Facebook has taken over as the most popular channel for advertising online.According to a 2017 industry report from Social Media Examiner, 93% of marketers use Facebook for social advertising. The next closest social channel is Instagram, where just 24% of marketers advertise—and they just keep dropping from there.
Despite the adoption of Facebook advertising, many marketers fail to see a positive return for their efforts. Part of that is because it is, after all, a social network. People don’t use Facebook to shop. That’s why the average conversion rate on Facebook ads is just .9%,varying from .4% to 1.6%, depending on the industry.
If you want to boost your ad conversions, you’ll need to take some strategic steps to capture the attention of your social audience. Here are 10 tips to help you do that.
Improve Your Targeting
The single most effective method for improving your Facebook advertising conversions is to make sure you’re showing your ad to the right people.
Every ad that you make needs a defined audience, and there’s a pretty broad range of things you can target.
This is where it pays to do your audience research. When you know their major interests in relation to your products, you can get your ad in front of the people most likely to click through and make a purchase.
Just look at how interest targeting can make a difference inthis example from AdEspresso. They ran identical campaigns using two different audiences. The first ad was deliberately targeted poorly with a general audience, resulting in just 278 clicks.
The second had a more refined audience. Same ad copy and visuals, but it delivered a little over 1,100 clicks.
The more targeted ad not only converted better, but the cost per click was just $0.03 compared to $.14 per click for the less-targeted ad. The only difference between the two was the targeting of the ad.
Don’t get skittish about stacking and intersecting interests, as well as excluding interests and other targeting factors. It might shrink your audience considerably, but that’s a good thing.
An ad that’s only reaching 100,000 highly targeted people is far better than an ad reaching two million people with generic targeting. The highly targeted audience is significantly smaller but much more likely to convert.
Attach a Lead Magnet
Lead magnets are a great way to bribe your audience into a click. You give them something of value that entices them to click, opt-in, provide info, etc.
Lead magnets are popular in the B2B space, such as the Swipe File freebieused by Ryan Deiss.
That lead magnet brought him over 28,000 leads within the first 45 days.
You can use the same strategy for your eCommerce store to boost Facebook ad conversion—you just need to provide something of value. The easiest lead magnet is a discount, like this one from Foodpanda.
Or this one from BuyBuyBaby offering a free goodie bag with registration—that can be easily promoted in a Facebook ad to their target audience.
Here are some great lead magnet ideas specific to eCommerce:
Free shipping offers
Education content tied to specific products
Guides (such as saving money when shopping for specific products)
Product comparison reports
Discount product upgrades
Lead magnets like this ramp up the value for the audience, enticing them to click your ad and increasing the likelihood of a conversion on your product page.
Make a Killer Product Page
The purpose of your Facebook ad is to get the customer to your landing page, not sell the product. That’s where your product page goes to work.
A review of other online brands reveals fairly quickly that designs differ greatly, and there’s no single most-effective way to design a product page to maximize conversions.
However, there are elements that play a critical role in getting the customer to convert.
High-quality product images– Customers want to be able to visualize the product and see it from every angle. They can’t hold the product or turn it over in their hands, so give them the next best thing withthorough product shots. Include video, if you can, especially user-generated video.
Powerful product description–A great product description not only improves your relevancy score for your ad, it helps convince the customer that this is the right product. It uses descriptive language to communicate the benefits and value, answering common questions and keeping them engaged until they click the purchase button.
A strong call-to-action – The call-to-action serves a single purpose: getting the customer out of the shopping experience and into the first step of the checkout process. It should be bold–contrasting with the content around it, easy to find, and instantly visible on any product page. Followthe best practices for a good call-to-action in eCommerce.
Gain their trust – A lot of factors boost trust, so try to incorporate them into your product page. These include revealing information about shipping costs up front, return policies, contact information, customer reviews, secure payment processes, and manufacturer logos.
Use the Right Visuals
You never know what kind of image will be the most engaging with your audience, but you need to have some kind of image. Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times the engagement of posts without visual content.
It’s hard to know just what image will work best with your ad, so run some ad variations using different images. Just make sure the images are highly relevant to your ad, product, and audience.
There are also some simple tricks you can employ to improve the performance of your ads:
Video ads on Facebook are far more engaging and, becauseFacebook wants to promote native video over any other kind of content, your video ads are likely to get more time in front of your audience than static images and text.
You can’t get more conversions if you’re burning through your ad budget due to a high cost per click. Where does that cost come from? A low relevance score.
What you pay per click varies based on your bid but, if your ad copy, headline, and call to action aren’t seen as relevant to the audience you’re targeting, then yourrelevance score drops.
The lower the score, the more you pay per click.
So, get that relevance score up. Relevance scores go from 1 (lowest) to 10 (the highest). Having a high relevance score reduces the cost of reaching your target audience and getting them to engage. The lower your cost per click, the more clicks you can fit into your budget.
For example, this GrubHub ad doesn’t just use a screenshot of food or the app. Instead, it uses different food combinations along with a compelling value proposition to make it more relevant to its target audience.
Rotate Your Ad Creative
There’s a belief that prospects need to see your advertising message seven times before they buy from you.
This is a myth, and, as Peep Laja of ConversionXL has stated multiple timesthere is no research to back this up. In fact, if you were to take this approach, your customers would quickly tune out your ads.
A high frequency of ad exposure doesn’t guarantee a click; it just makes customers put their blinders on, and they’ll start ignoring your ad if you show them the same thing repeatedly.
That’s why evenFacebook recommends rotating the creative on your ad every week or so to combat ad fatigue.
Just changing out the image keeps your ad fresh in the eyes of your audience and can help avoid ad fatigue, letting you keep up the ad frequency without risking conversions.
Try Split Testing Ads
Split testing ads accomplishes a number of things. On top of combating ad fatigue, you can find the most relevant content (visuals and copy) that provide the lowest cost per click with the most engagement and conversions.
Here’s an example of how Shopify runs ad variations to combat fatigue and maximize clicks.
… against ads with different visuals and long copy.
Chances are good, through split testing, you’ll find one variation of copy, headline, and images that has fantastic conversions. Zero in on that one, and continue split testing to maximize your conversions.
Minimize the Text in Your Ad Images
Facebook may have changed their rules about text in ad images, but it still impacts your ads’ visibility.
Once upon a time, Facebook would reject ads if the text inside an image took up more than 20% of the real estate within that image.
Now, Facebook allows all the text you like within an image, but, it’s going to cost you. Not only does it drive up your cost per click, it limits the visibility and reach of your ad.
Rather than trying to pack text into the image, focus there on just the value proposition. Get the rest of your copy into the headline and actual text space where it can best serve you.
Here’s a great example of an ad with minimal text overlay other than the value proposition, and some great, punchy copy in the ad itself.
Run Your Ads at the Right Times
Your target audience is going to be most active at specific times of the day. When it that, exactly?
Well, that depends on your audience. It can vary wildly from one business to another. Gamers, for example, are known for keeping long hours late into the night. You wouldn’t necessarily target them during the same hours as gardening enthusiasts.
The key is to learn the peak engagement times of your target customers.
YourFacebook insights can provide clear data on when your audience is most likely to engage with you based on recent activity. Use that information to schedule your ads for periods of peak engagement where customers are most likely to be online and paying attention.
Facebook ads can be a tremendous way to boost traffic as well as increase revenue for your online brand. If you’re struggling to see a return from your Facebook ads, it’s not that the system is faulty; you just need to make some adjustments.
Follow the tips above to improve your Facebook ad strategy to see improvement in ad performance and get your conversions closer to your goals.
What have you done to improve conversions when your Facebook ads have underperformed in the past?
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Ronald Dod is the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-founder of Visiture, an end-to-end eCommerce marketing agency focused on helping online merchants acquire more customers through the use of search engines, social media platforms, marketplaces, and their online storefronts. His passion is helping leading brands use data to make more effective decisions in order to drive new traffic and conversions.
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