5 Essential Steps for Maximizing Facebook and Instagram Advertising

There’s no doubting how popular and prevalent paid social advertising is in today’s world. Facebook is the second largest digital advertising platform behind Google, bringing in almost $30 billion in digital ad revenue last year in the US alone. While many brands already leverage Facebook and Instagram to connect with consumers, there are still opportunities to make the most of your paid social activity.

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 maximize 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 optimization, 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, behavior, 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 maximize 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: Maximize 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 catalog. Additionally, the catalog 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 dearth 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 labor-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.

To learn more about maximizing your Facebook advertising, join us for our upcoming webinar, “Driving Facebook Growth: The Full-Funnel Strategy” on March 31st.