Try Facebook and Instagram Ads then Learn from the Results

Facebook and Instagram represent the largest social media platforms. I write about them together since you manage them in the same Meta Facebook Business Manager and Ads Manager accounts.

Table of Contents

Testing Facebook and Instagram Ads isn't an option

Whether or not to test this Paid Ad customer acquisition channel is no longer an option.
How you use the channels, learn from the results, and apply the lessons determines your success or failure.

Ads display on websites and apps outside the Facebook and Instagram Apps. You’re reaching multitudes of people with laser-focused targeting.

Ads display many Facebook-approved apps and websites on the Audience Network.

try facebook and instagram ads

Why are Facebook and Instagram Ads so Effective?

Facebook and Instagram ads create demand because they’re images or videos and take up the user’s viewable space. You can appeal to viewers in an emotionally compelling way.

Contrast that with Google search ads which capture demand. People are making broad and detailed keyword searches to solve their problems.

There’s a misconception that Facebook ads are best for B2C, and that’s false. Same for Instagram Ads. What’s best is evaluating a channel, testing ads and reviewing results.

Facebook users are older millennials, and Gen X generally has active users on desktop and mobile devices.
Instagram users are younger, tech-savvy and highly active on mobile.

Ad creatives have more flexibility with Facebook ads, and Instagram requires a 1.91:1 to 1:1 aspect ratio.

Facebook and Instagram Targeting

You already know that the Facebook and Instagram apps track everything you do. Are you aware of the Facebook pixel, a piece of code placed on websites that also tracks you?

All this behavior tracking comes down to understanding what topics interest you, then which ads display. A simple concept, powerful in practice.

Targeting Options

Done at the ad set level in your campaign, you have a few different audience targeting options.

Let’s be clear on what this means. You can display an ad to all Facebook users or at least a massive number of people. You want to narrow that down by the various interests you can target, or you can target your customers and those who have already engaged with you, or you can upload a list, and Facebook creates a group of people who looks like the list.

Interest targeting

You can combine targeting options so you want to consider demographics, behaviors and interests that you can use to describe your ideal buyer.

You can also target broad and review the results. The results will show users’ demographics, behaviors and interests at the ad level.

Does that make sense? I know I’m getting ahead, but before you place an ad, you set targeting, and you have the decision to go broad, specific or somewhere in between. If you go specific, you may get fewer results. Any results you get will have the info you need to make an informed decision on the next campaign’s targeting selection.

Custom audiences

Because of the pixel I described, Facebook knows your web properties (websites, apps), and you can include or exclude these users in ads by using custom audiences.

Lookalike audiences

Consider a lookalike as a seed audience. You upload a customer or subscriber list of 1,000 or more, and Facebook will analyze the people and then create a list of similar users to which you can display ads.

Facebook Ads Account Setup

If you’re a sole proprietor or a small business with one brand line, you may not need a Facebook Business Manager account, allowing multiple ad accounts.

Details of domain setup, pixel tracking code integration and navigating Business Manager are beyond the scope of this blog post. Facebook does a great job of teaching about their stuff.

You want to set up and verify your domain because of conversion tracking. Only run Facebook or Instagram ads if you’re going to track conversions.

Let’s back up a minute. Only do this with a basic digital acquisition strategy in place.

1. Onboarding (subscription, lead form, purchase)
2. Conversion Tracking

If you send people to a home page, rethink spending the budget. What are you doing? What’s the goal? Customer acquisition or trying out Facebook ads? Do or do not. Don’t go halfway.

Budget Optimization

You’ll do Ad Set optimization unless your monthly spending is over $10K, so consider letting Facebook manage it with Campaign Budget Optimization CBO.

Should you use Facebook and Instagram Ads

The short answer is yes, but you need to evaluate the channels to create a strategic design for your ideal customers and the specific points in their buyer journey.

Go backward from a goal, a conversion event, preferably on your website, where you gather at least an email address. Facebook can track that conversion, and the algorithm will learn and display your ad to people more likely to click.

You must be patient, review results and modify ad sets and ads. Doing paid ads only makes sense if you learn and apply.

Find a goldilocks metric. You can watch a specific number to know you’re getting an acceptable customer acquisition cost CAC. That could be an ad conversion rate, impression rate, or landing page conversion rate.

Or it could be the landing page’s bounce rate. Or the time on the page.

One number tells you things are working and is related to a behavior or interest metric you can target. Get it? You use what you learn to target more

If you get limited traffic, this can take months or years.

But if you get thousands of clicks a week, you learn fast.

Does this content provide you value?  Please let me know if you have questions.

Facebook provides helpful and valuable training.

Please share this XWebNow public blog post and contact me about writing, marketing or technology.

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