If you’re involved in digital advertising in any way, you cannot afford to ignore the potential that Facebook Ads offers your company.

With more 2.7 billion monthly active users as of the second quarter of 2020, Facebook is the biggest social network worldwide and it offers a massive market in which to find new customers.

According to the Reimagining Commerce Report from Episerver, 31% of consumers made a purchase directly from an ad on social media during 2020. However, the frequency of online shopping has declined within the same time, down to 19% shopping online at least once a week from 26% in 2019.

Which means it pays to get it right from the start and of course, it’s not as simple as just throwing together a Facebook Business Page and away you go.

There is a definite art to advertising on Facebook and – specifically – creating high-converting Facebook ads and here’s our guide on how to do it.

Define Your Conversion Goal

Before you do anything, you must establish what is the conversion goal for your Facebook Ads campaign.

This means you need a clear idea of what action you want people to take after they see your converting Facebook Ads. There are a variety of conversion types supported by Facebook including:

  • View Content
  • Add to Wishlist
  • Initiate Checkout
  • Purchase

You can also create custom conversion events if you have other goals in mind for your Facebook Ads. In the current digital landscape, if you want to connect with existing customers and attract potential new ones, then a one-size-fits-all strategy isn’t likely to be effective.

Use The Information Already Available

Facebook Business already provides you with a lot of the information you need though its Advertising Insights

Here you can find out what’s been successful on the platform, and what pitfalls to avoid, as tips and challenges based on what successful companies and brands have been using in the previous months and across the year.

One way to scale up your content creation is to include visuals in your blog’s longer articles to break up the text. Image creation tool Canva has extensive social media templates and an excellent collection of curated photos.

Canva templates to use for converting Facebook ads
Canva templates

Research Your Audience

It doesn’t matter how much money you have to invest in your Facebook Ads campaign, you must start by researching your audience to make sure you’re going to target the ideal customer.

If you don’t show up in their newsfeed, then it doesn’t matter how much your budget is and Facebook Ads won’t help your business at all.

Using Facebook’s own tools, you can already gain access to an audience which shows an actual interest in what your advert will be offering. You can then direct them to your website by crafting irresistible – and clickable – Facebook Ads.

With Facebook targeting, you can get really specific. The platform’s versatility is unrivalled within social media networks. You can target your converting Facebook Ads based on the user’s age, location, gender, relationship status, interests, job title, hobbies and more.

The more specific your target audience is, the more likely you are to get the results you want, such as more engagement on your Page posts or click throughs to your website Landing Pages.

You can keep track of the people your ads are reaching but they will be anonymous, as Facebook won’t share personal, identifying information with you.

Nurture Your Audience

It’s highly unlikely you will run an advertising campaign and instantly see dozens of new customers. You need to nurture your audience and build up a relationship with them and your brand. Each potential customer may behave differently in how they approach their journey to buying a product.

With lead nurturing, marketers can communicate consistently with buyers across channels and throughout the sales cycle—addressing the gap in time between when a lead first interacts with you and when they’re ready to purchase

It takes time to build your audience, so when you first look at your converting Facebook Ads you will need to go with a more generic and widespread target market.

IMAGE: A screenshot showing potential target audiences for a Facebook Page promoting a book reviewing blog
IMAGE: A screenshot showing potential target audiences for a Facebook Page promoting a book reviewing blog

You can use workarounds to drill down into a potentially more interested audience through the use of customer segments or personas. This lets you set up Custom Audiences and use Flexible And-Or-Exclusion Targeting

AdExpresso has an excellent guide on how to use interest-based targeting and help you reach your audience.

Create An Effective Lead Magnet

What are you offering a potential customer? This is your Lead Magnet, which can also be referred to as a sign-up incentive, content upgrade or “freemiums”.

They’re usually in the form of an exchange of information (email address) in return for something the potential customer will find useful. Offering them is a vital part of content marketing and builds up the first steps in creating a loyal audience. 

Any of the below types are proven Lead Magnets:

  • Ebooks and articles
  • Video training
  • Email courses
  • Free tools
  • Checklists and templates

Lead Magnets are often the starting point for the marketing funnel so you can use it to deliver content that shows you’re an expert. You won’t lose anything by giving away your top tips.

But, free or not, the content you’re offering must be of value. Aim to make it so valuable people would pay for it if asked. Focus on delivering compelling content that is actually relevant.

Create A Quality Landing Page

This is where you want your visitors to arrive if they do click on your Facebook Ads when they’ve signed up for your Lead Magnet offer.

It should have elements which can be tested and improved using A/B Methods. These usually include the headline, subtitle, and the Call to Action (CTA). 

Prioritise what you want your visitor to do next by using colour and positioning. Your CTA going “Above the Fold” in newspaper parlance, is often hailed as a best practice, but that’s not always the case.

If the first thing your potential customer sees on your Landing Page is a big red button that effectively says CLICK HERE but nothing to explain why they should do that, you’re unlikely to get a decent conversion rate. Asking for too much too soon can be an issue.

Boris Grinkot, in an article for Marketing Experiments, gives an insight into the science behind Eye-path vs. Thought sequence for Landing Pages, which still stands up to the test of time 10 years since he wrote it.

However, the purpose of your Landing Page must be clear, no matter where the CTA button goes. Make it easy for your site visitors to find exactly what they’re looking for. Use explicit cues to guide users to your offer or the CTA.

And, for the CTA itself, the wording you use will either persuade people to click, or it will drive them away, so avoid using boring copy on your buttons.

A survey by Hubspot found that Landing Pages with submit buttons actually labelled “submit” had lower conversion rates than those that used other wording.

IMAGE: Hubspot

Well-Written Facebook Ads

And good copy leads us to our next point. It doesn’t matter how good your Landing Page is, if your Facebook Ads aren’t generating clicks in the first place.

You need to see them as a joined process, not as two separate actions. Be clear and concise about what you’re offering or wanting potential customers to do. Remember, your Facebook Ads will be appearing in someone’s News Feed so it needs to stand out.

In a paper called The Fundamental Templates of Quality Ads, an academic research team analysed 200 award-winning commercials and established that 89% could be classified into just six categories:

  1. Extreme Consequences
  2. Pictorial Analogy
  3. Extreme Situations
  4. Competition
  5. Interactive Experiments
  6. Dimensional Alteration

The idea of creativity within advertising is also discussed in an article for the Harvard Business Review which concluded: “Numerous laboratory experiments have found that creative messages get more attention and lead to positive attitudes about the products being marketed, but there’s no firm evidence that shows how those messages influence purchase behaviour.”

Which means you need to balance the need for attracting attention with the clarity of the lead magnet you’re offering.

When writing your high-converting Facebook Ads, include the following elements in each one:

Imagery/Visual Element

Your Facebook Ads are going to be appearing on the right hand side of someone’s Home Page or in their News Feed, so they need to stand out and attract attention. 

Visual content, whether that’s a quality image or a video, has a far higher chance of someone clicking on it than just text.

According to social marketing guru Neil Patel: “Don’t use low-quality images, generic stock photography, or any images that you don’t have the rights to use. Don’t steal anything from Google Images. Unless you’re a famous brand, don’t use your logo.”

When surveying marketers on content that helped them reach their marketing goals, Venngage found original images performed best 40% of the time compared to stock photos at 13% (see image below).

IMAGE: Venngage

This is backed up by research from Marketing Experiments, who found readers are 35% more likely to convert when presented with a non-stock photo.

So where should you source your images? Either buy them from photographers, create them yourselves, or use ones with a Creative Commons license. 

Original images give your Facebook Ads an authenticity that the same, generic, stock photo can’t provide. 

Image libraries like Unsplash, Pixelby and Pexels, as well as Flickr, are good places to start, but you must ensure the imagery you’re using has the correct license. 

Check that it’s the original photographer who has uploaded the image and given it the Creative Commons license option. Most of the image libraries have consent forms which signal the right permissions are in place.

Photo by William Iven on Unsplash

While this isn’t your own original content, photos from libraries like these look more authentic, they’re not full of the “cheesy grin” style of stock photography which are often found on corporate advertising.

They can also give your potential customers a glimpse into your company and allow them to get “a feel” for how you operate.

Use Facebook’s own Image Guide to get the right size and placement for your images within the advert space:

  • Use the recommended aspect ratio for each placement. Different placements across Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and Audience Network require different aspect ratios. Use a 1:1 ratio for Facebook News Feed, and a 9:16 ratio for Instagram Stories. You can use the same image with multiple placements and ratios by using the asset customisation feature in Ads Manager.
  • Use high-resolution images. See minimum pixel size requirements and use the highest resolution images available to avoid your image appearing blurry or pixelated.

Relevance

Facebook has Relevance Ad Diagnostics, which it uses to show people the ads that are most pertinent to them.

However, achieving high ad relevance diagnostics rankings shouldn’t be your primary goal with your converting Facebook Ads, as it doesn’t always guarantee an increase in results. Use the diagnostics tool to determine why you have under-performing ads, not to optimise ones which already meet their objectives.

It’s fairly obvious – don’t use an image of a snowy Christmas scene if you’re advertising a Summer Break or have a photograph of children if your product is aimed at young adults. This applies to the headlines and copy text too. Be relevant to your audience and to your end game objective.

Value

Why should people care about your brand, products or service? 

Make sure that you are offering potential customers something valuable for their time or – ultimately – a click through to your website’s Landing Page where you can work on further conversion.

Call-to-Action

We’ve touched on this already but your Facebook Ads must have a clear and precise CTA which is directing people to your website Landing Page.

The ideal CTA should be easy to spot, should use a simple and actionable phrase and the goal of taking the action should be compelling enough to encourage potential customers to click it.

According to customer optimisation company VWO:

  • 53% of Fortune 500 companies don’t follow the CTA 101 guidelines on their homepage;
  • 70% of small businesses have websites with no CTAs at all on the homepage.

Your CTAs should show your potential customers why they NEED to click and give them something they WANT to click.

No matter the type of Facebook Ads you’re running, what matters is that users click through to your Landing Page where you can follow up with the leads who showed an interest in the ads and move them further down the conversion funnel.

And finally.

Monitor Your Facebook Ads

Once you’ve put in all the work to get your Facebook Ads up and running, you must monitor them. 

Set up a system to review and analyse your ads and you can then tweak your campaigns to ensure they stay effective.

Ad fatigue is a thing, people become used to seeing the same imagery and their eyes will skip over it, so you can use the same template, but change up the images you use to make it look fresh.

Use Facebook’s own built-in analytics to check how your adverts are performing, but also make use of external tools to see if what the platform tells you about clicks is correct.

Google Analytics can offer some insight, however campaign intelligence platform, Beacon, gives you a true picture of campaign performance.

Learn more about Beacon and discover how to fully optimise your campaigns for maximum ROI.