ad sets with different audience targeting, then in my opinion you are not being thorough and you will not get great results.

You make get “ok” results. You won’t get great results.

If you’ve only got one ad set in your entire Facebook ad account, then you are a beginner and you need to create more ad sets. And that’s ok! That’s where you start.

But if you want to get the amazing type of results you’ve seen in our case studies, then you need to create 10 to 20 ad sets over time.

NOW… How many ads?

In our best case studies, our best performing clients and students, there are at least a 150 ads in those accounts.

That’s a minimum number.

If you do 10 ad sets, that’s 15 different ads in each one, 15 creative approaches. You have to conceive of different images, headlines, text, calls to action that will really move the prospect to take action.

A really good case study: we were doing website conversion ads for a small pizza chain of pizza delivery stores in Scotland called La Favorita… ecommerce pizza delivery.

We ran 160 ads for them but 76 of those ads didn’t get a single sale.

But overall we got about 2,200% ROI.

One of those ads was an 11,800% ROI, ok?

They made a ton of money compared to what they spent, and that’s because we tested so many different audiences and ad creative, over 160 combinations total…

But because 76 didn’t get any sales, if we’d only created say 70 ads, there’s a chance we might have only created the ones that didn’t get any sales. We wouldn’t have got any results. Zero ROI.

So if you are not thorough, there’s a chance that you’ll not only not get great results- you might get not get any.

I like to think about this way:

If you go out fishing to a big lake, and you don’t know where the fish are, you’ve got to put your line in a lot of different places to find them.

Now, you could take forever and walk around that lake one at a time, or you can get eight fishing rods or eight guys or whatever and put eight rods in at the same time. Now you’ve got a better chance of finding the fish- that is like an audience, right?

You gotta go where the fish are. Where are those fish? Which people are going to buy from me or fill out my lead form or install my app?

You gotta go to a lot of places.

And that’s why it’s important to test. You don’t know where your people are going to be in terms of targeting.

And this is the other way to look at the fishing analogy: What are you going to put on that fishing hook? That’s your bait.

That could be your ad. It could be a lead generation magnet, depending what you’re doing, right?

You can even look at that as your product or your app or whatever depending on what you’re doing, but you need to be able to patch multiple things okay from an ad perspective

We think about these as a different ad creative- the images the headlines and all those kind of things.

We don’t know which ones the fish are going to go for- in this case there are prospects, right? Which one is going to make the customer respond… not just to take action but do it at a high rate that’s going to give us a really low cost?

And you won’t know until you put a lot of different bait on those hooks.

So you got a fish and a lot of different areas of the lake, which is a lot of audiences and put a lot of different bait on those hooks which is a lot of different creative ok?

Test a lot of stuff.

And you gotta test a lot of new stuff all the time, because eventually people have seen your stuff and even if you haven’t reached your entire targeted audience… because Facebook is going to show it to the best people first and you might have shown all your stuff to the best people already and if they were going to respond they would have- so your results start to go down, you start to see that burnout, you need to new creative for a new audience, ok?

So that’s a lot of stuff – test a lot of stuff and keep creating new stuff.

Facebook Ad Insight #2: What Kind of Ads Should You Run?

To get professional level results from Facebook ads, you need to test ads with multiple objectives (goals).

Now if you’re only boosting post from your Facebook page, you’re only creating one out of 12 types of ad, and that’s just start. You need to get into ad manager or power editor.

Ad manager is a great place to star. If you create an ad in there, it’s going to ask you what kind of ad you want to create. So there are different goals and you choose the one that’s closest to your business goal.

If your goal is to get sales or leads, I would recommend you choose website conversions- because you want to get a conversion- assuming you want a lead or a sales on your website or your landing page, then by choosing that you’ve helped Facebook.

If you say you want traffic, that may be all you get.

You should be testing multiple types ads. Use the full Swiss Army knife of Facebook marketing. It does a lot of different things.

A marketing funnel is a complicated thing. It’s not just the sales- the bottom- there’s awareness at the top, there’s engagement, there’s branding, there might be leads in the middle or visits, all kinds of different things.

And if you want people to be aware of your brand or understand it, you might want to do that through a video, or through an image, through engagement on your page…

If so you need to use different types of ads.

Te page promotion ad, which boosts posts, the video view ad, which gets people to watch videos more… every type of ad objective gets different types of people, because different people do different things on Facebook- every user in Facebook is grouped them by what they like to do. They know what everybody does on Facebook. They group them.

You like to do different things, right?

You may like video- you may not.

You may like posts- you may not you may interact with posts- you may not.

You may click on links to go to other sites… you may click on ads. y

You may go over to websites and fill out the forms- you may not.

But whatever you’re doing, Facebook tracks that stuff, so when you target people with your ads, if you want to get people who convert you’ve got to choose the conversion type.

If you want to get video views, you need to choose the video view ad- and so on.

A healthy Facebook marketing campaign is going to use at least three types of ads.

I would recommend you use all three of these:

  1. Website conversion ads
  2. Post promotion ads
  3. Video view ads

Those three are very effective- you’re going to get awareness and branding. You’re going to get conversions.

Those are very powerful.

Some companies cannot do conversions- they can’t track them. They have issues.

Other companies are so focused on conversions and ROI that they can’t see the value of branding and engagement.

It’s almost like two different religious camps- they are so rigid in their viewpoints sometimes… but there’s value to both.

There’s value to awareness and branding and engagement because people know you exist. Nobody can buy from you if they don’t know you exist. You have to get in the customer’s “consideration set.” With the clients and companies we’ve been able to track- and other agencies have done this, too- when you run awareness boosting campaigns, TV ads, Facebook ads, all kinds of things, you’ll see more Google searches for brands and branded AdWords campaigns that have a very high ROI because people are already looking for you…

Well, where does that awareness come from? It doesn’t come out of nowhere. You have to create it with other types of advertising and marketing campaigns and post promotion and video view ads. Those are one way to do that.

So you can test multiple objectives.

Facebook Ad Insight #3: Which Posts Should You Promote First?

The third ad insight is about post promotion.

If you have a Facebook page, hopefully you understood what reachpocalypse was in 2013 and that your posts are not going to reach your fans unless you advertise them.

So, you’re doing post promotion ads if you care about your posts being seen by anybody…

And hopefully you also look at your page insights and you switch up your metrics there and look at the engagement rate.

That will tell you the percentage of people who see the post and like, comment or share on it.

The posts that have the highest engagement rate- they’re really the best bait, to go back to our fishing analogy…

You could put there’s almost anything in the world on your Facebook page, but you want to put the things on there that people are going to like the best, because there’s an opportunity to get people excited. ok going to relate to your brand your product and all those kind of things but also resonate with them stuff they like stuff that relates to their identity who they are all that kind of

It’s a very complicated topic to discuss: how do you come up with the kind of post that resonate with a specific audience?

There’s an art and a science to that.

But you look at your posts’s engagement rate and you figure out what your audience is interacting with, and which ones are high, which ones are low.

What are they not interacting with? And learn from that.

When you promote a lot of those posts, the interesting thing is the lowest cost-per-engagement ads don’t always turn out to be the ones that had the highest engagement rate!

We’re not really sure why that is. It might be a difference in the way that Facebook shows ads vs. the way that they show posts… or it may just be an aspect of the pricing.

But there’s some overlap, so if you’re going to test a limited number of posts, you should choose the ones that have the highest engagement rate.

Facebook Ad Insight #4: How Long Should Videos Be on Facebook?

Across all of our clients – although some are better than others – the average video view length is 15 seconds.

That’s pretty crazy… and we’ve seen that stat from other people as well.

That’s one of the reasons I think that’s crazy is that everybody is talking about how great live video is.

Facebook Live videos are very long. I know Amy Porterfield has done some 5-8 minute FB lives to promote her courses. But if you do 40 minutes or an hour or whatever, you just don’t know how long individuals stay. You don’t get a lot of metrics on them. If you do 45 minutes and the average person was there for 2 minutes… how are you gonna be sure you got your message got across? What part of your message got across? It’s very hard to develop marketing messages that way.

People are effective with webinars because they get people on the webinar and they have ways of keeping them on the webinar the whole time. But with Facebook live, they come in, it’s very informal… it’s more engagement focused, more top of funnel.

We’ve noticed that the videos that cost the least to promote are the ones that got the highest percentage of completion… they’re saying don’t waste anybody’s time, whether the video is 30 seconds long or five minutes long, it’s higher quality if people are finishing it.

In other words, don’t make your videos longer than they need to be!

Keep it interesting. Have a plan. If you’re editing it, edit out the boring and redundant parts.

I don’t know if they’re going to keep that because they’re trying to get TV dollars. They’re probably going to prize video duration, so that’ll be that’ll be an interesting thing to monitor if they start to favor videos that can hold an audience longer amount of time.

Facebook Ad Insight #5: How Important is the Pixel and Conversion Tracking?

Conversions are important- they’re leads and sales.

And that’s my bias because I started out in Google AdWords, helping companies get sales way back in 2004.

We do a lot of lead gen as well. So to me conversion is very important and it’s a lot easier to justify ad spend if you’re getting money back from it.

It’s difficult to quantify the value of branding and awareness and engagement even though we know it has a value… certainly they say that Coca-Cola’s brand itself is worth $78 billion separate from all the factories and other assets- and there are case studies that quantify that…

I don’t think we should ever avoid doing conversion just because it’s hard.

But there are are often significant obstacles. We’ve done a lot of lead gen and sales/ecommerce work with Facebook ads. A lot of our clients have obstacles implementing the tracking… whether it’s that they don’t have a devoted thank you page with its own URL or a confirmation page… or they’re using some kind of third-party software like a scheduling software that doesn’t allow us to put JavaScript into it… some SAAS vendors that don’t understand marketing tracking. Some programmers don’t understand that Facebook and AdWords pixels are not just for tracking- it’s not enough to have the Google Analytics on there- because Facebook and AdWords do conversion optimization algorithms- automated artificial intelligent algorithms to determine who to show ads to and how to optimize ad display based on that pixel information. So if you don’t have the conversion pixel in the setup, you’re just not going to get as many leads or sales at as low a price. Or you might not get any conversions.

It’s just not going to work as well. It’s like a GPS without a transponder. You don’t have a satellite up. You can’t get a signal.

Weird things happen. We’ve noticed some weird things- like ads that perform better the longer they run. That’s the way that Google AdWords and Facebook conversion optimization work.

They have to learn a conversion profile – they’re AI profiling your buyers and they need data to do that, and they can’t get that data from Google Analytics. So that pixel has to be set up properly for them to get that data.

You can’t judge a conversion campaign too quickly, either. We’ve learned to give everything at least 72 hours and sometimes it takes longer than that. If you judge an ad too soon and turn it off, things don’t work well.

There have been situations where we’ve been able to let ads run longer… even ones that weren’t performing at the ROI level we wanted, and they got better because Facebook is homing in on the target and it just needs more time and data.

That data, unfortunately, costs money.  You have to pay to not get results for a while in order to ramp things up.

If you’re getting conversions, you’re feeding information into the algorithm and the performance will improve quite a bit over time. That’s an important thing to understand about the pixel and the algorithm and everything if you’re too quick on the trigger to judge a bad conversion and you may miss out on a lot of opportunity.

Facebook Ad Insight #6: Which Conversion Window Should You Choose?

Another conversion factor is conversion window.

When you choose conversion window, it’s one day or seven days.

You’re basically telling Facebook, “We think that the person is going to convert within one day of clicking… or seven days.”

It’s kind of like a sales cycle. How long do you think it takes the person to decide before they’ll convert, whether that’s a leader of sale?

Sometimes you can have a pretty good idea depending on the business, but it’s just as easy to test both, and in some cases that’s what we do… we’ll test the same ad set where everything is the same but one has a one day conversion window and the other has a seven day conversion window.

The results can be dramatically different- it could mean the different between zero conversions and a lot of conversions.

Facebook Ad Insight #7: What Are Retargeting Best Practices?

The last thing that I want to share with you is retargeting.

Retargeting is essential. You have to do it.

Why is that?

For the same reason we want to do email marketing.

The first time people come to your website, most of them don’t do anything: whether that’s buy or become a lead… most people don’t convert if you look at the percentages.

  • A great e-commerce site converts at maybe 3%.
  • Even Amazon product pages convert at max 20% but that means that 80% percent don’t convert.
  • If your Shopify site converts at 3%, you’re a rockstar. But 97% of people didn’t convert.

You need to be running retargeting ads to stay in front of those people. Whether that’s normal retargeting or dynamic product ads, you’ve got to do it. It’s a best practice to the degree that it’s malpractice not to run them.

You’ve got to stay in front of people.

Now, don’t be stupid about it. You’ve seen the ads when you’ve already bought something but you’re still seeing ads for it? That means they didn’t exclude the buyers, which is not hard to do. You can exclude the buyers. Create another audience based on people who have been to the confirmation page. Exclude those people if you want.

If you’re doing lead gen, a really great lead gen campaign converts at 40-60%, but you’re still losing a ton. Te average lead gen campaign converts 10-20% of people, so 80-90% of people leave, and you need retargeting to stay in front of them.

They didn’t like that lead magnet, so send them to another one.

Create three lead magnets. Find another lead magnet that they’ll go through.

Content marketing has become popular, so the stakes have gone up, the ante for the marketing game has gone up, and if you don’t have multiple articles, multiple videos and multiple lead magnets, then you’re falling behind.

You need to create it or you need to have somebody like us create these so that you can grab prospects.

Retargeting is such a best-practices that it’s malpractice not to do it.

In some cases we have clients that we run AdWords and Facebook ads but they may only get Facebook leads and sales from retargeting

We’ve got other clients that do get lead sales cold from all kinds of target groups with Facebook ads, but for some clients they can only get it through retargeting… so in some ways retargeting is the strongest Facebook ad audience.

Lookalikes and custom audiences are really good too.

We recommend them for post engagement, video views, awareness, engagement…

Your retargeting audience is basically like an email list. You want to constantly show them new stuff: whether that’s new blog posts, videos or whatever… every month you better have something new, or they’re going to get bored.

Look at that frequency number and see how many times your audience is seeing those things. If that feedback number goes over 3-5, they’re start hiding your ads abd the negative feedback goes up. That can be a danger to your account reputation, and if that’s combined with too many ad disapprovals, Facebook can deactivate your account.

If your frequency goes too high, you either need to create more content faster for your retargeting, or you need to lower your retargeting spend. Maybe your retargeting audience isn’t big enough.

Maybe you haven’t made the duration of the audience long enough- are you targeting 180 days? I make it as long as I can, because that’s like saying, “I want people to hear about me for six months.”

If you had an email list, how long would you want them to hear from you? Until they left the list, right? Why wouldn’t you want the same for retargeting?

The last thing about retargeting: sometimes we find what sells is to show customers first one type of ad to cold audiences and another type of ad to retargeted people. It’s like a one-two punch, a cold and retargeting ads. What we’ve seen work is the cold audience gets a pain or a problem oriented message and the retargeting gets the solution oriented message. So, if you’re having trouble converting cold traffic try that badass one-two punch solution. That’s a freebie I should probably sell

Go Do It!

Those are seven Facebook ad insights we’ve gathered that you absolutely need to know.

I hope that you find that useful and look forward to hearing your gigantic results!

facebook ad performance problem diagnosis

5 Steps to Diagnosing Facebook Ad Performance Problems

Do you ever run into Facebook ad performance problems? For example:

  • Your campaigns suddenly aren’t performing as well?
  • Your costs start to go up?
  • Your new campaign doesn’t perform nearly as well as previous campaigns?

We do mentor and train agency folks like Facebook ads specialists, and one of the big skill gaps we frequently have to train for are:

  • The ability to discover the real cause of a performance problem so that you can take the right action to fix it.
  • An understanding of the most important metrics (besides your key performance indicator) and how to use them to diagnose the problem.
  • Comparing present and past performance properly to come to accurate conclusions.

Without these skills, what happens is:

  • Specialists and clients are uncertain what’s wrong.
  • They tend to grab at straws about what might be the problem.
  • They agree on what they think is the most likely cause without looking deeper into the numbers to find out for sure.
  • They end up take the wrong action, and get worse results and missing out on performance opportunities.

That’s like someone treating a disease without doing any lab or diagnostic tests- often considered malpractice.

So let’s remedy this!

Here’s how to diagnose Facebook ad performance problems, in 5 simple steps.

But first, a few basics bout the metrics and how they work:

In the above funnel diagram, you can see the most important metrics we need to look at, and how they are arranged as we drive a user from ad showing (impression) to click (website traffic) to conversion (result).

  • CPM = cost per 1,000 (mille) impressions, AKA the cost per 1,000 ad showings
  • CTR = clickthrough rate, a measure of how interesting your ad is, leading to clicks, AKA website traffic
  • CPC = cost per click, or cost per visit to your website
  • RR = results rate, is the % of ad viewers who convert (to a lead, sale, or whatever you’re trying to get them to do)
  • CPR = cost per result, AKA cost per conversion

Also important to note is that these metrics are all rates, not total numbers. Clickthrough rate (CTR) is more important to gauging how interesting your ad is than its sheer number of clicks, just as miles per hour is more important to gauging how fast you’re going than the # of miles you’ve gone. Total numbers can actually distract you here, and are not important for now.

Start by going into the Facebook ad dashboard and getting your columns right. Here’s what I recommend:

Save that column set as your Facebook ad diagnosis column set, or something like that.

STEP 1: Find a Good Date Range for Comparison

To say anything is wrong, it has to be wrong compared to something that’s right. So we need to figure out what we’re comparing, A and B, and what the date ranges for each are.

Your comparisons could be things like:

  • A: your current campaign, the most recent two weeks
    vs.
    B: the same campaign, the most recent two weeks of the previous year

    OR
  • A: your current campaign, the most recent two weeks
    vs.
    B: a different but similar and better-performing campaign, the most recent two weeks

When it comes to choosing the right date ranges, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • When you compare different time periods (e.g. this month vs last month, or the last 14 days vs the 14 days before that), there could be seasonal variation. Things like news, economic changes, holidays, and even weather can affect performance. If you think about the Great Recession, sometimes changes can last for a long time and can even throw off year-to-year comparisons. So if you are comparing two time periods, think about why they might differ.
  • It’s always best, if you can, to compare either two different campaigns over the exact same date range, or your current campaign this year compared to the exact same date range the previous year. You’re more likely to get an apples to apples comparison, but…
  • When comparing year to year, keep in mind whether the industry, the markets, the economy or anything else has changed significantly. Also, CPM tends to go up each year on both Facebook and Google, so you should expect some change there. Sometimes we’re talking 5-10% but sometimes these changes are huge, as when AdStage reported Facebook CPM’s nearly tripling (+171%) from 2016 to 2017. So look for industry reports on metrics, and also benchmark year to year changes across multiple Facebook ad accounts if you have that kind of access.

STEP 2: Compare CPM, Which Is the First Source of All Subsequent Cost Metrics in the Funnel

First, we want to see if the basic cost of displaying ads has gone up. This is measured in cost per impression (CPM), or cost per 1,000 ad showings.

There are a few different causes of higher CPM’s:

  • Year over year platform cost increases, as described above.
  • Changes in your ad set targeting; you may have added new targets that are more expensive.
  • What your ad sets are optimizing for; if you’re optimizing for impressions, Facebook will find you cheaper ones. If you’re optimizing for conversions, it may be more expensive to show to that higher quality subset of people.

Now compare: Look at the change in CPM, and compare that to the change in your CPR. Is it close enough to completely explain the CPR change? Or was there minimal change in CPM, or even in the opposite direction of the CPR? For example, if CPR went up but CPM went down, CPM is not the culprit.

Check out the following example:

In the first campaign (first row), CPR went up 40.95%, but CPM only went up 13.9%, so CPM played a part, but there’s more to the story.

STEP 3: Compare CTR (Clickthrough rates)

The combination of CPM and CTR is going to give you your CPC. So we want CTR to be as high as possible. It’s reasonable to expect CTR’s as high as 8% at times, but 1-3% is more normal.

Clickthrough rate can go down when:

  • Creative burns out: you can’t run the same ads, videos or text forever in the same audience target, because eventually everyone has seen it and it no longer works. Create more stuff!
  • Frequency is too high: If your spend is too high for an audience size, your frequency may go up to 2, 3, 4 or higher, and this overexposure can lower CTR. You might want to do that in a reach-oriented campaign, but in conversions, it could hurt your CPR.
  • Spend is too high for audience size: When you have a good campaign CPR, you want to “turn it up,” as in spend more. And you can, to a point. But you’ll eventually hit a threshold where you’re dipping into lower quality parts of audience, and CTR will go down, and possible CR as well.

If you are seeing a big CPM increase, then if you can lower CTR, you will lower CPC.

But if your CTR remains the same with a higher CPM, CPC will go up, too.

STEP 5: Compare Cost Per Clicks

Ok, admittedly, this one is not super useful, because CPC is a function of CPM and CTR.

CTR changes and their effect on CPC

In the above example, you can see that usually when CTR goes down, CPC goes up, and vice versa. But these numbers are not exactly the same, so we know that CPM changes also played a role.

Most of our solution is going to be focused on

  • Controlling CPM (through audiences),
  • Controlling CTR (through creative), and
  • Controlling RR (through audience, creative and website).

Check your CPC changes, but focus more on the three metrics above!

NOTE: one thing you may want to do with CTR is make sure you’re hitting industry and overall Facebook benchmarks. In the example chart above, all CTR’s are below 1.0%, which indicates there may be a problem with the creative not being compelling enough to the audiences.

STEP 6: Compare RR (results rate), the % of people who visit the website and convert

It’s important to find out if the percentage of people converting on your website has gone down. Sometimes this is a temporarily seasonal type of thing, but sometimes it’s a new competing offer in the marketplace, or perhaps the website has accidentally been changed and you didn’t realize it.

Always check the website and make sure everything looks right and is functioning correctly.

If RR goes to zero, make sure the Facebook pixel is still there and the conversions are still set up correctly.

Nerdy point: RR is results per impression, which is the % of people who saw an ad and converted. Most people also look at conversion rate (CR), which is just the % of website visitors that convert. This is a more focused measure of your website’s ability to persuade. CTR and CR can balance each other out sometimes- one goes up and the other goes down- what you want is for both to go up. When you have relatively similar CPM’s but the CPR is dramatically different, sometimes both CTR and RR are better, combining their effects for a much lower result rate.

Even when CPM is higher, the best cost per results may come from the combo of the best CTR and best CR.

STEP 6: Focus on the area of biggest change when devising your performance solution

When you find the biggest problem area, you can focus your solution there. For example:

  • Check your ad sets to see if specific audiences have high CPM’s and are dominating the spend too much. Look at their CPR’s, and if they’re not good, you may want to pause them.
  • If CTR is the problem, look at which ads have better and worse CTR, and go more in the direction of the better ads. Create more new ads along those lines. Pause the bad ones.
  • If CR (response rate) is the problem, it could be your offer, your website, or it could be that particular audience. Look at your ad sets to see if some of them are not converting very well. But if all CR’s are low, it is more likely to be the entire offer, or the website.

And that’s it!

You now know how to diagnose where the biggest problem with your performance is coming from.

And diagnosis always comes before proper treatment… so now you can go forth as a Facebook Ad Doctor and avoid malpractice!

chalkboard graph of decreasing costs

Facebook Post Promotion Ads for Lower Conversion Costs? DMMH #4

In this 4th episode of The Digital Marketing Happy Hour, Lynda and Brian discuss how post promotion ads can have direct and indirect effects on your conversion performance, e.g. lowering lead generation costs.

Don’t forget to click through and subscribe to the DMMH channel- and comment on YouTube if you have any questions- or even suggestions for future videos!

graphic demonstrating video development through end user experience

Video Advertising Tips: YouTube, Instagram and Facebook

In the second installment of our new Digital Marketing Happy Hour Show, we talk VIDEO ADVERTISING!

In this episode, we answer questions like: What’s the best type of YouTube ad? Which objective should you choose for your Facebook ad? How long should your videos be for Facebook and Instagram?

Enjoy, and don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel!

Facebook ads experts graphic

What Makes a Facebook Ads Expert? Digital Marketing Happy Hour #1

I’m so thrilled to debut a new podcast and youtube channel to you all today!

And that I finally got my wife and partner in our digital marketing agency, Lynda Harvey-Carter, into some content where you can see the kind of thinking and work we do every day for our clients and partner agencies. We have a lot of fun doing the work and getting results- and we just have a lot of fun. Look forward to hearing what you think about it. Hope you enjoy!

We’re calling it The Digital Marketing Happy Hour. It’s fun AND practical.

In this first episode, we talk about what makes a Facebook ads EXPERT vs. someone who’s only been doing it a few years. What’s the difference? We give examples of some of the most critical issues and activities to success and failure.

Here are some of the things we discussed:

  • Facebook ad targeting
  • Facebook ad types
  • Facebook ad metrics and benchmarks
  • Creative assets, design and testing
  • Customer behavior and why it’s often so surprising
  • Mobile (smartphones and tablets) and why it’s the most important thing

Please go subscribe to the channel, and hit that notification bell so you hear about all our future episodes.

For now it’s just the YouTube series, but soon we’ll add the audio podcast as well!

 

5 Quick Tips To Get More Out of Your Facebook Posts

Are you posting on Facebook, but not getting enough out of it?

Want more brand exposure? More interaction? More website traffic?

Then you’ll enjoy these 5 quick tips!

Facebook Post Tip #1: To Get More of EVERYTHING…

Run ads. And I don’t mean boost posts.

Get into the Facebook Ad Manager and create post promo ads to show your posts to more people.

If no one sees them, no one interacts, no one clicks, nothing else happens!

The main benefit of running post promo ads from Ad Manager is that you’ll learn how to get really affordable exposure and interaction, especially when you do the rest of these tips.

And another benefit is that you’ll be creating cool engagement audiences that you can later retarget to, and retargeting audiences are great for driving lead and sales!

Facebook Post Tip #2: To REACH More People…

If you run ads but your post images have too much text, Facebook won’t show your post to as many people.

Once again, if you don’t reach enough people, not much happens…

Facebook has a thing they call the 20% rule.

The 20% rule is: you can’t have text in more than 5 out of 25 rectangles in a 5×5 grid placed over your image

So follow the 20% rule, reduce text in your images and you’ll reach more people!

Use this tool to check your images before your post.

Facebook Post Tip #3: To Get More ENGAGEMENT…

How do you stop the scroll?

Grab the attention?

Get them to care?

This is a huge topic worthy of at least an entire book.

And it’s not just the concern of social media people- it’s something that musicians, artists, storytellers, advertisers…

All kinds of people want to grab attention and make people care.

But the short answer, based on our landmark Contagious Content study is that

You should have AT LEAST ONE of the following in EVERY post:

  • Humor
  • How-To Advice
  • Amazing Stuff
  • Generosity & Offers
  • Inspiration
  • Warnings

Facebook Post Tip #4: To Get More CLICKS and Website TRAFFIC…

Make sure you have a website link in your post.

If there’s no link, how will they get to your website?

Do you really think they’re going to…

  1. Click on your Facebook page name and
  2. Find your “About us” and
  3. Find the website link and then finally
  4. Click on that?

No way! That’s three or four extra steps you made them do! Most people are already on to something else in their life and you lost them!

So, put a link in every post, if you want traffic!

Also, BONUS TIP: watch your link clickthrough-rate.

Look at your reports (either export your posts from Page Insights or even better, if you’re running post promo ads, look at your Ad Manager data) to see which posts get the highest link-CTR. These are the ones that drive traffic, not just engagement. Learn from this!

Facebook Post Tip #5: To Get More BLOG READERS…

This is an advanced one.

It’s a combination of 3 and 4.

You have to have a website link in your Facebook post, of course, or how will they find the blog post?

And you can’t be boring.

Your post has to grab attention or they’ll never stop long enough to consider reading your blog post.

No matter how interesting you think your blog post is…

And no matter how much time you spent writing it and editing it and making it awesome…

Your work isn’t done yet. Now you have to sell it!

The same way you have to write a good blog post title to get people to care, if you’re posting in social media or creating an ad about a blog post or both, you have to sell the sizzle about that post.

You might have already put some of that sizzle into your blog post title.

But in a Facebook post, you need an image or a video.

So if you just finished your blog post, you might want to take a break, because you need some creative energy now for the Facebook post.

Do you already have an engaging or funny or interesting image or video for it?

Or do you need to find one?

Go back to tip #3 on ENGAGEMENT and think about which of those SIX AWESOME THINGS you can use that fits your blog post.

Then you’re done!

🙂

 

Why You Have to Market with Facebook Video

I mean it’s obvious why Facebook video rocks, right? I mean you see a ton of it in your news feed. Right? It’s always there.

Facebook live, Facebook edited videos, it’s constantly there and you’re getting pulled in from one video to another through that carousel experience. You may be watching a sequence of videos before you even realize it.

It’s very popular and Facebook is pushing it like crazy, they definitely want to beat YouTube. YouTube just put out there YouTube Live thing, so Facebook and YouTube are fighting for video. There’s a huge war in general about the screen.

Facebook’s going to bring in all these people like Gordon Ramsay and try to capture your video viewing time. They don’t want you to necessarily to be on Netflix doing video viewing, they’d rather you were on Facebook doing it. Right? Anyone that’s using Facebook video has a huge advantage right now.

I’ll talk at some other time about photos versus videos, because photos still have a big advantage on Facebook just because they’re so quickly consumed. It’s not easy to do Facebook video, or video anywhere well, in a way that people are going to love. It’s a huge opportunity because Facebook really wants everyone to see it, so they are favoring it in the news feed… so you should definitely figure out how to do video.

There are a lot of internal obstacles to it:

  • Like our videos aren’t good enough
  • We don’t have enough money
  • We’re not good on camera

You can do something like this. I’m filming this on an iPhone. I bought like an eight dollar thing to attach it to my tripod. My tripod probably cost thirty bucks, I don’t even remember. You can go on Amazon get a tripod and a little thing to attach your iPhone to your tripod.

The iPhone creates great, I don’t even have special lighting in here. When I bought an HD camera that required special lighting to look good. My iPhone does not, it’s very low maintenance.

There are ways to get involved and do video, and you’ve got to figure it out and start doing it because it’s a huge opportunity.

The 6 Types of Facebook Posts That Go Viral

Want more shares of your Facebook posts? Then you need to create more Facebook posts that go viral.

Want to get people to share your idea for you?

Want to reach the people you can’t reach yet- without even paying for it?

“Let’s make it go viral!”: It’s the executive order that marketers dread, because it’s so much easier said than done.

But the research shows us what kinds of Facebook posts get shared, and which kinds of posts they don’t share…

What People DON’T Share Is…

  • (Selfish) stuff about your company that doesn’t help them. Beware of PR and press releases that the CEO cares, that even the media might care about, but your average customer does NOT care about. You need things that make your best customer say, “Awesome!” Something that’s cool or helps them. Stop focusing on your company and focus on the customer. Try to think the way they think. Very few companies do this well. So when you do, you get big rewards in the form of sales and profits.
  • (Offensive) stuff that’s inappropriate or edgy or weird. Remember, if they hit “share” it goes to anyone they’ve connected to- their grandma, their boss, their employees, their mom, their kids… so a lot of people are only going to share PG to PG-13 items at most. The only exceptions are when your audience is defined by their edginess.
  • (Obscure) stuff that few people know about or like. Again, if most of their friends won’t even know what this thing IS, they probably won’t share it. They’ll know that their interest in it is weird. Like if you like the bands Rush or Yes, chances are, most of your connections don’t. If your business is all about that weird interest, go for it, but if it’s not central to your business, and it’s an odd post topic, it probably won’t get shared.

The 6 Types of Posts People Share:

This is a diagram I created based on my analysis of Agorapulse’s thousands of Facebook pages and post data back in 2012-2013. We saw it work right away and since then we’ve continually proven that these principles work for 100’s of companies. And in every Social Audit we’ve done for any company, their most shared posts are always one of these six types.

Viral Facebook post for a cruise giveaway
Viral Facebook post for a cruise giveaway

#1 Posts That GIVE Go Viral

When you give, people not only want to reciprocate (you’ve read Cialdini’s Influence, right?), they also want to give the same to others.

So when you offer discounts and deals and run contests, you may see those get shared, and you may also want to make sure your contests are set up to reward people for sharing.

You can incentivize virality (give them a carrot to get them to share) with a variety of contest platforms.

#2 Posts That ADVISE Go Viral

This is another type of giving, but from an information and insight perspective.

When you give tips and how to’s that help people overcome obstacles and get closer to their goals and dreams, they get shared.

You increase your chances of getting shares when those tips and how to’s look super high quality.

So if it’s a video, give it some production value. If it’s a blog post, write a good title, make it scannable, readable, and use great images.

I would recommend infographics if Facebook is a big part of your distribution plan, because infographics are not very compatible with Facebook:

  • Facebook images are smaller and horizontal compared to typically gigantic and vertical infographics.
  • Infographics won’t pass the 20% text rule (put a 5×5 grid over your image, and you can’t have text in more than 5 of the squares), so they’ll never approve an ad to support it, so it will get very limited reach.
  • Instead, take the chunks of info you want to get across, and post them one at a time.
Viral Facebook post that warns
Viral Facebook post that warns

#3 Posts That WARN Go Viral

This often comes into play for news services, for example TV news.

But it can also apply if you know something about your industry.

For example, I could write a post like “WARNING: Facebook Ad Costs Are So Low in 2020 That You’re Crazy Not to Run Them!” and talk about how

  • Since many companies stopped doing Facebook ads during the COVID crisis…
  • Ad CPM’s dropped, and even with lower click through rates (lower demand due to financial issues)…
  • Cost per click is still lower than ever.
  • But it’s still important to learn to resonate with your audience by knowing what they like, because
  • When you resonate, that increases your click-through rates, and
  • CPC goes down even further.

So that’s how you tie one of the viral post types in with your sales message- I would then be selling Facebook ad services. And yes, ninja trainees, I just sold it in this blog post too! 😉

Viral Facebook post that amuses
Viral Facebook post that amuses

#4 Posts That AMUSE Go Viral

Humor. Almost everybody loves it. The problem is: how do you do it in business? To do humor well in business, you have to:

  • Be relatable- it has to be based in a common experience of your audience
  • Make sure you don’t offend anyone (or not too much)
  • For extra credit, make a marketing or sales point with it that gets people closer to buying

And because of the not offending and not being edgy thing, it may actually not be that funny compared to what you’d see on Comedy Central. But that’s ok. Corporate humor that doesn’t make everybody uncomfortable and is in fact hilarious at a conference may only warrant a chuckle from you alone at your desk. You don’t have to be Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle. In fact, if you try to be, you’ll probably offend somebody, and you won’t get shares- and even if you do, it could hurt your company’s image.

Now this is different for every company- it has to fit your brand, your culture, and your legal department. Some companies are younger and smaller and are OK with taking more risks, and they benefit from them. That’s great. Just make sure the level of edginess you choose fits your company.

Viral Facebook post that inspires
Viral Facebook post that inspires

#5 Posts That INSPIRE Go Viral

People tend to agree with positive, inspirational messages. They “like” them. And they share them because of

  • The positive post made them feel good and they want their friends to feel good, too. I think this is probably the biggest part of the motivation.
  • They think the positive post will make them look good. “Wow, Brian is really wise for sharing that Facebook post.” I don’t know that we really ever think that consciously, because it sounds stupid when you voice it out loud, but the “looking good to others” factor does play a part.
Viral Facebook post that amazes
Viral Facebook post that amazes

#6 Posts That AMAZE Go Viral

We may not have created the Internet to see amazing monasteries in the clouds or puppy videos or 8 year old kids playing incredibly difficult guitar pieces or skateboarders falling on their faces… but it is amazing how much amazing we can now spread.

The Internet connects us in a way that allows us to share more amazing things with more people than ever before.

In the past, it was just through TV shows (That’s Incredible! and Ripley’s Believe It or Not and America’s Funniest Home Videos), and people had to mail VHS tapes to these shows, or the TV shows had to have people traveling the globe to find them- but now so many people have smartphones, we can capture tons of things and the collective human race can judge and make each thing viral or not.

And all of that stuff is right there for you to find with Google and BuzzSumo and PostPlanner… because no matter how many people have shared it, a lot of this amazing stuff has not been seen by most people. It’s not only proven viral- it’s still new to many. Especially the stuff that was on sites like Ebaums World before Facebook. Sometimes you’ll see something go viral on Facebook and discover it happened four years ago…

So those are the 6 types of posts that go viral!

How to Make Your Revenue Go Viral

The goal here is not just engagement, though- but also to tie it into your sales and marketing messages.

Engagement is great, because every brand needs attention, but if you want extra credit and better ROI, make sure you’re also thinking about your customer’s pains and problems and your services’ and products’ benefits.

Tie it in and connect the dots. Give them a call to action related to your brand. Put a link in the text (and some utm parameters to track it well in Google Analytics) so that they can go somewhere to take an action meaningful to your bottom line.

context-driven sales vs. self-centered sales

You’ve already pressed their buttons and stimulated their emotions- so channel that into a transaction with your company- or at least make the courteous suggestion that they might considering doing that…

Then it won’t just be your engagement going viral- your revenue can go viral, too!