Navigating the vast ocean of Facebook is tough on its own, so how do you even begin to try creating a successful ad campaign? It all starts with building your audience. Our Social Media Strategist Vianka sat down with us to share the secrets of how to create a Facebook ad audience.
The first step is figuring out who you want to target. Unlike Paid Search, there are no search queries, so we have to sketch out detailed customer avatar using age, gender, interests, habits, geo location (and some other things) to develop an audience. Thankfully, as a business owner or ad strategist, you already know who your demographics are. This is a great place to start!
So what do you do with that knowledge? Turn it into a Facebook audience!
There are three types of ad audiences: a core audience, a custom audience, and a lookalike audience. Let’s break down each type.
A core audience is the default option in Facebook’s Ad Manager and one Vianka uses on a daily basis. It narrows down your audience to characteristics, such as location, age, gender, career, interests and behaviors, allowing you to target specific people who will be most interested in what you’re selling.
As you interact with Facebook, whether by updating your profile or engaging with certain topics and advertisements, the site begins to learn what you’re interested in. This is how ads are displayed to you. Your ad will be shown to those who match your demographics, based on the data collected by Facebook.
This is where you target people who are already aware of your business and services.
You can create a custom audience from:
Your ad will only appear to people who match these characteristics.
A lookalike audience is created by choosing a source audience — often a custom audience — and Facebook will identify users with common qualities and target them.
You can use multiple Lookalike Audiences at the same time for a single ad set.
We’ll walk you through Vianka’s process of building and refining a core audience campaign using Facebook Ads Manager. It’s simple.
To get there: Facebook > create new campaign > ad set > create ad set.
From there, find “test audience” on the left sidebar and click it.
First, you’re going to want to name the ad set something that directly reflects what the campaign is. For instance, if you’re a company that sells wholesale pet food and your ad is for a new brand of kibble. For the sake of this example, let’s say it’s a conversion ad (an ad that focuses on getting the viewer to take action. So you may title it “conversion – <brand name> kibble. You can also go a step further and add what audience demographic you’re targeting, such as top 10% of business owners.
Then set your traffic and if you want a dynamic campaign or not.
You will have the opportunity to choose if you want the campaign to be ongoing or if you want it to end on a specific date in the Budget and Schedule Area. Vianka recommends the daily budget option. Setting a daily budget is ideal if you’re looking to have your ad run for a long period of time, or an unknown period of time.
If you choose an end date, the ad will automatically turn off at that time. You will have to duplicate the campaign to turn it on again, which can be an unnecessary hassle.
However, a daily campaign requires constant monitoring, especially to the daily spend — which, Vianka notes, an ad specialist should be doing anyway — to ensure the campaign is not over or under spending. If you’re new to Facebook, Vianka recommends creating a campaign with an end date so that you can minimize the risk and have a specific end point to assess the campaign’s performance.
To choose the right audience, you need to listen to client feedback, ask them questions and research their competitors to see who they are targeting.
Above all, Vianka explained it’s important to ask the client what they want and to think ahead and find other creative ways to come up with a broader audience.
The first audience you create should be broad so you don’t limit your testing! Facebook is slow to optimize campaigns (called learning) compared to other platforms. You will have to wait for the ad group to get out of learning before changing the campaign to get accurate numbers. Don’t give up if your first audience set isn’t immediately giving you the results you want. Have patience!
Once your ads are out of the learning phase, you can begin to refine them.
For us at Helix House, the first set of edits starts with the client. Sometimes they will specifically tell us if they are getting calls from the wrong demographic or if they aren’t getting enough qualified leads from the initial audience or are getting leads from the wrong locations.
Based on this feedback, Vianka can immediately go in and exclude certain age groups, locations, or demographics.
However, it isn’t always that simple. Every campaign is different and it isn’t always the audience that’s creating a problem. Because of this, Vianka will often change the ad set first. She will turn off least performing ads first to see how that affects the overall campaign before looking into making more refined edits to the audiences or ad content.
Ideally, your campaign will run for a long time. This will allow you to gather accurate data to reach more qualified leads without overextending your budget. Getting there is the hard part, especially if you’re doing it alone. Facebook is constantly changing and updating their ad platform, qualifications, and review process.
While anyone can make an ad campaign on Facebook, truly mastering it or, at the very least being able to stay up-to-date with the constant system changes is a skill. While you no doubt have the ability to do so, it takes a long time to feel comfortable in Facebook’s ever-changing landscape.
That’s why we’re here. Helix House is a new media agency with the experience and tools to create a successful ad audience and social campaign tailored just for you. If you’re interested in using social advertising to its fullest potential, give us a call!