24 Tips to Optimise Your Facebook Ads for Success
Good Facebook ads get impressions and clicks. Great ones, meanwhile, can captivate your audience, drive robust engagement, and skyrocket your sales. And with a platform that houses roughly 3 billion users, the rewards have never been higher!
One way to radically improve and transform your ads is through Facebook ads optimization. By making data-driven decisions, aligning your ads with your business goals, and testing them regularly, you can set yourself up for ad success.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll give you 24 tried-and-tested ways on how to optimize Facebook ads for maximum impact.
Set a strong base for your Ad campaigns
While it’s tempting to set up multiple ad campaigns immediately, you’ll want to establish a strong foundation. By ensuring your overall ad infrastructure is robust and well-organized, your campaigns will run more smoothly.
Follow these steps to lay the groundwork for your ad campaigns:
- Verify your business - ensure to submit all necessary documents to Facebook and get your business verified.
- Set up your business account - make your Facebook business account the primary account for all your ads.
- Install Facebook Pixel - this powerful tool lets you monitor user activity on your website and track ad conversions.
- Install conversion tracking - lets you track specific actions taken on your website, such as purchases or form submissions.
- Streamline Your Ad Account Structure - Organize your campaigns, ad sets, and ads for easier management and better results.
Guard your account with 2-factor authentication
Your business account holds sensitive information, such as payment details and ad performance data. If hacked, you can easily find yourself in a world of trouble. To ensure this doesn’t happen, enable 2-factor authentication to add an extra layer of security to your account.
This simple step requires a second form of verification when someone logs from an unrecognized device, typically a code sent to your phone. Once done, any login attempt will be met with a request for the code, preventing unauthorized access.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Define your campaign objective
While many businesses assume sales should be their only objective - there are others that can help you get there. Remember that your leads are on different sales funnel stages, and different objectives help address each of those stages effectively.
- Brand Awareness - to reach new audiences and increase brand recognition.
- Traffic - to drive traffic to your website or landing page.
- Engagement - to get more likes, comments, and shares on your posts.
- App installs - to encourage users to download your app.
- Video views - to increase views on your video content.
- Lead generation - to capture the contact information of potential customers.
- Messages - to encourage users to send you a message through Facebook Messenger.
- Conversions - to drive sales or sign-ups for a specific product or service.
- Store visits - to drive traffic to your physical store location(s).
You can optimize your ads for any of these objectives based on your current business needs and where your audience is in the customer journey.
Install the Meta Pixel and Google Tag Manager
Data is king in digital advertising, and the more you have, the better you can optimize your Facebook campaigns. The Meta Pixel and Google Tag Manager (GTM) are two potent tools that, when used together, provide a wealth of data for your next move.
The Meta Pixel is a code snippet placed on your website that allows site owners to track how visitors interact with their website. These interactions can include anything from viewing specific pages to adding items to a cart.
With the Meta Pixel, businesses can:
- Understand user behaviour, including what pages they visit, how long they stay on those pages, and the actions they take.
- Create custom audiences based on website traffic to retarget visitors with ads.
- Optimise ads for conversions using your Meta Pixel's user data.
Google Tag Manager
GTM is a versatile tool that allows you to manage and deploy marketing tags (snippets of code or tracking pixels) on your website without modifying the code.
With GTM, you can:
- Track specific user behaviours and events.
- Optimise ad delivery based on user interactions.
- Seamlessly integrate with tools like Google Analytics.
What both offer in unison
Combining the Meta Pixel with GTM offers a streamlined approach to data collection and analysis. Here's the magic they create together:
- Efficient Tracking: Deploy the Meta Pixel via GTM, ensuring consistent and accurate data capture without diving into website code.
- Enhanced Retargeting: Use the rich data from both tools to create hyper-targeted retargeting campaigns.
- Ad Optimisation: With insights from user interactions and events, you can refine ad delivery to reach hyper-niche audiences.
- Budget Efficiency: Allocate your ad spend more effectively by targeting users who are more likely to convert, based on the combined insights from both tools.
- Unified Management: Monitor, and analyse all interactions all in one place.
Optimise your Ads with effective conversion tracking
In the ever-evolving world of digital advertising, understanding and optimising conversions is key. Dive into these strategies to ensure your Facebook ads are not just reaching people but also compelling them to act.
Track Conversions: As mentioned earlier, you'll need the Meta Pixel to start tracking conversions. Ensure to track all actions you want people to take, like filling out a lead form or completing a purchase.
Set Up Custom Conversions: Some businesses have more unique conversion goals, i.e tracking viewers who watch an embedded video on your website. To do this, set up Custom Conversions in Facebook Ads Manager.
Use Facebook's Tool for More Accurate Tracking: Facebook has a unique tool called the Conversions API. This helps get more accurate data, especially as some browsers block the usual tracking methods.
Find More People Like Your Best Customers: Create custom audiences from data collected by your tracking tools. You can then create Lookalike Audiences out of these custom audiences who share similar interests and behaviours to your best customers.
Bring All Your Data Together: Keep all of your conversion data in a centralised dashboard or analytics platform. Having a unified view helps you to analyse patterns, and assess which ads are performing best.
Prioritise your conversions: Learn which actions matter most to your business and allocate more focus towards them. For instance, if product purchases drive more revenue than newsletter sign-ups, you may want to promote sales over subscriptions.
Choose the proper bidding strategy
Facebook will usually use the Lowest Cost bid strategy when running an ad campaign.
It works by Facebook adjusting your bid based on your budget and targeting to get the most conversions at the lowest cost.
However, other bid strategies can be more effective for specific goals. For example, if you want to increase brand awareness or website traffic, then using a Cost Cap bid strategy works too. Here, you can specify a maximum cost you’re willing to pay per conversion.
Let's go through the different bidding and optimisation strategies:
- Cost Cap - lets you set a maximum cost per result. This allows for better budget control.
- Bid Cap: Lets you determine the maximum amount you're willing to pay for ad delivery. This can be advantageous when targeting specific audiences, ensuring you don't overspend.
- Minimum ROAS (Return on Ad Spend): Aims to maximise your ad spend by targeting a specific return rate. This strategy is particularly useful for driving sales or generating revenue.
Target competitors' audiences and use lookalikes
If your product or service is similar to your competitors, you can target their audience and potentially win them over. This lets you skip over performing market research to find your target audience, saving time and money.
To find your competitor's audience, do the following:
- Go to the Facebook Ads Manager.
- Choose your ad set and level, and scroll down to the 'Detailed Targeting' section.
- Click 'Edit' and type in your competitor's name.
- For A/B testing, create another ad set with different targeting criteria.
- Set up your ad parameters, budget, and schedule for both ad sets.
- Launch your campaigns and compare results to determine the best targeting.
- Uncheck' Advanced Detailed Targeting' to simplify targeting and to strictly target your competitor's audience.
You can then use Facebook's lookalike targeting feature to create a new similar audience to expand your reach.
Refine your target audiences by excluding certain groups
From the data from your Meta pixel, you can create custom audiences and exclude them from future ad campaigns. For example, a custom audience could be made for all people who have recently converted. They would then be excluded from your upcoming ad campaigns.
You can also use data from your past ad campaigns to see which groups, i.e. a specific age group or gender, have a high cost per click (CPC) or a low return on ad spend (ROAS).
Both data sources can help you refine your target audience and slowly optimise your ad targeting.
Take advantage of Facebook's interests feature
Beyond targeting groups based on age, gender, and location, Facebook also allows you to target specific interests. This is especially useful if you're targeting a niche audience that may not fall under a specific demographic category.
There are numerous interests to choose from, such as:
- Hobbies and activities (ex: hiking, cooking, photography).
- Entertainment (ex: movies, music, books).
- Favorite brands and products (ex: Nike, Apple, Coca-Cola).
- What TV shows they watch.
- What sports teams they support.
By selecting your audience’s interests, you’ll be left with a highly relevant audience who are more likely to click on your ads and convert.
Turn on Facebook’s Advantage Budget Feature
It's easy to allocate your budget when you're running one or two ads, but what about when you're running multiple? When should you allocate more budget to one ad over the other, if at all?
Sometimes, simpler is better.
Instead of trying to manually distribute your budget, use Facebook’s Advantage campaign budget feature. This allows you to set a daily or lifetime budget for your entire campaign and lets Facebook automatically allocate the budget across your ads based on performance.
This saves you time and effort in constantly monitoring and adjusting budgets for individual ads while improving your campaign's overall performance.
Use Facebook's Automated Ads
If you're new to digital advertising or just don't have the time to run your ad campaigns, consider using Facebook's Automated Ads feature.
Facebook automated ads are adverts created and optimised by Facebook's algorithm. It uses your objectives and target audience to create and deliver ads most likely to drive results. It also automatically adjusts your budget and targeting settings to improve performance.
After launch, Facebook works on the fly with real-time data to adjust its ad placement, targeting, and creative.
Use competitor's Ads to inform and inspire your own
It's not only competitor's audiences that you can use to your advantage, but also their ad strategies. If you're out of fresh ideas, using industry-leading or successful competitor's ads can inspire your own ad creatives and strategies. However, remember not to plagiarise their content - you still want to be original.
To find your competitor's ads, do the following:
- Go to the Facebook Ad Library.
- Type in your competitor's name or page in the search bar or a keyword related to your industry.
- Begin exploring top-performing ads and see what makes them effective i.e their ad copy, visuals, call-to-action, etc.
- To save ads, use the MagicBrief Chrome extension. All ads, including ads saved from other social media platforms, will be saved in the MagicBrief Ad library.
- From there, you can easily access and organize your saved ads for future reference.
By studying your competitor's ads, you'll gather new ideas and insights to improve your own ad campaigns. This technique benefits businesses starting or those looking to revamp their advertising strategies.
To learn how to fully maximise the benefits of the Facebook Ad Library, read our complete guide.
Optimise your copy, images, and add unique creative assets
This is the bread and butter of Facebook Ads optimisation. You may have refined your target audience, but your ad's visual appeal and copy are what ultimately draw them in. And if viewers hate your ads, they won't waste a second to scroll past it!
To create top-notch ad creatives, keep these tips in mind:
- Use high-quality images or videos that are relevant to your ad's message.
- Use creative assets like cinematography, GIFs, or 360-degree videos, and interactive polls to make your ad stand out.
- Choose an ad format that best fits your content, whether it's a single image, video, or carousel ads.
- Keep your text concise and engaging. Utilse power words and incorporate FOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT) to create a sense of urgency in viewers.
- Address your audience's pain points and offer a solution to grab their attention.
- A/B tests different variations of your ad elements to see which performs best.
You can then further optimise your top-performing ad creative to maximise its performance. Remember that it's an iterative process, and takes continuous testing and refinement to create amazing optimised Facebook ads.
Use Facebook's Dynamic features
Even with the right target audience, it's impossible to truly know how people will react to your ads. That's where Facebook's dynamic ads come in, taking the guesswork out of optimisation.
The dynamic creative feature allows you to input several variations of headlines, images, and descriptions into a single ad set. Then, Facebook's algorithm tests different combinations and automatically prioritises the best-performing ones. It basically does the legwork for you to find the most effective ad creative for your audience.
To do so, toggle the dynamic creative button when setting up your ad campaign and Facebook will do the rest.
Unfortunately, the feature does have one drawback. Since Ads Manager aggregates the results for all variations, you won’t really know which of your ad’s specific elements drove the most conversions. However, with close monitoring and testing, you’ll eventually separate the wheat from the chaff.
Use existing content that's tried and tested
Running a new ad campaign doesn't mean you have to create new content. In fact, repurposing existing content that's proven to work well can save you time, effort, and money.
Take a look at your top-performing organic posts and see how you can turn them into an ad campaign. For example, you can use a video featuring testimonials from satisfied customers that has high engagement. Simply add a call-to-action button, and run it as an ad to reach a potentially engaging audience.
When creating a new ad, select 'Use Existing Post' and choose a relevant post with a lot of likes, comments and shares. When it does go live, all that engagement will remain intact, giving you all the necessary social proof to turn encouraging leads into home run conversions!
Update and A/B test your landing pages
You've got a good percentage of your target audience clicking on your ad - great!
But do they have the same enthusiasm to convert after interacting with your landing page?
Don't underestimate the power of your landing page in converting leads into customers. And don't settle for just one version - A/B test different variations to see which one works best.
Start by identifying landing page elements that can be optimised, such as its headline, images, call-to-action buttons, form fields, and more. For example, landing pages featuring a large hero image should have a CTA button directly underneath the headline text. Adopting the best practices like this can make a significant difference in conversions.
Other landing page tips include:
- Keep your message consistent with your ad, i.e., your offer, value proposition, and call-to-action should follow through.
- Ensure your branding, i.e. colour scheme, logo, and messaging, is consistent with the rest of your marketing collateral.
- Keep the design simple and user-friendly - your landing page should be easy to navigate and understand
- Make sure your landing page is mobile-friendly - many Facebook users are on mobile devices, so you want to take advantage of potential conversions.
After optimising your landing page, you can create separate versions with different element combinations for A/B testing. Monitor each version’s performance to see which ones resonate most with your audience.
Remarket to custom audiences
Remember how a Meta Pixel can track website visitor interactions from your ads. You can use this information to remarket to audiences that didn’t convert.
Let's say your visitors added an item to their cart but didn’t purchase it. You could then create a separate ad targeting this custom audience, perhaps with a special discount. This can help push these engaged audiences to finally sign up.
However, target audiences aren't limited to just visitors. You can also remarket on the following:
- People who visited your Facebook business page or Instagram profile.
- Facebook shop visitors.
- Client lists from your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool.
- Viewers who have watched your videos or interacted with your Facebook or Instagram content.
- People who have completed a form on your website (e.g lead generation form)
- And so on.
The goal is to retarget individuals who have shown interest in your business, product or service but, for some reason, did not convert. This gives you a second chance to convince them to take action and move further down the sales funnel.
Diversify your content to prevent Ad fatigue
With so many Facebook ad formats, there's no reason to get stuck with just one. Plus, using different ad types can keep your campaign exciting for your audience.
Try experimenting with carousel ads, video ads, slideshow ads, and even the immersive experience of Canvas ads. You can also include different creative elements such as GIFs, interactive features like quizzes or polls, static images, and user-generated content.
Remember that your audience may respond better to certain types of ads than others, so keep testing. This can also help prevent ad fatigue among your audience, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.
Use Ad rotation
You can use ad rotation to optimize your Facebook ads further to avoid ad fatigue. This means rotating your ads to appear on different days of the week, or even days. As a result, your audience sees various ads instead of the same ones over and over.
To implement ad rotation effectively:
- Segment Your Ads: Create multiple ad versions to include different images, copy, and CTAs.
- Set Time Limits: Determine how long each ad version will run before it's rotated out. This can be based on specific dates or performance metrics.
- Schedule Different Ads: In the Ads Manager, schedule ads to run on certain days or at chosen times.
- Analyze Performance: Regularly review which ads perform best at which times or days.
- Refresh Content: Over time, even rotated ads can become stale. By updating or even creating new ads, you can keep the content fresh and relevant to your audience.
By utilising ad rotation, you avoid ad fatigue and gain valuable insights into which ads work best for your target audience. This allows for continual optimisation of your Facebook ads campaign.
Set automated rules to grow your Ad campaigns
At some point, you may want to scale your successful campaigns without manual intervention. Automated rules in Facebook's Ads Manager can help you do just that. These rules, set by you, will automatically adjust your budget, bids, and targeting based on performance indicators such as cost per conversion or click-through rate.
For example, if your ad set reaches a cost-per-result that is too high, you can set an automated rule to decrease its bid. With enough rules in place, you can effectively manage and optimise your campaigns without lifting a finger.
To set up automated rules, do the following:
- Open Facebook Ads Manager.
- Click ‘Rules’ at the campaign, ad set, or ad level.
- Select ‘Custom Rule’.
- Set conditions like: Scale if cost-per-result drops below a set amount.
- In Action, choose to increase your daily or lifetime budget.
- Enter the desired budget increase percentage.
Remember to monitor the rules regularly to ensure they're performing as intended.
Schedule your Ads
To ensure your ads are being shown to the right audience at the right time, it helps to schedule them in advance. For example, if you're having a clothing sale on Black Friday, you may want to schedule your ads for that day specifically.
To set a schedule for your ads, do the following:
- Log into Ads Manager or Power Editor.
- Click on your desired ad set.
- Find and click "Edit" in the "schedule" section.
- Set your start and end dates and times.
- Pick specific days and hours to run the ad, like weekends or lunchtime.
Users can also schedule their organic posts on Facebook by using the ‘Schedule Post’ option when creating a post. This can be useful for businesses wanting to ensure their content is posted at optimal times for engagement and reach.
Explore advanced strategies like the Fast Takeoff Method
The Fast Takeoff Method is a strategy experienced Facebook advertisers use to quickly scale their ad campaigns. It involves overspending on ads initially to gather data and quickly optimise them.
This strategy if you need more data to kickstart your ad campaigns to make a significant impact quickly. By front-loading ad spend, you’ll rapidly collect insights on what works and what doesn't.
Of course, you must proceed cautiously when using the Fast Takeoff Method, as it involves spending a large chunk of your budget upfront. However, for experienced businesses with larger budgets and tight timelines, this method can prove to be highly effective.
Monitor top Ad placements and adjust as needed
Facebook typically uses automatic placements to display ads across its platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and Audience Network. However, businesses can manually select specific ad placements and monitor themselves if needed.
For example, there are times when one or two ad placements may perform far better compared to others. Businesses can leverage this data to strictly put all ads on those high-performing placements, optimising their ad spend.
To find your top ad placements, do the following:
- Go to the Facebook Ads Manager.
- Click on the 'Breakdown’ icon and select 'Placement.'
- Sort your results by metrics such as cost per result, click-through rate, or conversions.
- Identify the top-performing placements and prioritise or allocate more budget to them.
- Evaluate underperforming placements and consider excluding them or reducing their budget allocation.
- If you’re creating a new ad campaign, you can choose where your ads will be shown under ‘Placements.’
This more proactive approach to ad placement can significantly impact the success of a Facebook ad campaign.
Consider starting from scratch
Creating award-winning or even engaging Facebook ads can be challenging. Sometimes, we pour all our resources into an ad campaign only to fail. In such cases, starting from scratch and creating a new ad campaign may be the best option.
If you're considering starting over, you'll always want to utilise the lessons you've learned from your previous campaign. Review what worked and what didn't, and use that knowledge to create a new ad with successful elements.
Identifying the root cause of an ad's underperformance is crucial. Here are some common scenarios that might necessitate a change or a fresh start:
- Poor Engagement Rates: If your ad isn't getting enough clicks, shares, or comments, it's not compelling enough. Study your competition and current trends, then rework your ad's creative elements and copy to be more attention-grabbing to your target audience.
- Low Conversion Rates: If your ad receives clicks but is not converting, there may be a mismatch between the ad message and your offerings. Keep your ad and landing page messaging consistent to avoid confusing or misleading potential customers.
- High Cost Per Conversion: If you're spending too much to get a single conversion, at least you're in the right direction. Study your ad targeting and adjust it to reach a more relevant audience likely to convert at a lower cost.
- Declining Performance Over Time: It's common for Facebook ads to have an initial burst of success before tapering off over time. If this happens, consider refreshing your ad creative or targeting options every few weeks to keep your ad fresh and engaging.
- Shift in Brand Strategy: If there's been a significant change in your company's branding or messaging, older ads may not align with the new direction. A fresh campaign will ensure consistency.
Of course, if there’s only a minor issue with your current campaign, it may not warrant starting a completely new campaign. In some cases, tweaking a few elements could reinvigorate an ad and deliver the desired results.
Conclusion - Use these Facebook optimisation tips in combination for optimal results
There's no single secret to Facebook ad optimisation. It takes a combination of tactics, tweaks, and constant evaluation to improve your ad's performance. However, when used in conjunction, these tips can help you create a successful Facebook ad campaign that drives conversions and grows your business.
Lastly, even your most successful Facebook ads can always be further optimised. With ever-evolving algorithms and shifting user behaviors, it's important to monitor and adjust your ads for maximum effectiveness constantly. By staying informed and keeping a proactive mindset, you'll stay ahead of the curve and continue optimising your Facebook ads for the best possible results.