Scroll, Stop, Click: Create the Best Facebook Ad Sets

best facebook ad sets

Three million businesses use Facebook Advertising, according to a 2016 report by Facebook. Users are bombarded with ads off to the side and in the middle of their newsfeeds, making it tough to stand out (especially in a sea of puppy and food photos). But the right strategy and insights can inspire customers to stop, look and click. Move over, fido. Persado Global Solutions Consultant for Paid Media Kirill Gil has top tips to create the best Facebook ad sets.

Don’t: Run Only One Ad in a Facebook Ad Set

Gil said there’s no reason to use this strategy. When a brand uses multiple ads in a single ad set, Facebook treats it as an optimization opportunity and pushes the budget towards the creative that performs best. The automatic optimization is especially useful as a last-mile optimization technique when brands have identified multiple highly effective ads through a clean, head-to-head test.

Do: Ensure Ads Cover a Wide Rage of Language and Imagery in an Ad Set

Trying to diversify the language and creative within ad sets can help brands see drastic changes and hone in on the best language and creative for their customers. A retail brand geared towards athleisure may try a flat image of items needed for a winter run, a full-body shot of someone actually wearing the gear and a photo of foot tracks in snow. The language can play off a variety of emotions like Achievement (“You earned this gear!”), Encouragement (“You can do it! Let this snug, fashionable gear help”) and Anxiety (“Brace yourself: Cold weather ahead. Workout in a winter wonderland with our top seasonal gear.”)  Gil warned that brands should avoid simply changing copy from “You earned this gear!” to “You earned this gear!!!!” Extra exclamation points will not yield drastic changes, only true variety will.  For the best facebook ad sets, try it all out, using different creative with different copy.

Don’t: Start Comparing KPIs

Gil said comparing KPIs such as click through rates or return on advertising spend across multiple ads in an ad set is not an apples-to-apples comparison. “Once Facebook starts to optimize, it’s a black box,” he warned. “You can’t compare CTR in its raw state.” For example, a brand decided to run two creatives with a $1,000 budget. One ad used $955 with CTR of .010%, the other $45 and CTR of .014%. Obviously, the second one was the winner, right? Not so fast, Gil said. “Facebook allocation of spend is typically a good indicator that the creative is a better choice for your objective, at least directionally.” To be able to compare the KPIs without bias, the ads need to be set up in a way that will eliminate Facebook’s interference. Only then the comparison — and subsequent selection of the best Facebook ad set — can be considered fair.  

Do: Set the Ad Set Based on Goal

It sounds obvious, but Gil frequently sees brands chose goals that are not in line with their most important KPI. If your brand is looking for people to buy product or download an app you should chose the “conversions” or “app install” objective, not “increase traffic to site.” Just because a user clicks on an ad doesn’t mean s/he will purchase or download anything. You want to leverage Facebook’s algorithms to target people who will likely convert and it starts with proper goal setup.

Don’t: Get Calendar-Crazy

Too often, Gil notices brands hyper-focused on a promotional calendar or set on changing an ad’s creative each week, even if it’s performing well. Instead, Gil said marketers should focus more on using the most compelling message that is driving their KPI. Change creative when there’s a clear reason to do so, like additional insights on the best way to communicate to an audience or clear signs of creative decay. By the same token, just because it says on a calendar, “Must promote sale on pots and pans” doesn’t mean that’s the best idea for a direct response campaigns that have a target to hit. What if the sale never performs well and consumers are more interested in paying full price for a stellar new line of stemware instead? Let data drive your decisions.

Do: Budget for Testing

“If 100% of your budget is allocated towards day-to-day performance, it doesn’t give you the opportunity to learn,” Gil said. Though testing what works to find the best Facebook ad sets may not provide instant gratification, it will allow you try a range of different language, emotions and creative and gain insights into the most impactful way to speak to your consumer which will drive improved performance in the long run.