One of the great advantages of advertising on Facebook is the ability to fine-tune your audience targeting using the platform’s research tools. With Facebook’s Audience Insights tool, you can go beyond high-level demographics (location, age, gender, etc.) and identify the specific interests, websites, publications and content topics that your current customers (and similar customers) consume and share.
Not knowing your audience is a big mistake! But doing audience research can be cumbersome, it takes a lot of time. And research tools that make big promises often fall short. Still, the labor of research has to be done if you want to take advantage of Facebook’s fine-tuning and content insights.
In this post, we’re going to show you some super effective shortcuts using the Audience Insights Tool to gather the information needed to develop buyer personas, spy on your competitors and discover where your target audiences consume content and what content resonates the most with them. As we move through this exercise, we are going to finish with a list of at least 25 interests or topics that we can use to create targeted audiences or audience layers (for larger audience segments) to help us reach the right people on Facebook with our ads.
Facebook Competitors, Interests, Pain Points – Get Your Thoughts On Paper (or Spreadsheet)
Before we even log in to Facebook, we should fire up a spreadsheet (or deploy more old school tactics like pen and paper). We’ll start by writing down everything that we know about our target customers, our target niche, and our target markets in an organized fashion.
Now, ask yourself, who are the big players in the space? Where are they consuming information that is relevant to them; websites they frequent, magazines they read, Pages they visit on Facebook, companies they follow, athletes they admire, things their kids do, etc. What kind of topics and interests resonate with them on a regular basis? Write it down!
Go beyond their interests and really dig into what drives them as individuals. What are their backgrounds, what are their responsibilities, what are their challenges and pain points? What kind of content are they consuming and where are they consuming it, and on what channels? How can we help them? Write it down…
Start to document all of this on your spreadsheet or paper. Break it up into three categories – competitor research, niche topic research, and customer pain points and needs:
- As we look at the information available to us in the Audience Insights Tool, the basis of our competitor research is to understand who the major players are and what type of content they are using on Facebook to engage their audiences.
- The main objective of niche research is to understand at a deeper level the other related topics and channels where content is being consumed by your target audiences.
- Writing down your target customer’s pain points and needs that your products and services specifically address will make it easier to develop great content ideas when we start looking at your competitor’s Pages.
Facebook Interests – Know What You Don’t Know
Okay, we’ve got the known direct competitors, interests and audiences traits documented. Now it’s time to fine-tune our targeting and niche down even further.
Navigate to the Audience Insights Tool and click on “Everyone on Facebook”. Scroll down the left-hand side of the page and type in your client or company name in the “Interests” field.
Take a look at the “Demographics” information. If you know your audiences already, there should be no surprises here.
Still, take a moment to evaluate this information. How does it compare to your initial assumptions or previous research from other channels? Is it the same? Is it different? If it is different, it’s good information to note for future Facebook targeting efforts as your core audiences may be different on this platform than others, including your own website traffic. (Fine-tune this information even more by filtering the age and gender – and locations if applicable – to match your target customers or site traffic.) Make notes and adjustments on spreadsheet or paper.
Next, navigate to the “Page Likes” dashboard and look at the “Top Categories” sections to discover closely related competitors also prominently found on Facebook. As you scan down you may see some familiar names. But most likely, you are going to see a bunch of companies you never even knew existed that are attractive, relevant and interacting with your target customers. Some of them will be your direct competition, while others will be places your customers consume content.
Click on their link and go directly to their Facebook page to validate they are worth targeting in your niche or market. In other words, if their products, services, and content is trying to attract the same people/customers as you, write them down.
Discover Great Content Already Resonating With Your Target Market With Facebook Page Insights
This is where the good insights start to surface! When you click from the Audience Insights dashboard directly to their Facebook Page, you’ll find a goldmine of research information and content inspiration right at your fingertips. Begin perusing their Page and take note of the content and user engagement.
On the left-hand side of their Facebook Page, you’ll notice direct links that filter their content by several categories, most notably: About, Instagram, Photos, Posts, Videos, Community and several more depending on the publisher. Engage each link and dig deep to see what type of engagement they are getting. When you know what kind of engagement they are getting – positive or negative – you can discover ways to adapt the strategy to your own.
Take a look at each section and start taking notes:
- What kind of content are they publishing? Are they addressing their audience’s pain points, responsibilities, and interests? In what format (posts, video, reviews)?
- Which topics and content resonates most with their Fans and receives the most Likes and Comments?
- Are there topics and discussion threads that reveal new information to you that could inform your strategy?
- Look at the competitor’s “About” section for great information you can incorporate into your strategies (or share with your client); Awards, Products, Product Categories, Our Story, Milestones, etc.
- Look at their Photos and Videos sections and note the type of content they are publishing; the good, the bad and the ugly. What types of content are getting the most views and engagement?
- Does a competitor feature their products in the “Shop and Review Products” section?
- Look at the Events section to see if they are promoting their events through Facebook. If so, what is noteworthy?
- What else…?
For instance, if your competitor is just posting clickbait content it may be a way to increase engagement but may not complement your strategy. Instead, look for the ways competitors and relevant channels engage their customers that moves them down the sales cycle or reinforces a positive, lasting relationship. Write these insights down and start connecting your dots.
You can now use these insights to start developing audience targeting strategies that siphon off traffic from relevant channels or steals traffic from your competitors. And, you’ll know which kinds of content your audiences are interested in already.
Use your research insights to develop your own content marketing ideas that incorporate your unique value propositions and messaging. Go head-to-head with your closest competitors and promote relevant topics and content. Only better! Want some more information on how to be a better Facebook marketer? Just starting out on Facebook ads and don’t know where to begin? Check out our article Facebook Ads for Beginners: 5 Resources to help you craft a successful Facebook strategy.
Post updated by Aaron Childs (prior post date: 2/28/18)
Top Practices to Promote Your Business Using PPC
Are you getting low-quality traffic through your PPC campaigns?
Are fraud clicks draining your revenue from the PPC?
Is your return on investment on PPC not as expected?
Even though PPC advertising is an integral part of an effective marketing strategy, poor tactics can burn your ad budget and, thus, negatively affect your PPC results.
PPC has been around for more than 20 years, and marketers spend almost 80% of their ad spend on PPC campaigns. Knowing the importance and cost-effectiveness of PPC campaigns, it is essential to strategize your PPC campaigns to elevate your business’ growth instead of hindering it.
If you want to grow your business and predict the best ROI on your ad spend, then improving your PPC strategy is the first step, and you are in the right place!
This article will discuss 15 strategies to improve your PPC campaign for the best ROI on every dollar you spend.
Let’s dive in!
1. Choose the Right Platforms to Advertise
But, with this perk, it doesn’t mean that you should limit your advertising strategy to Google ads only. You can run ads on various social media platforms that will help you build your brand awareness, customer loyalty and boost sales.
However, the decision of choosing the platform will depend on your target audience and goals. Therefore you must do your research on the ad networks available before including them in your strategy.
There are dozens of online spaces where you can use your advertising spend, but the best way to assess the effectiveness of any platform for your business is to look at the ROI on each platform.
Some of the popular platforms for PPC advertising are as follows:
- Google Ads: Google Adwords enables you to reach 90% of the internet users with Google display and responsive ads. You can target your audiences on the basis of what they are searching or can target them with your products when they are searching about the options on another website through display ads.
- Meta Ads: With Meta (Facebook) Ads Manager, you can create ads in different formats such as video, images, and carousel. Meta’s (Facebook) targeting is done on the basis of the demographics and interests of your buyer persona.
- Instagram Ads: Businesses use Instagram ads to drive awareness and to increase their customer base. The ads between stories and on platforms create hooks for the audience through appealing visuals.
- Twitter Ads: People will not spend a lot of time looking at your ad on Twitter, therefore, the shorter you make it, the better it is. Experiment with the copy and visuals to see which ad performs best.
- Bing Ads: The unique feature about Bing ads is that it allows you to schedule the campaigns according to different time zones. This gives you more granular control over the campaign and ads.
Some of the other platforms you can advertise on are AdRoll, RevContent, and Yahoo.
2. Include Social Media in Your PPC Ad Campaign
The effectiveness of social media ads is relatively higher than Google ads since these ads appear directly in your feed, thus decreasing the effectiveness of Ad-blockers.
While paid search is more keyword-focused, paid social ads to focus more on demographics and persona, thus leading to new ways to target your audience.
Paid social media ads allow you to use a wider variety of ad types and formats, like images, videos, text, and more.
Social media ads give you two critical functions for your ads’ success — Retargeting & Lookalike Audiences.
3. Launch a Remarketing Ad Campaign
Retargeting is remarketing to people based on the site visits or who are willing to know more about your product and services and have manually shared their information for the contact.
Why are retargeting campaigns called a marketer’s best friend?
92% of your website’s online traffic won’t buy anything on their first visit to the website.
But, when you use remarketing to retarget the same visitor, they are 70% more likely to purchase from your ad rather than your competitors.
Therefore, with these odds, you can’t afford to miss on retargeting.
4. Try a Lookalike and Similar Audiences
A lookalike audience is a parallel list created by the platform, e.g. Facebook and Google using your existing followers, customers, or website visitors. This created list includes people who have similar interests, clicking habits, online social behavior, etc.
With the hyper-targeting capabilities of PPC platforms, a lookalike or similar audience allows your business to target with unmatched depth and accuracy. All you have to do is provide initial data about your website visitors.
In Google ads, you need to have at least 100 users’ data to get a similar audience. However, on Meta, you can upload a customer file, refer to site traffic, app activity, and more to build a lookalike audience. Meta recommends a source audience of at least 1000 people.
Combining your lookalike and similar audience with the retargeting campaign can increase your conversions by more than 40%, thus boosting your sales.
5. Design Mobile-Friendly Landing Pages
More than 50% of the world’s internet traffic comes from mobile devices, and more than 40% of online transactions happen through mobile devices.
With this penetration of mobile devices among digital consumers, optimizing your website’s landing pages according to mobile is necessary. But, unfortunately, some businesses forget the importance of mobile friendliness when it comes to PPC Campaigns.
Despite ads optimized for mobile and tablets, a stellar copy of your landing page can make you win or lose your PPC campaign.
For best results, ensure some critical points for your mobile-friendly landing pages:
- Page loading speed is high. It should take an average of three seconds to load your page/website on mobile
- Link the relevant landing page with the ad
- Ensure the landing page is functional and intuitive, so the user knows how to take the next step (e.g. adding to cart, payment, signing up, etc.)
6. Advertising Budget
The problem with a lot of failed PPC campaigns is the unrealistic and low budgets. One of the important factors to get the results from your PPC campaigns is setting the budget to target the right audience and help you achieve your goals.
But, this doesn’t mean you need to go over-the-top in budgeting to get the most out of PPC. Instead, you need to have a realistic budget to help you with different stages of your PPC marketing. If you are starting out with PPC campaigns, some of the common examples of where your budget will be used are as follows (but not limited to):
- Researching the averages in the industry (e.g. cost per click)
- A/B Testing (Selecting the right keywords, audiences, demographics, etc.)
Researching your averages and knowing how your competitors spend on PPC campaigns to grow business can help you set a realistic budget for your ad spend.
7. Make Your Ad Copy Click-Worthy
Ad copies should be all about adding value to your customer’s browsing. Irrespective of the industry, all PPC strategies need to focus on click-worthy, top-notch ad copies.
No matter the market, all PPC strategies need to focus on top-notch ad copy.
The starting point of your conversions is people clicking on your ads which are only possible if your copy is relevant or intriguing.
Therefore, your headline, description, visuals must have a hooking ad copy to grab online customers’ attention. The ad copy should also comply with the stage your buyer is in. Are you targeting them with an awareness campaign? or are you remarketing with the google ads retargeting campaign? The ad copy will vary accordingly.
Some of the best ways to create better copy that generate more clicks are as follow:
- Add the unique offerings (e.g. Free Shipping, Money Back Guarantee)
- Highlight Promotions (e.g. SALE, , 50% OFF etc.)
- Include CTAs (e.g. Buy Now, Apply Now, etc.)
- Focus on benefits instead of features of the product
- Link the relevant landing page with the ad.
Good copy development takes time, but once you master the art of understanding your audience and addressing their wants in your ad copy, it’ll impact your campaign’s performance in amazing ways.
8. Use Responsive Search & Display Ads (GSN/GDN)
Responsive ads help you to automate your PPC strategy to grow your business. It uses the machine learning power of Google ads to automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit available ad spaces.
There are 2 types of responsive ads which you can use:
- Responsive Display Ads: Responsive display ads are ads automatically created by Google using the assets that you provide. Google automatically adjusts the size, appearance, and format of your assets to fit available ad spaces on the Google Display Network.
- Responsive Search Ads: Responsive search ads let you create an ad that adapts to show more text—and more relevant messages—to your customers. Enter multiple headlines and descriptions when creating a responsive search ad, and over time, Google Ads will automatically test different combinations and learn which combinations perform best.
With the flexibility of experimenting with ad copy, images, headlines, and descriptions, Google Ads provides you assistance for the most effective ads.
9. Perform A/B Split Tests
How can you tell which design or ad copy or demographics can bring in better results? Through A/B split testing.
A/B testing is as critical to your paid ad campaign as is every other element. The goal of testing your ad is to increase both your clickthrough rate and your conversion rate.
There are various factors of the ad which you can test. Minor tweaks in any of the parts can significantly alter your results.
- Landing Page
- Target keywords
- Audience Targeting
- Location Targeting
- Bids and much more
With A/B split tests, you can compare the performance of different ads in your control group by their data. This data can help you improve your PPC strategy by optimizing your ads accordingly. A/B split tests take the guessing game out and help you guide in making decisions using data.
10. Revisit Your Keywords Selection
Keyword research for your PPC strategy can be time-consuming but it is the best aspect of your strategy. The secret of most successful PPC advertisers is that they never stop researching, refining, and growing their keyword list through different tools.
- Use Long-Tail Keywords: Your keyword research should be the mix of short-tail keywords (most popular, frequently used one-word phrases) and long-tail keywords ( 3-5 words). Long-tail keywords are more specific and less common. But, they add up to the account for the majority of search-driven traffic. Moreover, these keywords are less competitive, thus lowering your cost-per-click cost. This approach for keywords search can give you a less expensive PPC strategy.
- Include Negative Keywords: Your PPC keyword strategy should also include negative keywords discovery. A negative keyword list prevents search engines from showing your ads to irrelevant audiences and thus saving you the cost-per-click. For example, if you are selling ‘treats’ for Halloween then ‘dog treats’ can be your negative keyword since you don’t want to bear the cost of clicking from someone who is not your audience.
Consumers now have unlimited options for their every search. The keywords you are using in your content will determine if your content is being shown to them. Therefore, it is important that you use a combination of well and regularly researched keywords.
11. Revisit Keyword Match Types
Search engines have several ways to connect the keywords with users’ search terms. Three core offerings based on which search engines show your ads to your users are as follows
- Exact Match: In this match type, the keyword is matched word for word with no change in sequence. Ad with these keywords will be shown for queries that have additional words as well. This doesn’t alter the intent of the search. For example: “Restaurants in New York” or “Best Restaurants of New York.”
- Broad Match: It is Google’s default setting for all the keywords. This setting will include all the related terms to your keywords too such as synonyms, misspellings, and other related terms. Broad match works best if you are looking to increase your top-of-funnel traffic but for best results, it’ll need consistent monitoring. For example: “New York Restaurant” or “Places to eat at in New York.”
- Phrase Match: Phrase Match tells Google to show your ads for queries where your keyword appears exactly as is within a larger query. This opens your ads up to newer search intent, so be sure to optimize as you discover what’s working. For example: “Takeaway restaurants in New York”, “Fast food restaurants in New York”.
Strategically using match types can help you convert your traffic into warm leads.
12. Launch a Micro-Conversion Campaign Followed by Super Targeted Campaign:
A Micro-conversion campaign is basically hooking users to complete a small step along their path towards the primary conversion goal. These smaller conversions will help you lead your user towards the final goal in a more effective way.
This will also help you make a custom audience that you can retarget.
Micro-conversion strategy is used as a sales funnel by targeting the demographic and navigating them down which will ultimately lead them to make the purchase.
A good example of a micro-conversion campaign can be asking website visitors to sign up for the newsletter. Signing up for early bird discounts, contact details for premium access to content, etc. ultimately leads them to buy your product or service.
PPC services provide super-targeting tools to run conversion campaigns. The only purpose of these campaigns is to get the maximum conversions from the users visiting your website. With the data acquired from all the test-run ads, research, and micro-conversion campaigns, you can hyper-focus the audience that is most likely to buy.
13. Improve the Structure of PPC Ad Campaigns:
Google Ads rarely performs as you hope when your account is lacking a clear, defined structure. From campaigns down to ads, every level of your account impacts both Quality Score and your own ability to segment effectively.
Here are some other easy tips to help you build out a new account or restructure an existing one:
- Define the clear objectives of your campaign. Is it for increasing awareness? generating sales? Acquiring leads? Remarketing?
- Make Ad groups based on your product or service offerings
- Make Ad groups and audience segments based on search intent
- Use keywords according to the ad group’s purpose
- Ensure each ad group navigates the online traffic to the right landing page.
When it comes to the naming and structure of PPC ad campaigns, it’s vital to have a system of organization that reminds you of what each item does. Not only does this give everyone working on the account a clearer understanding, but you also spend less time finding the offending elements when something goes wrong.
14. Use Retargeting Pixels on Your Website
To optimize your ad spending and to create a custom audience, it is important that you use the right tools.
Your website’s unique pixel set will help you bring tremendous results with your retargeting campaigns. It will also show your ads to people who have interacted with your content on social channels thus amplifying your chances of winning the leads.
PPC advertising is one of the most effective marketing strategies if done right. It’s a quick and smart way to reach your target audience. Platforms like Google, Meta, Instagram, Twitter, Bing, and many more allow you to set and run ads in seconds. Depending on your budget you can reach tens and thousands of people. While PPC campaigns have the immense potential to bring in the best results for your business to grow, it is also significantly important that you curate your campaigns, ad copies, keywords research, and all the other elements with great attention and strategy… Once you’ll find the right.
Three Key Metrics to Understand Ad Performance
My fellow digital marketers – before we talk about Facebook performance metrics, please complete this short survey.
Question: Why do you create new Facebook ads?
- Out of pure habit.
- Our creative team never has enough work to do.
- Because ABT – “Always Be Testing” – amiright?
- It’s in the contract! We promised our client X new ad creatives per month!
- We let our performance data be our guide.
- None of the Above
- All of the Above
If you selected “F” above, then congratulations! You’re a super-evolved digital marketer! Or…you’re just pretty good at kidding yourself. In reality, most of us are probably doing some combination of these different scenarios.
And for good reason. Today’s digital agencies face the same age-old issue as the traditional Mad-Men agencies of yore: their media and creative teams are siloed.
Too often, the media team will lob a request for “better” creative over to their design team without communicating why previous ads are (or are not) performing well. The creative team spends countless hours generating fresh new creative only to see that 99% of the time, the Facebook algorithm prefers the old, stale creative that was running before. But without an understanding of the performance, the feedback loop is never closed, and the creative team remains in the dark.
Bridging the Media-Creative Divide with Data
It’s time to bridge the divide between the media and creative teams, my friends. And – you guessed it – the material we’re building our bridge with is pure, raw, glorious data. It’s time for the media team to take the lead in the creative design process. Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean brushing up on Photoshop. This means leveling up your Facebook analytics skills!
Across the board, digital channels like Facebook are taking more and more optimization controls away from us advertisers. This means the creative design is becoming more important than ever before. Indeed, it may soon be one of the only optimization levers we have left as digital marketers.
Three Key Facebook Metrics for Understanding Ad Performance
Here’s the good news: Facebook’s reporting metrics are now more sophisticated and insightful than ever. To name a few, here are three key Facebook metrics that will help you understand your ad’s performance. Collectively, they are known as Ad Relevance Diagnostics.
- Quality Ranking – Facebook wants its users to have a high-quality experience across their platform so they’ll return again and again and hang out for a while when they’re on Facebook. This goes for ads, too. Quality Ranking is Facebook’s measure of the perceived quality of your ad compared to other ads serving the same audience. In other words, if your ads aren’t giving Facebook users a high-quality experience, your ad impressions will fall (or may never gain volume in the first place).
- Engagement Rate Ranking – Essentially, Engagement Rate Ranking is how much engagement Facebook expects your ad to get, including clicks, reactions, comments, and shares. If Facebook believes your ad will get lower engagement compared to ads competing for your same audience, then they’ll be less inclined to serve your ad, resulting in fewer impressions and results.
- Conversion Rate Ranking – The Conversion Rate Ranking is a prediction of how likely someone is to complete your desired conversion goal after clicking on your ad compared to other ads competing for the same audience. If your landing page is slow, irrelevant or otherwise poor, and your historical conversion rate is very low, then you will likely see a lower Conversion Rate Ranking. Facebook perceives a conversion as a sign that your customer has had a positive and useful experience after clicking on your ad. Therefore, Facebook will reward advertisers that achieve a high Conversion Rate Ranking by preferring and serving their ad more often.
In Facebook Ads Manager, you can pull all three of these metrics right into your performance dashboard at the ad level.
Source: Facebook Ads Manager
So, What’s Next?
If you want to learn how to put insights from these and other metrics into action, join me on Day 2 of Hero Conf. 2022. I’ll be presenting my session: Why Your Shiny New Facebook Creative Isn’t Performing and How to Fix It.
I’ll show you how we go beyond the surface-level Facebook reports here at Effective Spend. You’ll learn how to analyze key Facebook performance metrics and how to translate your analysis into effective creative optimization. Here’s an overview of what we’ll cover:
- Perform platform and placement analysis to identify creative performance gaps
- Pull the right creative levers to boost key metrics like CTR, CPM, and CVR
- Combat ad fatigue, increase ad relevance, and engagement
- Translate your data analysis into a sound creative optimization strategy
With better creative analysis, direction, and testing methodology you can increase the ROI of your designer’s time, with a more predictable creative design process that has a higher success rate.
Hope to see you in Austin on February 1st!
An Exclusive Discount for your pass to Hero Conf
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In 2008, our team started the PPC Hero Blog, now Hero Blog, with the sole intention of becoming a trusted source of valuable and actionable content.
Now, after over a decade, that intention grew exponentially to become Hero Conf, an annual two-day learning experience that has helped hundreds of marketers evolve their careers, build new business connections, and master old & new skills.
It is a dream come true, and it was possible thanks to you, our readers!
Therefore, as it is our tradition, all Hero Blog readers will receive 10% off their pass purchase with the code PPCHERO10.
Join us for a two-day deep-dive into the content you need to manage accounts better, stay up-to-date on industry trends, and have fun learning about the latest in paid search and digital marketing.
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