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5 Elements For An Effective Facebook Ad Campaign

Note from the author: This article is based on a presentation I did in the Philippines. The concept as a whole was originally presented by Molly Pittman who was then Vice-President at DigitalMarketer. I am authorized to share the same general concept but with my interpretation as a DigitalMarketer Certified Partner.

Photo by John T on Unsplash

I’ll be honest; anyone can write a Facebook ad. But the question is, will it convert?

See Facebook ads is more than just putting up a post, slapping on some fancy words, putting it in front of a big audience and hoping to get sales. There are a whole art and science behind it. The good news is that you don’t need to be a pro to get this.

All you need is to identify the 5 key elements that make up an effective ad campaign and work on each of those elements well. Think of it as creating a salad with multiple ingredients. If the individual ingredients are fresh and prepared well, it makes the whole salad much better.

So here are the 5 key elements for a successful Facebook ad campaign.

Offer

I’ve seen a lot of entrepreneurs go straight to running Facebook ad campaigns without even having their offer down and clarified. The result? Money down the drain on ads that sucked. Now when i say offer, let me be clear and specify that I do not mean the specific products or services you are selling. I’m referring to the specific promise you make to your customers.

Here is an example to help clarify that.

When I first started promoting my Facebook Ads Agency to entrepreneurs in the Philippines back in 2017, I wasn’t met with too much enthusiasm. You see, at that time (and up to now actually), Facebook ads are still a young concept to many entrepreneurs who can maximize the platform. So when I would talk about Facebook ads, there would be a lot of misconceptions and wrong beliefs around it, specifically that it wouldn’t work.

So it was difficult for me to turn my conversations into sales conversations. But it was when we shifted to offering lead generation services and offering to drive more sales was when we started to get more traction.

Why?

People didn’t care about Facebook ads. No one woke up and told themselves “Hmmm, I wish I had Facebook ads today.” What was relevant was increasing their leads and sales, and that was our offer.

Instead of saying “we offer Facebook ads”, we shifted to now say “we help entrepreneurs get more leads and sales.” When they proceeded to talk to us, that was when we introduced Facebook ads as our means of providing that result.

Before you start investing in running ads on Facebook, a good question to ask is “what is my offer?” If you know this already, then that’s super awesome. But if not, here are some questions you can answer to help you uncover this;

  • What problem does your product/service solve?
  • What have your happy customers told you about their lives since becoming customers?
  • Why did you create your business in the first place?

Identifying this is beneficial to getting more people interested in what you do whether or not you run ads so honing down on this should be on your priority list.

Creative

Facebook can be a noisy environment with different posts clamouring for your attention. You already know this. That’s why attention is very vital. Let me digress a bit here and talk about attention. I think most people will say that because of social media, attention spans are much shorter than ever.

I semi-disagree.

It’s not that it’s limited, but more of ‘expensive’. What I mean is that people’s attention spans are not necessarily shorter, people are just more wary of what they pay attention to. Keep that in mind when designing your ad, particularly, your ad creative. Your ad creative is the visual component of the ad and initially takes up the most space on an ad. It can be an image, a video, a collection or a carousel.

The bottom line of this is that if you’re creative does not get the attention of your target audience, they will not read the copy, they will not click on the ad and they will eventually not convert. Obviously, we don’t want that. So remember that the creative is more than just some image you put up. It has a purpose that affects your bottom-line results.

Here’s a couple of tips on planning for ad creatives.

First, make sure it’s relevant. What you want is to attract the attention of your target audience. Imagine your target market scrolling mindlessly through his or her newsfeed. What will make this person stop scrolling? If he or she sees something relevant to his or her interests.

Second, make sure the message is clear. In our team, one of our criteria for creative selection is if the creative is clear enough such that if there was no ad copy, would the user still understand what we were offering? Don’t underestimate the power of a well-planned creative.

Copy

I used to think copy was not THAT important. I thought that as long as I got an awesome offer in front of the right people, that was enough. I could not have been more wrong. A copy is actually part of an ad that not only shares your offer but explains why people should take action on your offer.

I don’t know why I’m thinking of banks but here’s an example. Have you ever seen a bank run an ad on any media channel to simply say “We are a bank’. For me, no. Instead of merely saying what they are, they always make sure to convey the message of why it’s important to take their offer.

Another example is from a student of mine. He was running an ad campaign for his client who was selling charcoal toothpaste. If he ran an ad which simply said, “Charcoal Toothpaste”, I would have probably bombed. But the ad he ran had one simply copy in the headline: ‘Goodbye Yellow Teeth”.

It wasn’t even about the toothpaste anymore. He had written a simple copy that clearly stated what the promise was, and this was enough for them to generate millions in sales. In number 1, we talked about identifying your offer. Now that that is clear for you, number 3 is all about making sure that it is clear to your audience as well. I know that copywriting is a whole new thing in itself but my bottom-line advice when it comes to writing copy is to make sure that you are able to answer this one question: why should I care?

Why should your audience care enough to read the ad and eventually convert.

Targeting

Imagine coming up with an awesome offer and being able to create an ad where the creative and the copy is able to express this clearly and effectively. If you put all these in front of the wrong people then it’s useless.

That’s why it’s still part of the 5 elements that you are able to define your targeting very well. And what works best when it comes to planning targeting is the idea of specificity. Here’s an example which I displayed in a live workshop before.

Let’s say I’m targeting fans of the NBA. The first person that came to mind when I did this was Lebron James so I asked the attendees who among them knew who Lebron James was. More than half the room had their hand raised. With their hands still raised, I asked them to keep their hands up if they were NBA fans. Most put down their hands.

So in that sample size, Lebron James would not have been a good interest to target because we may still reach people who aren’t interested at all in the NBA and just know of Lebron James. I then asked who among the group knew who Giannis Antentokuompo was. The people who said they were NBA fans raised their hands again.

Remember that when targeting an audience with Facebook ads, it’s very helpful if you are able to hone in on specific interests that will allow you to have a clear definition of who your audience is.

Ad Scent

Imagine that you are on a hike. You start off at the basecamp with a lot of other hikers and you go on your way. Imagine going on your way with the other hikers in your line of sight as you walk through a clearing of branches and a clear path to walk on.

Now as you go along, imagine that the path slowly becomes less clear, more branches appear and there are fewer people around you. At this point, you’ll probably stop and think to yourself that you may be walking towards the wrong direction so the natural instinct would be to go back where you came from. That’s an illustration of how ad scent works.

This is an important element to consider when you are using your ad to bring people outside of Facebook. This is the hike.

Now when you’re bringing people out of Facebook, you’re taking them out of their original trail. And the moment the experience starts to be different for the users, they’ll realize that they are now in a different place and will return to Facebook.

Here’s an example.

Imagine seeing a video ad for a set of knives which captures your attention enough to want to check out more of that product. When you click on the ad, it suddenly brings you to a website of a furniture store. A completely different experience to what was promised in the ad.

Chances are, you’d click back unless you’re in the market for furniture. The point is if your ad is telling people to click through, it’s important that you are able to clearly set the expectation about the post-click experience and that the overall feel and experience of the ad is consistent with the overall feel and experience with the landing page. I’ll give you an example that happened to us.

We used to work with a real estate broker who had a webinar teaching people how to spot for flaws when visiting an open house. Since that was the promise of our webinar, that’s what we said in our ads: Learn How to Spot For Flaws in an Open House.

We got a lot of clicks but not a lot of conversions. So that told us that we were saying something in the ad that we’re not following through with on the landing page. Then we tested adding two very important words to our ad headline. Our headline now reads: [Free Webinar] Learn Hot To Spot For Flaws In An Open House. The result, we got fewer clicks, but we got more people to convert.

Why is that?

Because we stayed consistent with our messaging by letting people know upfront that we are offering a webinar. In the first ad, we simply promised to learn how to spot flaws. But when people clicked on it, maybe they weren’t interested in spending time to watch a webinar to learn this so a lot did not convert.

But in the second ad, we were upfront about saying that they will learn how to spot for flaws by attending a webinar. Those that are not interested in attending a webinar did not click at all but those that did click knew that we were going to ask them to sign up for a webinar so they had a higher likelihood of converting after they clicked.

So to recap, here are the 5 elements you’ll want to look at to help you make an effective ad campaign:

  1. Offer – Make sure that you have something that people want to take action on.
  2. Creative – Cut through the noise and get the attention of your target customer so they can read your…
  3. Copy – You have their attention, now let them know why they should take action on whatever you’re offering.
  4. Targeting – Don’t put your message and offer in front of the wrong people. Know who your audience is and target them on Facebook.
  5. Ad Scent – Once you now have their attention and they start to engage with you, don’t lose them by maintaining consistency.

Focus on each one and you stand a chance of creating not only effective ad campaigns but profitable ones as well.

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Julian Canita
Written By

Julian Cañita is a Facebook Advertising Strategist and Coach who runs a Facebook Advertising Agency as well as holds education and training programs on Facebook Ads and Digital Marketing. His dream is to empower entrepreneurs by using Facebook Ads to get them to reach more people and to help more people so they may be empowered to make a difference in others’ lives as well. Follow him on his Website, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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