A few short years ago everyone was wondering if Facebook would even be a viable ad platform. Today it’s very clear: Facebook ads work, and properly leveraging the platform and its tools is an effective way to reach your target audience, tweak campaigns as necessary, and test along the way.
TMGA’s own Sam Guertin, Head of Growth, moderated an illuminating recent discussion with Facebook marketing experts where panelists took a deep dive into the world of Facebook marketing.
BJ Zeltner, Head of Growth Marketing at food delivery app Favor, says the app advertises heavily on Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram.
“We’ve tried pretty much everything Facebook offers. Carousel ads, single-image ads, video ads. We run them on Instagram as well. What seems to be performing best for us is actually single-image mobile app install ads,” he said.
Brooke Hollimon Ramsey — Manager, Global Marketing Solutions at Facebook, says one recent trend she’s noticed is advertisers with apps shifting to leverage app event optimization campaigns, delivering ads to people most likely take a high-value action within the app, such as a purchase.
“We’ve really seen advertisers shift that way and I think those who are adapting that quickly have been very successful.”
A challenge advertisers often face no matter the platform is getting the right content in front of the right people. On a uniquely content driven platform such as Facebook, what are some ways of approaching that?
Zeltner said Favor’s in-house design team not only constantly iterates multiple ad versions per week, they also have a running “Champion Vs. Challenger” model to ensure the idea that’s working best is always at the top of the pile.
“We’ll have what’s running best for us and continually work on those ideas, firing the challengers at the champions until something takes over,” he suggested.
Interestingly, Zeltner noted, while advertising on image-centric Instagram, running advertisements without text saw stronger performance versus Facebook, where he said text overlay with a straight call to action is the way to go.
As we covered earlier, video has been top of mind for advertisers of late, [link to engagement/video blog] but it’s important to have the right kind of video that actually entices people to engage rather than scroll on by.
“You want to have something we call “thumb-stopping” in the feed to grab people’s attention,” Hollimon Ramsey advised.
“One thing I would say is to not be intimidated by video, there are lots of ways you can use lightweight creative iterations like with Boomerang or Hyperlapse to make something really engaging in the feed without having a lot of internal resources or budget to make a full-on commercial production.”
Andreas Stenman, Head of eCom, West at Smartly.io, which works with clients on their Facebook marketing campaigns, stressed the importance of testing, then testing again.
“When thinking about creatives I would recommend everyone to have a testing first approach to basically everything you do on Facebook because it’s changing very quickly. If you’re doing the same thing today on Facebook you were doing two years ago you might be missing out on a lot of potential. Don’t make assumptions, test it instead,” he said.
Hollimon Ramsey emphasized patience in waiting to see if a campaign is actually working before declaring it a failure.
“It’s really important to be forward-leaning and test early and often. Don’t be impatient in terms of waiting to see results. I see advertisers make that mistake quite often in terms of testing something but not giving the system enough time to understand if something is working,” she added.
When it comes to adding new creative into rotation, the panel had a range of views and takes.
“Something I’ve seen work across every type of app category I’ve ever promoted is to make sure to have a human element in your ad. Whether it’s a hand, a device the person is actually using (iOS device in an iOS ad, for instance). It’s a pretty straightforward formula, and you just keep iterating until you find out what works best for you,” Zeltner stated.
As for bottom line advice for getting the most out of Facebook marketing, Hollimon Ramsey said it comes down to being flexible, testing, and being patient with the system:
“Be really picky about who you choose to run your campaigns because it’s not an easy job and it’s important you have somebody with the right qualities to be effective. Show them love, because it’s not an easy job.”
If you need help navigating the world of Facebook marketing, contact TMGA today!
• Test early and often to see what is working best, then test again.
• Don’t be too quick to change direction before fully evaluating if what you are using is actually optimized in the system and driving impressions.
• Don’t be intimidated by video. There are many lightweight intuitive solutions available to create engaging video content without a huge budget.
• If you’re a small company or just starting out, consider using Facebook’s native tools, which are free and effective.
• Larger companies should consider an API tool, which although paid services, allow for more flexibility and capability.