5 Essential Steps for Maximising Facebook and Instagram Advertising

According to a recent report from eMarketer, 67.6% of adults (aged 18+) are spending over an hour a day more on social media platforms due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. It probably won’t surprise you to find out that Facebook and Instagram top the most used chart (78.1% and 49.5% respectively).

There is still incredible value to be found by utilising these channels, and if you aren’t in a position to offer your services at the moment it may be worth looking to the future and focusing on your upper-funnel activity.

If you are currently investing in your paid advertising, it’s even more important than ever to make sure that any activity you’re currently running is as efficient as possible. The 5 following steps will help you to create great campaigns. 

Essential 1: Set Campaigns Up for Success

A strong foundation is vital for campaigns, no matter the channel. Before going any further, make sure you address these factors:

  • Appropriate Campaign Goals – Ensure your KPIs are aligned with your campaign goals, as an incorrect application can set you up for failure. There are some shades of grey where the impact might not be quite so pronounced, such as between Reach and Brand Awareness, but if you’re running a Traffic campaign to maximise ROI, your campaign will never truly succeed even with perfect targeting, creative, and more.
  • Pixel Implementation – Many Paid Social campaigns fail or underperform due to incorrect or non-optimal pixel set-up. It’s essential that the key standard events are firing with the correct parameters, with the exact configuration of these varying in line with your vertical and KPIs. 
  • Attribution Approach – Relying solely on Facebook’s tracking is intrinsically flawed, as it operates in a silo and doesn’t take into account other touchpoints on the path to purchase. This can muddle the number of conversions that paid social significantly influences, causing advertisers to undervalue the channel.
  • Consistent Naming Convention – A consistent convention enables accurate and scalable optimisation, reporting, and auditing.

Essential 2: Leverage Granular & Varied Audiences

One of the most significant selling points for Facebook and Instagram is the unparalleled scale and variety of audience options available through which to reach your target audience. 

Proper usage of these empowers your campaigns to bring in the right new customers as well as maximizing revenue generation from current ones. Be sure to evaluate the potential of targeting based on interest, behaviour, demographic data, lookalikes, dynamic retargeting & prospecting, pixel-based audiences, and CRM data.

Instagram targeting (source: Instagram)

While granularity in paid social is incredibly important, it’s essential that it’s justified. If you’re not serving a different creative, directing to a different landing page, utilizing a different budgeting strategy or some other variation, then do you really need to segment?

Facebook & Instagram offer a large number of customizations you can perform within ads such as different creatives for different placements. Overeager segmentation is likely to instead impair Facebook’s natural optimization by overly constricting audience sizes, negatively impacting performance, and potentially driving up costs.

Essential 3: Inspiring & Hyper-Relevant Creative

A consistent brand image is key for paid social, but a one-size-fits-all approach is highly unlikely to maximise success. Once you’ve defined your audience and the goals of campaigns, the appropriate imagery and copy should be used for each group. While this should draw on the key elements of your brand image, it’s important that different audience segments you’ve identified are hit with creative aimed at that user type if you are to elicit your desired reaction.

Are you trying to draw new customers to your business, where they may need a more informative creative? Alternatively, are you driving existing customers to site or re-engaging with lapsed customers? In this case, it may be more important to highlight offers or any new products.

The ad formats you choose are also key, so ensure that you’ve run tests across all relevant formats such as instant experiences, stories, collections & more. However, don’t be afraid to pull back on low performing formats, as different brands are very likely to have varying levels of success with different formats.

Essential 4: Maximise on Dynamic

Dynamic is a great opportunity to boost your paid social results. The success of your dynamic campaigns is wholly dependent on the quality of your technical set-up. Before setting up campaigns, ensure a full audit has been carried out on the events being fired by your pixel & that these are matching up as expected with your catalogue. Additionally, the catalogue must be regularly updated, with category data, custom labels & more populating daily at a minimum.

While many advertisers are making good use of dynamic retargeting, there remains a lack of quality Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences (DABAs) campaigns. We historically see significantly stronger returns from these campaigns than traditional prospecting campaigns, and their dynamic nature makes them much less labour-intensive to set up & maintain. 

Dynamic variations of the same ad (source: Facebook)

Finally, ensure you’re leveraging as many dynamic elements as possible in your ads, pulling in things such a price, category, and multiple images to make the ads as engaging, attractive and tailored to the individual user as possible. Some sense checking is essential here, as gaps in the feed can lead to unusual-looking ads, and incorrect prices present in ads lead to a negative customer experience.

Essential 5: Excel at Cross-Channel

If you’ve set up your Paid Social correctly, the logical next step is to appreciate its role within your wider marketing mix and business strategy, to break it out of the siloes and drive increased performance across your business. Sharing is the keyword here – sharing data, insights, attribution – all of this improves an individual channel’s performance as well as the business as a whole. From testing successful Instagram copy on Search to using Google Shopping best sellers in Facebook DABAs, you can cultivate a more effective consumer journey.

You can find out more about Facebook and it’s role in commerce at our upcoming webinar. We’ll be joined by Sophie Ellis from Facebook to discuss the Future of Commerce on Tuesday 14th April at 12pm. Register here for the link.