For a lot of small businesses a Facebook Ad campaign tends to be an afterthought. These campaigns are just chucked together and put into the world with little or no real thought or strategy.

I get it, time is precious, sales/enquiries are needed and the buzz around Facebook Ads (or Google Ads, or even SEO campaigns or whatever will be next) gets your attention and so you dive in.

“Let’s just get something up and see if it works”. Is often how I hear people have approached their paid campaigns.

Then a couple of hundred pound later, you pull the plug and say “Facebook is over-rated” or that it “just doesn’t work”.

Over the last 6 to 7 years of working with clients, big and small, I’ve heard that phrase about so many different channels that if I believed it, there’d be no form of marketing left to explore. Can you relate?

So why is this?

Most people just give it a go, hope for the best and barely commit to testing. They don’t really want to invest in advertising but they also don’t know what else to do to create consistent lead generation or sales.

But great businesses know that to grow, you need to commit. You need to test and it takes time. Ask any great marketer and they’ll use the same word over and over…

TESTING.

That’s the key. No, it’s not sexy, it’s not exciting but it is part of the game. If you want a great ad campaign you’ll usually need to test things to find a winning formula. However, as business owners we want results, the quicker the better. Time is often not something we have a lot of or is a luxury that can’t be afforded.

That leads to this persistent mistake of just jumping in and not testing. Most of these attempts are done by those with no real training and just some basic knowledge (at best).

That’s the mistake!

Here’s the thing. Whether it’s Facebook Ads, Billboards, TV, SEO, Radio or Podcasts, there’s an art and a Science to all of it.

That’s why ad agencies, marketing firms and freelancers all exist, they are experts that have trained, have tested and are ready to build winning campaigns for you.

The truth is whatever channel you are trying to maximise ROI from, you should aim to learn the basics so you know what you are paying for, the deeper you dive into this learning the better you’ll get.

Here are 4 things that I think most people miss and that if they DID implement, they would really improve Ad performance.

  • Take your time to set up the campaign properly
  • Using the Pixel
  • Have a plan and stick to it
  • Engage with your audience (good or bad)

Step number 1

Take your time to set up the campaign properly
This goes right back to the first point of just getting it done to see if it works. It likely won’t work with that approach and if it does, you probably won’t know why.

Using Facebook Ads as an example, there’s optimal ways to set up a campaign so you can TEST, so you can report on what worked and cut the losers out to further optimise a campaign.

It’s beyond the scope of this article but actually setting up a campaign with the right goals, the Ad Sets being structured correctly and variations of well written, well thought out ads that can be tested can make the world of difference.

Most people simply choose a campaign type, set up one ad set with all of their interest based audiences, targeting as many people as possible with little to no research.

However, Facebook have tools available that can help you find the right interest based audience to test cold traffic.

If you set up your Ad Sets smartly you can actually see exactly WHO is reacting to what.

Would you like me to write/or create a video of a more detailed step-by-step on how you can accomplish this?

Step 2 – Using a Pixel

Most people have the Pixel on their site but don’t know why. Others have no clue what it is and aren’t using it at all. A Facebook Pixel helps you build a custom audience which is to say, you have a data list of people that you can retarget. If you set this up as early as possible you can start building a simple Ad campaign retargeting site visitors.

There’s a lot more that you can do with the Pixel but a bit of basic knowledge and having it installed on your site is vital. Even more so, if you are paying for Ads elsewhere, or have organic traffic coming in to your site, then again, you want this Pixel there to help you maximise profit.

Step 3 – Have a plan (and stick to it)

It’s good to be flexible but sometimes you need to give things time. If you do step 1, then you should be able to really see what is working and what is not working. This allows you to TEST, and also refine your strategy as you go.

If you are smart about setting things up correctly and stay engaged in the process you can refine things as you go. If you do this, with a concrete goal in mind, it’s a lot easier to avoid panicking and/or switching everything off completely.

For example

If you are testing cold audiences with interest based targeting, you have 3 different audiences that you are testing, split across 3 ad sets and spending £5 to £10 a day to see what works.

Over a week or two you’ve built some good data to work with and know what the end result should be and can see clearly which of the audiences are most responsive and engaging.

Comment help if you need a plan?

Step 4 – Engage

When you’re running ads on Facebook you’re going to get comments, this can be really good or it can be bad.

Obviously you want the good. But even the bad can be turned around if you have someone working to engage that audience.

What’s more you can aggregate this “social proof” so when you find a winning ad you can keep all those great comments and likes etc rather than always having an ad with no engagement. This will lower your costs too.

Comment social proof if you’d like to know more about how to do this.

Summary

Those are four things that I know would help most people get more out of their ads. They seem obvious and they are. There the basics.

The fundamentals are most often overlooked, as a result people waste money on ad campaigns.

Feel free to connect with me or send me a message if you have any questions.

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