Oh boy, have Facebook reports have come a long way. If you can remember back to 2013 (when “poking” was still the rage), you’ll probably recall the hours you spent pulling reports for data that, today, feels incredibly simple. Just four years ago marketers were relying on demographics information that only went as deep as age and gender.
Today, Facebook can tell us a lot more about current and prospective customers, what and how competitors are doing, and provide real-time updates on content performance. Part of Facebook’s goal to bring value to advertisers through data is a more robust reporting hub called Facebook Insights.
Any business page with 30+ fans will automatically populate an Insights tab. Find yours by navigating to your Page, then look for the Insights tab at the top. There, you’ll find interactive charts and graphs under five main topics:
Let’s look at the information you’ll find in each category and how you can use it to your advantage.
Facebook Organic Performance Overview
This section is the quickest way to get an overall look at your Page’s performance. Here, you’ll see data over the past seven days for three main points:
- Page Likes: Total and new likes
- Post Reach: Total number of unique people who looked at your Page and posts
- Engagement: Total number of unique people who engaged with your Page, and a breakdown of the types of engagement
When you’re in Overview, you’ll also see your five most recent posts, and a snapshot of how each performed, including type of post, targeting, reach, clicks, engagement, and spend. You can click on individual posts for detailed information, or navigate to the other category tabs to get a look at Likes, Reach, and Engagement across all posts for the timeline you specify.
From Overview, you can access another helpful tool called Pages to Watch, which shows you what similar businesses are posting, and how their posts are doing. Getting a look at what the other guys are posting can be a powerful springboard for your own creative.
This report is exactly what it sounds like, but goes beyond simply recording total Likes. It offers handy information on what’s effective in getting people to Like your page. As you move your cursor around on the Likes graph, you’ll discover you can drill down into daily activity to see the number of Likes you got on a specific day.
Use the data selector to pull Likes for a longer span of time, and scroll down to get a look at unlikes, organic likes, paid likes, and net likes (likes minus unlikes). It’s from this graph you can determine where your Likes are coming from – directly from your Page, from Page suggestions, or paid ads. This helps you determine what’s working so you can do more of it.
Pull a report from this section to learn everything these is to know about what happens to a post or ad once it’s published. That includes users who looked at your Page through organic or paid efforts, post engagement through Likes, Comments and Shares, and negative actions through Hide, Report as Spam, and Unlikes.
Outside of your own efforts, you can also see any activity related to your page, like posts from others referencing your page, mentions, and check-ins.
Anytime you’re trying something new with your content strategy, like posting at a different time of day or increasing the frequency of posts, you’ll want to keep a close eye on activity under Reach. Use the date slider to compare before and after to see if your changes are effective.
This tab will look similar to Overview, but you can get a more in-depth look at individual Post performance here, including the ability to sort by engagement for a clearer look at your strongest posts. The coolest part of the Posts tab is “When Your Fans Are Online,” which shows you when your audience is logged into Facebook.
The best time to serve up posts is when your audience is most likely to see them! Keep this data close the next time you’re scheduling posts.
Next to “When Your Fans Are Online” is “Post Types,” where you can get a snapshot of how your different post types perform, based on reach and engagement. Make a note of what’s doing the best, then scroll down to individual post data where you can use the drop down arrows at the top right of the table to look at reach between fans and non-fans and positive and negative engagement. Dissect the top-performing creative according to this criteria to come up with new ads that are likely to do well.
The information you get in the People tab is one of the major reasons Facebook continues to give advertisers the most bang for their buck in comparison to other social platforms. A detailed profile of engaged customers is one of the most valuable pieces of information a marketer can get, and that’s exactly what shows up in the People report.
Within the tab, you’ll see three breakdowns for “Your Fans,” “People Reached” and “People Engaged.” Your Fans shows you gender, age, and location of the people who’ve liked your Page. People Reached gives you an overview of who’s seen your posts in the past 28 days. People Engaged is the real goldmine.
This report lets you see who has Liked, Commented on, Shared your posts or Engaged with your Page in a 28 day period. This information gives you an idea of who you’re already resonating with so you can tailor future posts to speak to this audience profile.
Facebook’s Insights hub gives you reports for two other elements – Page Visits and Video – which aren’t as statistically important as the other reports but can be beneficial, depending on your goals.
Visits shows you the number of times each tab on your Page was viewed, and the number of times people visited from a website off of Facebook. It’s always a good idea to have your Page updated with accurate details to help customers quickly navigate to the info they need.
The Videos section gives you an idea of how engaging your videos are, including how many times your Page’s videos were viewed for 3 seconds or more, and and the number of times your videos were viewed for 30 seconds or more. You can also sort by most viewed videos.
Clearly, Facebook reports have changed drastically in just the past few years and will continue to seek deeper information and offer actionable insights. Stay tuned for Part 2 where we discuss Facebook Reports: Paid Results!
Since its launch, Facebook Ads have become one of the most powerful customer acquisition channels.
Most marketers agree: 78% of them are satisfied with their Facebook ads.
Given 71% of all Internet users are on Facebook, you can’t deny its power.
If you have more experience with other paid channels, most likely Google Adwords, you may find it hard to grasp at first.
You may even find some of the more advanced advertising strategies counterintuitive.
Facebook Ads and How to Make Them Work for You
To make your life easier, we brought in someone who knows all the ins and outs of Facebook Ads: Jay Stampfl. Jay went from being an intern at adBrite and an anthropologist running around the jungles of Costa Rica, to become the CEO of BlackBird PPC, the digital advertising agency he founded in 2016.
Throughout this PPC Show episode, Jay, an expert in paid search, paid social, and programmatic display, gave us many interesting ideas on how to make Facebook Ads work for you.
The effectiveness of Facebook Ads and its impact on the final result (whether that’s a lead or a sale) differs mainly based on which kind of company uses it. The way Facebook Ads work for a B2C company is much different than for a B2B one.
If you have an e-commerce store and you sell products directly to consumers, like fashion or home decor, it will be easy for you to track how much each click is worth to you. Given the shorter sales cycle, which in many cases happens within one session, the impact of the final sale can be easily analyzed. If you use Google Analytics’ attribution reports, you will see how much your Facebook Ads’ influenced the final sale.
In other words, for B2C companies, the attribution modeling works.
The situation changes drastically if you use Facebook Ads for B2B sales cycles. In stark contrast with B2C sales, the problem with Facebook Ads lies in its impact on the final result and its correct attribution.
With B2B sales, the value of a click dilutes through the funnel, as it’s longer and more complex. It’s hard to add the right attribution to it. If a prospect finds your company after she clicks on one of your ads, and the company ends up purchasing a contract worth thousands of dollars six months down the line, that ad was worth thousands of dollars. The problem is, you will never be able to know that given the long time-frame and the complexity of the sale process.
Not everything is lost, however. Even if you run Facebook Ads campaigns and these ads don’t make your visitors convert directly, you can get a lot of awareness as well as it can help you get referral traffic and word-of-mouth.
Bidding optimization can be one of the hardest things any marketer can do to improve their paid campaigns. On the one hand, bidding can help you maximize your spending while giving you the best results. On the other, if you bid incorrectly, you can lose a lot of money fast.
Compared to Google Adwords, the Facebook Ads bidding system is much more difficult to grasp. Google Adwords’ bidding system is logic-based, that is, you bid based on the user’s queries and the value of the click is worth to you. Facebook, on the other hand, is much more dynamic, which makes it more difficult to bid on.
To start, Facebook’s algorithm throws marketing logic out the window. For example, if you raise the bid of an ad on Facebook, you will get higher quality users, which means the relevance score will increase, helping you get more clicks and lowering the CPA. With Adwords, if you bid up, your clicks go up just as your CPA goes up. That change in the logic behind the bidding system can make Facebook Ads much harder to manage.
Just because the Facebook bidding system is harder to understand compared to Google Adwords, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. On the contrary, you only need to select the correct bidding system for your goal. Once that’s done, Facebook will do a good job of assessing how to put your ad in the auction based on the bidding method you are using.
Even though there are no “best bid types”, you should choose one over the other one depending on the goal of your campaign.
- CPM: For some, highly unreliable and ineffective. But it can work if your goal is awareness (i.e. you want a lot of views to your ad so people get to remember your company)
- oCPM: This is the standard bid type for all Facebook ads. In a way, it works like a mix of CPM and CPC, so you can use it for build awareness, bring traffic to your site, or even get conversions.
- CPC: The one you must be most familiar with. Works best for traffic-related goals and, in some cases, to action-related goals (e.g. app installs).
- CPA: As the name suggest, you pay per action, whether that’s a sale, a lead, or whatever you have defined as one. Works best when your Facebook has a lot of data to optimize for (see next for more information).
The Facebook algorithm (and its bidding system) likes optimizing with lots of data. As a consequence, you need to spend money before you get any results. That way, the Facebook algorithm can get all the data it needs to optimize your campaigns.
This is why when you create a Facebook Ads campaign, you need to target large audiences. Jay likes targeting with an audience of at least 1 million. He likes optimizing with oCPM and Conversion goals to hit 20 conversions a day, so Facebook can get all the data it needs. If he doesn’t get those conversions, he moves the conversion up the funnel. This means, instead of focusing on conversions you would focus on a click or even on impressions.
That way, Facebook can optimize their whole algorithm better.
Before you start optimizing your bidding, you need to have a good account structure. If you have thousands of ads per ad group, Facebook’s algorithm won’t be able to optimize their bidding for them. This means you need to add some level of granularity and segmentation to your campaigns.
Each structure differs considerably based on the campaign goal and business.
For example, if you have an e-commerce store and you want to increase your sales, you could segment each ad campaign based on your products. One campaign would focus on shoes, while another one in bags, and so on.
On the other hand, if you have an agency and you want to increase your lead acquisition, you could segment your campaigns based on the kind of client you are trying to target. You would have one campaign focused on large businesses with more complex sales cycles, and you would have another one focused on smaller businesses with shorter cycles.
Once you select the goal that works best for you, you would repeat the same process with ad groups and individual ads.
With the former, you would create specific ad groups that target one segment from your campaigns. You can use custom and lookalike audiences to help you out.
With the latter, you would create ads that talk to specific individuals. You can use different ad texts and images to see which one rings best your audience.
The key of a good account structure, then, lies in being ultra specific with your targeting. The lower you get with your campaigns, the more specific you should be.
This account structure will allow Facebook to optimize your campaigns better for each of your goals.
If there’s one thing you are likely to take from this article is Facebook Ads can be tricky. Testing on their platform isn’t any different.
Just like with any test, if you develop a test within an ad group with three ads, one is going to perform great, and the other two won’t. That’s how A/B testing works.
In a normal situation, you would then pause the ad group, take the ad that’s performing and create a separate ad group to test it even further. Unfortunately, this is doomed to fail.
As you already know, Facebook’s algorithm needs lots of data in it to optimize bids. Once you take the winning ad to a new ad group, you will be resetting the data in the algorithm. This means, the “winning” ad will likely perform worse than before.
Remember, Facebook loves historical data. That makes the A/B testing environment for Facebook Ads so tricky. That’s why Jay recommends sometimes the best you can do is kill the good ads and start fresh.
The good news is, losing a Facebook ad test doesn’t mean that ad is bad. Sometimes it’s just a matter of bad historical data, not a bad ad or targeting.
Hire for Quality, not Fame
Even if you follow all the tips laid out in this article, it’s easy to get confused or lost with all the complexities of Facebook Ads. That’s why in many cases the best thing to do is hire an agency that takes care of your whole Facebook Ads account.
The problem is, many times companies hire the wrong agency.
If you want to hire a great PPC agency, hire one that has the most experience and that is willing to work directly with you. Most businesses that run paid ads need help with the management campaigns. Given the amount of agencies and consultants out there, businesses have many options to pick from. Unfortunately, many businesses have a small budget. This in itself isn’t a big deal. The problem is many times they end up making one of the following mistakes:
- They hire someone cheap and has little experience;
- They try to hire a large famous agency that will put an inexperienced account manager.
The problem with the former mistake is they then get little to no results since the agency or consultant doesn’t know what they’re doing.
The problem with the latter, according to Jay Stampfl, is that these agencies end up assigning them a 23-year old who has little experience in the industry. That results in mediocre results, similar to the company that hires a cheaper but still inefficient consultant.
Jay recommends going for smaller agencies, like BlackBird PPC, that are going to put their best people upfront without charging top dollar. Still, you need to invest to get high-quality PPC management. Even if your budget is low, the saying “you get what you pay for” holds true for PPC.
Want to more from Jay Stampfl? Follow him on twitter or listen to the whole episode below:
How to Navigate This Facebook Messenger Ads Guide
This guide to messenger ads is broken down into four main parts. Feel free to skip to the section that is most relevant to your needs.
- Messenger Stats & Growth
- Facebook Messenger Ads
- How to Create Facebook Messenger Ads
- Messenger Ads Campaign Ideas
Part 3 – Messenger Ads + Chat Bots = Automated Gold (coming soon)
Part 4 – AdStage Case Study & Results (coming soon)
Want to get an alert when Parts 3 & 4 come out? Give us your address and we’ll shoot you an email as soon as they’re ready!
Let’s face it most people use their smartphones as their primary PC. This reliance on mobile phones grows in lockstep with our desire for constant and instant communication with family members, friends, and even work colleagues.
Enter messaging apps. Mobile messaging apps are exploding and are one of the hottest marketing trends in 2017. According to Business Insider, “the combined user base of the top four chat apps is larger than the combined user base of the top four social networks.”
Their exponential growth is largely due to their rich services and features, from free text messaging, to voice and video calling, group chats, stickers to convey moods, and even photo and file sharing. Now add falling data package prices and cheaper smartphones and it’s easy to track the boom from traditional calling to SMS to social messaging apps.
The Popularity of Messaging Apps
There are several networks in the messaging app ecosystem. As for the most popular network, it really depends on what you’re measuring and geographic location.
In the battle of the messaging services, Facebook Messenger (65%) has a lead over WhatsApp (56%) for membership, but WhatsApp is virtually level for visitors/users. WeChat is absolutely dominant in China; over 90% have an account.
According to a study of global internet users from GlobalWebIndex in 2015, Facebook Messenger was the most used messaging app with 37% of those surveyed using it, followed by WhatsApp (33%), Skype (21%), Line (10%), and Google Hangouts (9%). Nearly half (49.3%) of mobile users in North America and 43.4% of those in Western Europe will use messaging apps this year.
The MEF Mobile Messaging Survey 2016 indexes the messaging habits of nearly 6000 respondents across nine countries worldwide as shown below.
eMarketer’s latest report predicted Messenger will reach 105.2 million active daily users in the U.S by the end of 2016. That figure represents 40% of mobile users, making Facebook Messenger the leading over-the-top (OTT) mobile messaging app in the U.S. OTT messaging apps work over an Internet connection and not the SMS network like iMessage, which has boosted their popularity with international users.
SimilarWeb conducted a study using Android data from 187 countries and were able to determine the most popular messaging app all over the world (minus iPhone users).
While they’re consolidating under a few key players, in almost every country in the world, a messaging app is the most used app overall.
Messaging App Demographics
In general, messaging apps are especially popular among younger smartphone owners. In the US, 42% of smartphone users between the ages of 18-29 use messaging apps. And three in ten online smartphone users utilize general messaging apps, like Whatsapp, Viber, or Kik.
As the customer journey evolves and becomes more fragmented across networks and devices, there’s a real opportunity for marketers to reach younger audiences on the device of their choice, and on the network of their choice.
Which is exactly what Facebook is banking on with Messenger ads.
What is Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger is a free mobile messaging and chat app for smartphones that lets people send text messages, hold group chats, send and receive money, share photos or videos, and even make voice calls to their Facebook friends. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in February that WhatsApp serves as a replacement for SMS services, whereas Messenger aims to be a more “expressive and rich environment” with a broad range of content.
For businesses, Messenger is roughly two years old. At the 2015 F8 conference, Facebook unveiled a new Messenger feature to bring businesses on the platform with the goal of enhancing how people and businesses communicate. Since then there are now more than 1 billion messages sent each month between customers and businesses.
Plus, Messenger gives Facebook another way to own users’ time. The average user spends over 50 minutes a day scrolling and interacting on Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a lot of time. However, there are only 24 hours in a day, and the average person sleeps for 8.8 of them. That means more than 1/16 of the average user’s waking time is spent on a Facebook owned platform.
What was once just a feature within Facebook is now one of the world’s most popular mobile messaging app services.
Messenger Stats & Growth
The undeterred rise in usage of Facebook Messenger continues from over 1.2 billion active users that’s ⅙ of the global population. 88% of online adults are a member of at least one of Facebook’s four main services: Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp or Instagram.
Image Credit: Facebook
And according to Facebook’s 2016 Q4 report, there are 400 million Facebook Messenger users using voice and video chat on the app each month.
Here are a few more staggering stats Facebook hasn’t been shy about sharing.
- 10% of all Voice over IP (VoIP) calls made globally take place within Messenger
- 17 billion photos are distributed by Messenger each month
- 22 million GIFs shared every day, the equivalent of 254 GIFs per second
Image Credit: Facebook
This graph from Statista presents the number of Facebook Messenger users in the United States from 2014 to 2020. In 2015, 90.4 million U.S. mobile phone users accessed the messaging app to communicate. This figure is projected to grow to 139.2 million users in 2020.
Over the last year, we’ve seen Facebook look for ways to keep customers and shareholders happy and engaged. They continuously roll out new features, many copied from Snapchat, keeping the platform fresh and users actively engaged. They introduced Messenger Ads in Q4 2016 hinting at their ambition to carve out another revenue stream similar to Instagram.
Facebook Messenger Ads
Messenger ads provide marketers another avenue to start a conversation. And there’s a real business case to be made here as customers become more interested in using Facebook Messenger to make online purchases. Statista reports 84 percent of millennial respondents are willing to connect their PayPal account to Facebook Messenger in order to use conversational commerce.
2 Types of Messenger Ads + 1 Closed Beta
Currently, there are two types of Messenger ads available to advertisers with another one in closed beta.
- Send People to Messenger (Direction) – use Messenger ads to have your leads initiate the conversation with your business.
- Send Ads to People on Messenger (Placement)
- BETA: Testing Home Screen Ads (see example below)
How to Create Facebook Messenger Ads
There are currently two types of Messenger Ads available. Let’s walk through how to set up each type of ad.
Send People to Messenger (Direction)
Send People to Messenger ads appear in the News Feed with a call-to-action button that opens a Messenger conversation. It’s a a unique way to start a conversation and provide a personalized experience for your customers or potential customers.
Here’s how to get started.
1) Choose the Traffic objective (Note: This may appear as “Send people to your website” for some advertisers).
2) Choose your campaign name and click Continue.
3) Choose your audience, budget and News Feed placements (Note: You cannot use Instagram as a placement option when selecting Messenger as a destination).
4) At the ad level, choose your format. You can choose Carousel, Single Image, Single Video or Slideshow format.
5) Choose the Page you want to connect.
6) Choose Messenger as your destination.
7) Type a welcome message. When people click on your ad, they will automatically be directed to Messenger and receive a copy of your ad and the welcome message.
8) Select your call to action. I’d recommend Send Message so the user understands.
9) After you’ve reviewed your ad, click Place Order.
Keep in mind: Your Send People to Messenger ad won’t appear to people who don’t have the Messenger app.
Send Sponsored Messages to People on Messenger (Placement)
Now let’s set up the other type of Message Ad available to advertisers.
1) Choose the Traffic objective (Note: This may appear as Send people to your website for some advertisers).
2) Type in your campaign name and click Continue.
3) Choose your budget.
4) Choose your audience. Keep in mind that you can reach people who’ve messaged your page.
5) For placement choose Messenger. Note: selecting Messenger will turn off all the other placements.
6) At the ad level, choose your format. The option currently available is the Single Image format
7) Choose a website destination URL.
8) Write your headline, text and link description.
9) Once you’re happy with the ad, click Place Order.
Messenger Ads Campaign Ideas
There are some really interesting use cases from companies that have experimented with Messenger ads and chatbots. For example, Digital Marketer ran a highly successful campaign that generated 500% ROI in 3 days.
Or Nordstrom’s Messenger chatbot that asked a series of questions about user preferences, which users could answer right in the app. Depending on the input, the chatbot would then offer them some gift ideas, specifically picked for them. Rather than relying on customers to interact with your website, these examples show innovative ways to stay engaged with customers on a preferred platform and device.
Another way you could employ Messenger ads is to send out coupons or discounts. Below ranks the types of advertising and promotions that consumers in the United States are willing to receive via Facebook Messenger as of 2016, sorted by age group.
A total of 52 percent of Generation X survey respondents stated they were open to receive notifications of store sales upon entering a store via Facebook Messenger.
There are very impressive stats and ad placements. Right now, there’s a huge opportunity for early adopters to take advantage of Messenger before it gets ruined by spammy advertisers or before your audience gets completely turned off Messenger ads. Now’s the time to experiment!
Over the next couple of weeks we’ll release Part 3 all about Messenger chatbots. We’ll show how to build them, set up broadcasts to our audience, and how to integrate them into your broader marketing plan. More to come!
PART 3 Messenger Chatbots = Automated Gold (coming soon)
Chatbots have taken off big time and I’m predicting 2017 to be the year they move into mass adoption. As of last September 2016 there were 33,000 of them on Facebook Messenger. This growth is reflected in the increasing popularity of messaging apps, which are growing faster than social networks and fueling the rise of chatbots in the process.
PART 4 AdStage Case Study (coming soon)
We’re diving into Messenger Ads and chatbots over the next 6 weeks. We’ll share our learnings and results at some point in May.
You already know Facebook is a powerful and necessary channel in your digital marketing strategy from reading reports like DemandWave’s look at digital trends, but with each different Facebook ad type, which will get you the best ROI?
Marketing analytics software company, TrackMaven, conducted an industry-wide analysis of the spend and performance of Facebook ads specifically for Dark Posts and Boosted Posts. They took a look at budgets, days of promotion, and engagement for each, revealing some useful information about where marketers are getting the most for their money. But, before we dig into the numbers, let’s take a look at the difference between Facebook Dark Posts and Facebook Boosted Posts.
What Are Boosted Posts and Dark Posts?
Boosted Posts, which Facebook calls Boosted Page posts, allow you to extend the reach of a post you’ve already published to your Page. When setting up a Boosted Post, you can choose to send it to “People who like your Page and their friends” or “People you choose through targeting.” The second option includes target specifications for location, age, gender and up to 10 interests
Dark Posts, which Facebook calls Unpublished Page post ads, allow for more customized targeting. Every Dark Post that you create can be tailored for and targeted to specific, and different, audiences. Dark Posts are a great way to test creative with different audiences without overloading your Page since none of the ads are published to your feed.
Why Boosted Wins
Marketers spend nearly twice as much per Dark Post than Boosted Post, and leave Dark Posts active for an average of 15 days longer. But engagement numbers reveal Boosted Posts are more effective. Boosted Posts receive over 9x more organic reach and 7x more organic impressions than Dark Posts on average. Boosted Posts also receive a significantly higher number of shares – 73% more. The benefits of each ad type and how they influence creative may be one explanation for the wildly different results. Businesses tend to spend more time on ads posted directly to their Page (which would become Boosted Posts), while Dark Posts tend to focus on testing, and explicit calls-to-action.
TrackMaven points out that Dark Posts may be more beneficial to big brands with big budgets who are willing to commit to a longer-term strategy. Something to consider if your business meets that criteria.
Most Popular Post Type
Now that we know how and to whom to send ads, let’s look at the what. TrackMaven found the majority of posts are link posts – 84% of Dark, and 87% of Boosted. It makes sense when you factor in the reason for creating these two ad types is usually to encourage some type of qualified interaction.
If you still need more convincing to shift focus and dollars to Boosted Posts, check out this article for other benefits AdStage has experienced first-hand.
The fact that US digital ad spending reached $72.09 billion last year means consumers are getting hit with more ads in more places than they ever have before. Marketers would like to call that a good thing, but people are engaging with ads less and less. Response rates in 1997 were around 7%, but today, that response rate has dropped to about .1 percent. Ad fatigue has officially descended on the nation, sending marketers searching for ways to ensure their messages rise to the top. Before your customers start boycotting or complaining about you (as some have threatened to do to overzealous advertisers), let’s take a look at some ways you can serve messaging that feels new, relevant, and effective with minimal effort on your part.
Keep creative fresh
Before you have nightmares about spending hours every day cranking out content, know that keeping your social creative current doesn’t require a constant stream of new stuff. Switch up ads frequently so your target audience will be saved from too many impressions of the same creative, even if you only have a few pieces to run. By predicting when click-through rates will start falling, i.e. ad fatigue setting in, (see below: Drop poor performers) you can also calculate the ideal number of content pieces you’ll need to fill the duration of your campaign. Take it one step further by creating a narrative in your messaging. If you have five pieces of content planned, instead of advertising five standalone product benefits, create one cohesive story about your product over the course of the five ads. Think of it as an extended carousel ad you can use to expand on an important or high selling point in your product. Check out this article for more ideas on how to approach your social creative within a carousel format.
Test your targeting
With any quantitative decision you’re considering, but especially marketing, you should always test. Running small tests will ensure you’re getting the most out of your budget when it’s time to plunk down the big spend. Run small tests on your LinkedIn campaigns, Facebook ad sets, or Twitter cards to assess the impact of using different targeting techniques. Depending on the results of the testing, you can make decisions on where to focus your funds. If the Twitter ads got minimal traction, maybe it’s better to put all the money behind the high-performing LinkedIn ads. If you tested different messaging and the pieces that ran on Facebook did so well they nearly broke the internet, run another test with that messaging on other platforms to see if it resonates with those audiences. Do as much testing as you possibly can before you need to launch the campaign. A little money spent up front will save a ton in the long run, and ensure you get the highest return on what you do invest.
Drop poor performers
Even with all that testing, at least one ad will be less successful than the others. We can’t all be winners, right? However, you don’t have to coach the poor performer along until your budget is drained. Stop spend as soon as you detect a drop in performance so you can put that budget toward what’s actually working. As mentioned in the Keep creative fresh section, you can use this data over time to predict how much you’ll get out of your social creative, and as a result, how many ads to create to keep messaging fresh over the course of a campaign.
Ready to get started with these three tips? Here at AdStage, we recently released Rotations (available in Automate) to assist and…well…automate all of the above. The power of Rotations lies in saving you time and ad spend by spitting out data you can use to calculate creative needs, get an idea about performance before stomping down on the gas, and automatically halt spend when an ad is no longer useful. In fact, Rotations will automatically stop spend on your ad once it’s reached 30,000 impressions and the CTR has dropped below your target (for example).
Want to give Rotations a try? Sign up for a 14-day free trial. If you’re already an Automate user, access your AdStage account directly through the Rotations feature, and choose the set of campaigns, ad groups, or ads you wish to cycle, then select the conditions you want to trigger the rotation. Check out our FAQ for more details on how the campaign will manage itself from there, and a click-by-click visual tutorial to get your Rotations set up.
Digital ad spend will only continue to increase as consumer eyeballs and attention abandon more traditional forms of media. The most successful marketers will be those who understand the importance of unique, compelling social creative, and can move quickly to ensure that’s what they’re showing consumers at all times.
Facebook is enhancing its Audience Network with its latest release of In-Stream Video Ads. This added placement is not only for mobile, but also available on desktop as well. From a user experience standpoint, the end user will be able to view the video ad in one of two ways: in-stream or in-article.
In-Stream Video Ads
The in-stream video ads, available both on mobile and desktop, will deliver in pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll settings on video publishers that have in-stream inventory. If you’re wondering what type of third-party placements you can expect, premium publishers such as USA Today, Sports Media Group, and Daily Mail are already using these new ad formats to deliver engaging video ad experiences to their audiences. Other premium publishers may be available in the closed beta, but eventually Facebook will be rolling this out more broadly. Here’s an example of a video ad shown on USA Today:
In-stream video ad in the Audience Network (desktop + mobile)Advertisers can now optimize their video ads for brand awareness through the Audience Network. In-stream video ads will play before, during or after video content on third party apps and sites across mobile and desktop.
Posted by Facebook Business on Thursday, May 12, 2016
In-Article Video Ads
In-article video ads are currently shown on Facebook’s Instant Articles, a solution that lets publishers show articles from their site or mobile app to their audience on Facebook. The video ads will appear between paragraphs of text articles on mobile and play automatically when at least 50% of pixels are viewable. Viewers can opt-in for sound if they choose, but the default is muted. If you’re wondering what type of placements to expect, the in-article placements are only available through Facebook Instant Articles at this time. This means any publisher that already uses Instant Articles could enable this placement to show your video ads.
In-article video ad in the Audience Network (mobile)Advertisers can now optimize their video ads for brand awareness through the Audience Network. In–article video ads will appear between paragraphs of text and play automatically when at least half the pixels are viewable. Viewers must opt-in to sound.Posted by Facebook Business on Thursday, May 12, 2016
To start syndicating your video ads on third-party publishers, head to your Facebook Ads Manager. Within your Video Views campaign, you will see an option to Edit Placements. Make sure you’ve checked the box called “Audience Network” to qualify for additional reach and frequency across other publishers outside of Facebook.
According to Facebook, advertisers that opt in to the Audience Network can generate approximately 10% more incremental reach than if they only targeted the mobile News Feed (Facebook internal data, May 2016). Early tests are also showing a lower cost per view (CPV) when advertisers enable video ads on all of their properties including Facebook, Instagram, and the Audience Network.
The algorithms will increase in-stream video ad delivery on a third-party site or app if it is deemed more relevant to a viewer. This means, for example, if your targeted audience spends more time in a particular app or website outside of Facebook or Instagram, your video will be shown on that publisher more often. With more places to deliver content, advertisers can maximize their brand exposure through video ads more seamlessly through Facebook. Have you tried In-Stream Video Ads on the Audience Network yet? Tell us about your experience in the comments section below!
New Facebook Campaign Planner Available in Business Manager for Facebook and Instagram
The latest addition to Business Manager is the Facebook Campaign Planner “a standalone tool for media planners to draft, compare, and share media plans using reach and frequency buying across Facebook and Instagram.” Brands and advertisers can now plan out campaign budgets and schedules to predict the estimated reach and frequency, these campaign insights can then be shared with clients and co-workers through link sharing or direct emails.
Each media plan can have up to six versions. Within each version of the media plan, you can play with different combinations of budgets, schedules, audiences, placements, and ad impressions per day to better understand the potential reach and frequency of your campaigns.
Below is an example of how the campaign planner provides insights around your reach based on your budget, schedule, and desired frequency. Using the prediction results, you can compare different versions against each other to determine which media plan best fits with your performance goals.
Why Facebook Campaign Planner Rocks
In the past, there was no way to view available Facebook targeting options, and the level of scale to reach your audience. The only workaround to uncover these insights was building a dummy ad set, selecting the desired targeting, and gaining access to reach estimates. Now with the new Facebook Business Manager media campaign planner, not only can you see all the targeting options available, it actually calculates the potential reach based on your budget, or the budget required to attain a specific reach goal, within the selected campaign’s run timeframe.
With these estimates, you can make more informed campaign decisions, without having to use real budget to test and optimize. If you’re working with clients or a team of digital marketers, you can easily share the media plan and reveal key audience insights into your plans and show how reach and frequency will impact your campaign.
How to Get Started with Campaign Planner
As of now, Campaign Planner is only available to advertisers with eligibility for reach and frequency buying. To get started, follow these steps below:
- Log in to your Business Manager
- Click Create Plan
- Name your plan
- Click Create Version
- Fill out each field that you’d like to customize for your media plan. Below is a screenshot of the different fields you can populate to estimate frequency.
For advertisers with a limited budget, we suggest inputting your actual budget for each version, while varying the frequency and/or audience to see how the estimated reach changes based on the different variables that are selected.
On the flip side, for brand advertisers that are mostly concerned with maximizing reach within a given timeframe, we recommend using the same reach inputs (which should be your target reach) in the different versions of your media plan, and playing around with the frequency, targeting options, and available placements to see how you can maximize reach for the lowest CPM.
Have you tried creating a media plan within Facebook Business Manager yet? Tell us your favorite use case for the new Campaign Planner in the comments below👇!
Facebook Custom Audiences for Engagement
Facebook recently released another enhancement to Custom Audience targeting, Engagement Custom Audiences. The Facebook Engagement Custom Audiences offers a new way to refine your audience targeting and reach the people who show an interest in your brand. The main difference between Engagement Custom Audiences and Website Custom Audiences is where data is gathered.
- Website Custom Audiences collects engagement data from activity on your website
- Engagement Custom Audiences collects engagement data from activity on Facebook
PPC marketers can now target audience segments based on their interactions with your Facebook content. People who take actions on your Facebook ads like viewing your videos, clicking your lead form, or clicking your Canvas ad are signaling how they want to engage with your brand. In this post, we’ll cover how to get started Facebook’s Engagement Custom Audiences and share our favorite tips to audience segmentation based on content activity and campaign objective.
How To Set Up Engagement Custom Audiences
You can manage and create all your audiences from the Audiences page within Facebook Ad Manager. Select ‘Create a Custom Audience’, from there you’ll see a new window pop-up with the new Engagement on Facebook audience option.
Pretty simple, but now what? In the next section, we’ll cover the best ways to use an Engagement Custom Audience for both direct response and branding objectives.
Best Use-Cases Engagement Custom Audiences
Lead Ad Retargeting
As a refresher, Facebook Leads Ads allow you collect lead information from people who click or tap on your ad. The ad will open a customizable lead form where users can complete and submit, or simply view the form without submitting their information and drop off in the conversion funnel. With Engagement Custom Audiences, you can retarget ads to people who opened your lead form but didn’t complete it. This could remind users of your brand, and help drive a conversion later on.
Alternatively, if you have a longer sales cycle such as a B2B company, you can use an Engagement Custom Audience to retarget ads to people who actually completed a lead form. In this scenario, you may want to show them an ad that drives them further down the conversion funnel like product demo or case study.
Canvas Ad Exclusion Targeting
Facebook Canvas Ads create an immersive experience for mobile users on Facebook. This ad type is flexible for any objective, and characterized as “instant ads” because you have complete creative control to achieve any objective you want. Some examples include communicating your brand story, promoting a new movie, or showcasing individual products.
When creating an Engagement Custom Audience for Canvas Ad retargeting, there are two available options:
- People who opened the ad
- People who opened the ad and clicked on a link
Because Canvas Ads are visual in nature, people may get tired of seeing these ads if they’re shown to the same audience too frequently. To avoid saturating your target audience, create an Engagement Custom Audience for the people who opened a Canvas Ad and click on the link, and then exclude these users in your campaign targeting. This way you ensure you don’t overload the same people with the same ads they have already engaged with.
Video View Exclusion Targeting or Retargeting
Engagement Custom Audiences for Video Views give you an opportunity to fine-tune your targeting depending how a user interacted with your video ad. Mix and match targeting between the portion of the video viewed and the actual videos viewed. As shown below, you can select a variety of options when setting up your Video View Engagement Custom Audience:
Similar to a Facebook Canvas Ad, when thinking about who to exclude from a video ad campaign you may not want to continue showing videos to people who watched a majority of a particular combination of videos, so you can mix and match the previous options with the videos that were viewed.
Alternatively, you can apply the same Lead Ad retargeting concept. If a person viewed majority of your video (and you have a longer sales cycle), you can retarget ads to them that cater to different stage of the conversion funnel to drive them towards conversion.
Evergreen Retargeting Campaigns
When setting up your Engagement Custom Audience, Facebook requires selecting an engagement window. The timeframe for an engagement window varies for each type of Engagement Custom Audience:
- Video Views: up to the last 180 days
- Lead Ad opens: up to the last 90 days
- Canvas Ad opens: up to the last 365 days
It’s a simple setting selection, but extremely powerful and more useful than Email Custom Audiences as they allow you to target people who engaged with a specific video, lead ad, or canvas ad during the past day (or X number of days you set it to). With targeting options like Engagement Custom Audience, creating evergreen ad campaigns are now possible because the ads you retarget to these people will nearly always be relevant based on their recent actions.
Apart from retargeting, Engagement Custom Audiences can also be used for audience expansion efforts on Facebook. When creating a Lookalike Audience, you can leverage your Engagement Custom Audience as a seed list, which will show ads to people who are similar to those in your seed list, in demographics, interests, and other profile characteristics.
This is part II of our four part series, “How to Drive B2B Pipeline with Social Ads”. In Part I we discussed how to generate scalable revenue by targeting the right prospects. Today we’ll uncover 3 surefire ways to increase engagement with the top 20% of prospects and lower acquisition costs.
Missed Part I? Read it here.
Nurturing Existing Prospects
Customer acquisition is one of the most costly aspects of any business. B2B marketers tend to align marketing goals based on a cost per lead acquisition model. This usually means dedicating budgets and resources to keep the top of the sales funnel full.
Yet, acquisition is just one piece to the customer lifecycle. Continually trying to add new prospects to your database drains cash and manpower.
New prospects may be aware of your brand, but you still need to win their trust. Your job is to show how your product/service solves a problem in their life (and worth the $$).
Be more efficient with your ad dollars. Re-engage and target leads who’ve shown an interest in your product/service, but haven’t purchased. Focus on each step the customer lifecycle to avoid a leaky marketing funnel.
Engagio’s Jon Miller, created one of my favorite customer lifecycle visualizations. In the image below, Miller showcases how an Account-Based Funnel acquisition model moves prospects to customers.
Why spend the majority of time and budget generating new contacts, when you have a database full of them?
In a study, Online Marketing Institute found it takes 7 to 13+ touches before a prospect becomes a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL). Ensure you’re reaching segments who have established an initial interaction with your brand.
For example: a prospect visited your website, engaged with content, and filled out a form. This prospect is not only familiar with your offering, but wants to explore the benefits of your product/service.
So, how do I actually get in front of my warm prospects?
Social advertising, if done right, allows advertisers to funnel highly qualified prospects into a well-oiled, profitable sale’s pipeline.
The B2B PPC manager understands why multiple points of engagement positively impact bottom line, but struggle with the how. The challenge here is figuring out how to deliver relevant ad content that (gently) reminds warm leads of their initial interest.
Let’s look at a few ways you can reach, nurture, and accelerate the buying process for your ideal prospect base.
Website Visitor Retargeting
Here’s a frustrating stat: did you know up to 98% of your web visitors do not complete your desired action on the initial visit? If your only focus is new acquisitions, there’s a risk in spending tons of cash for an unconverted visitor (or lost opportunity).
Focusing on new acquisition in this way is costly, inefficient, and results in either poor quality or a low conversion rate.
However, all hope is not lost.
You have the ability to reintroduce your brand or repackage an offer to previous web visitors, even if they have not filled out a capture form.
But first, we need to lay some groundwork.
How to Setup Up Social Web Tracking
Facebook and Twitter Ads offer direct re-targeting options using a simple snippet of code to run across your entire web property.
Once those pixels are implemented across the selected website pages, you can start building custom audiences based on:
- Keywords in the URL
- Last visit date
- Exact step reached last in the conversion funnel. Such as filling out a webinar form.
Pro Tip: Use Google Tag Manager to install all your social web tracking code. Google created a tool designed to help marketers easily update tracking code in real-time, without the need of a web developer. And the best part is that Google gives it away for free.
Need a quick refresher on Facebook Website Custom Audiences? Learn how to map campaign goals to each Facebook Custom Audience: How to Remarket on Facebook with Website Custom Audiences.
How to Create a Facebook Website Custom Audience
The steps below include how to create and install a new Facebook pixel and how to refine website visitors into a defined audience.
- Log in to your Facebook Business Manager or Facebook Ads account. Route to your desired Facebook Ads account.
- Pull down the Ads Manager tab to reveal the Audiences menu option.
- Select Website Traffic as your desired audience type.
- Take a pause and review your options . You want to create the best audience segment to reach with your advertising campaign, right?
- Try breaking down audience segments into micro-segments using different match type combinations.
- It’s important to test, and even micro-segment, your audiences to pinpoint similar buying patterns or top performers for a given campaign objective.
Two main levers to consider:
- Web page visited
- Last visit date
Web Page Visited
The default option is to create a Website Custom Audience: the web pages with the Facebook pixel will track all visitors. This is a great option for websites with very low traffic. But, if the domain is a few years old, it’s likely worth refining your audiences further.
Instead, examine your options for segmentation by website page visited, or missed.
There are a few ways to use this:
- If you organize your web pages by product lines or featured content, you can segment by page to see the ad content that best resonates with web visitors’ interest.
- For example, sponsor a LinkedIn Ads guide, targeting ] web visitors who visited our LinkedIn Ads section of the website.
- Exclude targeting web visitors who reached a desired conversion flow – such as reaching a “Thank You” page after a form submission.
- Triggering the next sequence in a series of drip retargeting messages based on pages consumed.
- Learn how to build social ad retargeting drip campaigns.
Last Visit Date
While it’s not a hard and fast rule: web visitors who visited your site several weeks/month ago, may not plan on returning any time soon. However, someone who recently visited within the last month could still be shopping around for their ideal solution.
Create a unique website custom audiences by segmenting web visits by last visited date.
- Visitors from 1-3 days ago
- Visitors from up to 15 days ago
- Visitors from up to 30 days ago
- Ensure to exclude the other segments as negatively targeted audiences when testing.
How to Create a Twitter Website Tailored Audience
We’re going to apply the same method we used in the previous section to build a Website Tailored Audience for Twitter Ads.
Steps to Create A Website Tailored Audience
- Log into your Twitter Ads ad account
- Pull down the Tools menu to reveal the Audience manager. Click through.
- Within the Audience Manager, click on the “Create new audience” button.
- Select the option, “Create a Website Tailored Audience”.
Much like Facebook, Twitter allows you to create unique Web Tailored Audiences based on web page visited or the days since the last visit.
Segmenting Your Database by Campaign or Lifecycle Status
Savvy digital marketers feel very comfortable wheeling around inside of their marketing automation or CRM systems, filtering lists to reveal the best fit prospects to include within a campaign.
Much like prepping an email campaign, marketers can advertise to a select group of prospects from their database on Facebook & Twitter using custom/tailored audiences.
Different Ways to Segment Your Database
Essentially, this is aligning paid social advertising with email and other mediums, around a focused campaign objective.
For example, you may be promoting an upcoming webinar to select Directors of Marketing in your database in a particular Industry. Using campaign member filtering, you can couple your email outreach with highly targeted social promotion.
Lead Lifecycle Status
Advertisers should tailor content based on where that prospect is in the buying process. For example, a lead who reads your blog to learn more about a specific topic, but sure to serve up content that speaks to this interest.
Instead of launching an awareness campaign or driving demo requests, tailor your message based on the prospect’s stage in the buyer’s journey.
Learn more tricks of the trade in our guide to using Marketo’s Ad Bridge.
Account-Based Marketing is one of the hottest trending topics in B2B circles today. This strategy champions personalized engagement among top decision makers and influencers in target account (company) lists.
For example, you want to reach the entire marketing team at Adobe to increase awareness of your Marketing Automation solution.
Learn how to run account based marketing plays in our post, “Account-Based Marketing, Focus on Pipeline, Not Leads”.
How to Create a Custom/Tailored Audiences From Your Database
- Export a .CSV file with the group of prospects you want to target.
- Be sure to include important fields from your CRM or Marketing Automation tool like: first name, email address, and phone number.
- Upload the list as a Custom Audience in Facebook and a Tailored Audience in Twitter Ads.
Did you enjoy this article? Stay tuned for Part III, as we reveal how to track the performance of your Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn Ads campaigns across your web analytics, marketing automation, and CRM systems!