Facebake – My Facebook Ads Recipe
Facebook Ads are similar to baking, so Imma teach you how to Facebake!
There’s a recipe. But more importantly there’s knowing how to bring together a recipe without blindly following it. A good baker knows when the dough is too wet, or if the cake needs a bit longer in the oven.
The recipe for Facebook Ads is the same – there’s 5 things you need to make them work, let’s call them ingredients. These are the building blocks of your ads structurally – but also the items you need to split test to find the most effective combination for your goal.
What are they?
- 1kg Amazing creative (mix of video & images)
- 2 heaped Tbsp Clever & Convincing copy
- 1 whole Offer (may be substituted with a benefit)
- 2-3 cups of Audience targeting
- 1 pinch Excellent landing page
We’ll examine them one by one.
You want your ads to stand out in the newsfeed – but for the RIGHT reasons.
Shouty, text-heavy, blurry, weirdly cropped images will not do. Well they could do the job – but you’ll be paying more than if you had good ones, and the goal is to pay the least as possible needed to meet your objective, right? Good. SO get some design skills or hire a designer.
Same with video. Is your video square or vertical? Does it have captions? Is it as short as humanly possible to still get your point across? Good! The research shows people will watch about 6 secs of your video ad, so you need to make them count.
Your Facebake creative also needs a lot of other components:
You know how important aroma is in cooking?
Well there’s this thing called ‘ad scent’ and it’s important to apply this to your ad creative. Make sure the ad creative matches in some way the landing page creative. They should ‘smell’ the same so people know they’re in the right place.
And how do you choose what type of amazing creative to use with your ads? We’ll discuss that in the method 🙂
Clever & Convincing Copy
Your copy (or text) on your Facebook Ads is another ingredient you’d like to pick fresh from the garden!
Firstly always think in terms of your target audience. Rather than making a vague general message, split off your copy for each layer of audience. If you’re targeting mums, think like a mum. If it’s young men, put your young man hat on. You’ve paid for space in someone’s social experience – make it for them and you can’t go too wrong.
There’s a couple of schools of thought on ad copy length, but for me – I go short every time.
Puns are good, alliteration is fun, rhyming can work…this is the clever part.
When picking copy avoid words like; sale, buy, offer, shop etc if you can help it. Remember you’ve interrupted someone’s newsfeed to serve an ad to them. Don’t use overtly spammy “buy my shit now” types of wording.
Having said that, you do need to include a call to action (CTA) Tell people what you want them to do. If it’s to read your latest post try “check it out” or if it’s to sign up to a list think “subscribe” but remember you can also choose your CTA button to do most of the heavy lifting for you in this area. Just don’t leave it open. In my workshops I always say confused people wander off – and they do, so steer them to your objective, just do it nicely.
And don’t forget about emojis. If your target market would use emojis then you should too. If you go to getemoji.org you’ll be able to see how the emoji display on Facebook so you can match or contrast them to your branding as best you can.
Bear in mind that emoji mean different things to different people though! I had a client who loved eggplant but using the eggplant emoji wasn’t going to fly. Another common one is the “praying hands” which some people think is a high five. You just don’t want to be misunderstood.
Double check your copy is clear and free of typos and spelling issues before posting. Although I have heard of people deliberately spelling a word wrong for entra engagement, I wouldn’t advise it.
Finally, thinking like your audience should allow you to write copy that addresses their curiosity, to either solve a problem or fulfill a desire they have. People buy emotions, so think of the way your product will make them feel.
And remember where you’re landing them when they click (if it’s an ad type that has clicks) so you introduce the page in a way that once they land there they aren’t confused. Why? Because confused people wander off remember! We’ll talk more about landing pages soon.
What are you selling? If you have a discount, sale or actual promotion your ads are going to convert better due to our brains being hard-wired to nab a bargain. It also creates scarcity which prompts a “do it now” response.
If you’re selling something no-one wants no manner of amazing Facebake ads deliciousness is going to get them to buy.
Think about what type of people will take up your offer, what times of day they might be most receptive, what device they’ll be using, where they are in the buyer journey – all these will help you whip up an offering to tantalising to ignore.
This actually should be a whole topic in itself – so I’m going to keep it as brief as I can.
Interest targeting is sketchy at best. Yup! simmer on that one.
Your best targeting comes from people who’ve performed an action with your business. What action? Anything really; clicked a link, viewed a video, hit “going” on an event, engaged with your Instagram account…most things can be measured and re-targeted.
If you need to run cold traffic try using a Lookalike Audience (LAL) or your current customers and let Facebook’s mighty algorithm find an audience for you. It’s very clever!
Upload your customer database (if permissions allow) and make a LAL of them.
MOST importantly, don’t layer your audiences too much – you need to test them separately to find the ones that work. Why? Better results and less bad feedback – which affects your ad Relevance Score and in turn tends to affect your overall ad performance.
A common misunderstanding is that layering audience interest like this will get you an audience of people who like BOTH football AND Beer. But it won’t – this will get you people who like football OR beer. You wouldn’t think it’d make a huge difference though, right?
This audience in Australia with no other filtering is displaying an estimated audience size of 4.4m people. If you layer it correctly to find people who like BOTH football AND beer like this
Your audience drops to 720k – which is a MASSIVE difference!
Before we get too bogged down in targeting (seriously this should, and probably will be its own post) don’t forget your exclusions. You wouldn’t cook a steak for a vegetarian!
It’s SO important to exclude people who aren’t relevant to your ad. If they have bought a house from you, you can probably leave them off the targeting for some time. Anyone who isn’t going to convert because they just did the thing you want them to do should be removed.
Exclusions can save you wasting budget on people who aren’t your audience, and we all want that budget to go as far as it can.
Most other targeting magic happens in the method, which we’ll discuss when we get there in a few paragraphs.
Excellent Landing Page
Why Excellent? Your Social Media Ads can do amazing things, but they can’t help you convert on a shitty landing page.
Most conversions are made on a website rather than a social platform, so don’t spoil the sauce by sending people to a confusing, ugly, non-responsive or slow loading site.
You may as well put your ad dollars in the toaster.
Now we’ve discussed our ingredients, and you’ve picked the freshest, most in season, best quality components to put into your Facebake, let’s talk about how you put it all together!
Baking is a precise art – I tried to make macarons once and it was a complete disaster. And I think a lot of people reading this might feel the same about Facebook Ads.
When baking, you need to pay attention to the order of the ingredients. It’s the same when setting up your campaigns.
Your cold traffic needs the most love, and the highest level of hand holding because they don’t know you at all.
They’ve likely never heard of you, or your business, and sometimes even your product – so asking them to marry you (convert) before introducing yourself is creepy and weird.
Start at the beginning, and ask them for something else first. Buy them a drink, offer them a seat, put your best foot forward.
In this analogy, buying them a drink is an offer, discount or promotion. The seat is articulating how you can help them, and putting your best foot forward could be introducing them to your best-seller or a helpful post, whitepaper, ebook or other resource to let them know you’re interested but you aren’t a creep.
I use a combination of Video Views and Link Clicks in this phase of the buyer journey. This not only gets traffic to your site, but builds a layer of data to re-target in the next phase in the form of Custom Audiences from Video Views.
Test all of your targeting as described above so you know which ads work the best – kill off any not performing, and add budget to scale the ones that are.
A lot of people don’t understand that they need to warm up this cold audience first, but it’s important to let the audience self-select that they’re interested in your brand by which pages they choose to visit, how long they remain on the page, or how much of your video they watched.
Your warm audience knows you, but probably haven’t converted yet, so they didn’t reject your initial advances but they haven’t agreed to date you. This could include your email database, and any other Custom Audiences you’ve made from engagement on your page, Instagram account or event.
Remind them why they started talking to you in the first place.
This is the perfect time to use your retargeting from website visits or Video Views ads, and hit them with a link click or Landing Page View ad to a more sales-focused page of your site. If they landed on the “cakes” page of your site you know they like cakes, so you can follow this segmentation along and only send people the most relevant ads.
The Canvas Ad format can be added in the warm phase (I find it works better here than to a cold audience) and also Lead Gen ads – which I find perform well to a warm audience and pretty woefully to cold ones.
Depending on your buying cycle, price of your product and the length of your consideration phase, you can also start running Conversion ads to warm traffic.
Remember that a conversion is not necessarily a sale, it is whatever you set it up to reflect, so it could be an email database signup, or an Add To Cart (ATC).
You need 50 Conversions a week per Ad Set for your ad to work properly – so make set up your conversion point as close to a sale (or other end conversion goal) as you can afford at the required budget to get these initial 50 conversions or your ad will stop spending.
So again – split test all your ingredients to come up with your best warm traffic ads, kill off the burnt ones, and scale the winners.
These guys are prepped to buy!
Your warm audience should be ready for conversion ads.
Retargeting anyone who ATC but didn’t check out is a very effective targeting strategy, but like in baking you need to have the oven hot enough (ie. have enough data) – so depending on your budget, audience and product you may need to do this in a few stages.
If you have a repeat purchase type product you’ll want to maximise your current buyers by encouraging them to buy more often, or upgrade to a more expensive product.
The LAL of your purchasers are a very powerful prospecting audience, the same way you can sometimes substitute ingredients like oil instead of butter.
Conversion ads work best with static creative in my experience, video is too distracting.
Once you have your required conversions coming through at an acceptable cost per conversion (CPC) you can scale up your ads carefully so that you’re maintaining a good return on investment (ROI)
Be sure to change up your creative if it starts to loose its appeal – ads can’t run forever…
And always be experimenting – a great meal is tasted and adjusted at every stage of cooking. And no great meal is made without seasoning to taste, so make sure to add a healthy sprinkle of data.
Your secret ingredient?
So now that you have my recipe – are you going to get baking?
I’d love to know your secret sauce to a successful Facebake!
Feel free to join my new Facebook Group and ask away, or drop me a comment.