At the end of each year, we see hundreds of articles with predictions for the upcoming twelve months. “Top Business Trends for 2017”, “Where Is Marketing Headed in 2017?”… You know what I’m talking about.
The problem with predictions is that they’re not always 100% applicable to your marketing strategy.
Instead of speculating what the next year’s big trends are going to be, we wanted to give you some attainable ideas for planning your next year’s Facebook ad campaigns.
No trends, no forecasting, simply 12 actionable ideas, tactics, and hacks to boost your Facebook ad results, starting from January 2017.
But, first, If you’re interested in educating yourself about the latest Facebook updates such as Marketplace, Facebook Live, and chatbots, see this article: Top Facebook Updates That You Can’t Afford to Miss – December 2016 Edition
Now, let’s dig into the creative ideas and Facebook ad hacks that you can employ in your 2017 ad campaigns.
1. Create new brilliant ad images
Ad images are the first touching point between people and your offer. And there’s a lot at stake. It’s either love at first sight or a sorry attempt to gain potential buyers’ attention. If your ad image catches people’s attention, they’ll read through your ad copy as well. It is incredibly important that your ad visuals manage to catch attention in crowded news feeds.
One of the best pieces of advice about Facebook ad design that I’ve ever heard is this: Use a high level of contrast.
Utilize contrasting colors and bold fonts, mix positive and negative space, and spice up your ad with complementary colors.
If possible, use your branded colors to keep your ad design similar to your website.
2. Write new stellar ad copy
How many different ad copy variations have you A/B tested in the past six months?
Many companies make the mistake of using the same ad copy over and over again. After people have seen your ad over and over again, they get tired of it. That’s when you’ll meet the ad fatigue monster and your ad campaigns’ click-through rates start falling.
By testing several ad headlines and ad texts, you’ll be able to find the superstars that outshine all your other previously written offers.
Start 2017 by reviewing your past 12 months worth of ad texts and see what worked and what didn’t. Based on these insights, write new ad copy that makes people want to click on your ads.
You can also run A/B tests to see which value offer works the best, just like CoPromote:
In the first ad, their offer is “Reach 500 000 new people per month”. In the second ad, they say: “Cross-promote with creators on Twitter, Tumblr, …”
By testing two multiple Facebook ad copies, you can learn two things:
- Which offer has a higher click-through rate – what makes people click on the ads
- Which ad copy returns a higher conversion rate – what makes people sign up
To get those creative juices flowing, here are a few best practices to try:
- Use emojis in your ad copy
- Use social proof, e.g. client testimonials
- Use action verbs (get, test, see, try, etc.)
- Create a sense of urgency with limited-time offers
3. Write 12 new ad headlines
You’re probably thinking: Why on earth would I need 12 different ad headlines? You’re right; you don’t. However, brainstorming more than one headline will help you tap into creativity and find the most captivating one.
Write down 10+ potential ad headlines and pick the best two or three. Next, A/B test them to find which one delivers the highest click-through rates at the lowest cost-per-click.
According to Copyblogger, 80% of readers never make it past the headline. It is critical that you secure your audience’s attention already in the headline.
Here’s another interesting number to consider: A study showed that 70% of people actually never read more than the headline of a Facebook share before commenting and sharing.
How to write a great Facebook ad headline:
- Keep it short and clear
- Use numbers
- Emphasize your product’s benefits
- Include a call-to-action
- Ask a question
For example, Shopify’s ad says clearly what they help the client to do: Build your store on Facebook.
4. Embrace video ads
If there’s one buzzword in social media marketing, it’s video.
And there’s a good reason for it: According to Adobe, shoppers that watch videos are 1.81 times more likely to purchase than non-video viewers.
A report by Kinetic Social showed that video ads have the lowest cost-per-click, with an average CPC of $0.18
Many successful brands have seen lots of success with video ads: Red Bull, Coca-Cola, and Nike all have millions of views, likes, and shares on their video ads.
Tip: Don’t forget to add captions to your video as most people play Facebook ad videos without sound.
According to Facebook, captioned video ads increase video view time by an average of 12%.
Creating a video ad doesn’t have to take months of time and thousands of dollars. The easiest way is to hire a design agency to create the Facebook ad video for you.
As Nike would say: Just Do It.
5. Create a Facebook Live Video
Facebook Live has been around for a while, and you can rest assured that in 2017, it’s going to become even more popular.
For those who are still new to the Facebook world: Facebook Live Video is a relatively new feature that allows users to broadcast a video live to their audience in real time.
In October, Facebook released cool new video filters worth taking for a test drive.
And in case you still haven’t found a big enough reason to check out Facebook Live Video, here’s another cool feature: you can now track how the audience reacts at specific points during a Live broadcast.
Creating a Live Video requires nothing more than a smartphone with a good camera. You can share behind-the-scene videos, tutorials, or express opinion on breaking news.
6. Make creative carousel ads
People love stories.
A great story helps people relate to something and place it in the right context. Telling a compelling story in your Facebook ads campaigns will make people interested in your product.
One of the easiest ways (in addition to videos) to narrate a story with your ads is to create a multi-frame carousel ad.
Here are a few ideas for creating your next carousel ad:
- List your product’s benefits in subsequent ad images
- Show progress from one step to the next
- Promote multiple products as a product catalog
- Make sure to follow all Facebook and Instagram ad specs and size requirements
Tip: Create a carousel ad of your top-performing blog articles or infographics.
7. Try something crazy
Facebook ads do not have to boring and follow the rules. The opposite is true.
Creative (and a little insane) ads catch people’s attention and make them like and share your ads. Massive organic reach guaranteed!
Here’s a Facebook ad campaign by Slack. While they’re a B2B business, they were still able to draw people’s attention, resulting in thousands of sign ups.
Feeling in need of extra inspiration? We’ve got your covered! Here are 12 unexpected (and funny) places to find inspiration for your Facebook ads.
8. Create new Facebook ad landing pages
It’s not only your ad campaigns that need constant care and optimization. After clicking on your ad, the potential buyer lands on your website. Creating a high-conversion landing page is crucial for Facebook ad success.
No matter whether you want people to download an eBook or buy a product, the landing page design and messages should be similar to the ones in your Facebook ad.
For example, here’s a Facebook ad by Buffer:
After clicking on the ad, people land on a landing page that includes similar design elements:
The best practice is to have a separate landing page for each Facebook ad campaign. This way, you can keep your ads and web page aligned and get higher conversion rates in the long term.
In case you’d like to audit your current landing pages, start with this famous article showing the most common mistakes: 12 Expensive Landing Page Mistakes That Are Stealing Your Conversions
9. Target warm audiences instead of cold ones
The main difference between warm and cold audiences is that people in the warm audience are already familiar with your brand and product.
A warmed-up audience is someone who has previously visited your website, read a blog article, downloaded an eBook or white paper, etc.
According to Johnathan Dane, CEO of KlienBoost, you should always align your ads with your audience’s temperature. Social media ads work best on people who are already familiar with your brand.
Knowing about your company and product makes people a lot more likely to be interested in your Facebook offers. Instead of advertising to people who have no idea who you are, you should target the users who are curious about your product/service.
The easiest way to target your website visitors is to create a Facebook Custom Audience.
But what if you don’t have many website visitors for remarketing? Up next, we’ll share some tips.
How to get a bigger warm audience:
- Promote blog posts to cold audiences to lead them to your blog
- Create a free takeaway campaign to increase brand awareness
- Offer an interesting eBook in exchange for people’s emails
10. Fine tune your ad targeting
Facebook audience targeting has a huge impact on the ad cost.
AdEspresso’s analysis of 2016 Q3 ad costs showed that the cost-per-click rates are highly different all over the world.
But targeting Turkey instead of Singapore is not the solution to high ad costs. Instead, you should learn to fine tune your Facebook audience.
Specifying your Facebook ad audience starts with excluding as many irrelevant audiences as possible.
By excluding custom audiences, you can avoid showing your ads to the people who have already seen or acted upon them.
Safe to say that this will save you hundreds of advertising dollars.
Start your next year by going through your ad campaigns and searching for ways of excluding groups of people with a low potential to convert. You’ll soon see a decrease in your ad campaigns’ cost-per-acquisition.
11. Hack your ad budgets
To get your new ad campaign up and running, you can use this simple Facebook ad bidding hack.
Use Lifetime budgets that cross your planned budget at the beginning of your campaign.
When A/B testing, you’ll need about 10 000 impressions to evaluate which ads work and which don’t. So you want Facebook to use more resources at the beginning of the campaign.
For example, use a $2000 budget instead of the planned $800, just to get things rolling.
Tip: Use custom scheduling to exclude low-performing ad delivery times.
To see which time at day performs the best for your ads, go to Facebook Ads Manager and break down ad campaign’s results by Ad Account Time Zone. Use this insight to tweak your ad schedule accordingly.
12. Set up A/B tests
Whenever you’re unsure what type of ad image or ad copy works the best, run a Facebook ads split test.
For example, in Scoro, we ran an A/B test revealing that the Facebook ad headline that included an emoji had 241% higher click-through rate than the ad with no emoji. (That’s another tip for experimenting in 2017)
Next time don’t forget to include more emojis in your ad copy.
If you’re new to A/B testing, here are a few best practices to follow:
- Wait at least 24 hours after publishing before evaluating your split test results
- Don’t test too many different variations at once as you won’t get statistically significant results
- Collect at least 500 clicks to your ads and reach at least 10 000 impressions before drawing any conclusions
- The easiest way to set up a Facebook A/B test is to use AdEspresso. Instead of creating all the variations one by one, AdEspresso will do it for you
No worries, you’ll never run out of split testing ideas. Here’s a list of factors that contribute to the CPC and CTR of Facebook ads.
Try these tips & hacks in 2017:
If you didn’t think all of the tips and hacks listed above would work for your ad campaigns, it’s totally fine. Even testing 2-3 new approaches can significantly increase your Facebook advertising ROI.
Here’s a quick recap of all the ideas we explored:
- Create new ad images and replace the old ones
- Take time to write stellar ad copy
- Brainstorm at least 12 different ad headlines
- Embrace video ads and set up new video campaigns
- Create Facebook Live Videos
- Use creative carousel ads to tell a story
- Try something unconventional and crazy
- Create new landing pages and optimize the existing ones
- Target warm audiences instead of cold ones
- Fine tune your ad targeting by excluding custom audiences
- Hack your ad budgets and use ad scheduling
- Set up Facebook ad A/B tests
And now… get back to work! But leave a comment first 😉