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The Ultimate Best Practice Guide for
Facebook Ads 2019

The same strategies don’t work like they used to. Discover the best targeting, creative,
and latest features to take your Facebook ads to a new level in 2019 and beyond!

We’re experts who have worked at Facebook and Google. We’ve spent millions of dollars in Facebook ads to help thousands of businesses achieve their goals with digital marketing. New features, interfaces, data privacy, and AI are constantly shifting and phasing out digital marketing and Facebook Ad strategies that might have worked in the past. In this guide, you’ll learn everything from start to finish to have success with Facebook ads in 2019 and beyond. 

What Facebook ads are amazing for in 2019 

Facebook is a great platform to reach new customers, but did you know the average cost per click is now upwards of $1.72! Just for one click…that’s a lot of money. To help you decide if Facebook is worth it for your business we have found after spending millions of dollars on Facebook that there are three things that work extremely well for Facebook ads. You should consider focusing on these three strategies to use your money in the best possible way:

  1. Lead generation: An example of this is if you are a company that sells kitchen supplies, you could create a piece of content like ‘Best Cooking Tips in 2019’. The content should be gated, meaning that in order to read it the person must enter their email address. The content you create should be valuable to your audience and relevant to a service that you provide. Your ad on Facebook will talk about the benefits of the content and if someone clicks, your ad will direct to a lead form page for the content. If a person enters their email address, you can send them the full piece of content. Now, you can then build up your email list and market to these people for free via email marketing.
  2. Remarketing: This is a form of marketing where you are able to target a warm audience or an audience that has interacted with your business before. Because they already know you or have expressed interest, they are more likely to convert which will increase your advertising ROI. A few examples of who you can remarket to are people who have been to your site in the last 15 days but have not purchased, or people who have entered their email address on a sign up form, maybe they have liked your Facebook or Instagram Page, or reacted or shared one of your posts. The fact is that you can create a remarketing audience for a lot of different situations which we will dive into down below and that it’s one of the best ways to use Facebook and Instagram ads.
  3. Offers or Seasonal Promotions: Special offers have always worked well for marketers and the same goes for Facebook Ads. You will see some of the best results for your entire account when you create an ad for an offer or sale. Your engagement metrics like click-through rate will sky-rocket and revenue metrics like cost per conversion improve drastically. Creating a discount or offer like “Coffee 25% off. Get your cup today!” is what works well on Facebook. Just remember, don’t offer discounts too often because people will expect it. Offer one item free for their first time because people expect a free item only once.

What goals work: 

Now that we know what Facebook works great for, it’s time to get into the setup of your ad campaign. If you’re familiar with Facebook Ads you will see a list of goals you can choose from when you first set up your campaign. The trick is that only a few of them actually work to achieve your goal. So how do you know which one to pick?

Conversions should be your only goal.

We have managed millions of dollars across thousands of accounts and regardless of the goal, Conversions Goal has generated the highest ROI and the lowest Cost per Click. With Conversions goal Facebook will help you target people who are most likely to purchase, which is the main goal at the end of the day – even if you are a brand marketer. With that said there are a few other useful goals depending on your business type like Lead generation and App installs. You can read more about the benefits of each below:

  • Conversions goal: Choose Conversions goal every single time! Conversions goal has a lower cost per click than even the Traffic goal. Furthermore it delivers even higher quality traffic than any other goal.
  • Leads goal: Facebook lead ads let you create a form to capture a users email without them ever leaving Facebook. This makes it more likely that a user will sign up and give you their information BUT even though the cost per lead may be lower through Lead ads, we have found that they actually have a higher cost per QUALITY LEAD than the Conversions goal. If you want leads, consider, using the Conversions goal and set up a lead form with either Mailchimp or Instapage who offer drag and drop landing pages and email campaigns.

Another tip: Reach objective can be the most effective at driving foot traffic to your store in a targeted area. It works fantastic for local businesses with only one location. Especially if you offer a promotion/discount or something free to drive in store traffic in your ad creative- we will get more into creative in a little bit.

Just ask Plai..

“How many visits do I have today?”

“Do people find my website engagement?”

How do I choose a budget?

Most companies tend to spend around 15% to 20% of their revenue on marketing efforts. 

An easier way to calculate your budget specifically for Facebook is to take your average cost to acquire a customer from any of your marketing efforts and multiply that number by 5 to get a starting daily budget. So if my cost per customer was $4, I would multiply that by 5 for a daily budget of $20. 

You’ll want to set aside enough money for about 100 conversions. This is because it will take Facebook about 50 conversions to learn and optimize. And then you’ll want to take advantage of this machine learning to get another 50 conversions. 

Recently Facebook created the option for you to let Facebook manage your ad spend across your ad sets from the campaign. This is called Campaign Budget Optimization and you’ll want to make sure you turn it on. With this feature enabled, Facebook will take off a large amount of work from you having to go in and choose where to spend more or less money across your ad sets.

If you want to wing it and not calculate a budget, go for $15/day for each Facebook campaign. Make sure you have 3 ad sets in that campaign so you can test a few different targeting or creative variations to see what works. Make sure to enable Campaign Budget Optimization, Facebook will optimize your spend across these three ad sets so you can focus on your other stuff.

What targeting works?

We have spent hours upon hours looking at Facebook ad accounts, we have seen extremely effective and out of the box targeting criteria for a specific audience to engage. We have built thousands of successful audiences for clients, but it’s funny that one of the simplest options continues to outperform. The single best targeting tactic on Facebook is Custom audiences. Custom audiences can be created from your email list, website visitors, and more. 

Custom audiences will be your go to for your remarketing campaigns.

The real secret:

Businesses rely on new customers for growth, so it’s not just that Custom audiences work well and that’s all you should use, the real secret is using Facebook to attract new customers is to create a Lookalike audience based on your Custom audience to reach people who are likely to be interested in your business because they’re similar to your best existing customers from your Custom audience list that you upload. Lookalike audiences deliver the most bang for your buck because it’s your own personal audience, which means less competition for you and thus a cheaper cost per click for you. Even better, you can create custom audiences for a variety of options like people who share your post, watch +50% of a video, your email list, or website visitors.

Your best option will be to create a lookalike audience on key conversions for your business, like purchasers or subscribers. Even if you only have 1,000 people on your list, Facebook will expand your audience to millions of new customers who have exhibited similar behavior to those on your list.

A good rule of thumb is to stay with audiences that are under 1 million people in size. In the next section you can explore several expert targeting strategies for how to decrease your audience size, create a super audience, custom audience ideas, and remarketing.

Unique targeting strategies:

Here is a list of targeting strategies that we have used successfully to grow businesses by over 300%. You can copy these strategies or use them for inspiration:

  1. Look a like super audience: Use a lookalike audience and layer on other interest based targeting to personalize your messaging. This will also help you refine your audience size to become more targeted and improve your relevance score. Making your cost per click cheaper. 
  2. Video engagement remarketing: Create a post on Facebook with a video of something relevant to your audience. Boost the post for $50 and whoever clicks on the post or watches < 50% of the video, create a custom audience (or look-alike audience based on this Custom Audience) and target those people with an offer they can’t refuse.
  3. Google Searchers: Use Google Search Ads to target keywords your customers are looking for. Send them to a page with your Facebook pixel. Make a custom audience on the people who went to that page and then create a lookalike audience to reach similar people on Facebook for half the price of Google Search ads.
  4. Target Post Share-ers: Target people who share a post but haven’t converted.
  5. Remarket to recent site visitors: Retargeting campaign for website visitors in last 15 days and exclude people who have converted so you don’t annoy them. 
  6. Remarket to Past Customers: Target past customers with a reminder about a new product launch in a few days. If they have purchased from you before, odds are they will again.
  7. Expensive Product Marketing funnel: Customers will have several touchpoints with you during their path to purchase and it can be hard to measure and control. With this marketing funnel strategy you can help guide the user. Market a video that talks about a pain point that you solve to people on Facebook using broad interest targeting. Retarget people who clicked or watched +50% of the video with another video talking more about the product or service features that you provide. Watch the quality traffic start flowing in. And use another remarketing marketing channel like Google Display or Search to seal the deal.

Now that you know who you can target we will get to the most important part, your creative.

Best practices for your creative

There are 6 different components to a Facebook ad. Starting from top to bottom you have: Text above the image/video, your image/video that you upload, your Headline right below your image/video, your Call to Action button, Landing page URL, Display URL (optional), and Landing page description text (optional). We’ll give you tips on all of these areas right now as well as several overarching best practices that you should follow to have the best looking and highest performing ad possible. But first see an example of a Facebook ad to familiarize yourself with the different components:

Over All Things To Do:

  1. Talk about the benefits and value: In your Facebook ad copy write about how your product/service will change someone’s life, how much time it will save them, or how awesome they will become. Make yourself honest, relatable and different. 
  2. Always use emojis: Emojis are friendly and relatable. They also help convey your message without having to necessarily read everything. Add at least two emojis in your ad text and one in your Headline
  3. [New] Facebook Dynamic Ads: It’s tough work finding the best creative messaging, Display image, and landing page. Facebook Dynamic ads will allow you to upload up to 5 different creative assets at once. Facebook will rotate the creative in different pairings and find the best combination for you. It makes it really easy to test and drive performance at the same time!

Now let’s dive into several best practices for specific areas of the Facebook ad:

Ad text (Body):

  • Consider starting with a question or pain point: Use questions in the ad copy like, “Do you spend a lot of time cleaning? We understand your pain!…” Relate to the end user and help them solve their questions. Starting the body text with a question has consistently been a strategy that works.
  • Simplicity is key: Use simple language. Avoid big words. Don’t include a lot of text to make it easy on the eyes. Use emojis in the text to make it more authentic and relatable. 
  • Be useful: Build long term branding and short term results by adding value info in ads, for example talk about recent trends in the industry or provide a few useful tips. List a few things they might discover after clicking on your ad. Don’t give everything away though!
  • Make it urgent: Create urgency by saying words like “Get”, “Now”, and “Today”.
  • Focus on Feelings: For Lead generation ads, focus on the feeling that your product or service will bring people. Will it save them time, make them more money, or something else?
  • Still need ideas? Get ad text ideas from customer reviews. People who leave reviews are probably very similar to your future customers. Using wording from them is a great way to be relatable and personable.

Images and Videos

Video is the best performing creative on Facebook: 

  • Make vertical videos so you can take up more screen space and show on Facebook/Instagram Stories
  • People can scroll past your videos with the sound on so make sure you add subtitles. Adding subtitles can be done within the Facebook ad manager.
  • Keep your video simple and to the point. Focus on one key message or feature.
  • Try using customer testimonials.

Images, follow this guide below to help you choose the style of image for your goal:

  • Don’t overlay too much text in your image as Facebook could disapprove it
  • The color yellow has been shown to work best

We’ve also seen that newly uploaded creative and ads in general perform better in the beginning. This is potentially because Facebook want to promote your ad quickly and see how the audience reacts. So keep adding new ads!

Headline

The headline is one of the more important components of your ad. See best practices that you can implement below:

  • Keep your headline 4 to 5 words
  • Use 1 emoji in your headline.
  • Use Title Case, meaning capitalize the first letter of each word
  • Talk about one benefit or feature per headline. Your audience has a lot going on and you want to make it crystal clear how you are helping them.
  • Some potential examples: Use a short quote from a customer; Add the price, promo code, offer, or sale: 10% Off; (Don’t offer a discount too often because people will expect it. Offer 1 thing free because people expect it once)

Call to Action Button: 

There are over 10 different buttons you can select to get users to take action from your ad. But which should you choose?

We have studied Call to Action buttons across thousands of accounts and we have found the best Call to action button is ‘Learn more’.

‘Learn more’ puts less pressure on the potential customer than the ‘Sign up’ button. ‘Learn more’ also makes your brand look more trustworthy as you want to help the user get more information to help out their purchase decision vs. just asking them to buy from you.

Landing page and link description

The landing page you choose should reflect the messaging, branding, and content that you used in your ad. Facebook Ads is all about making an engaging user experience and if you can create that, Facebook will reward you with a cheaper cost to deliver your ad. 

The other component is the Landing page link description. It’s basically another area for you to describe what your landing page has for users before they click. It’s not the most important part of your ad but it does matter. You can use the Link description to mention your price or other products/services that they will find once clicking to your site. 

All of these best practices will set you up for creative success. Once you have followed all of the steps above, you are ready to publish your ad and start seeing results. But then what?

Optimizations

 Ideally you followed some of the tips above like Campaign Budget Sharing and Dynamic Creative to make your optimizations much easier. Now you will find two things to look at in your Facebook Ad Account to keep ad performance high: 

  • Relevance score above 6: Your ad relevance score will help you determine the quality of your targeting and creative. Relevance score is on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the best. The higher your score the more ad placements you will win. You’ll want to stay above a 6. If you want to improve your relevance score, first try adjusting your targeting. If that doesn’t work, adjust your creative better to match your targeted audience.
  • Good engagement but no conversions or leads on your site: If this is happening to you, what you said in your Facebook ad copy creative may not be represented on your website. Are you claiming to solve the pain points of the customer in your ad, but your landing page doesn’t reflect that? Make sure the creative between your ad and landing page match up.

Conclusion

And that’s it, we hope you enjoyed this guide! Get started seeing the results with these best practices for Facebook Ads today! Please remember that strategies are always changing on Facebook so stay up to date on the latest strategies with Plai!

Just ask Plai..

“How many visits do I have today?”

“Do people find my website engagement?”