Quick Guide to Facebook Audience Network

Posted by on Oct 3, 2017 in Social
Quick Guide to Facebook Audience Network

Facebook Audience Network (FAN), which reported a $1 billion run rate earlier this year, is a great option for marketers looking to scale their ad campaigns. FAN lets you run ads on third-party websites and apps while taking advantage of all the things that are great about Facebook native in-feed ads: rich targeting data, measurement, and user-friendly interface.

I know you’re probably thinking: my conversions and brand safety would really improve if I could just place more ads alongside third-party content that I can’t control. Well, with a little bit of tinkering in Ads Manager and a trusted list of exclusions, you can increase reach at a lower CPM and perhaps, even drive more down-the-funnel metrics. Read on to learn how to make Facebook Audience Network work for you.

What’s Facebook Audience Network?

Facebook launched its Audience Network back in October 2014. This strategic move allowed Facebook to grow its footprint by boosting the volume of ad spend going to off-Facebook websites and mobile apps. Needless to say, it’s a way for Facebook to address its growing ad load challenges. FAN lets advertisers extend their Facebook campaigns outside of the social network while using the same ad targeting data.

FAN has grown quickly over the past few years. It’s not just websites and apps now; Facebook is aggressively taking aim at the TV advertising market. Facebook video ads are delivered through apps that run via set-top boxes, such as Apple TV and Roku.

Types of Ads in Audience Network

As of October 2017 (and Facebook has been moving especially fast this year), Facebook Audience Network lets advertisers place ads in the following formats:

Rewarded videos currently support Unity and Cocos2DX game engines. Mobile gamers can choose to watch an ad in exchange for in-app rewards such as coins and power-ups.

Facebook’s SDK is now embedded into nearly every app on the planet. The use of header bidding and a solid inventory that includes Instant Articles makes Facebook a major challenger to traditional programmatic inventory sources and direct ad channels.

Why Advertise on Facebook Audience Network?

Facebook inventory is in high demand. Facebook’s CPMs were up 171% in 2017 and showing no sign of a slowdown, especially with the upcoming holiday season. For advertisers looking to scale spend and reach, the Audience Network could be a good option.

A few ways advertisers can take advantage of FAN:

  • Drive e-commerce sales at scale
  • Generate more leads by driving customers to register for something after they click
  • Boost brand awareness
  • Reach new relevant audiences
  • Repeat your message by following users off Facebook and on their favorite websites and apps
  • Target very niche audiences across web, mobile, and connected devices.

How Facebook Audience Network Works

In a nutshell, the Audience Network is Facebook’s version of Google AdSense. Here’s how it works:

  • Publishers with websites or apps can join the Audience Network by submitting their application for review. They agree to allow Facebook to place ads on their websites and apps.
  • Advertisers set up campaigns on Facebook. By default, ad placements with FAN-enabled campaign objectives will run on the Audience Network.
  • Facebook places ads on its partnering websites and apps. Advertisers compete to get their ads on placements by bidding.
  • Facebook makes money on ads and splits it with the publisher of the website or app.

Create Ads for Your Campaign Objectives

If you disable automatic placement, Facebook will recommend using Audience Network for the following campaign objectives:

  • Video views (including reach and frequency buying)
  • Traffic (for website clicks and app engagement)
  • Product catalog sales
  • App installs
  • Conversions

Whether you’re increasing brand awareness measured by views and clicks or driving sales, you need to write Facebook ads for people in the “browse” mode. Like billboard ads, FAN creatives shouldn’t pack too much information. The simpler the message, the more powerful the effect.

Set Up Your First Facebook Audience Campaign for Success

Whenever you create a campaign using the new Ads Manager, Audience Network is selected by default for any of the FAN-enabled ad objectives.

Facebook Marketing Objective

Source: Facebook Blueprint

So, unless you manually opt out of running ads on FAN in Settings, your ad will be running both in native Facebook feed and on the partner network. At the same time, you can’t select Audience Network alone. Ads must run either on Facebook or Instagram to run on FAN.

Facebook audience network selection

It’s possible to drive quality traffic for your direct response campaigns on FAN. Be mindful to review your placement report and not waste your ad budget on fake clicks and hurt brand image in the wrong placements. Facebook Blueprint course recommends leaving the Automatic Placements option selected, but you’ll really be better off by commanding more control. So skip the “recommended” trap and head over to Advanced Settings and Block Lists – these settings are not that “advanced” and will take you like five minutes to set up.

Protect the Brand and Improve Results with Blocklists

To set up a block list for Facebook Audience Network, go to Business Settings in your Facebook Ads Manager and find “Block Lists” under People and Assets. Upload your block lists. Apply your block lists to all or selected ad accounts. When you create a new ad set or ad, you can check if the list has been applied in Advanced Settings =>> Exclude Categories =>> Account Block Lists.

Facebook Block List

At AdStage, we built our FAN blocklist based on Seer Interactive’s blocklist for Google Display Network. You can copy and export in .csv AdStage’s blocklist for Facebook Audience Network by clicking on the link. The volatile political environment has led many programmatic buying platforms to shun many alt-right news websites, and you can certainly add such sources to your FAN blocklist to ensure the best brand representation and safety.

Add Facebook Block List to Ad Set

Note: you can add blocklists to your ad account only if you’ve been added as an advertising Admin on that account (if you have advertiser or analyst permissions, you won’t be able to add a blocklist).

Measuring Success

You can track your campaign success on Audience Network the same way you would do for in-feed ads via Ads Manager Reporting (or your preferred PPC reporting tool).

Facebook Placement

Further Resources on Facebook Advertising

  1. 7 Major Updates for Facebook Advertisers
  2. When and How to Use Facebook Sequential Advertising
  3. Quick Guide to Facebook Offline Conversions
  4. Crash Course on Facebook Organic Reports
  5. The Facebook Ad Type with the Best ROI

Have you tried Facebook Audience Network? Any best practices to share? Tell us in comments!

7 Major Updates for Facebook Advertisers

Posted by on Sep 14, 2017 in Advertising, PPC News, Social
7 Major Updates for Facebook Advertisers

What a week in ad tech! While Apple was putting on a show in Cupertino, Facebook quietly revamped its Ads Manager, rolled out several updates for advertisers, and even launched a new video chat app. Here’s a recap of all the major announcements:

1. Power Editor and Ads Manager Are Now One.

Starting this week, advertisers will begin to see an updated Ads Manager interface. Here’s what you need to know about this update.

  • No features lost.
    The updated Ads Manager will look just like its old version, plus all the features from the old Power Editor and Ads Manager.
  • Quick or guided: choose your favorite creation flow.
    Whether you preferred Power Editor’s quick creation or Ads Manager’s guided creation, you’ll be automatically opted in to the same workflow you used previously. You can change it anytime in the top right of the ad creation window.
facebook ads manager updates

The Power Editor Interface.

 

facebook power editor guided creation 2

Guided Creation in the new Facebook Ads Manager. Source: Jon Loomer

  • Automated drafts: review and publish.
    You’ll still have access to the Power Editor’s Automatic drafts feature. However, you will now manually review and publish all the changes that need to go live. Nothing to worry about: if you leave the updated Ads Manager with unreviewed changes, Facebook will show a reminder.
  • All campaign data insights and reporting in a single interface.
    The updated tool will allow advertisers to view and report on campaign data within one interface.

2. Lifestyle Templates to Mirror Print Catalogs

On Monday, Facebook announced a new ad format which allows users to shop directly from the Facebook ad. The new ads carry the look of a modern-day print catalog: not as glossy, but with the added benefit of interactivity, mobile reach, and less consumer friction. The new lifestyle format should appeal to the Pinterest demographics (Williams-Sonoma was among the first brands to test these ads in beta).

Instagram ads

Facebook Lifestyle Templates replicate the print catalog experience for mobile. Source: Facebook

3. Canvas Ad Format on Instagram

On Tuesday, Instagram announced the integration of Instagram Stories with Facebook Canvas. Canvas ads can now run in Instagram Stories.

What does it mean to advertisers?

  • The ability to capture Instagram’s younger demographics with full-screen experience on mobile
  • New features allow uploading organic stories as ads in Ads Manager
  • Broader reach: you can now run the same Canvas ads across Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network.
Instagram Ads

With 250m DAU, Instagram Stories are catnip to advertisers. Source: Instagram

4. New Rules for Branded Content and Instant Articles

On Wednesday, Facebook introduced monetization eligibility standards. Which means Facebook will now be more selective and cautious about Branded Content and Instant Articles. The new guidelines will control who is eligible to earn money on Facebook and what kind of content can be monetized. Starting today, the update will apply to videos and will extend to Instant Articles over time.

5. Third-Party Verification for Facebook Ads

You knew this was coming. Brand safety and ad fraud are major issues for advertisers. How do you make sure ads don’t show up next to questionable content? And who is clicking, a bot or a human? Facebook has been under scrutiny this year: first, fake news, and then inflated ad reach numbers.

To help assuage growing concerns, Facebook partnered with the Media Rating Council, the U.S.-based non-profit industry organization that reviews and accredits audience measurement services. Over the next 18 months, the MRC will work with Facebook in three key areas:

  • First-party served ad impression reporting
  • Third-party viewability partner integrations
  • Facebook’s new two-second video buying option.

To ensure advertisers have better control over brand safety, Facebook will work closely with third parties, such as DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science.

As Facebook is looking to make more ad money on its original content, these changes will be critical to rebuilding the network’s trust with advertisers.

6. Get Ready for Instant Videos

Facebook is testing a new feature called Facebook Instant Videos. Facebook Instant Videos download and cache Facebook videos to a user’s phone while they’re on WiFi so that they can watch them later on the go without spending their cellular data.

Instant Videos could be a game-changer for advertisers in the developing countries with a slow mobile Internet connection. For places where mobile data is pricey, and the network is weak, the new feature can level the playing field — at the very least when it comes to ads. For example, the average download speed on cellular in Afghanistan is 2.2 Mbps, compared to 4.4 Mbps in South Korea.

7. No More Instant Articles in Messenger

While it’s clear from some of the earlier updates that Facebook will continue to focus on Instant Articles (and videos), this ad format will no longer be available on Messenger —  for now. The truth is, as of now, Instant Articles are still not as publisher-friendly as Facebook wants them to be. Publishers report traffic issues; according to TechCrunch, advertisers have also complained about attribution: you can’t easily add UTM parameters to the end of Instant Article URLs. Facebook is collaborating with publishers to give them more control over their content, so maybe we’ll see a comeback.

… and a Bonfire

To top this week’s updates, Facebook also launched a new video chat app called Bonfire. The app mimics all the features of Houseparty, a social network popular among teens. Facebook’s copycat strategy is strong and already caused Snap’s earnings to plunge in the first quarter. Which app is next?

Tune in to hear the experts’ commentary on AdStage’s PPC Podcast this Friday.

Sign up and join our email list.

 

 

Facebook Ad Fatigue: How to Keep Your Ads Fresh

Posted by on Aug 30, 2017 in Automation, Social
Facebook Ad Fatigue: How to Keep Your Ads Fresh

It takes a lot of testing to uncover one really good Facebook ad. Once marketers find it, they scale it, investing more money in just the top-performing ad. But when an audience gets the same ad over a period of time, they start ignoring it and may even hide it from their feeds. This is called “ad fatigue,” and it hurts Facebook’s business. So Facebook slowly stops showing that ad altogether.

To solve this problem, you have one solution: rotate your ads. In this article, I’ll show you why Facebook wants you to rotate your ads, how to do it, and five examples to inspire you.

Why Facebook Ad Fatigue Matters

People get bombarded with ads. In the U.S. alone, the average person is exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 advertisements each day. The high volume of advertising has triggered a psychological effect known as “Banner blindness.” As the name suggests, people have become blind to the advertisement banners they see in the streets, newspapers, and other media. It’s not that consumers hate ads, they simply ignore them.

According to a 2013 study by Infolinks, 86% of consumers suffer from banner blindness. Another study from the Nielsen group found people almost never look at anything that resembles an advertisement, whether or not it’s actually an ad. 

To prevent banner blindness, the Nielsen group recommends making your ads look like a native part of the site. That means you should make your ads look less like an ad and more like a message from a friend. Ironic, but effective.

Banner blindness has become our defense mechanism against information overload. While banner blindness describes users’ tendency to ignore an ad because they have grown used to it, ad fatigue refers to the decline in click-through rate and conversion after banners have been left to run for a certain amount of time. In other words, ad fatigue is a symptom; banner blindness is the cause of the problem.

In Facebook, you can measure ad fatigue with the frequency metric. The more you show your ads to an audience, the higher the frequency. When Facebook shows your ads to your target audience too many times (which means your Frequency increases), your click-through rate drops and your cost per click increases.

The good news is, you can fight ad fatigue by rotating ads.

How to Rotate Your Facebook Ads

As the name suggests, to rotate ads, you define a piece of your ad, which could include your creative, targeting, or bid, and replace with another piece. For example, you could rotate a headline that says “See Why +10,000 Customers Love Us” with another one that says, “Get A Free Trial of X Today.

Facebook rotates your ads automatically. Once you create a series of ads within an ad group, Facebook makes them compete against each other for delivery. Facebook displays all the ads in your ad set until they find one that works best. When that happens, Facebook will show this ad more often than the others. By rotating your ads, you get the best ROI and decrease the chances of triggering banner blindness on your audience.

On Google Adwords, until very recently, you could rotate your ads through the “rotate my ads evenly” or “optimize my ads for conversions” options. Google is rolling out a simplified ad rotation to “optimize” and “rotate indefinitely.” The “optimize” setting will optimize your ads for clicks in each auction separately based on keywords, search terms, device, location, and more.

There’s no right or wrong time to start rotating your ads. At the least, try to have two or three ads in the same ad group, in which case Facebook will automatically rotate your ads. Once you hit a winner and start to see a decrease in conversion and an increase in cost per click, create a new ad group with the same targeting as the winning one, and add more variations to the winning ad to keep your ad fresh.

With Facebook automatic rotation, you can’t choose which variation to show your audience. That can be frustrating. With the help of AdStage’s Facebook Ad Rotation feature, you can display the variation you want in any given time frame. You can rotate one successful ad during the weekends, or you can test different ad variations every week, as well as many other combinations you prefer.

If you are having a hard time finding inspiration to rotate your ads, here’s five examples to get you started.

5 Ways to Rotate Your Facebook Ads Creatives

1) Use Power Words

how to rotate ads - example

After decades of testing sales-proof copy, copywriters have found that certain words evoke more emotional responses in the target audience. These are the so-called power words.  Adding power words in your copy increases chances of a positive outcome for your ads.

“Free,” “now,” “sensational,” and “instantly” are popular power words to use in ad copy. For more examples, check out this list of 189 power words.

Action steps:

  • Take a look at the list mentioned above. Select 5-10 words and use them in your ads.

2) Show a Giveaway

People love getting things for free. That’s the power of giveaways. Neil Patel, an online marketing expert, gives away his framework for teaching marketing to convince people to sign up for his webinars.

neil patel

He could reverse his ad and focus on the giveaway in the copy or the description, and add the webinar in the title. He could also mention either the webinar or the giveaway in the image of the ad.

Action step:

  • Think about what things you could give away for free to your audience. You can repurpose content and package it as a bonus or resource, and give it away in your ad as an extra.

3) Make an Irresistible Offer

how to rotate ads example

Sumo, the email list building, analytics, and social media tool, offers a 40% discount in their accounts with an annual subscription. The ad retargets users who have already tested Sumo and may need some extra convincing. 

how to rotate ads -- example

Agoda, a Singapore-based hotel booking website, offers discounts and makes it easy to pick a hotel room right from your Facebook feed with the carousel ad.

Action step:

  • Write down the benefits of your offers and see how you can maximize their impact in your ads. For example, if you offer a discount, mention its exact amount. Mention how much money your audience will save (or earn) thanks to it.

4) Make It Exclusive

Scarcity is one of the most powerful economic drivers: what’s scarce is valuable.

how to rotate ads -- example

Foundr promoted their Foundr Club 2.0 by highlighting its exclusivity in their ad copy: “private membership for entrepreneurs.” They also use emojis to draw attention to the ad.

Action steps:

  • Make one of your offers scarce. You can show it for a limited period of time, for a specific number of people, or both.

5) Play with the Length

how to rotate ads -- example

Your ads have just a few seconds to catch the audience’s attention. Better Help’s ad keeps the message simple and highlights just the core value proposition: getting therapist help.

how to rotate ads -- example

In the second example, MentorBox promotes a video of the founders. The ad copy is longer than usual and includes all the details of their offering — a subscription box for business-related books.

Action steps:

  • Play with your ad’s length. If you promote short ads, make them longer, and vice versa.
  • Think on the user’s stage of the buyer’s journey. If your customers are in the beginning, they may need more explanation to your ad’s message. If they are closer to the purchase, they may want to use a shorter message focused on the offer itself.

Conclusion

Facebook ad fatigue is a common and important factor to consider when running a Facebook ads campaign. Even though Facebook automatically rotates your ads to increase their relevance, you want to constantly be playing with your ads to find different ads that perform best.

Throughout this article, you have seen five ways you can rotate your ads. To get you started, pick a couple and test them in your ads today.

 

How to Build a Cross-Network Advertising Strategy

Posted by on Aug 24, 2017 in Advertising, Social
How to Build a Cross-Network Advertising Strategy

Lead generation campaigns often require multiple touch points before a prospect converts or becomes qualified for sales outreach. Extending your ad’s message across multiple networks is a great tactic to expand your reach, increase conversions, and accelerate sales cycles. However, building a comprehensive cross-network advertising strategy from scratch can seem daunting.

Let’s examine six key elements that can help simplify the process.

1. Define Your Objectives

Before your mind starts wandering towards budget allocation, targeting, and ad choices; start with the foundation – your objectives.

What’s your definition of a lead?

It seems like a no-brainer question, but you might be surprised by the variation of answers from key stakeholders. Sit everyone down and create a universally understood definition.

A request for a demo might hold different weight than a whitepaper download, for example.

What’s the absolute maximum you’re willing to pay for a lead?

Consider the following metrics to help define the highest Cost Per Lead (CPL) threshold management is willing to pay:

  • Total lifetime value of a customer
  • Average closing percentage of qualified leads from sales
  • Historic landing page conversion rates

How long will the ad campaigns run?

Define the advertising flight. Will it be a short initiative or an evergreen campaign? Knowing how long your campaigns will be active can determine your aggressiveness in optimization techniques.

2. Understand Your Target Audience

In short, do the upfront research. Really understand who your target user is, where they frequent, and what their pain points are.

B2B

  • What are their firmographics? Title, industry, company size, and skillsets.
  • Are they a decision maker or an influencer?
  • How long is their average purchase cycle?
  • What organizational pain points do they current have? Are they actively searching for, or aware of, your product or service?
  • Are they within the geography you service?

B2C

  • What are their core demographics? Age, sex and ethnicity.
  • What are their psychographics? Personality, interests and lifestyle.
  • What buyer type do they fall under? Are they an impulsive or carefully researched buyer?
  • Are they within the geography you service?

3. Allocate Your Budget

The mark of a great PPC advertiser is someone who looks to test everything and quickly iterate on the findings. In the case of testing all the ad networks during initial launch, it can actually hurt your results. Spreading your budgets too thin can lead to high cost per leads, and a lack of consistent data to optimize against.

Pro Tips for Allocating PPC Budgets

  • Start with 2-3 key networks. Then, invest a percentage of the returns from these campaigns into new network exploration.
  • Include the networks with the highest likelihood to convert.
    • Choose the networks with the highest intent to purchase.
  • Think about which platforms reach your target audience most effectively.
    • Consider overall reach.
  • Create aggressive budgets and optimization calendars for short promotions.
    • Total campaign budgets settings work well here.
  • Run smooth, evenly distributed budgets for evergreen campaigns.
    • Daily budgets help keep an even pacing.
    • Analyze direct versus assist channels.
    • Some networks drive last click attribution, leading from direct ad click, to new lead.
    • Other networks may not drive new leads with every click, but they can lift overall conversions through assists.
    • Learn more about setting your campaign budgets here.Think about the campaign flight length.

4. Have a Consistent Message

Your target customer no longer visits just one network on one device. It’s common for prospects to hop between networks and devices throughout their day. Having a consistent brand or offering message can lead to increased awareness and likelihood to convert.

 

Consistent Messaging Across Network

Tips for Selecting a Cross-Network Message:

  • Ensure the message is aligned with your core objectives.
  • Mention your promotion, sales, or new content in ad copy across all media.
    • Route ads to a common landing page so you can understand which networks are yielding the best returns.
  • Map out the buyer’s journey.
    • Search can be direct, to-the-point sales messaging. It’s geared to drive leads at the bottom of the funnel to convert.
    • Social requires a softer touch and is a great medium for drip lead nurturing through differing ad messaging at different stages of the buying journey.

5. Leverage Network Strengths

Each network offers a unique set of offerings and configurations. Be sure to take advantage of network specific settings.

Google AdWords & Bing Ads

Facebook Ads

LinkedIn Ads

Twitter Ads

    • Twitter cards (e.g., Website Cards)
    • Promoted accounts
    • Promoted trends
    • Custom audiences
    • Keyword targeting
    • Retargeting
    • Rich media (e.g., video or photo sponsored tweets)

6. Track Your Results

Finally, ensure that each network’s conversion tracking is provisioned and placed correctly. Add custom URL tracking strings to each of your ads to track performance through web analytics.

For help on setting up proper conversion tracking for your campaigns, you can reference our post, “Tracking Conversions With Google Analytics.”

Sessions Analytics in Google Analytics

Be sure to have some sort of PPC reporting software in place as well. They can house your all your PPC campaign data allowing for campaign monitoring, quick reports, and budget pacing. This will save you countless hours previously spent pulling and prepping data in Excel tables.

Wrap Up

Follow these tips when creating a cross-network advertising strategy to ensure the best return on ad spend from your campaigns. Examine performance as a collective whole. Then dissect it by network, campaign, and ad level. Optimize towards conversions (leads), conversion rate, and cost-per-conversion (cost per lead), leaving no stone unturned.

How to Use Social Media Ads for Lead Generation

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Social
How to Use Social Media Ads for Lead Generation

Social media is a must for brand awareness and audience engagement, but how about lead gen? With 13% higher lead conversion rate compared to other channels, social media can be a powerful growth tactic for any B2B marketer. In fact, 66% of marketers who spend as little as six hours per week on social media say that they see some kind of lead generation benefit.

Yet 49% of B2B marketers find social media to be the most difficult marketing activity to implement. So, let’s break it down and make it simple. Read on to learn how you can get started using social media for lead generation.

How Social Media and Lead Generation Work Together

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of using social media for lead generation, we need to be clear on how the former can impact the latter.

Focus on the why before the how.

Social media is about having a conversation with your audience. This audience needs to be interested enough in your brand to follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin. Lead generation, on the other hand, is a process in which an individual goes from being unaware of a problem or solution to being interested in exploring your solution. In other words, you attract visitors and convert them into leads. So, how do you make these two seemingly different goals work?

If you want to use social media to acquire leads, you can’t just start pumping your latest eBook to your audience. But if you invest the time to build an engaged audience, you can then convert them into leads and use ads (especially now that Facebook and Instagram have decreased their organic reach) to reach new audiences. Let’s dive into what you need to know about each social ad network.

How to Decide Which Social Ad Network to Use

To promote lead generation content through paid social media, you can use Facebook ads, Twitter ads, LinkedIn ads, or even Instagram ads. The challenge is to figure out which one is right for your business.

Your personas and their attributes is a good place to start. If you have already developed at least a couple of customer personas for your company, you can see where their attributes fit within different social networks.

Let’s take a quick look at the different demographics of Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn:

facebook ads demographics

Source: Pew Research Center

As you can see, most Internet users are on Facebook. The social network has more women than men, and also more younger people (although Facebook is more popular among older users). When it comes to education, income, and location, Facebook has equal representation.

What’s interesting for B2B marketers is that 73% of Facebook users say they use it for professional purposes.

Here’s what the audience looks like on Instagram:

instagram ads demographics

Source: Pew Research Center

Even though Instagram has fewer users than Facebook, people of all gender, age, education, and income are still equally represented. The only large difference is in location: Instagram has more urban settlers than rural and suburban ones.

Finally, let’s repeat this analysis with LinkedIn:

linkedin ads demographic

Source: Pew Research Center

As you can see, LinkedIn has a much different set of demographics than Facebook and Instagram. To begin, there are more men than women on LinkedIn. Most users are college-educated, have much higher income, and live in urban and suburban areas.

With all this information, you should start looking at your personas and see where they are more likely to be.

The largest social networks have attracted a wide variety of users with a diverse set of demographics, so you may want to try different sites at the same time. That being said, start where your core audience usually resides. For example, if you focus on B2B lead generation for enterprise IT CxOs, you may want to start with LinkedIn. If you’re selling B2C products to younger users, Facebook and Instagram may be a better investment.

Whatever the case, start with who your target audience is and where you can find them. In other words, your audience’s demographic determines the social network they use. Now that you have a clearer idea where to start, I’d like to show you how you can use Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn for lead generation.

Facebook Lead Ads

84% of marketers choose to use Facebook ads to drive traffic and acquire leads. On Facebook, you can select different goals for your campaigns, which makes it a popular choice among marketers. The lead generation goal works just like any other goal on Facebook: you can use targeted, lookalike, and custom audiences. But only with this goal you can promote a gated offer which your audience can get by providing their contact information without leaving Facebook.

This is how it works:

  1. A user sees an offer they like (typically, an ebook or a white paper)
  2. The user clicks the ads’ call-to-action
  3. The user verifies their information which Facebook has pre-filled for them (instead of redirecting them to a landing page)
  4. The user confirms their pre-filled information, receive the content, and become a lead

Unlike the classic traffic-to-landing lead generation model, which creates leaks in visitor-to-lead conversion, Facebook’s offering removes the friction and lowers your customer acquisition cost. Plus, it makes for a much better user experience.

The reduction in friction in the visitor-to-lead conversion process means your users are two clicks away from becoming a prospect. But remember, you must make this process seamless and ask only for the most information you need for lead nurturing.

Creating lead generation ads is easy (just check out this video from Facebook). You first choose the ad creative, then set your targeting and bidding options, and finally, customize your form fields.

Land Rover, for example, used lead gen form ads to get potential customers to request a car quote. As you can imagine, Land Rover sells expensive products which can only be purchased after a long sales process, which starts with a car quote.

Land Rover tried Facebook’s lead generation goal to create a seamless experience across devices. Lead gen forms made it easy for people on mobile to request a car quote and learn more about Land Rover.

Kim Kyaw, Land Rover’s Digital Marketing and Social Media manager, said that in early A/B testing, Facebook’s native lead ads outperformed link ads driving to the website in total leads and conversion rate. This Facebook campaign also achieved a 4x reduction in cost per lead compared to previous social lead generation tactics.

instagram ads lead gen

Instagram Lead Ads

Instagram’s ads are becoming a staple among online advertisers. Last year alone, eMarketer found 48.8% of brands were on Instagram and estimated that they would increase their participation in the social network by 70.7%.

Brands’ photos on Instagram generate 58 times higher engagement per follower than Facebook posts and 120 times higher engagement rates than tweets,  according to Marketing Week.

What’s more, a study done by Shopify found Instagram posts achieve 1.08% conversion rate. Facebook owns Instagram, so you can use similar lead ads on both platforms. The only difference is Instagram reduces the pre-filing options for advertisers to just email, full name, phone number, and gender. Collecting any further information would mean the user would have to type it in.

Since it takes a user 40% longer to fill out a form on a mobile device than on a desktop, you should only look to get additional information if it is a high priority for your initial sales efforts.

Maserati, the famous Italian luxury car manufacturer, used Instagram’s lead ads to promote their latest car, the Levante. The results were nothing but spectacular. Maserati generated 21k leads, 127 of which ended up purchasing a car. Even at a mere 0.47% conversion rate, if you consider the car costs close to $75k, Maserati made $9.5 million in revenue, just from their Instagram’s lead ads.

instagram ads for lead generation

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms

62% of B2B marketers say they have found LinkedIn to be the most effective social media platform for their businesses. This is especially true with lead generation, where 65% of B2B companies have found success.

Linkedin offers many advertising options for companies: sponsored content, sponsored InMail, text ads, dynamics ads, and more.

Sponsored content, one of the most commonly used ad types, works just like the name suggests: a company promotes a piece of content and acquires more traffic and leads by increasing the content’s reach.

For lead generation, LinkedIn has a very useful feature: Lead Gen Forms. Here’s a short video on how it works:

 

LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms allow potential customers to share their  information by pre-populating contact forms from their LinkedIn’s profile, exactly same way as with Facebook and Instagram.

The key difference is that LinkedIn can pre-populate information related to the professional life of the users, which includes their job title, company name, seniority,  and education details like degree, school, and field of study. This gives a much richer set of data from each lead. But don’t overdo it: LinkedIn recommends sticking to three or four key fields to maximize conversion.

Since LinkedIn Lead Gen Forms don’t require any typing at all from users, it makes it easy for them to add their information on mobile. LinkedIn Lead Gen forms are only available on mobile Sponsored Content campaigns.

According to LinkedIn, 90% of the 50 businesses in the pilot project exceeded their cost-per-lead goals. This is the case of Integrated Research, a software provider of IT infrastructure, which saw a 200% increase in their conversion rate while seeing a 44% reduction in lead cost acquisition.

Conclusion

Once you see how lead generation and social media work together, you can acquire leads using social media ads.

Start with the audience, then choose your social network. Facebook, Instagram, and Linkedin all have features you can use for lead generation. So, get started, and let us know which one you think best fits your target audience. What are your next steps to start generating leads for your business?

 

AdStage CTA Report

LinkedIn Text Ads: 5 Brands to Copy to Boost Performance

Posted by on Aug 2, 2017 in Advertising, Social
LinkedIn Text Ads: 5 Brands to Copy to Boost Performance

As LinkedIn has grown to over half a billion users, so too has its ad platform’s capability to slice and dice audiences based on troves of self-reported user data. With plenty of targeting options to choose from, you can get your message in front of decision makers and C-level execs when  they catch up on news, connect, and network.

But an ad done wrong can actually reduce the sales of a product. (Or so says Ogilvy, the father of modern advertising.) How do you write a compelling LinkedIn ad?

At AdStage we’ve plowed through tons of ads on the platform and analyzed several examples of different LinkedIn ad types to inspire your creative process.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the basics of writing effective B2B LinkedIn text ads. Read on to learn how to write a LinkedIn ad headline, increase form field conversion rate, and choose images to support your ad on the landing page.

5 LinkedIn Ad Types: From Text Ads to Programmatic Display

linkedin campaign manager

You can buy Sponsored Content, Text Ads, and InMail ads through LinkedIn’s self-service platform and programmatically purchase LinkedIn Display through your preferred ad partner. For Dynamic Ads, you’ll need to go through a LinkedIn sales rep.

It bears saying from the outset that a strong organic presence – a company page – is a must for any brand. But to scale your customer acquisition, you must invest in paid ads. On LinkedIn, you can serve up paid ads in the following five formats:

  • Text ads
  • Sponsored Content
  • LinkedIn InMail
  • LinkedIn Dynamic Ads
  • Programmatic Display

Some ad types work better than others depending on your marketing budget and goals. Below, we’ll look at several text ads served by B2B companies in July 2017.

Match Landing Pages to Ads and Reduce Form Fill Friction

The beauty of text ads is that they are super easy to create and work for budgets of all sizes. Text ads appear in the right rail of LinkedIn pages or at the top, as seen in the example below:

linkedin text ads content strategy 2017

Let’s zoom in on this one. As I click on the ad, I’m redirected to a URL with custom campaign variables, featuring content gated by a contact form.

linkedin text ads landing page scribble

linkedin text ads content strategy

Scribble’s ad is well-targeted and features relevant keywords in the headline, as well as an actionable CTA. Unfortunately, the text ad is missing the company’s name, and its content is poorly-timed.

What’s good about this ad? Obviously, the job title targeting is on point: a guide on content marketing strategy optimization is a logical offering for a content marketing manager. Scribble Live is not hard-selling me software, but offering a free pdf download instead. And the call-to-action is clear — the ad ends with a straightforward “Get the Guide.”

What’s missing? For starters, this text ad doesn’t mention the company’s name in the headline — a missed opportunity for raising brand awareness among those who don’t click but count as “impressions.” And for those who do click, the brand could have provided better, smoother user experience through frictionless form capture.

Too bad I have to manually enter my name, company’s name and email — Scribble could have easily pre-filled the form with data from my LinkedIn profile through LinkedIn AutoFill Plugin Generator. But plugging in the company’s name and streamlining form capture is only part of the equation. I’m here for the content, but Scribble’s timing seems a bit off. Content strategy for 2017? We’re more than halfway through the year; that ship has sailed.

After I leave Scribble’s website and re-load my LinkedIn page, another version of the same ad pops up — this time, with a marketers’ favorite odd-numbered-list headline. The cool thing about text ads is that you can very quickly come up with a multitude of options for testing, a big positive for copywriters on lean marketing teams.

linkedin text ads content strategy

Here’s another B2B ad example, courtesy of Cloud Coach:

Cloud Coach linkedin text ad

A click on the ad brings us to the registration page on Eventbrite.

linkedin text ads landing page for events

linkedin text ads salesforce

Cloud Couch uses smart geo-targeting to promote an event offline and times it well to create urgency while allowing at least week for planning. Unfortunately, the image on the landing page doesn’t entice me to register.

What’s good here? This ad is an excellent example of relevant geo-targeting. LinkedIn uses a mix of user-provided data and IP information, a compelling offering if you’re promoting offline events. The ad is also timely; served a week ahead of the promoted event, it creates a sense of urgency while allowing some time for planning. I also like the no-nonsense approach to copy: it has the When, the Where, and the Why.

What’s missing? The landing page creatives clearly fell flat. Cloud Coach advertises a seminar, an event to network and learn about custom applications of the Salesforce platform. Yet the image doesn’t feature people I want to meet or the experts who’ll speak at the training. Even a company’s logo and screenshots of the software tool itself would have been more helpful. Instead, I see a picture of a saving glass jar half-full of quarters. Unless a glass jar full of “Profit,” as the ad suggests, is exactly what a company is selling, it’s better to play it straight — at least on the landing page.

Mind The Where, What, and Why-Should-I-Care

With LinkedIn text ads, a short line of text is all you’ve got, so it’s critical to use the limited number of characters (25 for a headline and 75 for description, including spaces) wisely. Leverage this space to showcase a benefit, announce a product update, promote a discount on a service, recognize your customers’ problems and offer a solution, or quote a happy client.

As a target buyer, I should be able to quickly figure out the value proposition. As Steve Krug put it, “don’t make me think.” For example, both LinkedIn text ads below promote events. Which one does it with more clarity?

linkedin text ads

linkedin text ads aws webianr

Both ads promote an event, but the first one is confusing and doesn’t tell me the “where, what, and why-should-I-care” part of the piece. AWS, on the other hand, uses relevant keywords, mentions all the cross-promo partners’ names, and tells the full story in one line.

Putting It All Together

LinkedIn text ads allow marketers to quickly test multiple variations and reach highly-targeted audiences at a reasonable cost. How do you maximize the impact of the few characters you have?

  • Play it straight and speak the language of your buyer. Use relevant keywords your target audience can relate to (e.g., job title, skill, software tools they use)
  • Offer value, don’t hard-sell
  • Time content well — this is especially important for events and seasonal content promotions
  • Optimize your conversion page to reduce friction through LinkedIn AutoFill
  • Test multiple variations of headline and image
  • Go for clarity over cleverness to minimize irrelevant clicks

Do you have any tips for writing great LinkedIn text ads? Tell me in comments.

 

The Complete Guide to LinkedIn Ads that Convert ebook download via blog.adstage.io

How to Use Facebook to Create Powerful Customer Personas

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Advertising, Social
How to Use Facebook to Create Powerful Customer Personas

As an advertiser, the more you know about your customer personas, the better the content you can create. Rich customer data also helps determine how to distribute this content effectively, which leads to more successful marketing campaigns.

But gathering this customer insight can be expensive and time-consuming. You have to run extensive surveys, conduct one-on-one interviews, and collect regular feedback. In an ideal world, you would have the resources to do all of the above. But in reality, you often have to charge in blind, armed with just your intuition and fragmented conversations with clients.

Fortunately, there is a little-known solution called Facebook Audience Insights. Apart from helping you run better Facebook ad campaigns, Audience Insights is also a fantastic tool to gather customer insight. By combining raw intuition with Facebook’s hard numbers, you can create detailed customer personas.

The result? Content that your target customers love. Plus, higher conversion rates. Read on to learn how to use Facebook to develop your customer personas today.

What is a Customer Persona?

A customer persona is a biographical sketch of a single representative customer, or your “ideal customer.” While this persona has some hard demographic data (age, location, gender, etc.), it is mostly a subjective summary of the customer’s likes, dislikes, problems, and desired solutions.

Here’s a sample customer persona from HubSpot:

hubspot marketing mary

There is no limit to how many customer personas you can have. A large business like Amazon might have hundreds, even thousands of customer personas, while a bootstrapped SaaS product might just need a couple.

Customer Personas Use Cases

Well-defined customer personas can guide your content efforts from planning to distribution:

  • What kind of problems to address in your content
  • How to write, style, and present your content
  • Where to distribute your content for maximum impact
  • How to prioritize content creation

Suppose, you have two target personas:

customer personas

Persona A represents a key decision maker, someone in an executive-level position. To target this persona through content, you can use their preferred format, style, and media:

  • Create shorter content that’s easier to consume
  • Distribute mostly through popular enterprise blogs and LinkedIn
  • Emphasize high-level wins
  • Use a writing style that’s aligned with the demographics.

Persona B, on the other hand, represents an entry-level employee. They don’t make critical decisions yet, but can tell decision makers about your product.

To attract this persona, you can adjust your content accordingly:

  • Create more in-depth or beginner-level content
  • Distribute via Facebook, Twitter, and other popular mainstream blogs
  • Use a more casual writing style aligned with the demographics.

As you can see, a content marketer would likely create two very different content marketing campaigns for these personas. Detailed customer personas will make content creation easier and help you attract targeted traffic.

So, how do you create customer personas? This is where Facebook Audience Insights helps.

How to Create Customer Personas with Facebook Audience Insights

Facebook Audience Insights offers a fast and free alternative to extensive surveys and expensive focus groups.

Let’s look at how you can use this nifty tool to create customer personas.

Start by Researching a Competitor

The first step is to find and research a popular competitor. This will give you the initial data you need to zoom in further on individual personas. Ideally, this competitor should be popular, yet niche. If you’re selling software, don’t research Adobe; your data will be too broad. Instead, look up 37Signals or FogCreek.

Go to Audience Insights and plug this competitor into the “Interests.” In this example, I used Copyblogger to research content marketing customer personas.

copyblogger custom audience research

You can already see that this first step already yields some interesting insights: most of Copyblogger’s audience are older than 25 and, for the most part, women.

Find High-Affinity Related Pages

Once you have your seed data, you need to find related pages that have a high affinity with your existing audience. To do this, go to “Page Likes” and sort the pages by affinity. Make a list of at least five or six pages.

facebook page likes

Research All Related Pages for Demographic Data

Next, add all the pages you found above to your list of interests. This will help you expand the audience and gather demographic data. For best results, keep your total audience size under 50k monthly active people. For smaller niches, I stick to 10k people and under. For example, adding “Duct Tape Marketing,” “Derek Halpern,” and “Jeff Bullas” to the interests list shows me this:

facebook audience interests

While this won’t give you specific customer personas, it will help paint a general picture of your target audience.

In the above case, it’s clear that most of my target audience is in the 25-54 age group. A look at “Lifestyle” shows that a lot of these are also “Top Professionals.”

facebook audience lifestyle

The Education and Job Title section shows that my selected audience are mostly college-educated and work in media, management, or sales roles.

facebook audience education and job title

Based on this, I gather a few things:

  • My target customers are mostly professionals working in media, management, and sales
  • Most of them are at least in their late twenties and went to college

Once you dive further, you can start creating your customer personas.

Drill Down by Age and Education Level

Your next step is to drill down further and create specific customer personas from the general data you gathered above.

Here’s how:

  • Divide audience into distinct age groups
  • Segment this audience further based on their education.

In the above example, the age and gender data shows that most of my audience falls into three age groups:

facebook age gender

I focus on age since it usually correlates with career advancement (older people tend to be in positions of higher authority). In most cases, the above three age groups would form three separate customer personas. Research each of these age groups separately.

For example, focusing only on 25-34-year olds shows me that 54% of this audience is female.

facebook audience personas

To get an even better picture of your audience, drill down based on education level. For example, looking only at college-educated 25-34-year-olds, you can see that an overwhelming majority is in management or media roles:

facebook audience job title

Look at each segment’s page likes to find:

  • Where this audience hangs out
  • Where to distribute content (including guest post spots)
  • Identify influencers
  • Narrow down on niche interests (social media marketing -> Facebook marketing)
  • Tools and products they use and like

For example, here are the page likes for college-educated 25-34-year-olds:

audience influencers and guest posts

In contrast, 25-34-year-olds with a graduate degree are equally represented in management, sales, and media roles. They also tend to be female. Based on this data, you might have two customer personas:

  1. Persona A: 25-34-year-old male with an undergraduate degree working in a managerial position in marketing. Hangs out on social media and career-focused websites.
  2. Persona B: 25-34-year-old female with a graduate degree working in a sales or media position. Follows SaaS businesses in the MarTech space, reads established marketing and business bloggers.

Do this for all the different age groups until you have a handful of customer personas.

Test Your Customer Personas

To test your hypotheses and create more accurate personas, follow this three-step process:

  • Create a custom audience based on a single customer persona
  • Create a blog post that would appeal to this customer persona
  • Promote the blog post via Facebook ads and measure results

If there is an alignment between your content and customer personas, you should see a healthy engagement rate. If not, try narrowing or expanding your target audience.

See this guide if you want a primer on running Facebook ad campaigns.

Create Your Final Persona

Once you have all this data, it’s time to create your final customer personas.

Here’s how:

  • Give each customer persona a name and age (“Tony Stark, 42”)
  • Add a picture representing the persona. Use stock images or find something on MorgueFile.
  • Give the persona a fictional position (“CEO at Stark Industries”).
  • Summarize each data point in a single sentence.

You can use PowerPoint or the MakeMyPersona tool from HubSpot.

Conclusion

Facebook Audience Insights can be used for a lot more than running Facebook ads. The insight you gather from it can also help you create customer personas for your content marketing campaigns. By researching your closest competitors’ audience, you can learn about their demographics, their favorite products, what industries they work in, and what influencers they follow.

It’s not more accurate than running an expensive customer survey campaign, but it’s a lot better than going in blind. Plus, it will neither cost you money or take up too much of your time.

Quick Guide to Facebook Value-Based Lookalike Audiences

Posted by on Jun 29, 2017 in PPC News, Social
Quick Guide to Facebook Value-Based Lookalike Audiences

Facebook’s New LTV Lookalike Audiences

One of Facebook’s most powerful offerings for marketers is Lookalike Audiences. A new roll out is taking that feature to the next level and letting you assess current and new customers by how valuable they are, value-based lookalike audiences. According to Facebook, “LTV Is a value associated with your customers based on how much and how often they spend with your business over the course of their relationship with you.”

Sure, the people who buy from you every now and again shouldn’t be ignored, but your most loyal customers (and potential customers who display similar traits) deserve special attention within your marketing plan.

Facebook Value-Based Lookalike Audiences

The Power of Lifetime Value Metrics

LTV is one of the most important metrics for understanding and targeting your customers since it measures the direct profit your business makes off that person or account. There’s a big difference between someone who frequently buys from you but may only spend a few dollars on each purchase and someone who buys semi-regularly, but spends a lot each time. Both segments may be valuable to you in different ways at different times, but it’s important to note the contrast between the two groups and market to them accordingly.

LTV gives you a much more in-depth look at customer behavior since it can be calculated to specific time periods, including lifetime, month to month, and even to forecast. You can also use LTV to determine how much to spend on a customer that will give you the highest return, and even how to shape your product or service to keep these high LTVs coming back.

How does LTV improve my lookalike performance

LTV is an essential factor in determining where to focus your budget and effort and should be considered an integral part of your marketing plan, not an add-on to what you may already have established.

Reasons To Use LTV Audiences

Because you’re targeting people who already know and love your product or service (or again, share traits with those who already love your product), your messaging can be much lower funnel. You can skip directly to promotion instead of spending time and money on awareness, engagement, and education. The cost for these ads may be higher initially, but LTV Audiences is a longer game since it’s based on the lifetime value of a customer. Take note of immediate numbers, but the focus should be on the weeks and months following.

Step-By-Step: How To Create a Value-Based Lookalike Audience

As with most new Facebook products, value-based lookalike audiences are on a slow roll-out, so be patient and use this time to come up with a plan if you don’t already have access.

Step 1 – Create a New Custom Audience

First, check to see if you have access to the LTV Audiences feature. To do that, in your Facebook account, navigate to Audiences -> create a Custom Audience, and select Customer File. If you are a part of the roll-out, your see an option for Customer file with lifetime value (LTV). This is what you’ll click into to set everything up.

create custom audiences with LTV

Step 2 – Add Custom Value Column

From here, the flow will look similar to what you go through to create a normal Custom Audience, but with a few differences. You’ll see Step 2 requires you to “Include a column with a range of customer values.”

Facebook Value Column for LTV Custom Audiences

When creating a customer file with LTV, be sure to follow the directions Facebook gives: use positive numbers in the same currency without commas. Make sure everything is in dollar values as Facebook uses this base information to create its own rank of your customers.

Also be sure to include a full range of customers, not just those you’ve already identified as high LTV so that Facebook’s algorithms can make their own determinations on regular LTV versus high LTV customers.

Step 3 – Confirm Custom Value Column

Facebook will ask you which column you want to use for the customer value. To create the column with a range of customer values, you’ll need to do some math on your own if your CRM software doesn’t already provide you with this information.

Confirm Your Custom Value Column

Step 4 – Preview and map your identifiers

Map your data to upload it. Your data will be hashed before it’s uploaded.

Preview and map your identifiers

Step 5 – Create a Lookalike Audience

Finally, click to generate your value-based lookalike audience. You’ll use this group similarly to how you would a regular Lookalike Audience, but keep in mind who you’re targeting, and what messaging would be most appropriate.

Create a LTV lookalike audience

Remember, if you don’t see the results you were expecting right away, don’t halt the campaign. Using LTV Audiences is more of a long game. Let it run, then take a look at how the numbers panned out and what tweaks you can make to the next round.

**How to Create Facebook Lookalike Audiences for Multiple Countries**

Step 6 – Populate and Test Value-Based Lookalike Audience

It can take a few hours to populate your new value-based lookalike audience, but once it’s ready you’ll see the audience size populated. In this example, our lookalike audience size is 2,151,400 people.

LTV Lookalike Audience Ready

Using the Data to Optimize LTV

Now that you know who your high LTVers are and where to find more people and accounts just like them, it’s time to figure out how to increase that LTV and push mid-LTV customers to the next level. Because LTV is a wholesome look at a customer’s potential, increasing LTV means a direct increase in profit.

How do I measure and test performance

And don’t forget the basics of marketing here – It’s much easier to sell to someone who has heard of you and bought from you than to someone who’s stumbling across you for the very first time. A focus on returning customers (and lookalike audiences who match those you’ve already had success with) is key here.

Essentially, you’re coming up with a retention strategy aimed at those customers who are already giving you the most bang for your buck, and those who show the potential to do so.

You’ll want to model a few different scenarios to figure out who to pay the most attention to now. This may mean ignoring – or spending less time on – lower LTV customers while you focus on those who are already the most engaged and earning you max profit. Again, keep in mind that data over time is the key here. Though your efforts are happening now, the more accrued information you have, the better.


Looking For a Better Way to Examine Your Facebook Data?

With AdStage Report it’s easy to stay on top of results and share them with your team.
Cut hours of manual reporting time and produce the perfect, branded report.

AdStage PPC Report


 

Quick Guide to Facebook Lookalike Audiences for Multiple Countries

Posted by on Jun 15, 2017 in Advertising, Social
Quick Guide to Facebook Lookalike Audiences for Multiple Countries

Facebook recently released an update to its Lookalike Audiences that makes them even more powerful and easier to use for advertisers who wish to reach a global audience. If you’re not already familiar with Lookalike Audiences, it’s a Facebook targeting option that shows ads to people who are similar to those already connected to the brand.

Using a Custom Audience list of customers, marketers can select Lookalike Audiences, which will show ads to people who “look like” their existing customer base. This is generally used as an audience expansion technique to reach more potential customers.

In the past, Lookalike Audiences had to be executed for one country at a time. For example, let’s say you wanted to target an English language ad to United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, the audiences would have be created separately and combined in the targeting.

It was fairly messy with so many audiences and obviously took a lot longer to create and manage. Many times, advertisers would limit the number of countries they wanted to target with Lookalike Audiences to avoid the chaos.

New Countries and Regions for Lookalike Audiences

With their latest update, Facebook has released Lookalike Audiences for multiple countries. If you’d like to select countries from corresponding continents, Facebook lets you expand countries from Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, North America, Oceania, and South America.

Lookalike Audiences Select Countries via blog.adstage.io

Alternatively, if you’re looking to target specific regions, you can skip country targeting and target an entire region from the following list: Free trade areas, App store regions, Emerging markets, or Euro area.

Lookalike Audiences for Multiple Regions

Free trade areas groups countries are classified into the following:

  • European Economic Area (EEA)
  • North American Free Trade Agreement
  • ASEAN Free Trade Area
  • Mercosur
  • Gulf Cooperation Council
  • Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • Commonwealth of Independent States Free Trade Area

By hovering your mouse over any of the groups you can see which countries are within them.

Lookalike Audiences Regions via blog.adstage.io

App store regions may be useful for brands that wish to promote an app. The options include Lookalike Audiences from iTunes App Store Countries, Android Paid Store Countries, or Android Free Store Countries.

Emerging markets could be a good source for cheaper clicks, but keep in mind that this audience may not always have the funds or internet connectivity to be reliable customers.

Targeting the Euro area, which includes anyone who uses the Euro as their primary currency, could be useful for businesses that wish to reach the entire European Union.

For Performance Advertisers: Create a Custom Audience

With the addition of multiple countries for Lookalike Audiences, Facebook no longer requires a minimum number of people from a source country to create a Lookalike Audience. This update means you could use a seed list audience that is completely from the United States to create a Lookalike Audience in Germany, Spain, Australia, or Japan.

This may be useful for top of the funnel or brand awareness campaigns, to expose more people to your brand, but may not result in immediate conversions. For this reason, we recommend promoting an educational blog post or video that will drive more engagements, rather than conversions.

If you’re a performance advertiser looking for conversions, we don’t recommend using Lookalike Audiences as your primary targeting option, but rather, you can build a Custom Audience with people who’ve previously engaged with your website or video, and run a retargeting campaign that promotes opt-ins or products.

Creating Your Custom Audience with Robust Data Matching

In the past, Facebook only allowed you to create a Custom Audience from an email or phone number. However, now you can add a number of fields that will help you be more precise with your Custom Audience targeting and match rate with Lookalike Audiences. For performance advertisers and specifically B2B advertisers, the match rates could be higher as some consumers use their personal email address with their Facebook account rather than their business email address, which is the one you likely have on file.

To upload a data file for your Custom Audience, include as many fields as possible in your csv or txt file.

Field

Column Header

Examples

Email

email

  • username@hotmail.co.uk
  • your.name@gmail.com
  • myname@yahoo.com

Phone Number

phone

  • 1-234-567-8910
  • 12345678910
  • +44 844 412 4653

First Name

fn

  • John
  • F.
  • Émilie

Last Name

ln

  • Smith
  • Sorensen
  • Jacobs-Anderson

City

ct

  • Paris
  • London
  • New York

State/Province

st

  • AZ
  • California
  • Normandy

Country

country

  • FR
  • US
  • GB

Date of Birth

dob

  • MM-DD-YYYY
  • MM/DD/YYYY
  • MMDDYYYY
  • DD-MM-YYYY
  • DD/MM/YYYY
  • DDMMYYYY
  • YYYY-MM-DD
  • YYYY/MM/DD
  • YYYYMMDD
  • MM-DD-YY
  • MM/DD/YY
  • MMDDYY
  • DD-MM-YY
  • DD/MM/YY
  • DDMMYY
  • YY-MM-DD
  • YY/MM/DD

Year of Birth

doby

  • 1986

Age

age

  • 65
  • 42
  • 21

Zip/Postal Code

zip

  • W11 2BQ
  • 94104-1207
  • 94104

Gender

gen

  • M
  • F

Mobile Advertiser ID

madid

  • AECE52E7-03EE-455A-B3C4-E57283966239
  • BEBE52E7-03EE-455A-B3C4-E57283966239

Facebook App User ID

uid

  • 1234567890
  • 1443637309

For more details on preparing your data file for the best match rate on Custom Audiences, visit Facebook’s documentation here. Some of our clients have seen as much as a 60% increase in their match rates for their Custom Audiences.

With match rates like that and the new international expansion targeting for Lookalike Audiences, go ham on releasing campaigns with better targeted, and more scalable Lookalike Audiences for any region you wish to expand into.

What do you think of the new Lookalike Audiences? Any results you’re seeing as part of this release? Share them with us in the comments section below!

 

Quora Ads: How to Create Your First Ad Campaign

Posted by on Jun 7, 2017 in Advertising, Social
Quora Ads: How to Create Your First Ad Campaign

Step-By-Step Guide for Creating Quora Ads

You may know Quora as a platform for asking questions and connecting with people who contribute unique insights and quality answers. Valued at $1.8 billion, they’re now shifting to make a play as an advertising platform with Quora Ads. And users are responding, as the platform currently has 190 million monthly unique visitors which is nearly double since a year ago, reports VentureBeat.

In an effort to monetize the platform, Quora released their self-serve ads platform out of beta and made it available to advertisers globally. According to Marketing Land, the company has “doubled its ads team, which includes several Facebook ad alums, and is planning to invest in building out the ads platform.”

Back in January, AdStage was lucky enough to get access to the beta and take the platform for a spin. Thus far we’ve been extremely impressed with their roll-out, ad platform, and interface. Plus, we’ve seen good results with 93% of traffic coming from new users, earning low cpcs (below $0.50) and fantastic CPAs. I wonder how or if it will scale, but at this pace I’m happy with Quora Ads.

To help you get started with Quora Ads, we’re going to walk you through step-by-step on how to setup your ads account and how to create your first campaign down to the ad level.

How to Set Up Your Quora Ad Account

People come to Quora to ask questions and read insightful answers. This includes people looking for reliable information about your company, products, competitors and industry. Advertise on Quora to influence people during the consideration phase of their purchase process.

Step #1 – Set Up Your Ad Account

To get started with Quora ads you’ll first need to set up an ad account. Head over to Quora’s Self-Serve Platform and input your business information.

They start by asking your account information and business information. You’ll need to be ready to assign an account name and input your business information like name and address.

Create Your Quora Ad Account

Step #2 – Additional Business Information

The next step is to fill-in additional business information like your website and business description. If you don’t have a website or business description then you can opt to leave it blank.

Add Your Business Information Quora Ad Account

You’ll also want to add your email or the email where you want to Quora notify you with updates, optimizations, and errors in your account.

Webinar Recap: Getting Started with Quora Ads

 

Navigating Quora Ads Manager

The Quora Ads Manager is very intuitive to find what you’re looking for. Here’s how the Ads Manager looks and the information contained in the dashboard.

Quora Ads Manager Dashboard

Step #1 – Manage Ads Dashboard

The ads dashboard is a snapshot into account level metrics and performance of your campaigns. Performance metrics are on the left hand side with a trend line displaying the metric over the last 7 days. You can adjust your trend line by clicking on the metrics. In this example, we’re highlighting spend over the last week.

You can see over the last week we only spent $125 and drove 260 clicks with a huge spike on Sunday and dip on Fridays. What’s interesting about Quora is when users interact with on the platform. We’ve found there’s a lot of activity on the weekends, especially on Sundays.

You can toggle the view by selecting the timeframe on the upper right of the graph. Be default you can choose from:

  • All TimeQuora Ads Manager Dashboard Date Range Selection
  • Last 30 Days
  • Last 14 Days
  • Last 7 Days
  • Today
  • Yesterday
  • Last Month
  • This Month
  • Custom

Below the trends graph you’ll find your campaign level performance. Here’s the example campaign I created to highlight how it’s previewed on the dashboard.

Quora Ads Manager Dashboard Campaigns

These are also the default columns Status

  • Campaign Name
  • Delivery
  • Impressions
  • Clicks
  • CTR
  • Cost per Click
  • Conversions
  • Conversion % (or conversion rate)
  • Spend
  • Remaining Budget

They can’t be edited. Meaning, columns can’t be added or deleted.

Step #2 – Account Billing & View Invoices

After you setup your account, you’ll have access to the Quora Ads Manager. At this point, you can create campaigns, but nothing will run until your billing is updated.

To get there, go to the top navigation in the top left and click on Billing. From here you’ll be able to enter a credit card to get started.

 

Quora Ads Manager Dashboard Billing

In the future, you’ll use this tab to view current and outstanding invoices and add or update your account’s payment methods.

Step #3 – Account Settings

This is where all that information you entered when setting up your profile lives. It also contains your ad account number, address, and contact information.

 

Quora Ads Manager Account Settings

This tab is also where you can go to add new users. You can easily add users by typing in their name and combing through the results. It helps if they already have a Quora account.

Quora Ads Adding Users

Note: user’s added to your ad account will have full privileges to create and edit ad campaigns, update billing preferences, and generate reports.

The last tab is the Conversion Pixel. We’ll break down how to configure the Conversion Pixel toward the end of the post as it can be a little tricky.

Creating Quora Ad Campaigns

Everyone wants to create campaigns that reach and help the right audience. On Quora it’s no different. To help make your campaign a success, we’re going to walk you through every setting for creating your first campaign.

Step #1 – Create Campaign

Let’s get started with your first Quora Ads campaign by going to the top left hand corner and clicking on the blue button that says “Create Campaign.”

Create Quora Ads Campaign Button

Step #2 – Enter Campaign Settings

Next you’ll be taken to a page to complete your campaign settings. Similar to Facebook’s campaign setting, this is where you’ll select your campaign objective and, like AdWords, this is where you’ll input your daily budget and schedule.

A) Name Your Campaign

Enter the name of your of campaign and remember to name your campaigns like a pro.

Name Your Quora Ads Campaign

B) Choose Your Objective

There are two objectives to pick from here. Once a campaign objective has been selected, you will not be able to change your objective without starting a new campaign. You can either pick optimize for conversions or for app installs.

Quora Ads Campaign Objective Selection

Quora has integrated with Kochava, TUNE, AppsFlyer, and Adjust for mobile app installation performance measurement. If you have a different third party solution you would like supported or require assistance in configuring your installation tracking you can email Quora at ad-support@quora.com

Again, it’s impressive to see a platform in it’s infancy launch with conversion and app install objectives from the outset.

C) Set A Campaign Budget

Now you’ll want to enter in your budget for this campaign. You’ll have two options to select from: daily maximum budget and lifetime budget.

  1. Daily maximum budget – the maximum amount overall that can spent on this campaign in a single day.
  2. Lifetime budget – the total amount that can spent over the lifetime of this campaign.

Quora Ads Campaign Budget Selection

 

Note: you can define a max daily budget and a lifetime budget for your campaign.

4) Set Your Schedule

You can you can either start immediately without an end date or you can create a custom start and end date down to the hour.

 

Quora Ads Campaign Schedule

 

Note: Quora doesn’t support dayparting at this point so your ad will run all day for the duration you selected.

Step #3 – Create Your Ad Set

It’s now time to create your ad set. Similar to Facebook and Pinterest, this is the level where the ad targeting and bidding are created.

A) Name Your Ad Set

We are big fans of campaign naming conventions here at AdStage. This is the time to make sure your Ad Set is future-proof and organized by utilizing clear naming conventions.

Name Your Quora Ad Set

B) Manually Input Topics

Quora Ads allows you target people based on topics. And it makes a lot of sense. People reading and answering questions on Quora for a specific topic are more likely to click through on an ad related to it. Now is the time to do some research on specific topics, because similar to Reddit you don’t want advertise on the wrong topics.

Next, you’ll input the topics that you want to target with your ads. If you’re looking to get started quickly then group several relevant topics into one ad set to understand if this platform will even work for your business.

 

Quora ads topic selection

 

Here are tips to selecting topics that will result in a more effective campaign:

  • Specific topics:
    • Selecting relevant and specific topics will ensure your ad appears on question pages with topics that apply to your products and services. However, keep in mind that if your topics are too specific, you might not able to reach as many people as you’d like. Applying topics that are too broad may result in lower quality leads. Your best strategy is to strike the right balance between specific and broad topics.
  • Your company/product or competitor topics:
    • Find out if your company or product has its own topic on Quora and add that as one of your target topics.
    • See if your competitors and their products have their own topics on Quora that you can use as targeting.

Note: If you’re targeting multiple topics, you won’t be see which one is driving the best performance. If that’s a concern and you want more control then you’ll want to break out each ad set by specific topic. Meaning, one topic per ad set.

C) Import Keywords

Do you have niche keywords? Or keywords that are performing well in search campaigns? Enter keywords from a Google AdWords campaign in order to receive suggestions for comparable Quora topics. Keywords must be entered one per line or comma-separated.

Quora Ads Import Keywords

 

Here are tips to selecting topics that will result in a more effective campaign:

  • Choose topics that align most with keywords that people typically use when searching for information about your products and services.
  • Identify keywords within your ad copy that might be relevant and aligned with topics that already exist on Quora.
  • Look for keywords that you’ve used on other advertising platforms that have been effective and could translate well into preexisting topics on Quora.

D) Import Locations

For locations you can enter zip or postal codes, cities, states, or countries in order to add multiple locations to your ad set.

 

Quora Ads Import Locations

Quora Ads Import Locations

Pro tip: this is where you could create location specific ad sets in addition to device specific. For example, you could create the ad sets targeting users in the US, UK, and Canada rather than lumping them all together into one ad set.

E) Platforms

Choose the devices you want your ads to appear on. This is where you could create mobile or desktop specific ad sets.

 

Quora ad set platform or device selection

 

Pro Tip: Create device specific ad sets if your website isn’t well optimized for mobile traffic or if you’re offer is better perceived on a desktop. Or if you just want to see the difference between desktop and mobile performance.

From our experience, mobile traffic is about 75% cheaper and drives the majority of traffic, and desktop traffic is more expensive, and drives the majority of conversions. It’s worth testing!

F) Excluding Locations and Questions –

A really cool feature Quora added was the ability to exclude certain locations and questions. It’s hidden under the platform selection.

 

Quora ad set exclude locations and questions

 

This is extremely valuable if you’re business doesn’t operate in certain locations or if they’re questions/pages in which you don’t want your ad to appear on.

Quora ad set exclude questions and topics

 

Pro Tip: You’ll definitely want to conduct research on topics to understand which topics you don’t want your ad running on. You want to make sure you establish topic-product fit for maximum results.

G) Setting your Bid

A feature found in Facebook manual bidding and on Pinterest is a suggested bid. You’ll definitely want to experiment with different bids to understand how the Quora algorithm works to optimize your ad results. Our best guess is Quora auction is a lot like LinkedIn’s auction.

 

Quora Ads Bid Selection

The Quora Auction

Whenever a user visits a page on Quora that’s eligible for ads, all ads are considered from all eligible advertisers based on the topic/keyword targeting of their ad sets. The winners of the auction are the ads that, according to Quora’s predictions, have the highest value for the ads slot.

How is “value” determined? Quora determines value by a combination of factors, including the “likelihood of the user clicking on each ad, the bid of each ad, and the effect of showing each ad on the user experience.” If more than one ad slot is available, only one ad slot from each ad account can win the auction.

Pro tip: start with an initial high bid to enter the auction strong. We’ve seen that CTR is definitely a factor in CPC so a strong can help get you a higher ad position on a page which usually results in a higher CTR.

H) Ad Set Summary

On the right hand side of the page, you’ll find a nice little summary of the ad set demographic targeting. In our example ad set, we selected to target two topics, zero locations, both desktop and mobile platforms which should potentially reach around ~4,500-5,500 weekly impressions.

Quora Ads Set Demographic Targeting Summary

The summary is easy to miss, but it’s really valuable to understand the estimated reach from the targeted topics/keywords you selected. Otherwise, you might be left wondering if all this work was with it.

Step #4 – Create Your Ads

If you’ve written text ads in the past then you won’t have any difficulty creating Quora text ads. It’s just like writing text ads on other platforms, but with slightly different character counts and policies.

Now that you set up your Ad Set, it’s time to create a new text ad. Here are the length requirements that must be adhered to by all advertisers:

  • Headline Sentence: Maximum of 65 characters
  • Body Text: Maximum of 105 characters
  • Display URL: Maximum of 30 characters

 

Creating a Quora Ad

It’s worth mentioning that Quora Ads have high standards for their ads and expect them to be as high quality as the content they appear alongside. All ads must adhere to Quora Ad’s content policies and guidelines and should be clear, well-formatted, and free from grammatical, capitalization, and punctuation errors. Here’s a breakdown of Quora’s rules and policies for ads.

Let’s walk through all the text ad settings and guidelines for each one.

A) Headline Sentence General Rules

The Headline Sentence fields should be in full sentences and should end with a punctuation mark.

  • Headline Sentence: Maximum of 65 characters
  • Not permitted: We are looking for machine learning experts. Learn more today
  • Acceptable: We are looking for machine learning experts. Learn more today.

B) Body Text General Rules

  • Body Text: Maximum of 105 characters

Incorrect/unusual use of capitalization and abbreviations

Ad copy frequently contains unnecessary capitalization, which is not permitted. Commonly known abbreviations are permitted, but where possible, the full word should be used.

Correct capitalization must be used at all times.

  • Not permitted: 40% off if you register now. Don’t miss this GREAT DEAL.
  • Not permitted: 40% off if you register now. Don’t miss this GrEaT DeAl.
  • Acceptable: 40% off if you register now. Don’t miss this great deal.

The first letter of every word should not be capitalized unnecessarily. Titles (such as articles, books, and movies) with consistent capitalization on your website or app is allowed.

  • Not permitted: Learn More About Our Services By Signing Up Today.
  • Acceptable: Learn more about our services by signing up today.
  • Acceptable: Buy Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone today.

Capitalization is allowed for common acronyms, abbreviations, or initialisms. Capitalization is also allowed for trademarks, brand names, or product names that are consistently capitalized on your website or app.

  • Acceptable: 40% off if you register now. Register ASAP to not miss this great deal.

Strikethroughs, italics, bold, underlines, and emojis are not allowed.

  • Not permitted: We are looking for machine learning experts. Learn more today.

Ellipses are not permitted.

  • Not permitted: Sign-up for a free trial today…
  • Acceptable: Sign-up for a free trial today.

More body text policies to adhere to:

  • Do not include links in your ad text copy.
  • Do not use profanity.
  • Do not include sexual-related content in your copy unless you have obtained explicit permission from Quora beforehand.
  • Do not mention Quora in your ad text copy without prior written permission and approval from Quora.

C) Landing Pages and Destination URL Requirements

Your destination URL must function properly in all browsers and on all platforms that you have chosen to run your campaign on.

Here is what you should be aware of when building your landing pages:

  • Should be in English only.
  • Should clearly and accurately reflect the product or service being promoted in your ad.
  • Should not trigger pop-ups or pop-unders when someone arrives upon or exits the page.
  • Should not automatically initiate downloads, malware, or spyware upon arrival.
  • Should not link to a file that requires an additional program or application in order to view content.
  • Should not have confusing design elements nor include fake clickable elements to entice clicks.
  • Should not contain images or words that are included for sensational or shock purposes. This includes images and words that are sensational, aggressive, offensive, disrespectful, threatening, or excessively violent. We also do not permit clickbait ads, including anything that is sensationalist, hyperbolic, alarmist, or that plays on people’s fears or self-esteem.
  • Should not mention Quora unless you have obtained permission first.

D) Destination URLs:

  • Should lead to a page owned by your company, to a web storefront selling your product or service, or to an article about your product or service. If we determine that your display URLs aren’t accurately reflecting the destination URL you’re directing people to, we reserve the right to reject your ads.
  • Should not lead people to a site that is an error page or is under construction.
  • Should not be directed to a page that does not explicitly belong to your company, but can be directed to your Quora company account.

E) Display URLs:

  • Display URL: Maximum of 30 characters
  • Should consist of the domain of your final URL. You are also permitted to use subdomains except when your subdomain is a trademarked term that does not belong to you.
  • Should consist of lowercase letters. For example, the words “business” and “Quora” should be displayed as business.quora.com).

F) Importing Existing Ads

You also have the ability to import from an existing Quora ad, which makes the process for duplicating and creating new ads a little quicker and more efficient.

G) Call to Action

Like Facebook ads, you’ll have the ability to add a Call to Action to your ad. Quora provides advertisers 16 different CTAs encompassing most popular offers.

Quora Ads Call to Action

H) Ad Preview

On the right hand side there lives the ad preview so you can see the see what your ad looks like as you’re creating it.

Quora Ads Preview Breakdown

How to Configure the Quora Conversion Pixel

Quora right out of the gate offers a conversion pixel to track events and goals as specified by you. This code allows Quora to optimize conversions on your ad campaigns, which is really impressive for such a young platform. This code sends data back to Quora so you can measure activity, track conversions, and optimize accordingly.

Note: if you’re tracking multiple conversion event pages on your site, you can put the pixel on multiple pages, but they can’t yet be tracked separately to individual campaigns in your Quora Ads Manager reports.

There are two options available for marketers looking to install the code. The first option is to add a snippet of code to your website. The other is to

Step #1 Install Base Code

Install this code on specific pages of your website where the conversion event you want to track will happen.

Option A: Send events on page load
If the event you want to track occurs when a person visits a page, the event code should be installed on that page. To send events on page load, make sure to use Option A from Step 1, and add the event code inside the <head></head> tags directly after the base code. You can also place the event code inside the <body></body> tags if needed, but it is not the recommended approach. It is critical that the following code is installed after the base code defined in Step 1, otherwise it will not work correctly.

Option B: Use an image pixel (not recommended)
For this option, you’ll be given an image pixel base code to paste inside the <body> tag.

Step #2 Install Event Code to Track Conversions

Option A: Send events on page load
If the event you want to track occurs when a person visits a page, the event code should be installed on that page. To send events on page load, make sure to use Option A from Step 1, and add the event code inside the <head></head> tags directly after the base code. You can also place the event code inside the <body></body> tags if needed, but it is not the recommended approach. It is critical that the following code is installed after the base code defined in Step 1, otherwise it will not work correctly.

For example, you’ll want to place this additional event script right above the End of Quora Pixel Code from Step #1 Option A.

 

Quora Ads Conversion Pixel Event Tracking

 

Option B: Send events on inline actions
If the event you want to track does not result in a new page load, the event should be installed when the action happens. To send events on inline actions, use Option A from Step 1, and install the event code to be requested when the inline action happens, in between appropriate <script></script> tags. For example, if a person clicks an ‘Add to Cart’ button that does not take a person to a new page, then you will want to add the event code to HTML element click handlers, such as to the ‘Add to Cart’ button example below.

Step #3 – Verify Proper Installation

To verify your Quora Conversion Pixel is installed properly, visit the webpage where you expect a conversion event to be counted. Referrer URLs will be displayed below. They will reflect pixel views from the last 15 minutes, and will be updated on a 5 minute delay.

Quora Ads Recap

Quora Ads might be better suited for B2B marketers trying to showcase their products/software to users looking for solutions. I think anyone has one run pay-per-click campaigns previously will appreciate the Quora Ads Manager. It’s a hybrid of AdWords and Facebook. They took the best elements of each platform and smashed them together into an intuitive platform for marketers to create campaigns.

You’re now ready to launch your first Quora Ads campaign. Let us know what you think about their ads platform and share some of your initial results in the comments. Best of luck!