Have you ever face this situation where you’ve only gained 3 leads or sales since running Facebook and Instagram ads for a month?
There are many reasons for this lack of leads.
We’ll assume that your products and services are amazing and your offer is irresistibly compelling (make sure you meet these two requirements first!). In this case, here are some optimization tips that you can implement to maximize conversions.
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1. Split Test
As the saying goes, “The only constant in life is change”.
You’ll need to continuously test your campaign to optimize performance.
Facebook allows you to create a Split Test where you can A/B test
- Delivery Optimization
Both Guided Creation and Quick Creation allow you to create split tests.
Note that you can choose to create split test at the campaign level. Meaning that when you create a campaign, you can choose to create a split test.
You can also duplicate an ad set or ad to create this Split Test.
After creating the split test, you can then monitor your campaign performance. Analyze the experiment results and run the winner.
2. Campaign Budget Optimization
Campaign budget optimization is where Facebook optimizes the distribution of a campaign budget across the ad sets. Facebook will automatically and continuously find the best opportunities for results and distribute your campaign budget in real time.
Simply put, Facebook will allocate more campaign budget to top-performing ad sets that get more results at a lower cost. Note that the cost depends on your bid strategy.
You can still control spending at the ad set level by using ad set spend limits.
Simply turn on Campaign Budget Optimization at the campaign level. You can choose between daily or lifetime budget.
Note that your campaign needs to meet certain eligibility requirements:
- All ad sets have the same budget type (lifetime or daily)
- Fewer than 70 ad sets
- All ad sets are published
- All ad sets have the same bid strategy (lowest cost, lowest cost with bid cap or target cost)
- All ad sets have the same optimization for ad delivery if the bid strategy is lowest cost
- All ad sets use standard delivery type
- All ad sets are scheduled to run ads all the time
Your target audience can make or break your marketing campaign.
Ensure that you’re targeting the right audience to maximize your conversions.
3a. Core Audience
You’ll probably start by targeting Core Audiences
This is quite straightforward and self-explanatory. I assume you already know this.
You can start by targeting the basic Core Audiences but I recommend that you also target advanced audiences like Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences.
3a. Custom Audience or Remarketing
It’s always cheaper to retain existing customers than acquiring new customers. In fact, it costs 6 to 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current customer.
Thus, you should consider creating a remarketing campaign to retarget existing customers. This could be an exclusive discount or an invitation-only sale for loyal customers.
First, you’ll need to create a remarketing audience list. This can be done by creating a Custom Audience where you choose to upload a customer list containing information about your existing customers or tap into your Facebook Pixel and create a list of people who visited your website.
Check out my step-by-step guide on how to set up remarketing campaigns in Facebook and Instagram!
3b. Lookalike Audience
Lookalike Audiences are new people who are similar to your existing customers.
You’ll have to provide Facebook a source audience. This could be the Custom Audience you created earlier. Or it could be fans of your Facebook Page.
Facebook will then identify the common qualities of the people in this source audience and find people like them.
Simply click on Audiences at the top menu then click on Create Audience. When you create a lookalike audience, you will need to select a source audience and audience location. The audience size will range from 1% to 10%.
1% lookalike consists of people most similar to your source audience. Increasing this percentage will result in a bigger, broader audience.
By default, Facebook will choose Automatic Placements where your ads will appear on all placements. This maximizes your budget since your ads will reach more people. Facebook will also allocate your ad set’s budget across the multiple placements based on where they’re likely to perform best.
Facebook highly recommends Automatic Placements too because it brings the cost down. This is obviously so because you’re buying placements like Audience Network, Instant Articles, In-Stream Videos etc. These placements are similar to Google Display where they help to boost impressions and reach. The cost then becomes very low but since it’s an upper-funnel channel, conversions may be few too.
However, if your goal is conversion, I recommend that you choose Manual Placements. You can stick to Facebook News Feed and Instagram Feed where people are likely to pause and engage with your ad.
But of course, you can always test the different placements using a Split Test. Or run Automatic Placements then depending on the performance, remove those placements that have few conversions.
5. Asset Customization
As you select the placements where your ads will appear, you will see the number of selected placements that support Asset Customization.
Asset Customization allows you to customize your creative asset.
You can use different images for different placements. For example, a product image on Facebook and a brand image on Instagram.
You can also use different sizes for different placements. For example, you can have a horizontal image for Facebook news feed, a square image for Instagram feed and a vertical image for Stories just by creating 1 ad (rather than creating 3 separate ads).
When you edit the ad, you can customize your ad by placement. Simply change the image for each placement.
Note that there are many tools you can use to create social media graphics, such as Canva.
6. Optimization For Ad Delivery
At the ad set level, you can tell Facebook your desired outcome. For instance, if you choose to optimize for link clicks, Facebook will show your ad to the people most likely to click your link.
There are a few options under Optimization for Ad Delivery. These options will vary according to your campaign objective. Hence, always look through all the options and choose the best option that fits your business goal.
For example, here are the Optimization for Ad Delivery options for a Traffic objective campaign:
- Landing Page Views
- Link Clicks
- Daily Unique Reach
If I want people to land on my website, I’ll choose Landing Page Views. If I want people to only see my ad once a day, I’ll choose Daily Unique Reach.
7. Automated Rules
Automated rules automatically check your campaigns, ad sets and ads and then update or notify you of any changes. They can also help you take necessary actions.
You obviously will not be able to monitor your campaigns 24/7. In such a situation, why not let Facebook do the work for you? Let them monitor your campaigns and take action for you.
For instance, you could create an automated rule to increase your daily budget for ad sets with less than $1 cost per result. This way, you’re allocating budget to ad sets that convert well.
On the other hand, you could create an automated rule to pause campaign when the frequency is greater than 10. With such a high frequency, it means that you’ve probably exhausted your audience and oversaturated it with the same ad. Pausing your campaign would then be a wise decision.
To create Automated Rules, select the campaign, ad set or ad and Create A New Rule or Apply An Existing Rule. Or you can click on Automated Rules in the top menu.
You need to determine which campaign, ad set or ad that you want to apply the rule to.
Next, choose the action. There are many actions like turning on or off campaigns/ad sets/ads, adjusting budget and adjusting manual bid.
You will then have to select the conditions that trigger the rule. The above action can only run when these conditions are met.
Time range is where you choose the number of days worth of data you’d like to apply your rule to.
Schedule determines how frequently to check the rule.
You can choose to receive notifications on Facebook or email. I recommend that you send email notifications since we actively check our inbox every day and are more likely to not miss anything.
Add any other subscribers that you want to receive rule results and notifications. Note that they must have access to this ad account.
Lastly, state your rule name. Try to name it in a way such that you can understand the rule at a glance. For instance, you could name your rule as “+20% daily budget when cost per result is <$1”.
Analytics is an important step to improving the performance of your marketing campaigns. You need to analyze your campaigns and figure out what’s working and what’s not.
And this is where the value of those columns in Ads Manager lies.
There is a list of columns that you can choose to view specific data.
But you can also choose to customize the columns and only include data that you want to see.
8a. Bidding and Optimization Columns
If you choose Bidding and Optimization columns, you’ll see Results and Cost per Result. You can see them under Performance columns too but I prefer Bidding and Optimization‘s clean layout.
With Results and Cost per Result, you can immediately identify which campaigns, ad sets and ads are working well and which are not. You can then make data-driven decisions like allocating more budget to top-performing campaigns, ad sets and ads or pause those that are not working.
Another important data is Last Significant Edit. With this, you’ll know when was the last time you edited and how long have passed since the last significant edit.
I recommend that you wait at least 2 weeks before analyzing the performance. You’ll need the changes to run for some time to get sufficient data.
8b. Targeting and Creative Columns
I also like looking at Targeting and Creative columns.
Under the Campaigns tab, you’ll see data like Reach and Frequency. Reach tells you how many people your campaign reaches while frequency tells you how many times a person views your campaign on average.
Try not to spam people with the same ad too many times. Frequency should be low for low-priced items and high for high-ticket items. People make up their minds very fast on whether to buy an affordable item. On the other hand, people take a longer time to think and consider various factors before they decide to purchase an expensive item.
Under the Ad Sets tab, you’ll see data like Location, Age and Gender. This is pretty useful since you can see the various locations, ages and genders you’re targeting across all your ad sets in one glance.
Under the Ads tab, you’ll see data like Headline, Body, Destination/Link and Page Name. Again, you can tell at a glance if the copy, destination URL or Facebook Page is wrong.
9. Facebook Pixel
Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you place on your website to track visitors to your site. This code will then pass the data collected about your website visitors to Facebook. Simply put, you’re feeding Facebook with your business data.
You will also need to tell Facebook the conversions (or actions) that are valuable to you. For example, a purchase or a newsletter sign up. You can then create campaigns to optimize for these conversions or valuable actions.
By adding Facebook Pixel to your website, you can measure the impact of your Facebook and Instagram ads. You will also be able to track the conversions people take on your site (assuming that you set it up correctly).
The key is that you have to install the Facebook Pixel base code on all pages of your website correctly.
Check out my step-by-step guide on how to add Facebook Pixel code on your website using Google Tag Manager!
I highly recommend that you install Facebook Pixel as soon as possible (even if you’re not running any ads yet). This way, Facebook can collect data about your website first.
Do let Facebook know conversions that are important to you as soon as possible (set reminders after you create thank you pages, if you have to). It takes a while for Facebook to collect sufficient data before it can confidently conclude the types of people who are more likely to convert. You want Facebook to optimize for conversions effectively, right?
9a. Standard Event
Standard Events are predefined actions. Facebook has numerous standard events for you to choose from:
- Add to Cart
- View Content
Click on Pixels at the top menu then follow the instructions on installing Facebook Pixel.
When you continue to the next step, you can choose to Use Facebook’s Event Setup Tool or Manually Install Event Code. Both methods will allow you to choose from a list of standard events. Just choose the most appropriate standard event that aptly describes your conversion.
9b. Custom Conversion
Custom Conversions are similar to standard events where you tell Facebook the thank you page URL.
But unlike standard events where you have to install an additional code, you only have to state the URL to create custom conversions. Just ensure that you have Facebook Pixel installed on this thank you page!
Click on Custom Conversions at the top menu then click on the Create Custom Conversion button.
9c. Conversions Campaign
Whether you create Standard Events or Custom Conversions, you should use them for your Conversions campaign.
I recommend that you run Conversions campaign which is designed to drive valuable actions on your website or app.
Create a new campaign with the Conversions objective. You can then select the conversion that you want the ad set to optimize for.
I don’t recommend that you create Conversions campaign right from the start. Only create Conversions campaign if you have sufficient conversion data. Meaning that you’ve already set up standard events or custom conversions and that they’ve received quite a few conversions.
Bonus Tip: Set Up Nomenclature For Your Campaign Names
If you’re going to run numerous campaigns, I suggest that you have some kind of naming system. It could include the target country or year that the marketing campaign will run.
By having this consistent naming pattern in place, it’ll be much easier to find specific campaigns.
Check out more tips in my article including must-haves and UTM tagging when naming your campaigns!
Now It’s Your Turn
How do you optimize your Facebook or Instagram campaigns to get more conversions?
Did you implement any of the above tips? How is the performance?
For more Facebook and Instagram marketing tips, join classes like Facebook Marketing For Small Businesses, Creating Effective Paid Ads On Facebook and Hype Your Brand On Instagram. Or watch streaming broadcasts of free online classes at CreativeLive! You can also join online courses at Udemy~