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5 Steps to Success with Facebook and Instagram Ads

You can no longer afford to waste valuable time and money getting it wrong. I’m a proponent of making mistakes, because mistakes indicate that you’re trying. However, if you’re not getting better or making the needed adjustments after each mistake, then what’s the use? The below steps are integral to success with not only Facebook and Instagram but other social media marketing initiatives via other platforms.

1. Let the Data be Your Guide

The biggest mistake most marketers make is being married to a method or system when it comes to advertising on Facebook and Instagram. Sure, you need solid and consistent ideas when comes to content creation and understanding your audiences, but don’t think you can magically open up your account, serve some ads and reap immediate success.

Like paid search, your customers may be referring to your product using terms you don’t recognize or have never thought of. Facebook and IG are the same. There are audiences, segments, demographics and behavioral patterns that can’t be accounted for in every persona. Let the data be your guide and let testing be your method. In other words, the bulk of your plan should be to test your assumptions, rinse, repeat. There are literally hundreds of avenues to reach your audience on Facebook. Rarely will you know upfront what content will resonate with what audience, how many times they need to see that content, how fast your audiences will grow, who will buy when they will buy, or content will drive sales. Test. Test. Test.

2. Choose your Facebook Audiences

People have complex lives, motivations, hopes, and dreams. Since I’m a space enthusiast, I often run into moon landing deniers, space deniers, and flat earthers online. Besides the actual conspiratorial nature of such world views, from a scientific standpoint, they get facts about our world wrong because of one-dimensional thinking. Meaning they don’t understand that in the real world, there are many, many things happening at once and they all must be accounted for when it comes to understanding how things work. The digital landscape is no different. There aren’t any magic bullets when it comes to marketing on social. Be anti-fragile, cover your ass. Build 20 – 25 different audiences AT THE LEAST and speak to them directly with relevant content.

If you are starting fresh, Audience Insights is the best place to start when looking at data. If the people who like your Facebook Page are genuine fans (there are paid techniques to drive FB fans that don’t take into account if those fans are actually interested in your page, products or services), audience insights has reports that will break down information about them such as what other Facebook pages they like, purchase behaviors, age, gender, demographics and lifestyle choices. Furthermore, along with data about your Facebook fans, Audience Insights gives you key information about the entire Facebook universe. You can segment this data by the same components mentioned above, but for general Facebook users.

3. Keep Your Content Relevant

This applies to both organic and paid programs. Relevancy is the only thing that matters. Post things that audience likes; not what PEOPLE like. Understand your audiences, what their problems are, what makes them smile, what makes them laugh, what makes them happy, what keeps them up at night. You are not going to understand this by pontificating in a conference room, a focus group or listening to a talking head. You learn this by understanding the data.

  • Think remarketing audiences based on certain website pages, actions, and behaviors. A website visitor may have a different motivation than someone who watches your Live Facebook videos.
  • Think Lookalike audiences that layered with interests, think interests layered with demographics.

Your only asset is the user’s attention. – Gary V.

4. Always Keep the Funnel in Mind

You need a multilayered approach to digital marketing. The social world is dynamic, not static. Stop thinking about product launches, video launches, and premiers. No one cares. When was the last time you blocked time out on your busy schedule to “attend” a product launch? There are just too many things to do, too many people to see, and too many places to go for modern social media user. We are impulse buyers who depend on things to be there when we need them in that Zero Moment of Truth. Will you be there when your customer is to take action?

Last Click Attribution is a thing of the past. You can no longer post a few ads, turn a couple of campaigns on and expect results. It’s impossible to think that customers are going to take action after seeing just one ad. You need an integrated, multilayered consistent strategy with the goal of building experience over time. Advertising on Facebook is an art and a science, its intelligent design built around people and how people consume media. Like the matrix, you must stop looking at Facebook Advertising as Facebook Advertising and see it as only a conduit or vessel to reach your loyal customers and fans.

5. Keep It Consistent

The most important thing is to be consistent over time. Post and post often. This builds your reputation and trust. There is too much content to consume for the average user. Naturally, users will default to people and/or content they trust, not the most quality content or the shiniest, next big thing. People want to know what they are going to get from you any time they see you online. Produce content that has a consistent, underlying theme.

Consistency also applies to when you post. Give people something to look forward too such as Taco Tuesdays or 25 cents wings at Buffalo Wild Wings. A schedule alone creates anticipation with your audience(s). If your team doesn’t have the bandwidth produce content consistently, there is nothing wrong with posting articles from others in your community. Your audience is interested in consuming good content and that can come from anywhere and long as your brand is setting the table.

Tying it all Together:

  • Never make decisions without data. There is more than enough data to make informed marketing decisions. Learn Facebook and Instagram’s metrics which generally can be grouped into three groups, Brand Awareness, Engagement and Conversion. If you are starting fresh use Audience Insights to find data on the Facebook community as a whole and your Facebook Page fans if you have a page.
  • Create 20 – 25 audiences at the least. The more the better. Get creative with how you segment audiences. Don’t assume you know who your audiences are. Always be on the lookout for more audiences, segments and layers. And then proceed to test, test test.
  • Product Relevant Content. Become a content producing machine. Take advantage of Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, and IGTV. This is in addition to the more traditional mediums of newsfeed posts for both platforms.
  • Use A Funnel. Keep an evergreen Brand Awareness/Engagement and Remarketing campaign going in the background Make sure you use a tested, general, high-performing audience for brand awareness. This drives consistent traffic to your website but more importantly feeds your remarketing list which you can, in turn, serve more qualified ads too. You can use this strategy for a variety of mediums.For example, drive engagement for a long-form video, then remarket to users that watched the first 2 – 3 minutes of the video. Think highly qualified, think highly relevant. Forget about huge promotions or launches until you test your audiences, content, and assumptions. Not that they are unnecessary, they are secondary to consistently producing relevant content for high qualified audiences over time. Always start with Remarketing and Lookalike audiences since these are usually the most engaged users.
  • Consistently Post Organically on Facebook and Instagram. Schedule Posts if needed. Try sharing content that you do not produce. Isn’t that what 95% of social media is about? The only thing that matters is that its relevant content. It shows that you care about your audience.

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