Discover how to win at Facebook advertising on a low budget
It might seem futile to compete on Facebook against mega advertisers with pockets like the Mariana Trench, but deep pockets aren’t the only trick in the (Face)book.
To show how to generate great leads through low-budget Facebook advertising, we’ll focus on:
- Recycling existing posts in order to build higher engagement.
- Targeting users who have already shown interest in our product or service.
- A/B testing until we find the perfect combo of settings.
- Monitoring our campaigns to modify them as needed if it’ll cut costs.
1. Recycling existing posts
Facebook is designed for engagement. The more reactions and comments a post has, the more it will seem organic, human, and more importantly, trustworthy. Ads are no different.
But how do you get people liking a promotion? It’s simple!
- Post your promotion(s) naturally and build some engagements through your Page audience. Even a few is better than none.
- When creating your ad campaign in Ads Manager, modify existing posts instead of creating new ones. This will create a campaign that starts with engaged posts.
- Rinse and repeat. You can always modify the copy as your promotional needs change, but recycling these older posts will also recycle their engagements.
— Castleford (@castlefordmedia) July 9, 2017
2. Target users who have shown interest
If users are already interested in your industry, service or product when you advertise to them, logic says they will be more likely to generate a lead. And you know what? Logic knows what it’s talking about.
Thankfully, Ad Manager is advanced enough that it’s easy to target the right audience. Try out these ideas the next time you’re testing an ad set:
1. Target more specific demographics: On top of age, gender and location, Facebook can also track household income, user activity, previous purchases and general interests (e.g. Pages they like, topics they read about). Use these to fine-tune your audience to match your user personas, or if you don’t have any, to match your general “perfect customer”.
Bonus tip: A good audience size is 1 million. And make sure to save this audience for later!
2. Target people who know you already: You can upload email list CSV files to Facebook’s Custom Audience tool. Do this and BOOM, Facebook scans through its database to find those email subscribers and add them to your audience – this is another avenue to get existing newsletter subscribers, say, to download your new whitepaper. You can also target people who’ve been to your website (although you’ll need to install the Facebook audience pixel on your site for this), and you can target users that Facebook thinks are similar to both of the above.
Bonus tip: One thing to avoid, though, is targeting people who have already converted or who have seen your ad already – we’ll get to both of these in Point 4 of this article.
3. A/B test your settings
A/B testing might seem like a chore, but it’s your best shot at finding the perfect campaign settings.
To A/B test ads, create multiple different posts in a set that have the differences you wish to compare, then run these posts side by side to see the results. When you know which generated greater leads, you can either A/B test this against another variance, or prioritise the post as is.
Bonus tip: Focus on testing the variables you think will have the most impact, and forget the rest for now. If you try to test too many variables, you’ll spend hours creating all the different combinations and getting results will be more complex. Focus on one thing at a time (e.g. running the same image with different copy).
4. Monitor your campaign and tweak as necessary
Facebook advertising isn’t set and forget – not if you have a low budget, anyway. Your costs per click (CPC) might start to rise unexpectedly if you aren’t watching closely.
So what should you monitor?
- Frequency: People get bored of the same ads – AdEspresso testing showed that CPC climbs as frequency does (frequency being the amount of times someone saw your ad). The solution here is to set a Rule in Ad Manager that caps frequency at around two-four, and instead running simultaneous different ads. That way you can still show promotions to people more than four times, but the posts will be different – creating less fatigue.
- Previous conversions: Users who have already converted are unlikely to convert a second time in a lead-gen campaign, but their impressions still cost money. Use Ad Manager to create a Custom Audience that excludes prior conversions (e.g. people who have visited the conversion landing page on your site) – you can always retarget these people with a different ad, perhaps one further down the sales funnel?
- Ad placement: Facebook can advertise across channels, from desktop to mobile, and from Instagram to the Audience Network. But your ad won’t perform the same in each. Over the course of your campaign, check Ad Manager’s stats on ad placement and see which areas perform best. If one of them is doing especially poorly, cut it from the list and focus on your highest-converting placements.
Facebook is a powerful tool for lead-gen, and you don’t need to sell a kidney to compete for traffic.
But, you do need to put some work in to make sure your audience is optimised, that your posts have engagements, that you’ve A/B tested the best settings and that you are monitoring your costs to spend money effectively.