Facebook Ads are tough.
There’s a lot of balls in the air, metaphorically speaking, that all need to come together for a happy ending (easy, now).
You’ve got the overall strategy and creative idea. The appealing visual aesthetic that needs to grab attention and stand out. The different sizes and placements that force you to re-jigger the messaging on each. Not to mention the custom audiences and bid strategies.
If that’s not enough, you also need to target various stages of the sales funnel, with completely different conversion goals, creative, messaging, placement and bid strategies.
AdWords creative is easy in comparison. Any trained chimp could string together a few simple keywords and slap them in a 20 character limit. And part of the reason it works so well is because you’re specifically targeting people already looking to purchase or take action on something.
Fortunately, there are a few helpful Facebook ads tools out there that can drastically improve results while also slashing your wasted time in half. Let’s dive in!
1. Facebook Chrome Pixel Helper
Your Facebook ad campaign is all set up.
The custom audience is in place. The creative is beautiful. Messaging on point. Bid strategy is all worked out. Everything’s loaded in your favorite Facebook ad optimization tool and ready to go.
Only problem is…
The damn conversion pixel isn’t firing. And you have no idea why.
Maybe you set it up wrong. Or maybe the engineering department still hasn’t helped you out yet. Let’s not even touch the IT, or “I Tried”, department.
Regardless of ‘why’, there’s an issue. And it’s holding up the show.
Investigating all the possible reasons manually could take hours. Ain’t nobody got time for that when there’s 30 Rock reruns on Netflix to watch.
Fortunately, you can use the Facebook Chrome Pixel Helper and get an answer immediately.
This handy little browser extension helps you figure out which pixels are on specific pages, and will give you an indication if they’re firing correctly (or not).
That means troubleshooting many common issues now only takes seconds while also giving you suggestions for ways to improve the offending issue.
Even if the pixel is set up properly, this tool can help you figure out if there are performance-related issues like it taking too long to load, or even multiple conversion pixels firing on a single page (which is actually pretty common oversight when you have multiple people within a company or agency working on the same campaign at once).
Simply pull up the page in question, and click on the extension icon to get instant feedback.
If something’s wrong, you’ll know it. You’ll see red, and a helpful message alerting you to a few possibilities (along with how to fix or address each).
Otherwise, like Michael Douglas taught us, green is good.
2. Facebook Open Graph Debugger
Facebook leverages the Open Graph protocol to automatically pull in data and other ‘rich’ information on a page to automatically populate titles, images and descriptions when you copy and paste a link to share.
It’s a simple, elegant solution – saving you a bunch of time without having to manually upload that information every single time you want to share or advertise content.
It works amazingly well. Until it doesn’t.
If your Open Graph data isn’t set-up properly on the original page itself, you’ll experience constant problems instead of simple bliss.
Fortunately, Facebook provides an Open Graph Debugger to help find and spot these issues.
By simply dropping in a post or page URL, you’ll immediately get feedback on how the raw ‘meta data’ looks on the page, alerting you to any possible technical or content issues ahead of time. It can also help you spot other potential pitfalls that might hold up the Facebook ad review process before you even get started (like the dreaded ‘20% rule’).
Scrolling down towards the bottom, you’ll also get a preview to double check.
If everything looks good, your content promotion or ad campaign should be fun!
3. AdEspresso Ads Gallery
Consistently coming up with fresh creative that performs can be a daunting task.
Our own Facebook Ads Gallery is a one-stop shop for inspiration. And while this might sound like bias or a convenient excuse to plug our own products, it’s worth a try. Here’s why. (Sorry, too many Dr. Seuss books lately.)
Since it’s recent public release, it’s already received more than 12,000 searches in a single day. It can also help you spot broader trends, like the fact that 68 % of the ads use photos (while 63% of those contain a human), and another 32% use illustrations.
For starters, you can view ads by category or industry to dive deeper into what the competition might be doing. Select the industry, like ‘Health & Fitness’ in this case, and you’ll get tons of real examples to draw from or test against.
(Another competitive tip is to click on, ‘Why am I seeing this?’ on Facebook Ads in your newsfeed, it’ll help you understand how competitors are targeting ads.)
You can also click on an ad to drill down and view specific ad details to help guide your campaign’s settings and placement information.
Getting a head start on these hard-to-find details is priceless when testing new campaigns.
The English language is difficult.
It’s the only one I know how to speak (and write), and I still suck at it. I could only imagine what it’s like for non-native speakers.
Thankfully, Grammarly is an amazing tool that helps people all over the world avoid sounding stupid.
At least, while typing. There’s yet to be a microphone that pulls out all your ums, errs, and ahs. (Hello, Shark Tank!)
And if the nonsensical emails you receive from colleagues or moronic YouTube comments littering the internet are any indication, more native English speakers should be using this free tool, as well.
One of the absolute best features is the way it can judge your word choice in context, helping you to avoid improper uses even when spelled correctly (which other spell checkers commonly miss). For example, while writing this exact section, Grammarly told me to capitalize the ‘e’ in ‘English’ when referencing the language. See… it’s amazing. And I still suck at ‘English’.
Once you can create an account, you can compose drafts directly in the tool. While the UI is very nice and minimal, writing in a brand new tool isn’t always practical and might disrupt your normal workflow.
Instead, get your hands on the Chrome extension so that it will work across all sites like Gmail or even WordPress.
That way, you can write naturally across all sites, and rest assured that your chances of improperly using something from Urban Dictionary in an email to your boss will be slightly reduced.
Speaking of looking stupid, there’s nothing in this world that makes me feel less intelligent than opening up Photoshop.
And if you’re not a designer by trade, you can kiss the next two hours goodbye while you toil away trying to put together a simple 300 x 250 banner.
Mercifully, Canva has made design from scratch a thing of the past for us visually inept marketers.
In minutes, you can get a professionally-designed image to complement your content or advertisement. They even have the proper Facebook sizing already on hand, with drag-and-drop templates that help idiot-proof your next Facebook ad campaign.
Best of all, you won’t feel that same soul crushing guilt afterward either. Unless of course, you were raised Catholic. Then it’s inbred in us whether we like it or not.
When you login, you’ll see the pre-built options at the top in a scrolling menu.
After selecting the appropriate sizing, you can go through the available options and then click to edit text — quickly and painless already pre-formatted for you.
Subliminal messaging not included. 🙂
Facebook ads are difficult because there are so many moving pieces. Your strategy, creative, messaging, placement, and settings all need to line up properly with the right audience, at the right time.
The good news is that these 5 Facebook ads tools can not only help you save massive amounts of time, but they’ll also help you create more desirable ads that perform better too.
The Facebook pixel and debugger tools will make sure your campaign will go off without a hitch. Our very own Ad Gallery will give you inspiration and ideas. Grammarly will proof your content and messaging. And Canva will help you quickly package everything into something beautiful.
That means you can relax knowing the nitty-gritty will be taken care of, allowing you to focus on the big picture strategy instead.
Or, watching reruns of 30 Rock.