Wondering how to optimize your Facebook advertising campaigns for business-to-business? We’ve broken down the process into eight essential steps.
Love The Power Editor
All of your Facebook advertising activities should be managed on Facebook’s power editor. It’s a bit buggy, but it provides a world of targeting options that don’t exist through the normal interface. Many of these options are key to understanding the performance of your advertising, such as setting up off-site conversion tracking, news feed and mobile-only ads, sponsored results, custom audience targeting, and bulk editing. You need to be as familiar with power editor as you are with tools like Google Adwords.
Build Up Your Fan Base
You do not need a bunch of bought, irrelevant likes. Identify the people who would recommend your business to their friends and ask them to like you. You will then build your base by using Facebook advertising to amplify these endorsements. For example, create sponsored stories targeting friends of specific individuals using custom audiences. You can also target people searching for your competitors using the sponsored results feature. The larger this core group of initial fans, the quicker you can start achieving rapid growth.
Start your campaign development strategy by developing personas of your target audience. Facebook gives you the ability to target specific interests, demographics, geographies, etc., then construct campaign ideas that speak to those personas. Once you learn to find productive segments, you should find related segments that might engage with your brand. For example, if your business finds a good return on people interested in TechCrunch, investigate targets like Mashable, Wired, and Ted.com.
Content is critical for success on Facebook. Unlike search, where you can create a static ad that will work over a long period of time, the success of your Facebook advertising depends on the quality of your creative content. Spend time here creating really interesting content that will grab the attention of your targeted personas. If you’re planning to share blog posts from your website, you should add open graph meta tags on your site. Also read this article so you know the pros and cons of Facebook’s domain sponsored stories.
To create really engaging posts, share a photo that contains less than 20 percent text. Include a short snippet of text with a link to your website at the end of the snippet. The example below shows a very successful post for BigCommerce.
It has gained 1,790 likes, 143 shares, 73 comments, and an encouraging number of sign-ups. These social signals increase the organic and viral reach of the post.
We used this ad for a sponsored post so it would show up in the News Feed, where there is tons of attention. The messaging and the image are interesting, and the ad is well-designed, so it naturally appealed to people who are interested in page layout, one of the attributes of our targeted persona.
Advertising Your Content
Once you have your content ready, it’s time to start advertising. Posts from large brands have around 60 minutes to live in the News Feed, and smaller companies have slightly longer. To extend the life of your post and increase its organic visibility, you should run a burst of advertising over a short period of time. Do not run those small ads that show up on the right side of the Facebook page. Target your advertising at the personas you developed earlier.
You can use conversion specs to define which actions Facebook should optimize against. Enable conversion tracking on your website by placing an off-site pixel. Conversion tracking tells you which ads are leading to conversions on your site. Test using conversion specs to optimize against people converting on your site. Watch this AllFacebook video on how to use Facebook’s off-site conversion pixel.
Make sure you have defined goals before you start advertising. Watch the performance of the ad to ensure that it’s leading to your desired actions. You’ll want to measure the ratio of organic and viral traffic to paid traffic, which you can find at the reach statistics at the bottom of the post when you’re logged in as an administrator on your page.
If the post doesn’t gain engagement traction (shares, likes, comments), then let it die, learn from the campaign, and try again. If it gains traction, then continue advertising to keep it afloat. Dennis Yu wrote a great post about campaign optimization here.
In a recent campaign we ran for BigCommerce, we separated each interest target so we could measure the performance of each ad. We waited for the ads to reach at least 10,000 impressions before pausing any of them. As you can see, there were two clear winners. The targeting used in these top-performing ads will now become the basis for future ads. When promoting the next post, we’ll test different bidding strategies targeted at these interest groups to see what leads to the highest volume of engagement activity over a short time frame.
Retargeting can drive incremental success to all of your marketing efforts. If you direct someone to an iFrame-enabled page tab or directly to your website, you can use a third-party remarketing service to cookie the person. Then you’ll be able to show ads to these people on the Facebook Exchange (FBX) using the retargeting service.
Remember that Facebook is all about amplifying actions. You should set up separate Facebook News Feed ad campaigns that promote different actions, such as page post likes. This will increase the awareness of your brand and increase the visibility of your sponsored stories. If someone comments on one of your stories, you should run a page post comment story targeting the friends of the person who made the comment.
Below is an example of how to create a specific page post comment story. You’ll need to specify which post’s comments to promote by entering the Page Post ID. You can find the page post ID by clicking on the date link in the post. In the URL string, you’ll find the page post ID directly after the /posts/ section of the URL. You should create a “specific page post comment story,” a “specific page post like story,” and a “specific page post share story” to track the ability of each targeting type to amplify your message.
Ryan Pitylak, CEO of Unique Influence, has spent the past 14 years helping startups gain awareness for new products and services. He focuses on generating customers for high-velocity startups and other innovative companies with a rigorous data-driven approach that identifies and solves the conversion gap - efficiently delivering the right high-impact customers by developing cross-channel marketing success.