While you can certainly make the argument that Facebook ads are becoming less effective than they were in the past, Facebook is still fighting to be the social media network with the most active users. Don't forget that it still has Instagram underneath its belt. That's why it's important to use intentional Facebook ad strategies to ensure that you're not wasting your budget on ads that don't contribute to your bottom line.
There are a few key advantages to advertising on Facebook. Some of them are advanced options to target your ads to specific audiences. You have seamless e-commerce integrations with products, like Shopify, insightful data analytics, one of the most robust data reporting softwares to date, access to the entire Facebook ad library and there are options basically for everyone's budget. Starting at a dollar per day. You can use Facebook ads for both customer acquisition and retention. It's a great way to build brand awareness and advertise to new potential buyers, as well as nurture relationships with people who already know your brand.
Facebook offers three key goals in objectives to choose from for each ad. They're actually wiggling this down to two right now, but we'll say three for the sake of this blog. The first is Awareness. Use the subjective if you're new to business or advertising on Facebook and want to attract new customers. You may also use awareness goals to launch a new product line and promote an event if it's new. The second is Consideration. This is sort of the next step in our Facebook ad journey. After your audience has had some awareness of your offering, you'll want to hit them with ads that provide a little bit more information for them. These ads should drive engagement, or just help you collect some leads. Lastly, you'll have the objective for conversions, so conversion ads. The final step in the journey is getting people to finally convert. Maybe that means purchasing a product, you want people to get traffic to your website, directions to your physical store, or just fill out a form with their personal information.
There's not really a benchmark or any telltale sign for when you should consider Facebook ads. In fact, the platform actually offers multiple opportunities for about every business and every budget, making it very viable. Before we dive into the Facebook ad strategies to use for your eCommerce business, you're gonna want to get set up with the meta pixel. The pixel is a snippet of HTML code that you put in the back end of your site. Once installed, it collects data about your site visitors and their activity. Which makes it easier for you to run effective targeted Facebook ads with strategies down the line, especially as you collect customer email addresses.
Very briefly, here's how it works. Once you have the code installed when a user clicks on one of your ads and then visits the site, the pixel will track their behavior. You can see how much time they spend on your site, which links they click on which pages they visit, and what products they purchase.
While those insights are certainly valuable, the real value in the meta pixel is your ability to build audiences or customer segments that you can target. Targeting your Facebook ads to specific audiences enables you to tailor the creative and bidding for more effective ad performance, which leads us to the top five ways to get your ads moving in 2023.
The first way that you can leverage Facebook ads for the win is through personalized ads for targeted audiences. Facebook has some of the most robust targeting options out there allowing you to get super specific with the target audience promotions and the ad creative. This is especially helpful if you don't have a lot of existing customer data to use so new businesses or someone who may just maybe just transition into the space, this would be great for you.
Facebook's core audience feature lets you hone in on target market-based criteria based on five things, your location, so you can target specific countries, states, cities, communities, zip codes, etcetera. You can also set radiuses around central points, so this could be like geofencing something.
We have demographics, which enables us to target options like age, gender, education, job, political affiliation, income, and relationship status. Then there's interest targeting. This could include your hobbies or other things that you like to do. Lastly, there is behavioral targeting.
Facebook considers digital behavior, including your device usage, your network speed, and most of all, my favorite, your purchasing options and the things that you do. If you want to exclude individuals, when you're boosting brand awareness, this is also something that you can do, and I love it, but we're gonna go over one of my personal favorites and that is targeting by life events.
There are a ton of applications and options for life event targeting like engagements, marriages, babies, new jobs, graduations, recent moving retirements, anniversaries, and the loss of a loved one. So many options. If you can consider the context in which your products are used and then think about which life events may correspond to these uses, you could imagine that if you're a person selling specialty chocolate baskets, targeting people with those major life events could be very effective.
Similarly, I've seen this work firsthand with a business I used to own around the wedding business. We had a ton of leads come in because we were only targeting engaged couples while selling a product for weddings. You can also target customers by weather, which I think is a pretty cool one. This isn't really native to Facebook though.
It's a third-party targeting option that you can use. That basically automatically adjusts your ad creative and deactivates or activates ads based on the local weather conditions for that person. So there's a company that did this to promote its insulation for the windows. It targeted zip codes with temperatures dropping below 35 degrees. So, people that were cold in their homes.
You can also target by hobby. Audience insights are especially valuable for ad strategy. If you look at the shared hobbies among your audiences and then pick out the ones that aren't directly related to your niche, it could be really awesome. So a brand like Orca sells rugged coolers for the outdoors might predict, shared hobbies like fishing, hiking, and that kind of thing among its audience. Audience insights may also show an interest in country music, concerts, and any other things that may target those people with ads that suggest that coolers are great for tailgating before concerts and festivals.
The second way that you can utilize features inside of Meta’s ads manager is Facebook's custom audiences. Facebook’s custom audiences are groups of Facebook users who already know about your brand, but they haven't really engaged with it at a very high level. So this means they've visited your website before they might have engaged with your Facebook page before, signed up for email blasts, any of those good things and at some level they've engaged with your brand.
Now, essentially Facebook will take the customer data that you give it and it will compare it to the data of its Facebook users, and eventually, it will match your customers to its individual users. After doing that, Facebook will then create a group of people, allowing you to target them with different ad campaigns.
You can create four different types of custom audiences, which is awesome. You have website custom audiences. So anyone who visited your site. There are app activity audiences. So anyone taking certain actions inside of your app, customer list audiences, so you can import a customer list or a spreadsheet and it will match everybody.
Finally, you have your engagement-based custom audiences. These are groups of people who have engaged with your Facebook content or ads anytime in the past. The third way that you can dominate the ad space in 2023 is by expanding your market through lookalike targeting. Over time, you're going to use custom audiences to create similar segments of new audiences with related characteristics.
These audiences that we use all the time, are called lookalike audiences. They're valuable because they have a lot in common with your existing, audiences. You already know that they like your page, which ads perform well inside of them and in many cases, you can use the same ads for the lookalike audiences that you're already running for your other audience, because we've already targeted these people.
This Facebook ad strategy is probably one of the best ways to acquire new customers, since you already know the group's preferences, and you've already used them. You've proven that they can be effective in your ad creative. Now you're ready to introduce them to your brand. You can also scale your similar lookalike audience to your original source and make it bigger up to about five times. If you allow for a lot of variance between the audiences though, you will have a larger audience, but it will be broader. Facebook allows for a maximum of 500 total lookalike audiences, so you have tons of room to get in there and experiment.
Our fourth way to win big this coming new year is to retarget previous visitors to your Facebook or Instagram pages. Facebook retargeting ads are shown to users who have visited your e-commerce website or have interacted with your Facebook or Instagram page in the past.
This is great because this Facebook strategy allows you to nurture relationships that you have already started. There are many, many applications to this Facebook ad strategy with retargeting options that include people who have engaged with your brand on Facebook or Instagram, they could have visited your website in the past, or even done specific pages or viewed specific things on your site. They could have used your mobile app, or they could have added a product to their cart. They're huge, awesome, wonderful things that all allow us to do some retargeting.
Longtime meta advertiser and lead paid social specialist at Alpha Social Media, Noah Carper gave us the fifth and final tip for the ad strategies to try out in 2023. The fifth point that Noah covered is one of his favorite tips for gathering more ideas when making ads. Which is checking out your competition in the Facebook ad library. As you may know, attention is the currency of advertising and in order to know what attracts your audience, you have to know what your ads are up against. Once you've developed your Facebook ad strategies and built campaigns to promote your brand, check out what your competitors are doing as well.
In 2018, Facebook made an effort to increase transparency around advertisers and launch the Facebook ad library, now known as the meta ad library. The tool essentially serves as a repository for all the current and past Facebook ads run by any advertiser. Any user can search ads by keyword or by Facebook page names. When strategizing your Facebook ads, it's helpful to see which ads your direct and even indirect competitors are running. Pay attention to the ads, captions, images, or videos if there are multiple kinds.
There you have it, five ways to stand out and get ahead when you approach the new year. While it certainly can be a say it and forget it kind of thing. The most effective Facebook ads are constantly optimized for performance. We recommend changing it more frequently as the budget increases, but remember Facebook has learning phases and they must be entered and exited before doing