One of the most common questions I hear asked about Facebook Ads is, “how should I setup my ad sets?” At a macro level, the structure of your account should be able to provide clear views into performance at each layer – exposing areas of opportunities and weakness.
When asked this question, I often turn to an underutilized, but powerful view in Facebook. Within a table view, the ‘breakdown’ tab reveals clear options for split testing and analysis.
Breakdown metrics act much like AdWords’s dimensions views, offering ways to slice your data into segments. Use these viewpoints to explore possible ways to partition your ad sets, to drive efficiency.
Segmenting out ad sets provide many benefits:
- Dedicated budgets
- Hone in on creative by medium or target audience
- More flexible control over your bids
Let’s take a look at some of the most impactful views into your performance data.
Several days after a new campaign launch, it will be clear if there’s enough volume to segment out your targeting into refined ad sets. One of the most impactful structures is to breakout targeting by placement and device.
Within an existing campaign, select the ‘placement’ option from the breakdown column. If multiple placements are being targeted, you should notice a sizable difference between the cost per result from one placement to the next.
For acquisition campaigns, right column ads tend to have lower cost per conversion results. While for engagement themed campaigns, mobile Newsfeed might be the best choice since the post includes social impressions and mobile sharing is seamless.
In the above example, you’ll notice that Right Column Ads are generating conversions at about a third of the cost of News Feed ads.
Not only can performance vary by placement, it can also fluctuate by device type. Even if you only have News Feed placements selected, there can be a difference in cost per conversion by type of device and the operating system. Select the ‘placement by device’ option from the Breakdown menu to reveal insights.
Your campaign performance can vary significantly by geo. Should your brand or offering serve an International customer base, it’s worth splitting out ad sets or campaigns by country. The United States is the most mature Facebook market, but also is often the most expensive.
Learn how your ad sets perform in a particular geography using either the country or region breakdown metrics.
In the example above, you can see there’s a stark difference in the cost per engagement between Brazil and the United Kingdom. With multiple geos rolling up to one ad set, I have very little flexibility to align my budget to particular areas. This would be worth breaking out into separate ad sets by country.
The breakdown metrics provide clear views into areas of optimization and refined ad set structure to maximize conversions. Providing you greater control of budget allocation, bidding, and messaging.
Facebook recently enabled access to Instagram ads as a placement to all advertisers via Power Editor and the Facebook Ads API. As an Ads API partner, we are excited to offer Instagram ads as part of the AdStage platform.
Today, we’ll walk you through a few pointers and best practices for your Instagram ads.
Traffic is Cheap (For Now), Start Testing
Since Instagram ads were only made available to all advertisers a few weeks ago, CPCs are lower than placements on Facebook, where the competition for News Feed impressions is much higher. For that reason, it’s a good time to test with smaller budgets to understand how the Instagram audience performs for your business. Because it’s part of Facebook Ads, you have access to all the same targeting, but are the users’ behavior and mindset the same on Instagram? When building out your campaigns, we recommend the following tips.
Segment Your Ad Sets
This may seem like a no-brainer, but in Power Editor, your ads will automatically be opted into Instagram by default if your campaign type is eligible. This could skew your data for your Facebook Ads or muddy up the reporting for your Instagram ad tests because all of the metrics will roll up into the overall ad set. By breaking out your Instagram ads into a new ad set, you may spend a little more time setting up your campaign, but you’ll be able to do the following:
- Measure and report on Instagram performance
- Optimize your bids and budgets on Instagram separately from your Facebook Ads
- Upload and use creative assets that are more suited for the 1:1 ratio that Instagram users are used to
You may already be segmenting your placements by ad set so you can differentiate your desktop, mobile, and right rail bids and budgets, so it makes sense to treat the Instagram placement with the same meticulous setup.
Follow the Instagram Ad Creative Guidelines
If you’re already following Facebook’s ad guidelines, your images and videos will automatically be resized to render on Instagram. However, if you’re resizing assets specifically for Instagram distribution, there are some ad creative guidelines that Facebook recommends. Here are our favorites:
- Recommended image size is at least 1080p by 1080p with a 1:1 ratio or 1.9:1 ratio for landscape images
- Don’t be afraid to add text in your image but keep in mind that the 20% text in image rule still exists in order to get your ad approved
- In the caption text, do not include URLs or links as they will not be clickable
- While you can create a caption text of up to 300 characters, you may want to limit it to ~140 characters as some smaller screens will truncate the caption text (see example below)
Lastly, while this is not part of the ad creation process, it’s important to verify your landing page renders well on a mobile device because Instagram ads are currently only shown on the mobile app today.
Measure and Report on Instagram
Reporting rolls up into your Facebook Ads Manager reporting. Segmenting your Instagram ads into separate ad sets is key for reporting as click and conversion behavior on this network could differ greatly from Facebook placements.
- Tag your URLs with the appropriate tracking parameters to measure conversions
- Compare the performance with your Facebook mobile ads as a benchmark
- Use the Google Analytics time of day report and day of week report to better understand when yours ads are converting the most
Automate Your Optimization
When you see spikes or dips in performance, you should always optimize your bids, budgets, and ad serving times accordingly. In AdStage, you can create Automated Rules so your Instagram ads are automatically optimized based on performance. Automated Rules use simple If/Then logic so you can create specific performance thresholds to optimize your campaigns. Here are our favorites:
- Daypart or schedule campaigns based on the top converting times of the day or week (based on your Google Analytics time of day or day of week report)
- Pause ads if CTR is less than X%
- Increase budgets if conversion rate is greater than X% (example below)
Our recent #ppcpodcast guest, JD Prater, talked about his experience testing Instagram ads, noticing that they brought in ~1500 clicks, 97% of which were brand new unique visitors. Are you already testing Instagram ads? Tell us what kinds of results you’ve seen and what you recommend for better performing campaigns in the comments below!
It’s been a big quarter for new releases in Facebook Ads. First, the platform opened up Instagram as a new advertising placement. Now, they just announced that their highly anticipated Lead Ads are available for all advertisers.
Below, I’ll explain why this exciting new release could have a big impact on your advertising strategy.
Lead Ads are a new type of ad unit displayed on mobile devices only within the News Feed. Facebook users can enter in voluntary
information right within the ad unit, opposed to clicking through to a web page to take an action.
For users, it provides an easy way to opt-in to take advantage of an offering. Facebook will auto-fill many of relevant fields using elements from your profile.
Why Are They Important?
Advertisers who have utilized Twitter Ads Lead Gen Cards understand the impact capturing leads right within an ad unit can have on campaign performance. Directing mobile users to a landing page, outside of the website or app they were visiting, can lead to high bounce rates. Allowing users to take advantage of an offering, while staying within their stream provides for a much more fluid experience – leading to increased conversion rates.
With Twitter Lead Gen Cards, internal tests generated leads at costs as low as ⅓ of website conversion objective campaigns. Initial tests on Facebook have shown similar promising results of lower cost per lead than a website conversion campaign.
Creating a Lead Generation Campaign
Today, Lead Generation objective campaigns can only be created in Power Editor or through an API partner. Let’s explore creation in Power Editor.
First, log into Business Manager, select your ad account, and launch Power Editor.
Next, create a new campaign. Pull down the objective tab to reveal Lead Generation.
Note: If Power Editor doesn’t reveal Lead Generation as a possible objective type, you likely will need to simply refresh the page.
Once selected, start creating a new ad set: associating a page, setting a budget, and refining your audience targeting.
Pro-tip: Create a custom audience by uploading a list of current leads and customers from your database who have already signed up for your offer. Exclude this custom audience from seeing your Lead Ad.
As mentioned earlier, Lead Ads are only eligible for mobile News Feed placements.
Scroll down to the Optimization and Pricing section, and select your ideal criteria.
Likely, “optimize for leads” is your best choice to align with your objectives of generating leads cost efficiently. As for pricing, I typically like Facebook to initially set my bids, and I’ll manually scale up or down based on CTR.
Finally, set your delivery. Standard delivery allows for smooth pacing and the best distribution across the entire day. Accelerated is ideal for short duration campaigns, such as a flash or labor day sale.
Lead Ad Creative
- Text (Body)
- 1200 x 628 pixels
- News Feed link description
- Caution: Unlike typical News Feed creation, Power Editor will not reveal a caution message should your link text be possibly truncated due to length. Be sure to check the ad preview section to ensure the description length fits.
- Call-to-action button
- Apply Now
- Get Quote
- Learn More
- Sign Up
Creating Your Lead Form
While the creative format is very similar to a typical mobile News Feed ad, there is one strong area of differentiation – the form capture experience.
Facebook provides an incredible amount of customization when creating your form.
Within the Lead Form section, click on the “Create New Form” button to get started.
It’s likely you may test many different forms for different initiatives or to tweak the form field length. Adopt a form name nomenclature that will help you easily parse through different forms in the future.
Step 2: Select your lead form fields
Optional: Add up to 3 custom or existing preset questions.
For custom questions, you have the option to have the user pick from a list of possible answers or have the field completely open.
Things to note: Remember that you are advertising to user on mobile. As more fields are added, your conversion rates will likely dip. Facebook breaks questions into sets of two, called Sequences. Add any ‘must have’ fields to qualify the lead, while leaving out ‘nice to have’ fields.
Then, add a tracking destination URL link.
Finally, preview the form experience in the preview section before saving.
The very last step of ad creation is to assign an associated conversion code to track click through performance after a form is filled out.
Collecting the Leads
Once your campaign is live, and form fills start to trickle in, you’ll want to pull your list of leads to add them to your CRM, Email, or Marketing Automation system.
Note: You need admin access to the associated company page to download the leads.
Log into Business Manager and find your associated Facebook page. Click on the “Use Page” button.
Once logged into the Business Page, click on the “Publishing Tools” button on the top header tab.
Then, navigate to Forms Library, find your list and download the .csv of your leads.
Opposed to manually batching your leads, Facebook provides direct integration with Leads Ads with select partner tools:
- Oracle Marketing Cloud
Since these integrations are relatively new, documentation is sparse. Reach out to your associated sales rep or account manager for more information.
Lead Ads offer a streamlined way to capture leads on mobile devices. It’s a win-win situation: the user receives a better experience without having to leave the Facebook app while you receive higher conversion rates with automatically populated fields. Have you tested the new ad unit? We’d love to hear about your findings in the comments!
As a mobile marketer, one of your main responsibilities is getting people to engage with your company’s mobile app. Building awareness to increase installs is important, but more important is having people actually use it, as their activity will likely be your revenue driver. This is where mobile app engagement ads come in handy. They are designed to get users back to your app.
Similar to a retargeting campaign for your website but for mobile, you can use app engagement ads that will deep-link and drive traffic back to a specific page of your app. Use these ads to encourage users to try your app again, drive a specific action they’ve already started, or recommend certain features.
Why Mobile App Engagement Ads
There are millions of mobile apps available in the App Store and Google Play Store. While you may be willing to pay for an install, keeping someone in your app as a loyal user can be challenging at times.
For example, let’s say you’re in charge of marketing a gaming app, where your revenue stems from in-app purchases and impressions from advertisements. You’ve increased your user installs by 10% this month for the app, but are noticing that app traffic and in-app purchases have remained flat. Sound familiar?
To grow revenue, you have to start thinking outside of the box and begin engaging with your users in other innovative ways. If you’re already emailing them reminders to visit the app, but your email click-through rate is only 10%, you’re missing out on 90% of potential traffic.
This is where mobile app engagements ads can help. They’re available on both Facebook and Twitter, which means two additional channels to reach your users. These channels are particularly important because according to a study in 2014 by eMarketer, people spend an average of 42 minutes per day on Facebook and 17 minutes per day on Twitter.
So let’s dive into some best practices to use when crafting your mobile app engagement ads.
Best Practices for Mobile App Engagement Ads
A unique feature of mobile app engagement ads allows you drive users back to a specific page or section of your mobile app, also known as deep-linking. Mobile app engagement ads are very similar to retargeting ads, except for your mobile app. If we go back to the gaming app example, you can get users back to your game with the deep-link functionality that engagement ads offer. Here are some recommendations on how to tailor your ads for better performance:
Install an SDK for Mobile User Analytics
Even though engagement ads are similar to retargeting, the messaging is not dynamic just yet. Installing a third-party analytics SDK or the Facebook and Twitter SDKs in your app will allow you to gather analytics on your users. You can then create Custom and Tailored Audiences for your ad campaigns. With these insights on page visits and app destinations, you can customize your ads with the right message.
Tailor Your Messaging
As we know, reminding your user of the page where she or he failed to convert is a best practice for web retargeting ads. Employ this similar strategy for your engagement ads, making sure you show users an ad that is relevant to what they’ve already expressed interest in doing in your app.
Mimic Your Email Strategy
If you’ve required an email to use your app, you’re likely using that email address for email campaigns right? That’s perfect. Now you can take what’s in your existing email drip and amplify it with social ads. People are inundated with hundreds of emails per day, so adding additional touch points in an unobtrusive way helps get your messaging across. Whether your objective is brand awareness or direct response, mobile app engagement ads can help you achieve your goals.
Have you tried mobile app engagement ads on Twitter or Facebook? What are your experiences with this ad type? Let us know in the comments!
Over the last few years it has become apparent that Facebook expects marketers to present users with a visually appetizing reason to engage with their company’s ad. Nowadays, you can’t just post a boring picture accompanied by a quick “Like Us Now!” and expect results. Creative can be the most difficult part of the ad creation process, however, because of the challenge of creating engaging content. Here, we’ll give you some pointers on making the best ad creative, so you can maximize the value of the time and money you put into the process.
Connect to Users with Relatable Content
One of the best ways to generate excitement for your users is to portray lifestyle imagery. For example, if you are promoting a mobile game, you can show screenshots of actual gameplay so that users can picture themselves playing the game and experiencing what a user would see. Alternatively, if you’re promoting a travel company, you can serve images of beautiful scenery that entices users to imagine themselves in those very locations. See below as an example. The creative strategy connects users to content that is not only relatable but provokes emotion of desire. Remember that emotions are triggered from real situations, and people are more likely to experience something based on what they see.
Use a Vibrant Image
Remember that Facebook’s background is white, so colorful images are going to stick out most. To make your image even more easy on the eye, consider adding a contrasting background border color. You want to provide your audience with something they haven’t seen before, or you risk them skipping over it. Children and pets tend to work well in this regard, as they are two of the top five most shared image types on social media. And if it isn’t incongruent with your brand, a funny or odd image can also be very effective in capturing people’s attention, and thus increasing your CTR. Of course, don’t forget to update your images periodically, as they too will become old news over time.
Give People a Reason to Click
As nice or catchy as your ad may look, it will fail if people don’t have any reason to engage with. It all starts with a clear call-to-action. You’ve got your visitor’s attention, and with a good CTA, you’ll give them the necessary push to make it to your website. People are driven by incentives, so giving them something like free shipping or special discounts will go a long way towards driving conversions. When crafting your CTA, remember to promote your benefit, not the product. Not everyone who sees your ad will have immediate interest in your business, so conveying the value they get from clicking on your ad is most important since that is universal.
Test, Test, Test
As valuable as these and other best practices are, you should always test your images to ensure that you are maximizing your response rate. Particularly for longer running ad campaigns, your ad may experience ad fatigue over time, so it doesn’t hurt to have alternate images to refresh the campaign. Conducting a simple A/B test by rotating your images and keeping the text constant can drive better results for your campaign.
What kind of experiences have you had with ad creatives on Facebook? Let us know in the comments!
When retargeting users through Facebook Ads, you have two options: You can use either Custom Audiences, or Facebook Exchange (FBX). But which option should you pick? Overall, there is no right answer, as what you pick depends on the circumstances. The table below highlights what the capabilities are with each of the solutions. Below we’ll walk you through some use-cases that will explain how to implement some of these products with your Facebook retargeting and direct response campaigns.
If you’re trying to drive traffic to a mobile app, use Custom Audiences. This tool is best for mobile-focused companies like Uber or Venmo. However, if you don’t have a mobile app or mobile presence, such as some SaaS B2B platforms, FBX is adequate for retargeting.
FBX only offers link ads, which are a great way to drive traffic back to a website. If you’re a B2B advertiser with a desktop solution or service that wants more web traffic, FBX should be sufficient to meet your goals. For more visual ads, however, you’ll need Custom Audiences. This tool is an absolute must for branding campaigns, in which rich pictures or videos become essential. For example, Dos Equis relies on the memorable antics of “The Most Interesting Man in the World” to keep their brand on top of mind for when beer consumers go to the store.
Almost 80% of Facebook’s daily users are on mobile. And because FBX is only available for desktop users, you’ll increase the reach and visibility of your campaigns by using Custom Audiences. FBX can still be useful for businesses that don’t have a strong mobile presence, such as desktop applications.
Facebook Lookalike Audiences
Lookalike audiences uses pixels that track the user on your page. In Custom Audiences, the pixel additionally tracks email and demographics, which is ideal for getting more users that are similar to your existing ones. With FBX, however, the pixel does not track this extra information, so it can only be used for web retargeting, where you serve ads to convert people who dropped off.
Exclusion targeting allows you to block existing customers or competitors from your seeing your ads, which helps you be more efficient with your ad spend. It should be used with your existing customer base when you are targeting lookalike audiences, so you don’t waste ad spend on those who’ve already converted. You can do this easily with Custom Audiences, but it is trickier with FBX.
The problem with exclusion targeting in FBX is as follows. When you set up retargeting in FBX, you can set it so that when someone lands on your page and drops off, she or he is served an ad for certain period of time based on your settings, like 7 days for example. However, if the user converts within 1 to 6 days, FBX is not smart enough to stop showing them the ad, creating wasted impressions.
Access to Facebook’s Targeting
Targeting on Facebook can be very useful. Say you want to go after 18-35 year old males that have an interest in sports and use an Android device. This type of targeting can be used in conjunction with Custom Audiences, giving you the power to create even more targeted ad creatives for people who have landed on your website or mobile app. Facebook’s core targeting is particularly useful for your creatives when your call to action is “Download from the Google Play store” versus “Download from the iTunes store.”
Here’s another example of using Facebook’s core targeting. Imagine you are running a conference with a session for women in power. Your ad for the session is for the female audience, and you don’t wish to serve ads to the males that have visited your site. In this case, you can use Custom Audiences to serve ads to those who landed on your website, plus segment that list even further to target females with your “Women in Power” ad. With FBX, you are limited to targeting the list of people who’ve previously landed on your website, and you can’t segment that list even further. You instead will need to run a retargeting ad that caters to all genders, such as “Register for the Conference Today.”
Dynamic creative ads are most useful for businesses that have a product feed, like eCommerce or travel companies. Managing millions of campaigns manually could be difficult, so FBX and Custom Audiences offers a solution that allows you to automatically generate ad creative based on what product the visitor landed on. For example, if a user lands on the Disneyland Marriott page but doesn’t convert, if Marriott has uploaded its feed to FBX or Dynamic Product Ads on Facebook, the ad will automatically retarget the user showcasing the hotel she or he was interested in.
With real-time bidding, your bids are competing against other advertisers in real time. Your bid cost will be determined by how many advertisers are bidding for the ad impression. Because of the fluctuation of inventory and demand, every single impression will cost a different amount, making real-time bidding a solution that spends your budget more efficiently.
For the more cost-conscious retargeter, FBX is the better use-case because of the efficiency that comes from real-time bidding. Your ads will never cost more than the impression is worth. With Custom Audiences, you are subject to the network’s algorithm which will likely be charging you more for the impression based on your maximum bid and what other advertisers’ bid settings were for the auction.
In conclusion, choosing FBX versus Custom Audiences comes down to what you’re trying to accomplish. By the looks of it, Facebook is making big and valuable improvements to Custom Audiences, and we absolutely love using it in our own campaigns. With AdStage, you can use Facebook Custom Audiences, and you can even repurpose that further into retargeting on Twitter Tailored Audiences. Which tool do you prefer to use? Let us know in the comments!
This month in AdStage: Create Facebook Ads in bulk, view Google Analytics Insights, measure cost per result on Twitter Ads, and more!
Facebook Bulk Ad Creation
Quickly create and test dozens of Facebook Ads by combining alternate ad text and images in bulk. You can even customize multiple URLs at once for easy tracking. Bulk ad creation is also available for Twitter and LinkedIn Ads. Try it today.
Google Analytics Insights
You never need to leave the platform to view and analyze your Google Analytics Insights data. Save time comparing your ad spend to conversions by linking your Google Analytics account in AdStage.
Twitter Delivery Optimization and New Metrics
Let Twitter optimize the delivery of your ads for campaigns with the Website Clicks or Conversions campaign objective. We also support reporting for your campaign objectives with the addition of Results and Cost Per Results metrics. Try it now.
New AdWords Metrics and Final URL Support
We’ve rolled out support for even more Google AdWords metrics. This includes Total Conversion Value, Phone Call Conversions, Search Impression Share, and more. In addition, AdStage supports full campaign creation with Final URL Support on Google AdWords. Try it today.
This month in AdStage: Create custom Google Analytics reports, automate bidding on Facebook, save your global dashboard tables as a PDF, and more!
Google Analytics Integration for Custom Reports
You can now build, schedule and customize your Google Analytics reports directly from the AdStage Report Center. Simply link your Google Analytics account in AdStage to get started.
Facebook Automated Bidding
Optimize your Facebook ad spend automatically through AdStage. Automated bidding on Facebook is now available at the Ad Set level. This feature provides you more free time to optimize campaigns while Facebook automatically chooses a bid that gets you the best results at the lowest price. Try it now.
Edit Facebook Page Post Ads
Facebook Page post ads can be edited directly in your AdStage account. AdStage supports the newest version of the Facebook API to include this feature, Facebook Page post previews, and other Facebook ad types. Try it now.
Export the Global Dashboard as a PDF Report
Easily send executives and clients PDF reports of the AdStage Global Dashboard. The dashboard can be saved as a PDF file from your print screen. Start sending beautiful PDF reports and try it today.
As additional businesses start to dabble in social media, it’s becoming more elusive to capture audience attention. Enter the rise of native video. Video offers a highly engaging and easy to consume medium that works on both desktop and mobile devices alike. It’s become so popular for social networks that according to comScore, Facebook is poised to dethrone the behemoth, YouTube, as the top site for desktop video views just months after its release.
Capitalizing on this trend, Facebook and Twitter have unveiled catered options for advertisers to promote their video content to highly refined audiences. In this post, I’ll reveal the best suite of complimentary settings to generate targeted video views.
Create a Video Promotion Campaign
First, you will be prompted to choose a campaign objective type. Each network provides several options to select from, and it’s important to choose the campaign type that’s best suited for your end goal.
Tip: For Twitter, it’s best to create the Tweet, including the video creative, before starting campaign creation.
Build Your Creative
You don’t necessarily need a fancy studio or expensive equipment to produce a captivating video. Ensure your video is short (ideally 30 seconds or less), contains crisp imagery, and tells a visual story. Once you feel confident about the creative, it’s time to upload it.
1. Upload your video.
- In Twitter: Add it to the videos section in Twitter, create your tweet, then assign it to a campaign.
- In Facebook: Upload your video right within ad creation.
2. Add a clean cover image (FB only).
3. Craft intriguing body copy.
4. Include a compelling call-to-action button.
- Add a destination click-through link (FB only)
Target Your Audience
Once your creative is set, it’s time to start thinking about how to promote the video to your ideal audience. Outside of basic demographic settings, each network offers a wealth of deeper targeting options to fine tune who will see your video.
Optimize to KPIs
The end goal for a video campaign is to generate the most amount of views and engagement at the lowest cost. Below are key metrics you should focus on to generate the best results.
To improve the performance of your ads, you have many options in your tool belt:
Refine your audience
- Double down on what’s working, and pause audiences with high cost engagement rates.
Upload new creative
- Your creative, if seen too frequently, can become stale to your audience; and costs will rise, while click-throughs drop.
Break out desktop vs. mobile device placements
- Understand which device type is generating the best return.
Inflate or deflate your max bids
- Increase bids for greater reach
- Decrease bids for high costs, or to control spend pacing.
Retarget viewers of previous videos (FB only)
Bringing it Home
Facebook and Twitter’s video capabilities offer a powerful new opportunity for savvy marketers to deliver their message in an engaging way. The videos live right within the native environment (mobile users hate being redirected) and can be played with a simple mouseover or single click. Couple your creative with each networks’ expansive targeting to generate high engagement rates at low overall costs, racking up the view counts on your videos.