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NOTABLE! [GUIDE] Facebook Ads Made Simple (That Even Your Mom Can Understand) 2019 Edition

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itfactor

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Hello Fastlane,

I’ve wanted to write a guide on Facebook Ads for some time now.

While there’s already a great PPC guide by @eliquid on this subject, there’s always new stuff to learn and to talk about when it comes to FB ads.

Note that this isn’t going to be a step-by-step guide, but rather a compilation of useful answers to common problems that I faced when I was teaching myself Facebook ads, and what my clients usually ask.

The goal here is to demystify how Facebook ads really work, so I'll try to explain everything as plainly as I can without going into any intricate details. You can ask me any questions here or drop me a PM.

Due to my workload I probably won't be able to update this as frequently as I'd like, but I'll do my best.

Do follow this thread if you wish to see more new updates once they are ready. Hope you'll enjoy reading them as much as I do writing them!

Quick links:

Part 1: The Only Objective You Need (For Most of the Time)
Part 2: The 'No Brainer' Way to Design Your Campaign
Part 3a: All About Audiences - Core Audience
 
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itfactor

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Part 1: The Only Campaign Objective You Need (for most of the time)
When you set up your first campaign, you’ll see a laundry list of campaign objectives you can set for your campaign, which looks something like this:

25314

This is where many newbies get a headache

What’s the hell's the difference between Engagement and Traffic?

Isn’t Lead Generation and Conversion the same thing? (more on this one in a bit)

This is important because if you don’t set to the right campaign objective, Facebook will only serve your ads focusing on the wrong objective.

You see unlike Google or Bing, ads don’t get served based on user’s search intent.

E.g. On Google, the user searches “Where do I buy bacon flavoured vegan cupcakes?” Google says “You can buy it here, and here’s an ad about it”.

Instead, Facebook’s powerful algorithm tries to predict who is most likely to click on your ad, based on the user’s behaviour, interests, demographics etc.

e.g. Facebook: “Hmm, this person is 25 years old, watches multiple workout videos on Instagram and joins a FB group on LCHF recipes, he’ll probably like an ad about bacon flavoured vegan cupcakes.”

That’s why the campaign objective is so important.

When the wrong campaign objective, Facebook doesn’t know what you want it to do, it can’t deliver the results you want and hence you’ll end up killing your ad budget and your ROI.



What results do YOU want?

As far as most businesses go, they usually only want two things –

1. getting paying customers

2. generating potential leads.


They want to run ads to get people to take a direct response – buy my product, schedule an appointment, apply for a free consultation, sign up for email updates etc.

That means for most businesses, the only objective you’ll ever need for almost 90% of the time is Conversions.

Using Conversions require you to install the Facebook Pixel, or else Facebook can’t track whether a conversion has been completed or not.



Lead Generation vs Conversions Objective

You may be thinking, shouldn’t I use Lead Generation objective instead of Conversions, even if I’m getting people to sign up for my free yoga class or watch my free seminar?

Well, the main difference between Lead Generation and Conversions is that when someone clicks on an ad with Lead Generation objective, this is what they get:

25315

Instead of being directed to a sign-up page on your website, the user gets a Facebook popup that is prepopulated with his or her name and email.

Facebook calls this the Lead Ad.

There’s a list of pros and cons on Lead ad vs conversion, but here’s a list of important ones off the top of my head:

  • Lead ads tend to be more expensive than website Conversion ads, although not by a whole lot. But we want to increase our ROI, so it’s a consideration.
  • You can’t track your conversion on your own using Google Analytics. I don’t like to rely on Facebook to track 100% of my metrics as they sometimes do become slow or inaccurate, hence it’s always better if to do your own measuring for higher accuracy.
  • With lead ads you are leaving data on your leads with Facebook that you need to manually download the data and then move them into your email list. With a landing page, it’s way more convenient since every sign-up gets added onto your email list.
So unless you're really short on time setting up a landing page or your Facebook pixel, you should never rely on Facebook to collect data on your behalf.


What about Traffic vs Conversions?

For 99% of the time, you’ll want conversions instead of traffic clicks. After all, conversions are the one bringing in money in your bank, not clicks.

But sometimes installing a Facebook Pixel (that tracks conversions) is not possible e.g. you are selling a book on Amazon, or a course on Udemy.

In those cases, using the Traffic objective will be your next best option.

You can also try to redirect clicks to a landing page using Conversions, then send them to your Amazon page. But this draws out the conversion process and you'll risk losing potential buyers through the funnel.


TL;DR - Just stick with Conversions!

While the Conversion objective can be used for the vast majority of business purposes, it is definitely not a one-size-fits-all objective.

If you’re say a musician or Youtube channel, and you want more people to watch your latest video, conversions isn’t going to do much to help you.

Also, if you have the money to spend on building your brand awareness by running branding ads, conversions aren’t going to cut it.

And you might be thinking - what if I’m offering a brand new product that nobody has ever seen or heard of?

What if nobody ever heard or tasted vegan bacon flavored cupcakes?

How then do I use Facebook ads to reach potential clients?

I’ll talk about it in part 2 where I share a powerful framework that I use, that works for nearly every type of offer imaginable.

Let me know what you guys think!
 
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itfactor

itfactor

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Part 2: The No Brainer Way to Design Your Campaign

In Part 1 we talked about using Conversions as the key objective for your business needs, whether it’s for sales or for leads.

But how do you get conversions? How do you turn total strangers into potential buyers?

There’s really only 2 things you need to do when running Facebook ads.

Now if you are familiar with other types of digital marketing, such as content or email marketing, the concept is exactly the same:

  • Generate awareness among prospects
  • Retarget them until they are ready to buy
I use what I call a No-Brainer Framework. Because it’s deceptively simple.

With this method, there is no need to overcomplicate your Facebook ads campaigns with any messy click through funnels or whatever. All you need is these 3 campaigns.
25287


Looks easy enough right? Let’s look at all 3 in detail.

Campaign 1: Awareness
Remember part 1 when I said to only use Conversions objective for 99% of your campaigns?

Well, the Awareness campaign belongs to the 1% which doesn’t use Conversions.

This campaign focus solely on reach, which means you're aiming to get as much views or clicks as possible. Whether they buy or sign up with you is not the main goal.

Instead, your goal is to target cold audiences who have zero clue about your business or product. They might not even know you exist.

Since they don’t know you, they have no reason to buy from you. The awareness campaign is to help introduce you to them, and hopefully make them like you.

That’s why you need to advertise with content that is both entertaining and informative.

But what type of content is entertaining and informative?

For generating awareness, I find that using video ads are much more effective than the usual image ads, especially on Instagram.

25289

The good thing about Facebook ads is that it allows you to quickly create slideshow videos by uploading up to 3-10 images, complete with music and transitions.

I’ll probably talk more about how I produce videos quickly and cheaply for Facebook or Instagram ads (if anyone here is interested).

But for now let’s get back to the topic.




Campaign 2: Retargeting to Warm Leads
The goal here is to target people who are warm prospects – people who have seen your ad in the Awareness campaign, or those who have visited your website.

By sending these warm leads a direct response offer, you want to drive them towards your website or store and explore, hopefully converting them into customers.

What direct response offers can you send?

There are 2 common types of offer businesses can give:

1. Discounts

25288
I find that discounts are easy and highly effective. A simple 20% discount code off is usually good enough to incentivize people to click and check out your website.


2. Freebies
25290
If you provide a type of specialized service (like an agency, school or gym) a free consultation or trial session is also just as effective.

But make sure you qualify your leads carefully so you won’t end up wasting your time on free loaders.



Campaign 3: Remarketing to Hot Leads
Now, these are the people who have seen your videos ads, read your blog, or even visited your store and added a couple of items into the cart.

These guys are almost ready to buy.

But for some reason, they are hesitating. You just need to give them a little shove and send them off the edge and become a customer!

There are 2 ways you can design your ads for this campaign:

1. Testimonials from past customers
25291

These are great for building trust towards your brand, and assure your hot leads that your offer is legitimate. Social proof is a very powerful thing when it comes to Facebook and Instagram users (just look at all influencers making silly money!)

2. Reminders
Sometimes your hot prospects simply forgot to hit the checkout button due to whatever reason, and an ad reminding them to go back and buy will be enough.

Hell, you can even slap on another 5% discount code to sweeten the deal.
25292


So there you have it, the really simple and no brainer way to run Facebook campaigns.

On the surface, it doesn’t look like much.

But combined it with good ad copy and creative, and Facebook’s magic ingredient – it’s laser-like audience targeting algorithm – it’s an almost unfair advantage where anyone can achieve great results.

I’ll probably talk about Facebook’s audience in the next part. So in the meantime, if you’ve got any questions, ask me!
 
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This is super helpful for someone like me who has not spent a lot of time using FB Ads and is intimidated to start. Extremely clear and concise, thank you for sharing and I'm looking forward to more updates!
 
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itfactor

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Thank you!

I felt intimidated too I first began learning too.

When it comes to options, Facebook has waaaaayy too many of them which most people don't even need.

Part of the reason why I started this thread is to help newcomers understand that Facebook Ads (or PPC in general) become more confident in running their own campaigns.

Let me know if you've got any questions. I'm here to help!

This is super helpful for someone like me who has not spent a lot of time using FB Ads and is intimidated to start. Extremely clear and concise, thank you for sharing and I'm looking forward to more updates!
 

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Thread upgraded to NOTABLE.
 

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Please go into more detail. I feel like you're brushing the surface with this guide.

What do you define as a "warm lead?" How do you target these people?

Is a warm lead someone who watched 40% of your first video, etc.?

These metrics are just as important as your actual creative.

This is super applicable to us at the moment as we just got a full day of video specifically for advertising.
 
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itfactor

itfactor

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Thank you for your question!

I'm trying not to be overly specific on the details for a few reasons. One is not to make things too confusing so the stuff here can apply to anyone running FB ads. The second is to encourage healthy discussions within the thread.

So to answer your question, well yes. How long a person watches your video can be one of your key metrics to gauge a lead's warmness. (BTW I'm referring to Facebook videos or video ads, not on Youtube).

There's no real answer as it really depends on the video length, the type of offer, the content of your video, or how long it takes on average for your prospect to become a buyer.

That's why I can only speak for myself. What I usually do for clients generally is stick to videos that are 20 seconds or shorter and classify warm leads as those who've watched at least 50% of the video.

Why do I choose 50%?
  • it tells me the person is at least invested enough to spend at least 10 seconds on my ad, which is a considerably long duration in social media time.
  • This metric includes people that skipped the video at least past the 50% mark and watched the rest. If the person watching bothers to jump through the video, it probably means they are trying to find something relevant in my video, which is likely another indication of interest.
Assuming your video is about some kind of full-day training or course, I would take the most important 20 seconds of this video and use it as an ad, with a 'click to watch the rest' at the end.

If you like, you can drop me a PM and I'll help you take a quick look at your video.


Please go into more detail. I feel like you're brushing the surface with this guide.

What do you define as a "warm lead?" How do you target these people?

Is a warm lead someone who watched 40% of your first video, etc.?

These metrics are just as important as your actual creative.

This is super applicable to us at the moment as we just got a full day of video specifically for advertising.
 
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Don't want to derail the main topic here as it's a good thread.

However, LinkedIn is setup kinda the same way (multiple objectives and people not knowing which to choose ). You could almost write this about them too.

LinkedIn's platform is still light years behind FB's, but this methodology and thinking applies there too for anyone wanting to take this method and apply it elsewhere.
 

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itfactor

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Thanks!

I agree about using Linkedin Ads. It's a powerful tool to reach potential corporate clients or audiences in the business/executive space. Hell, you can even target people living on Antartica (which Facebook doesn't)!

The biggest drawback on Linkedin ads is that it's way more expensive than Facebook ads in terms of CPM and CPC, due to the type of audiences you get to target.

I would recommend that anyone new and looking to run Linkedin ads should at least have some hands-on experience in Facebook ads first.



Don't want to derail the main topic here as it's a good thread.

However, LinkedIn is setup kinda the same way (multiple objectives and people not knowing which to choose ). You could almost write this about them too.

LinkedIn's platform is still light years behind FB's, but this methodology and thinking applies there too for anyone wanting to take this method and apply it elsewhere.
 

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Interesting! Thanks for the read. I'm about to start with a FB/IG PPC freelancer next week, and plan to work together for some time while I learn a bit more over the next 6 to 12 months. There are so many courses etc out there that can take a long time, but this was a nice intro that was clear and to the point. Time to start reading up.
 

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Thanks for the write up!

As someone whose intimidated by FB Ads, this will really come in handy when I start running them soon.
 

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Well, the Awareness campaign belongs to the 1% which doesn’t use Conversions. This campaign focus solely on reach, which means you're aiming to get as much views or clicks as possible. Whether they buy or sign up with you is not the main goal.
1) This was never mentioned, but under the Awareness campaign, should one choose Brand Awareness or Reach as the objective when trying to drive people who have never heard of our products/brand?
Also, how much % of the budget do you throw at Awareness campaigns? I feel that Awareness campaigns is good at burning $ unless one is Nike.

2) For Awareness campaigns, do you narrow down by age and interests too, or is it like target everyone age 16 - 65 in all continents?

3) Do you run the campaigns one after another? E.g: Awareness campaign, get ton of visits and Likes, then start Retargetting Warm Leads, then end that and start Retargetting Hot Leads?

4) I'm actually curious how one would retarget warm and hot leads? Is it done within FB Ads Manager somewhere? I already have the pixel installed in my Wordpress site.

I’ll probably talk more about how I produce videos quickly and cheaply for Facebook or Instagram ads (if anyone here is interested).
5) I would like to know too. When I hear videos, the first thing that comes to mind is hiring a video production crew with models, makeup artists, stylists. All I can think of is the need for a US$8K - 50K budget per video.
For starting folks, this is out of reach.

6) I'm curious to know about Audiences as well. Recently, I played around with FB ads, and one thing I realized is that Interests targeting is kinda BS. It sounds good in theory, and I thought it's simple as long as you know your niche, until I realize reality is different.

So, for example, let's say I'm selling some handheld pet fur vacuum that sucks dropped fur from the couch and from the pets' body to keep it clean. Naturally, I would target things like:

Objective: Conversions
Age: 25 - 45
Gender: Male & Female
Location: USA
Interests:
-Pets
-Cats
-Dogs

Now, Facebook will show the ad to those in that range above, based on their Interests on Pets, Cats, Dogs. But the problem is, not everyone who has an Interest in Pets/Cats/Dogs will find the product relevant.
Most of the time, these are just people who watched some cats/dogs funny gif/meme/vid and they have no wish for such things, in fact, half probably don't even own a pet.

Because of this, it burns a lot of ad $$$ for nothing. It would be different if FB can target things like "Dog Owner" or "Cat Owner", or "Has a Pet" sort of thing.

In my mini FB experiments, one thing I realized is that the people who clicked on my ad are not even remotely close to the audience I want to reach out to LOL

My conclusion since then is that one would need to be a WHALE in order to see any success on FB ads.
There's a FB group called Facebook Ad Buyers.....everyone there is managing 7 - 9 digit dollar campaigns with unlimited funds to burn and throw WTF
 
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These are great questions btw. Keep them coming!

1) This was never mentioned, but under the Awareness campaign, should one choose Brand Awareness or Reach as the objective when trying to drive people who have never heard of our products/brand?
Also, how much % of the budget do you throw at Awareness campaigns? I feel that Awareness campaigns is good at burning $ unless one is Nike.
You don't need to touch Brand Awareness or Reach.

While Reach will help you get your ads in front of the largest number of audiences possible, Facebook doesn't really consider the behaviour of the person watching it.

Brand awareness is mostly reserved for big businesses like Nike or HBO with the million dollar marketing budget to take their awareness campaign to a whole new level, like measuring ad recall lift using Nielsen and Milward Brown ratings.

If you have no idea what those things mean, it's probably not for you.

As far as we're concerned, we want to get our video ads to cold audiences who are most likely to be interested in watching them or clicking on the links.

Therefore we should use Video views objective if you are just showing videos, or Traffic if you want the person watching to go to your site to browse stuff.

2) For Awareness campaigns, do you narrow down by age and interests too, or is it like target everyone age 16 - 65 in all continents?
Definitely. We want to narrow down to a group of target audiences that are most likely to be interested in your offer. But at this stage, there is no need to be ultra-specific in your targeting.

If you don't narrow down, you're going to get poor ROI and an expensive bill from Facebook :)

3) Do you run the campaigns one after another? E.g: Awareness campaign, get ton of visits and Likes, then start Retargetting Warm Leads, then end that and start Retargetting Hot Leads?
If you are organized and methodical, you can definitely run them all at the same time!

The key is to use one of Facebook's targeting feature - Exclusion Targeting.

For example, you can choose to not show your Awareness campaign videos to people who've already bought your stuff (people who bought and checkout from your store).

This way you can prevent your audiences from getting 'burnt out' from seeing too much of your ads.

But for this to work, you must have Facebook's pixel installed so Facebook can track where the user has been.


4) I'm actually curious how one would retarget warm and hot leads? Is it done within FB Ads Manager somewhere? I already have the pixel installed in my Wordpress site.
That is correct.

Once you set up your Conversion campaign, you have the option to choose the pixel you want to use for tracking.

For most of my clients, installing the pixel is usually the hard part. I usually just do it for them to save time.

But you've already got that one done. Great work!

5) I would like to know too. When I hear videos, the first thing that comes to mind is hiring a video production crew with models, makeup artists, stylists. All I can think of is the need for a US$8K - 50K budget per video.
For starting folks, this is out of reach.
No problem, will definitely go into greater detail on this subject.

You most definitely don't need an expensive production crew. This is a huge misconception for most businesses. Which is why they stay away from making videos.

Therefore if you have videos to show, you're already way ahead of those guys.

There are people who can produce videos professionally and quickly for you on Fiverr.

Or if you prefer to do things locally, you can hire a couple of film school undergrads to shoot the video for you.

Unless you're selling some type of luxury goods with Apple style branding, you don't need that top-level production quality.

In fact, I find videos that 'home production' vibe tend to get more views than professional ones.


6) I'm curious to know about Audiences as well. Recently, I played around with FB ads, and one thing I realized is that Interests targeting is kinda BS. It sounds good in theory, and I thought it's simple as long as you know your niche, until I realize reality is different.

So, for example, let's say I'm selling some handheld pet fur vacuum that sucks dropped fur from the couch and from the pets' body to keep it clean. Naturally, I would target things like:

Objective: Conversions
Age: 25 - 45
Gender: Male & Female
Location: USA
Interests:
-Pets
-Cats
-Dogs

Now, Facebook will show the ad to those in that range above, based on their Interests on Pets, Cats, Dogs. But the problem is, not everyone who has an Interest in Pets/Cats/Dogs will find the product relevant.
Most of the time, these are just people who watched some cats/dogs funny gif/meme/vid and they have no wish for such things, in fact, half probably don't even own a pet.

Because of this, it burns a lot of ad $$$ for nothing. It would be different if FB can target things like "Dog Owner" or "Cat Owner", or "Has a Pet" sort of thing.

Yes, you can't exactly target people based on the niche.

Using your example, while you won't be able to target Dog owner or Cat owner as an audience, but you can target people who are fans of a particular brand of pet foods or services, or go into previous behaviours, such as people who visited Petsmart.

When you put in 2 or more definitions to build your audience, you will narrow down your audience significantly to achieve greater focus.

You can even feed Facebook a list of your past customers, and it will use it as a DNA to sniff out new potential leads for you like a bloodhound.

I'll talk about Audience in greater detail soon as it's a major aspect of Facebook ads, and deserves a closer look.


In my mini FB experiments, one thing I realized is that the people who clicked on my ad are not even remotely close to the audience I want to reach out to LOL

My conclusion since then is that one would need to be a WHALE in order to see any success on FB ads.
There's a FB group called Facebook Ad Buyers.....everyone there is managing 7 - 9 digit dollar campaigns with unlimited funds to burn and throw WTF

I've seen successful campaigns that cost millions of dollars. I've also seen campaigns that did well with just a couple thousand of dollars.

At the end of the day, it really boils down to who you're selling to, what you're selling, and how well you manage things, including your expectations :)

TBH I'll take whatever these 'experts' in Facebook groups say with a pinch of salt.

Many of them are no different from bro marketers and several of my clients love to complain about how these guys wrack up tens of thousands of $ in ad bills with no results to show.

Anyways, I would love to hear more about your mini-experiments. There are always little tidbits we can learn out of these things :D
 
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Thanks a lot for the advice! Awaiting your next posts! :)
 

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Part 2: The No Brainer way to Design Your Campaign

In Part 1 we talked about using Conversions as the key objective for your business needs, whether it’s for sales or for leads.

But how do you get conversions? How do you turn total strangers into potential buyers?

There’s really only 2 things you need to do when running Facebook ads.

Now if you are familiar with other types of digital marketing, such as content or email marketing, the concept is exactly the same:

  • Generate awareness among prospects
  • Retarget them until they are ready to buy
I use what I call a No-Brainer Framework. Because it’s deceptively simple.

With this method, there is no need to overcomplicate your Facebook ads campaigns with any messy click through funnels or whatever. All you need is these 3 campaigns.
View attachment 25287


Looks easy enough right? Let’s look at all 3 in detail.

Campaign 1: Awareness
Remember part 1 when I said to only use Conversions objective for 99% of your campaigns?

Well, the Awareness campaign belongs to the 1% which doesn’t use Conversions.

This campaign focus solely on reach, which means you're aiming to get as much views or clicks as possible. Whether they buy or sign up with you is not the main goal.

Instead, your goal is to target cold audiences who have zero clue about your business or product. They might not even know you exist.

Since they don’t know you, they have no reason to buy from you. The awareness campaign is to help introduce you to them, and hopefully make them like you.

That’s why you need to advertise with content that is both entertaining and informative.

But what type of content is entertaining and informative?

For generating awareness, I find that using video ads are much more effective than the usual image ads, especially on Instagram.

View attachment 25289

The good thing about Facebook ads is that it allows you to quickly create slideshow videos by uploading up to 3-10 images, complete with music and transitions.

I’ll probably talk more about how I produce videos quickly and cheaply for Facebook or Instagram ads (if anyone here is interested).

But for now let’s get back to the topic.




Campaign 2: Retargeting to Warm Leads
The goal here is to target people who are warm prospects – people who have seen your ad in the Awareness campaign, or those who have visited your website.

By sending these warm leads a direct response offer, you want to drive them towards your website or store and explore, hopefully converting them into customers.

What direct response offers can you send?

There are 2 common types of offer businesses can give:

1. Discounts

View attachment 25288
I find that discounts are easy and highly effective. A simple 20% discount code off is usually good enough to incentivize people to click and check out your website.


2. Freebies
View attachment 25290
If you provide a type of specialized service (like an agency, school or gym) a free consultation or trial session is also just as effective.

But make sure you qualify your leads carefully so you won’t end up wasting your time on free loaders.



Campaign 3: Remarketing to Hot Leads
Now, these are the people who have seen your videos ads, read your blog, or even visited your store and added a couple of items into the cart.

These guys are almost ready to buy.

But for some reason, they are hesitating. You just need to give them a little shove and send them off the edge and become a customer!

There are 2 ways you can design your ads for this campaign:

1. Testimonials from past customers
View attachment 25291

These are great for building trust towards your brand, and assure your hot leads that your offer is legitimate. Social proof is a very powerful thing when it comes to Facebook and Instagram users (just look at all influencers making silly money!)

2. Reminders
Sometimes your hot prospects simply forgot to hit the checkout button due to whatever reason, and an ad reminding them to go back and buy will be enough.

Hell, you can even slap on another 5% discount code to sweeten the deal.
View attachment 25292


So there you have it, the really simple and no brainer way to run Facebook campaigns.

On the surface, it doesn’t look like much.

But combined it with good ad copy and creative, and Facebook’s magic ingredient – it’s laser-like audience targeting algorithm – it’s an almost unfair advantage where anyone can achieve great results.

I’ll probably talk about Facebook’s audience in the next part. So in the meantime, if you’ve got any questions, ask me!
 

Bitz

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These are great questions btw. Keep them coming!



You don't need to touch Brand Awareness or Reach.

While Reach will help you get your ads in front of the largest number of audiences possible, Facebook doesn't really consider the behaviour of the person watching it.

Brand awareness is mostly reserved for big businesses like Nike or HBO with the million dollar marketing budget to take their awareness campaign to a whole new level, like measuring ad recall lift using Nielsen and Milward Brown ratings.

If you have no idea what those things mean, it's probably not for you.

As far as we're concerned, we want to get our video ads to cold audiences who are most likely to be interested in watching them or clicking on the links.

Therefore we should use Video views objective if you are just showing videos, or Traffic if you want the person watching to go to your site to browse stuff.



Definitely. We want to narrow down to a group of target audiences that are most likely to be interested in your offer. But at this stage, there is no need to be ultra-specific in your targeting.

If you don't narrow down, you're going to get poor ROI and an expensive bill from Facebook :)



If you are organized and methodical, you can definitely run them all at the same time!

The key is to use one of Facebook's targeting feature - Exclusion Targeting.

For example, you can choose to not show your Awareness campaign videos to people who've already bought your stuff (people who bought and checkout from your store).

This way you can prevent your audiences from getting 'burnt out' from seeing too much of your ads.

But for this to work, you must have Facebook's pixel installed so Facebook can track where the user has been.




That is correct.

Once you set up your Conversion campaign, you have the option to choose the pixel you want to use for tracking.

For most of my clients, installing the pixel is usually the hard part. I usually just do it for them to save time.

But you've already got that one done. Great work!



No problem, will definitely go into greater detail on this subject.

You most definitely don't need an expensive production crew. This is a huge misconception for most businesses. Which is why they stay away from making videos.

Therefore if you have videos to show, you're already way ahead of those guys.

There are people who can produce videos professionally and quickly for you on Fiverr.

Or if you prefer to do things locally, you can hire a couple of film school undergrads to shoot the video for you.

Unless you're selling some type of luxury goods with Apple style branding, you don't need that top-level production quality.

In fact, I find videos that 'home production' vibe tend to get more views than professional ones.





Yes, you can't exactly target people based on the niche.

Using your example, while you won't be able to target Dog owner or Cat owner as an audience, but you can target people who are fans of a particular brand of pet foods or services, or go into previous behaviours, such as people who visited Petsmart.

When you put in 2 or more definitions to build your audience, you will narrow down your audience significantly to achieve greater focus.

You can even feed Facebook a list of your past customers, and it will use it as a DNA to sniff out new potential leads for you like a bloodhound.

I'll talk about Audience in greater detail soon as it's a major aspect of Facebook ads, and deserves a closer look.





I've seen successful campaigns that cost millions of dollars. I've also seen campaigns that did well with just a couple thousand of dollars.

At the end of the day, it really boils down to who you're selling to, what you're selling, and how well you manage things, including your expectations :)

TBH I'll take whatever these 'experts' in Facebook groups say with a pinch of salt.

Many of them are no different from bro marketers and several of my clients love to complain about how these guys wrack up tens of thousands of $ in ad bills with no results to show.

Anyways, I would love to hear more about your mini-experiments. There are always little tidbits we can learn out of these things :D

What's your opinion on tools such as Connectio - Smarten your Facebook Ads Thanks for the info!
 

AniM

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Thanks for this great post! I'm looking to drive traffic to a website in the near future, and FB ads seems a good option.

A few questions.

With your 'no brainer' campaign structure, if you were on a smaller budget, say $300/mo, or $500/mo, how would you allocate the money between the three campaigns?

Obviously it depends on the market, but generally how much total budget would you want to test a campaign or offer? When would you give up on it?

How much time does it take to manage the campaigns using your structure? Are you checking these campaigns daily?
 
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What's your opinion on tools such as Connectio - Smarten your Facebook Ads Thanks for the info!

Hmm I have not used this Connectio before. I understand there are numerous tools that help to make your life easier while you manage your ads.

Some of the more popular ones that I've actually used are Qwaya and Adspresso.

While they certainly have their time-saving benefits, I try not to depend on them too much in my workflow.

Currently, the only third-party service I'm really depending on is Lead Pages (to build landing pages for my clients' ads).

Everything else can be done using Business Manager. If it's too time-consuming (such as setting up 30-40+ ads for testing), I would just outsource it to a VA instead.

Also, I would tread carefully when it comes to buying yearly plans for these tools.

Facebook's ultimate goal is to make its PPC setup process as streamlined as possible, so that anyone can spend money buying ads.

Therefore It's not uncommon to these third-party tools become obsolete once FB rolls out a sleek new feature update.
 

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itfactor

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Thanks for this great post! I'm looking to drive traffic to a website in the near future, and FB ads seems a good option.
Thank you for the compliment! FB and IG are definitely viable paid methods to drive traffic.

I would suggest you try out boosting a couple of your Facebook posts to get a feel of it before you decide.

A few questions.

With your 'no brainer' campaign structure, if you were on a smaller budget, say $300/mo, or $500/mo, how would you allocate the money between the three campaigns?
I would say it depends on the stage of your business. Are you in the midst of rolling out a brand new business? Is your offer something completely new in the market?

If the answer is yes, I would put most of my budget in the Awareness part.

Not trying to put you down or anything, but with a $500/month budget you probably won't see much results.

You can use it to grow social proof for your Facebook page (get likes, shares etc), but these are mostly vanity metrics and unlikely to translate into sales.

Most businesses turn to ads because they have already turned a profit, but are looking to scale up their operations exponentially through Facebook's reach.

If that's the case for you, I would definitely suggest you put in more money to see visible returns on your ad investment.


Obviously it depends on the market, but generally how much total budget would you want to test a campaign or offer? When would you give up on it?
Do you mean testing of a product offer, or testing of an ad (audience targeting, ad creative etc)?

If it's the former, I would probably put in a couple of hundred dollars into a 2-week long awareness campaign and measure its response.

I understand that many people recommend using Facebook ads to test out proof-of-concept for a new startup idea, but I've never done it myself so perhaps someone else who did it before can help you.

On the other hand, if it's about testing ads (a/b testing) I will need to put in at least $10 -$15 per ad set to ensure each test ad reaches a viable sample size.

Otherwise, you won't get any significant results from your test and you'd just waste money.


How much time does it take to manage the campaigns using your structure? Are you checking these campaigns daily?
Depending on how much resources I have at hand, it usually takes about a month to get everything in order before going live.

This includes getting your ads approved by FB, audience targeting research, setting up and testing pixels, producing ad creatives and copy, and setting up landing pages.

Sometimes the client already have everything, with all the necessary assets in place. All I need to do is to go in and change up a few things. In these cases, it can take as little as 2 weeks.

Monitoring of campaigns must be done daily, to ensure nothing abnormal happens throughout the campaign, especially during the initial stages.

When I'm running tests, I leave them running for at least 4 days, which I find is the sweet spot for Facebook to fully optimize your campaign for your objective.

The recommended minimum number of conversion events by Facebook is 50. Which means after 50 events, Facebook can do it's own thing and start reaching potential people based on the targeting objectives set by you.
 
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Part 3a: All About Audiences – Core Audience

In case you haven’t figured out from the title, today we’re going to talk about Facebook Ad Audiences.

With over 850 targeting options, Facebook is one of the only platforms on earth where you can target virtually anyone, anywhere, from almost any walk of life.

Whether the person in the lives in London UK or London Kentucky Canada, Los Angeles California or Angeles City Luzon, we have almost infinite targeting options.

The only problem is – with a ton of options at your disposal it’s easy to get lost like a kid in the candy store.

Officially, Facebook classifies audiences into 3 categories:
  • CORE
  • CUSTOM
  • LOOKALIKE

As you can see, even the names don’t tell us much about what they are exactly o_O

So I’ve split today’s lesson in to 3 parts, and this one is gonna be all about Core Audience.



So what the hell is Core Audience?
Core Audiences targeting refers to targeting people using data that is available to Facebook.

Thanks to everybody giving away their personal data freely to Zuckerberg, we can now target potential leads based on where they are (Location), what their traits are (Demographic), their Interests and Behavior.


Location

This one is pretty self explanatory. But Facebook lets you target people based on whether:
  • They are Locals (e.g. People who set New York as their home)
  • New Residents (e.g. People who recently set New York as their home)
  • Or tourists (e.g. People who have checked in or been tagged in New York, but did not set their home as New York)
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So for example if I’m buying ads for a restaurant in Time Square, you can choose to exclude locals in your ad audience to save on your ad spend, and place your ad in front of tourists instead.


Demographic
Another straightforward option. You can target people demographically based on age, gender and language.

While these aren’t the Demographic option, you can also target people based on their
  • education level
  • job title
  • parents, close friends
  • anniversaries
  • relationship status
  • etc

All you have to do is to type in the related keywords (married, executives, parents with children aged 5 -20, bachelor’s degree, etc) into the Detailed Targeting field.

25381



Interests and Behavior
This is where things start to get interesting (pun intended) J

Interests refer to activities, hobbies, pages they follow, posts they liked/commented etc.

Behaviors are mostly parameters related to usage or buying patterns.

Here’s a screenshot that shows the difference between the interest vs behaviour:


25380


You can type in virtually any kind of interest or user behaviour that you can think of into the Detailed Targeting field, and Facebook will retrieve a list of interests and other juicy details.

This is also where you can type in the name of your competitors to target your competitors’ Facebook page likers.

Once you selected the interest/behavior you want, Facebook will suggest additional related interests for you.

It’s easy to go crazy on the Interests targeting, but you should be careful not to end up with a core audience that is too huge or too narrow.

Facebook conveniently places an Audience Definition meter at the side to help you. Just make sure you keep the needle in the green zone and you’ll do fine.

25383



Bonus: Checking for Audience Overlap

Once you’ve finished building your audience, it’s always good to review your audience for any overlaps.

Why is overlapping bad?

Overlapping audience can cause your campaign to perform poorly as you can end up bidding with yourself, or showing the same ads multiple times to the same person (resulting in ad burnt out).

To check for overlap, you need to first save a draft of your customized audience.

Then go to Assets > Audience, select the checkbox of your saved Audience, click on the elliptical and select Show Audience Overlap.

25379

This is a good example where there is little to no overlapping.

You should also check for overlap when you decide to scale your ads through adset cloning, but this is a whole new topic altogether :)

As always, let me know if you’ve got any questions and make sure you watch this thread so you won’t miss out on parts B and C.
 
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Veik

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Can't wait for the next post :smile2:

Great job and thank you for doing this!
 

Paul David

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Great thread. When you are targeting multiple countries is it better to have them in their own campaigns so you can monitor their performance better?

Same goes for interests and behaviours at ad set level, would you have them each interest or behaviour in its own ad set or stack them.
 
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Great thread. When you are targeting multiple countries is it better to have them in their own campaigns so you can monitor their performance better?

Same goes for interests and behaviours at ad set level, would you have them each interest or behaviour in its own ad set or stack them.
Yes, keeping them separated is always the best way to keep things organized

That's because if anything goes wrong you can quickly go to the root cause and fix it before you lose more of your ad spend.

What I do is I just name every adset or ad with the contents so I can quickly sift them through the different campaigns and adsets.

It helps keep you from going insane especially if the campaign is managed by 2 or or people.
 
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Part 3B: All About Audiences - Custom Audiences

25574

Today’s post is going to be pretty short.

It's the second part of my three-part Audience series - Custom Audience.

If you have an existing business, and have been collecting contact info from your previous customers but it’s now sitting around somewhere, here’s what you can do.

You can feed all the data into Facebook and let it work its magic and find your past customers quickly.

Why use Custom Audience?
There are two reasons why you should do this.
  • Custom Audience can get you more conversions.
By targeting users who are already in your customer list, you can quickly find loyal past customers, and who have already proven to have an interest in your business.

On the other hand, a Custom Audience lets you exclude those people who have already bought your offer (such as during an Awareness campaign, where you only want to buy ads for people who never heard of you.
  • Your Custom Audience lets you access the ‘secret’ weapon of Facebook marketing - Lookalike Audience (or LAL)
The LAL lets you find new users who are similar to your current customers using Facebook’s algorithm, which we’ll dive into in the next part.


What data source to feed Facebook?
There are a few data sources you can provide to Facebook to generate your Custom Audience.

The quickest way is to provide your own customer files. Upload your data (such as an Excel file) from your CRM, POS, or email lists and you’re good to go.

This is the one that most people go with because it's quick and easy.

But there are several other ways to set up Custom Audiences, but you’ll need to have a working Facebook pixel already set up, and already have high traffic coming to your site.

Facebook constantly updates the different sources, so here's a screen grab of the available options right now:

25576


What sort of data can Facebook use from my customer files?
Needless to say, the more data you provide to Facebook, the higher the quality of the audience you’re going to get.

But you need to make sure your spreadsheet is already in the correct format so Facebook can read it correctly.

I won’t go into the details – here’s a link to all type of data that Facebook can use, and how you should format them.



BONUS: Can I use Email lists that I bought?
This is where things get a little grey.

Despite what Facebook wants the public to think, there’s no way for Facebook to tell where the data source they’re receiving comes from (whether its legit or stolen).

All you ever do when you upload a customer file is to click “Agree” you have the rights to use the list blahblahblah and boom a Custom Audience.

While it’s true that using illegitimate data is against Facebook’s TOS, the fact is even Facebook themselves have no idea because every customer list is hashed with SHA 256 before it's sent to Facebook.

As you can see from the flow chart below, in theory no one should be able to identify specific individuals in the Custom Audience.
25575

Can you do it? Definite.

But should you do it? I can’t say. But if you understand the potential risks involved, there are definitely a couple of devious ways to “hack” Custom Audiences.

Like for example: Do you know you can download a list of all your LinkedIn connections, including their email addresses?

Feed this list to Facebook and create a custom audience off your Linkedin connections.

Now you have a relatively non-intrusive way to send your LinkedIn connections to your website or to grow your leads.

That’s it from me for today. Until next time!
 

Xeon

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Thanks! Hope you can show more about video creation in your future posts!
 

Champion

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Thanks so much for this post!

I am starting an online marketing agency (the two services that I want to offer are Facebook-Ads and Website-Creation), so this thread came just in time :)

Best,
Champion
 

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