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6 Tips For Driving Facebook Advertising Performance #

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Introduction To Facebook Advertising Facebook advertising continues to grow in popularity, making it a crucial element in your social marketing mix. Facebook’s latest quarterly earnings data (Q4, 2013) showed that advertising revenues increased by over 30% in just three months, highlighting the rapid growth in social advertising spend. In a recent Socialbakers survey, 92% of marketers claimed they are using Facebook for advertising, another metric that supports the upward trend in Facebook advertising’s usage.

Revenue In Millions

$2,585

Payments and other fees

$241

Advertising

$2,016 $1,813 $214

$1,585

$1,131 $188

$1,058 $186

$1,184 $192

$1,262

$256 *

$1,458 $213

$176

$2,344

$1,599 $1,329 $943

Q4'11Q

$872

1'12

$992

Q2'12Q

$218

$1,086

3'12

Q4'12Q

$1,798

$1,245

1'13

Q2'13Q

3'13

Q4'13

Picture 1: In Facebook’s Q4 2013 Quarterly Earnings Report you can see the revenue earnings on a quarter-over-quarter basis. This clearly shows that Facebook Ad Revenues Doubled In The Last Two Years!

But what does this increased advertising growth mean to the marketers that are using the platform to spread the word about their products, gain more Facebook Likes or drive traffic to their website? With more advertisers using Facebook advertising, the competition for grabbing users attention with paid advertising is becoming more and more difficult. The result is that, unlike ever before, marketers need to have a well-defined Facebook advertising strategy to produce quality results. In this report, we will lay out 6 must-do tips to ensure social advertising success. Each tips falls into one of three categories, which are critical for creating a fully encompassing Facebook advertising strategic action plan. These are; Ad management, Post boosting and Facebook analytics.


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1. Adapt To Facebook Breaking Changes: The Time Is Now! On March 4th, 2014 Facebook began rolling out a new campaign structure across all client-facing ad interfaces. With Socialbakers Ad Analytics, Facebook advertisers are able to measure and manage all advertising campaigns in line with the new Facebook campaign structure. This enables Facebook advertisers to quickly adapt to the new structure, making it easier for advertisers to organize, measure and optimize Facebook marketing efforts. The previous Facebook campaign structure had two levels, which were characterized like this;

The current campaign structure has two levels As a result, marketers create multiple campaigns to: - Reach multiple audience segments with different objectives - A/B test multiple creative - Run several schedules or flights

Level 2

Campaign One campaign can have multiple ads

Level 1

Ad

Contain one or more ads Control the budget and schedule for each campaign Activate or pause campaigns and it will apply to all ads Define creative, audience, and bidding for each ad Create multiple ads so our system can optimize creative Activate or pause ads

Picture 2: Here you can see the existing structure of how campaigns are managed from a user perspective. Source: Facebook’s “New Campaign Structure Pre-Rollout Training Presentation.”

But on March 4th, Facebook rolled out their Breaking Changes aimed at optimizing campaign workflow and management. With these changes, Facebook added a 3rd level by renaming the current “Campaign” to “Ad Set” and redefining the “Campaign” to focus on more concrete goals, such as Page Likes, Clicks to Website, App Installs, etc.. Sound confusing? Take a look at the visual that Facebook created in their “Facebook New Campaign Structure Pre-Rollout Training”.


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Introducing the new campaign structure Campaigns will be more powerful consisting of one or more ad sets Level 3

Campaign One campaign can have multiple ad sets

Level 2

Ad Set One ad set can have multiple ads

Level 1

Ad

Setup a campaign for each of your marketing objectives* Get reporting on aggregate stats for multiple ad sets and ads Turn on or off campaigns and it will apply to all ad sets and ads Ad sets will have the same features campaigns had previously Contain one or more ads Control the budget and schedule for each ad set Turn on or off ad sets and it will apply to all ads Ads will continue to define creative, audience, and bidding Create multiple ads so our system can optimize creative Turn on or off ads

*Objective refers to objective-based ad buying (ex: Page post engagement, Page Likes, clicks to website, app installs, etc.). Third party API developers will have the option of not implementing a single objective for every campaign.

Picture 3: Here you can see how the new campaign structure of Facebook campaigns will be managed from a user perspective. Source: Facebook’s “New Campaign Structure Pre-Rollout Training Presentation” slide 4.

Here are some quick tips that Facebook provided about planning campaigns with the new campaign structure:

Campaign = Objective Decide on your objectives and then create one campaign per objective (ex: Clicks to website, Page Likes, App Installs, etc.) so you can optimize delivery, manage your spend, get the right reports, and maximize results for each objective.

Ad Sets = Audience An ad set should contain ads targeting the same audience segment so you can easily compare and optimize audiences by adjusting schedules, budgets, or turning ON/OFF Ad Sets

Ads = Creative Multiple ads should be created in each ad set so our system can optimize for variations in placement (News Feed vs. RHS), images, video, text, or destination.

Key Takeaway By quickly adapting to recent changes in Facebook’s campaign structure, the objectives of all your campaigns and Ad Sets will be more clearly defined. Additionally, the extra Ad Set level allows for further customization and optimization. We recommend getting started with this ASAP.


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2. Different Advertising Goals Require Different Metric Analysis When creating a campaign, there are 8 different types of advertising results to choose from: Page Post Engagement

Website Conversions

Event Responses

Page Likes

App Installs

Offer Claims

Clicks To Website

App Engagement

Under the new campaign structure, these are the only types of campaigns that can exist. However, when determining the performance of an Ad Set (there can be an unlimited amount of Ad Set’s under a campaign) it is important to know which metrics to analyze to determine Ad Set and general campaign performance. There are 3 categories of metrics to look at when determining campaign and Ad Set performance. The first is spend, which is important to monitor know matter what your goals are. The second is the cost in relation to performance, looking at metrics like Cost-Per-Click (CPC), Cost-Per-Mille (CPM), Cost-Per-Action (CPA) or Cost-Per-Like (CPL). And the last category is looking at performance metrics, such as Clicks, Impressions, Click-Through-Rates, Conversions amongst others. For every single campaign and Ad Set it is always important to keep an overview on Spend. However, cost in relation to performance and the performance metrics differ based on the type of campaign you are running. Below you can find an outline of Facebook metrics that we recommend analyzing based on the type of campaign you are running: Campaign Type

Cost-To-Performance Metrics

Performance Metrics

Page Post Engagement

CPM

Reach, Engagement

Page Likes

CPM

Impressions

Clicks To Website

CPC

Clicks, CTR

Website Conversions

CPA

Conversions

App Installs

CPL

Actions

App Engagement

Cost Per Mobile Action

Actions, Clicks, CTR

Event Responses

CPL

Actions

Offer Claims

CPC

Clicks, CTR

Picture 4: Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of metrics that you can track for each type of campaign. However, using the cost-to-performance and performance metrics as a guiding principle will help you analyze campaign effectiveness with more accuracy and relevancy.

Key Takeaway When running any campaign, analysis of performance is key to optimizing results. However, depending on the type of campaign, it is critical to know the cost-to-performance and performance metrics that are most relevant to tracking campaign success.


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3. Boosting Posts Isn’t Just About Maximizing Reach Reach can be a satisfying metric to report, especially if big numbers that translate well offline are what you’re looking for. After all, customers can’t engage with a print ad the same way they engage with social media content, but for both, reach can be measured. Apples to apples. But that’s not all social media marketing is about. Simply reaching the right audience with the right message is only part of the game. Understanding the diverse range of actions available to users on social media - and effectively leveraging these possibilities - is when social marketing gets really fun. You should optimize your boosted content by either Clicks, CTR, Reach or Engagement based on whatever the goal is that you are trying to achieve with that piece of content (ie: brand awareness, customer sentiment, etc).

Picture 5: The Socialbakers Ad Booster section of the tool empowers our clients to optimize the performance of boosted content. This is especially important when boosting content for other reasons than increasing brand awareness, which should be optimized for reach. With Ad Booster you can optimize posts for Clicks, Impressions, and Engagement as well!

Brand Awareness - you’re rolling out a new campaign across digital and offline. You want your audience to connect the dots and associate your brand with a particular image and feeling. Maximizing impressions is key here. In this case, reach is also an important metric, but acknowledging the value-add of multiple impressions for a brand awareness campaign can make the difference between reinforcing your brand name and simply reaching more people.

Customer Sentiment -

you want to better understand how your audience might react to new messaging, brand positioning or even a product offering. Use post boosting to play with your content and measure engagement. In this case, reach will be nearly irrelevant. Direct feedback and measuring sentiment analysis is what you’re looking for to understand your audience’s opinion about your brand. Without focusing on engagement your goals will not be reached.

Event Registration -

you’re hosting an offline event and need people to register. You can reach all the people on Facebook, but if you’re not focusing on measuring clicks (if it is an external landing page) or Facebook actions (if it is a Facebook event) then your event might be a flop. By focusing on clicks or Facebook actions, your goal of delivering a full audience to your event will be much more tangible.

Key Takeaway The takeaway is to understand that reach is only part of the advertising puzzle. You must know what you want to achieve in order to find the right metrics to measure and actually achieve it. By knowing the business objective for each boosted post, you should optimize the boosting by the metric (E.g. Clicks, Impressions, Reach, CTR, Engagement) that will drive the results that you are looking to achieve.


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4. Use Precise Ad-Set Scheduling Determining the exact times of day and days of the week in which your ads perform well is one of the most important aspects of Ad Set scheduling. Because honestly, why would you waste money running ads at 4:00 AM on a Sunday, when your target audience is people who hold office jobs? Of course, the first step in determining when to promote posts or run advertisements, is to figure out when your audience is most receptive. For determining when to boost posts to either Fans or Friends of Fans, it is recommended to use an Analytics tool to look at a User Activity graph, which will display when Fans of a page are interacting most with that Page. Based on this information, you should boost your posts based on the times when your Fans are most active. When determining how to schedule Ads under an Ad Set, the best way to determine future effectiveness is to look at Time of Day and Day of Week Effectiveness, of past and current Ads, using an Advertising Analytics solution.

Picture 6: This graph depicts the hours of a day with the highest CTR. This enables social advertisers to understand when their Ads are most effective and schedule future Ads accordingly. Source: Socialbakers Ad Analytics.

With this valuable information you will be empowered to schedule Ads using Precise Ad Set Scheduling. Precise Ad Set Scheduling allows you to run your Ads exactly when your target audience is most receptive. For example, if you know your target audience is most active on Mondays from 10:00 AM - 11:30 AM and then again on Thursday from 1:00 PM - 5:00 PM, then you can schedule your ads to run just then. This is a huge advantage over just picking a start and stop date as you will never be wasting money when your audience is not active.

Key Takeaway Precise Ad Set scheduling is far more effective than just picking a start and stop date as you will never be wasting money when your audience is not active. You can create precise Ad set scheduling using Facebook native tools, so we would recommend an independent social advertising tool to ensure social management success!


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5. Deliver The Right Message To The Right Audience, Every Time There are a number of targeting options within Facebook advertising, however many advertisers fall into the trap of going for the mass audience available, rather than making the most of their spend by targeting properly. At present on Facebook you can target in the following ways: Location

Gender

Education Level

Interests

Relationship Status

Major

Broad Categories

Custom Audiences

School

Age

Language

Workplaces

The more targeting options you use the more refined your potential audience will be. By carefully selecting your target audience you can ensure that you achieve lower costs and have a more relevant audience interacting with your brand, which will result in better advertising performance. With Facebook’s improved targeting, marketers can advertise to the exact audience they want, every single time. For example, you might be interested in targeting “Parents” for a brand awarness campaign but need to target “Parents who like photography and upload photos” for a more focused product campaign. This advanced targeting ensures your message gets to exactly the right audience - and only the right audience - saving time and money.

Key Takeaway Using specific targeting is one of the easiest methods to ensuring you are delivering the right message to the right audience. Moreover in a recent Socialbakers study, we found that interest targeted ads have a higher CTR than non-targeted ads.


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6. Always Pause Under-Performing Ads Similar to the way Google assigns a quality score for each keyword in a SEM campaign, Facebook uses algorithms to find the best ads and audiences determining ad placement. And like your driving record, this will follow you around. While monetization is an obvious priority for any company, Facebook also has a huge vested interest in delivering relative and engaging content to users - including good ads. When it comes down to bidding, a page with a history of low quality ads will have to bid more to get the same results as a page who consistently delivers high quality ads. A continuous cycle of testing and optimizing ads is essential - never stop testing and you will never stop improving. But a crucial element of this process is to know when to pull the plug! If an ad is performing below average as defined by clicks, engagement, or other defined metrics - pause it. Immediately. In order to do this, marketers without Ad Analytics tools must monitor the constant progression of each individual ad. This manual process can be a drain on time, money, and your eyes! Marketers with advanced Ad Analytics tools are able to automate this process and set clear boundaries for poor performing ads. Socialbakers Ad Analytics allows marketers to define exactly what a poor performing ad looks like and set if-then statements to automatically pause ads that would otherwise waste your budget. Additionally, using our advanced analytics, you can reallocate your budget to high performing ads, resulting in effective spending of your Ad Spend budget.

Picture 7: By setting up parameters of what constitutes an underperforming ad, advertisers can enable independent social advertising solutions to automatically pause underperforming ads. This ensures that underperforming ads will never waste any of a campaign’s budget. Source: Socialbakers Ad Analytics.

Key Takeaway Pausing under-performing ads is obviously beneficial for making sure that you are not wasting your budget on Ads that are not performing to standard. As Facebook native apps can not automatically pause under-performing advertisements, we recommend using an independent advertising solution.


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Conclusion Facebook advertising is continuously evolving and we know it can be challenging for marketers to keep up-to-date with best practices and techniques. Despite these constant changes and difficult landscape, Facebook advertising has proven time-and-again to deliver ROI and can be an effective way to market your product based on a variety of objectives. With clearly defined goals and an understanding of the desired end result, Facebook advertising can support a variety of campaigns from brand awareness to gauging customer sentiment. By analyzing the right metrics for each Ad Set and following some basic guidelines - such as precise ad set scheduling, advanced targeting, and pausing underperforming campaigns - you will be driving your Facebook advertising to achieve goals that drives successful marketing. To get more out of your Facebook advertising efforts, contact a Socialbakers ad expert today at advertising@socialbakers.com.

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6 facebook advertising tips