How to Run Facebook Ads that get Clicks

Facebook Ads are quickly becoming the go-to online advertising avenue for businesses. With unheard of targeting, the ability to socially endorse your advertisements, complete mobile and cross-platform integration and a 35% lower cost-per-conversion than the online average, you can see why.

If you’re looking for the best option for online advertising, with 70% of companies experiencing a 300% or more return on their ad spend, look no further.

This comprehensive article will give you a step-by-step walkthrough for building a great Facebook Ad that gets Clicks.

We’ll go through creative best-practices, dive into the most awesome targeting abilities currently available online, outline the analytics you need to know, and even get into A/B testing your Facebook Ad to increase Click-through-Rates.

So let’s get started.

5 Simple Steps of Building a Facebook Ad that gets Clicks

Step 1: Setting your Creative

Once you’ve decided the destination for your Facebook Ad (whether it’s a landing page, contest, product or simply your website) you’ll need to optimize your images and text for click-through.

Choosing your Ad’s Headline and Body Copy:

Your ad headline and and body copy are what increase your Facebook Ad’s click-through-rate, while your image attracts the eye. Ad text is where you use a great Value Proposition and encourage people to find out more.

5 Ideas for your Ad Headline:

  • Calls-to-Action like ‘Enter to Win’ or ‘Lose 20 Pounds!’

  • Dollar amounts

  • The word ‘Free’

  • Your brand name (if it’s recognizable to your audience)

  • A Value Proposition like ‘Win a Free Getaway!’ or ‘Learn A/B Test Secrets’

We recommend you include your brand name somewhere in your text, but (unless it’s easily recognizable and popular) not within your headline. Instead, choose text that will grip the reader, sell them on your subject, and encourage them to engage now.

Choosing your Ad Image:

Your image is what attracts a Facebook user’s eye. It needs to be colorful, bright and interesting to stand out.

Use a simple image, with very little to no text. Although Facebook Ad best practices state image size should be around 1200 x 600 pixels, we’ve found as long as you’re at least 144 x 72 you’ll be okay. Use your own judgment (and the Wishpond Ads preview) to be sure your image looks clear and appealing.

Recent studies show that a picture of a happy, smiling person’s face creates the most engagement for Facebook Ads.

Pro tip: Color and details matter more than you might think. If your product or image is blue, we recommend a colorful background or border to help your Facebook Ad stand out. Even small adjustments like increasing the yellow or green gamma of your image can result in an increase in your Click-Through-Rates.

Step 2: Targeting your Facebook Ad

The reason Facebook Ads are so successful, and have such a great return on ad spend is targeting. Your ad can be targeted more specifically on Facebook than you’d ever dreamed imaginable. Let’s take a look.

General Facebook Ad Targeting:

If you choose to target your own Facebook Ad (instead of letting Wishpond’s proprietary targeting software do it for you), here’s how you can do it.

Targeting by Location:

Targeting by location is pretty straightforward. Running a spa weekend getaway contest? It doesn’t make any sense to target Cambodian Facebook users, so limit your ad by the realistic reach of your business. Advertising an ebook? Go with every English-speaking country on the planet!

Facebook Ads can’t be targeted to two specific cities within two different countries (both New York and London for instance). You’ll have to create two different advertisements or campaigns to do so.

Targeting by Age and Gender:

Age and Gender can limit your Facebook Ad’s Reach metric substantially. This can improve click-through-rates, as the people who see your Ad are more likely to click on it. Or it can decrease our overall conversions by not showing it to enough people.

You should be well-aware of your business’ demographic-base. With age and gender targeting you can safely exclude large populations of Facebook users. Targeting by specific interest and broad category (see below) allows you to focus even further on niche markets within Facebook.

Pro tip: Views matter: Remember that Facebook Ad Click-through-Rates are calculated by dividing Clicks by Views. A CTR of .1% is not necessarily fantastic, if only 400 people saw your ad. Whereas a CTR of .03% is awesome if 4000 people saw your ad.

Targeting by Precise Interest and Broad Category:

This is where Facebook Ads get awesome – targeting your ad at an audience who has all but told you they’re interested in your product beforehand. Facebook Ads can be targeted as specifically as people who have recently returned from vacation, have recently sold a used car, like specific bands, have children of a defined age, and more.

Precise Interest targeting allows you to define your advertisement target by what they are interested in. Facebook identifies interests from:

  • Listed interests

  • Activities

  • Education and job titles

  • Pages they Like

  • Apps they use

  • Groups to which they belong

Broad Category targeting allows you to target your audience based on what they’ve included in their timelines:

  • Relationship status

  • Political leanings

  • Travel

  • Birthdays

  • Job Title

  • Recently moved

We’ve found Precise Interest targeting to be extremely useful for targeting to niche markets (like SEO, A/B Testing and PR or rock climbing, fashion and specific job title). Broad Category targeting is better for targeting parents, couples, and brand loyalties.

Targeting by Custom Audience:

Facebook Ad tools will allow you to import your business’ contacts from email, phone numbers, CRM tool and MailChimp or SalesForce accounts.

No longer are you targeting by age group, gender or specific interest and hoping you’re right. Now you’re targeting by name, literally. You’re targeting people who have already engaged with your brand and encouraging them to do so again.

An ecommerce company who targeted their email list found a 43% conversion rate increase among sign-ups and a 30% decrease in cost-per-lead.

Targeting your Facebook Ad by Lookalike Audience:

Once you’ve found success with a custom audience, Facebook Ads can be targeted by Lookalike Audience. This matches your existing contact list with similar Facebook users – giving you a list of people with the same demographics and interests, optimized for conversions.

A great way to use this function is for lead generation:

  • Generate a great email list of the contest’s participants

  • Run another contest with a similar prize and format using a “Lookalike Audience’

  • Exclude the first contest’s participants entirely

  • Generate a whole new set of similar leads!

Lookalike Audiences also ensure you’re optimizing your ad for click-through (as you’re only targeting people like those who have already participated) and you’re not wasting your time with Facebook users whose email addresses you already have.

Step 3: Deciding your Facebook Ad Budget

Determining your Facebook Ad budget is a vital part of the Facebook Ad process. You need to reach enough people to reach the success-level you’ve set for your campaign.

Luckily, most Facebook Ad Tools (including Wishpond’s) give you a sneak peek into the possible reach of your ad and how many clicks you can expect on your ad per day.

Remember Facebook Ads are PPC (Pay-Per-Click), so you’re not spending anything that you don’t use. If you put a daily spend of $20 but only use 10 that day you’ll only be charged 10.

In order to increase your ad’s Clicks we recommend you put time and effort into optimizing your ad:

  • Choose a great image that grabs the attention of Facebook users

  • Create a strong value proposition by advertising a discount, coupon, or sweepstakes

  • Optimize your Facebook Ad copy with an effective headline, dollar signs and a solid Call-to-Action

  • Target your Facebook Ad as specifically as you can, while keeping your ad’s Reach high enough that your CTR results in significant numbers

Step 4: Understanding your Facebook Ad’s Performance

Understanding your Facebook Ad’s performance is essential for a successful campaign. You need to know when your ad’s no longer effective, and recognize what’s working well for you so you can implement it in the future.

Wishpond’s Ads Summary gives you all the metrics you need, and none you don’t. If you’re using a different tool, we recommend focusing your attention on these four metrics nonetheless:

Above is a hypothetical Ads Summary. It’s the aggregate results from all the ads you’ve run. This summary makes sense for a single ad with solid performance – something you can achieve provided you’re targeting well, optimizing your images and copy, and offering a desirable value proposition, prize or product.

  • Views: How many times your Facebook Ad showed on a user’s News Feed

  • Clicks: How many times your Ad was interacted with – a click-through to your website or contest landing page

  • Conversions: Conversions give you a great idea of how your ad and landing page are working together

  • Spent: Viewing how much you actually spent per day allows you to increase, or decrease, your maximum daily ad budget

Step 5: A/B Testing Introduced

A/B testing is a strategy in marketing in which two versions, A and B, (the Control and the Treatment) are tested against each other. The goal is to identify changes that increase the chance of the what you want to occur, occurring.

When we A/B Test a Facebook Ad, we’re looking at five different variables:

  1. A/B Testing the image

  2. A/B Testing the title/headline

  3. A/B Testing the body copy

  4. A/B Testing the details

  5. A/B Testing the Target Audience

A/B Testing your Facebook Ad’s Image:

As we said above, your ad’s image is what grabs the attention of your target Facebook user. Maybe it’s the color, maybe it’s the image itself. Whatever it is you need to be sure it’s eye-catching, intriguing, and colorful.

Let’s say your Facebook Ad control image is a pair of designer sunglasses.

Here are 5 Facebook Ad Image A/B Test Ideas:

  1. Test the same sunglasses being modeled by a smiling female model

  2. Test the same sunglasses on a red background

  3. Test the same sunglasses modeled on a smiling male model

  4. Test a pair of different sunglasses

  5. Test an image of three people squinting into the sun shading their eyes with their hands (copy ‘Do you need new shades?’)

A/B Testing your Facebook Ad’s Title/Headline:

After your image, your title is the most important factor in catching the eye of your audience.

We recommend a value proposition for your Facebook Ad’s title. Value Propositions are one of the chief ways marketing professionals convince someone their ad, marketing email, or landing page is worth engaging with.

3 Examples of Great Value Proposition Titles:

  1. Try AcmeTools for Free!

  2. Win a $500 Shopping Spree

  3. Kick-Start your Career

Many companies will use their logo for their title, which is fine if your logo is recognizable – otherwise it won’t grab the eye like you want it to. We recommend running two Facebook Ads simultaneously, one with your logo (to increase brand awareness) and one with dollar values, the word free, or a simple but desirable value proposition.

Another title option would be a great CTA like ‘Enter to Win!’ or ‘Lose 20 pounds’.

A/B Testing your Facebook Ad’s Body Copy:

Without good copy all you’ve got is someone to pay attention (which is a feat in itself on Facebook, but 100% immaterial if they’re not clicking through). The body copy of your ad is where you communicate the “why”.

In your body copy, expand on your headline’s value proposition. If your headline was ‘Kick-Start your Career’, in the body-copy explain briefly how that might happen.

Your body copy is also what is most affected by your target audience.

  • Consider targeting parents and changing your copy to ‘do your kids need…?’ or ‘do you deserve a break?’

  • Consider targeting middle-management professionals and changing your copy to ‘boss hounding you?’ or ‘do you need a raise?’

A/B Testing your Facebook Ad’s Details:

One of the amazing things with A/B Testing (and sometimes the most surprising) is how effective a small change can be. A border around your image, a slight shadow, the word ‘now’ within your body copy, or the subtlest nuance a graphic designer throws at an image and suddenly you’re seeing a 100% increase in click-through-rate.

5 Small Details to Test to Increase your Ad’s Click-through-Rates

  1. A colorful red, green, or orange border (something that stands out against the blue and white of the Facebook News Feed)

  2. A subtle shadow around your image

  3. A colorful background around your logo

  4. Increasing the yellow/green gamma on your image

  5. The addition of the word ‘Now’, ‘Free’ or ‘Proven’ to the body copy

A/B Testing your Facebook Ad’s Target Audience:

Keeping your Facebook Ad exactly the same but changing who sees it is a fantastic way to increase your conversions with little effort. Changing your demographic targeting ensures the audience who sees your Ad never overlaps.

There may be some images which see high a high CTR among 25-35s, while another image will get engagement from primarily women or 45-65s. A/B Test your images and text based on the targeted demographic.

Remember, also, that if you think a certain advertisement is great but isn’t getting a lot of clicks, its worth changing who sees it before you toss it out.

Let’s go back to our example advertisement for designer sunglasses.

Here are 5 example targeting strategies

  1. Target your Facebook Ad at men and include a picture of a sexy model looking seductively over her sunglasses

  2. Target your Facebook Ad at parents and include a picture of three children shading their eyes with their hands. Change the body copy to ‘Buy one get one free on children’s designer sunglasses this weekend. Click to find out more!’

  3. Target your Facebook Ad at women with children and include a picture of an average mother amidst stressful children. Change the body copy to ‘Do you deserve something special? Get 50% off designer sunglasses this weekend. Click for details.’

  4. Target your Facebook Ad at 45-65s and include a picture of a model of a similar age.

  5. Target your Facebook Ad at people living in sunny parts of the country

Facebook Ads can yield great results, but sometimes it seems like you need an army of advertising experts to get them running smoothly and converting. The Wishpond Ad Tool is built to make it as easy as possible for small businesses.

Our tool:

  • Connects your Facebook Ad with your landing page in one easy step

  • Makes Facebook Ad creation a straightforward, two step process

  • Does the work for you, by having Wishpond’s proprietary targeting software automatically optimize your ad for conversions

  • Gives you an estimated click-through-rate based on Audience and your budget even before your ad is live

Check out Wishpond’s Easy Facebook Ad Manager

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