How to Optimize Facebook Ads (And Drive Conversions)


Marketing Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for Marketing pros

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Facebook ads can be an incredibly useful marketing tool, but if your campaign isn't properly optimized then you might find success is hard to come by.

Article 4 Minutes
How to Optimize Facebook Ads (And Drive Conversions)

Facebook ads are an excellent tool for marketers. So many people are on social media for such a large portion of the day that you have a guaranteed audience, and the platform allows you to organically advertise without coming across as intrusive. However, it’s not always easy to create the right ad campaign, especially when it comes to driving conversions.

If you’re struggling to find success in this area, it could be that you need to better optimize your ads. Luckily, this isn’t as difficult as it might seem. In fact, these two easy tips will help you fix your campaign and drive conversions through Facebook with minimal effort.

Pin down your audience

Attracting the correct audience is key to conversions when it comes to Facebook ads. You want to ensure that your ad is being viewed by those who are most likely to be interested in your product, while at the same time maximizing the ROI for your ad spend.

With this in mind, it's important to optimize your ad settings. As we can see in the example below, this ad is set to focus on everyone in the US aged between 18 and 65, which gives a huge potential audience. However, Facebook estimates a maximum of 193 conversions, which is a miniscule portion of the people who will see it. Why is that?

IFP - facebook ads - audience size

By setting the target location so broad, you not only ensure you're competing with more brands, it also means your ads aren’t going to be relevant to the vast majority of people who see them. If you only offer services in specific locations, for example, someone outside of this area is far less likely to become a conversion. As a result, it's important to narrow down your location settings to just those for whom your ad will be relevant.

IFP - facebook ads - target location

Here, the settings have been altered to focus on individuals in New York City. As you can see, conversions have gone down, but not by much, and now that the ad is reaching far fewer people, the proportion of viewers who are likely to see it and then convert is much higher. This is key, because you’re paying out every time someone clicks on your ad. Opting for a broad audience is likely to cost you a lot more than necessary.

Facebook also allows you to tailor your ads to reach specific demographics. For example; individuals aged between 18 and 35 whose interests include sports and fashion would be an ideal target audience for big brands like Nike.

Whatever industry you operate in, you can tailor your ads to reach your target market.


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Split test your ads

The next step to optimize ad performance is split testing. This allows you to become a more data-driven marketer and enhance your level of conversions by optimizing your ads to meet the preferences of specific groups.

Facebook allows you to change a range of variables to test different aspects of your ad performance, including everything from levels of engagement to the amount of conversions generated. By running concurrent ads with minor changes in their layout, wording or imagery, you can determine the best style that will appeal to your target audience.

IFP - facebook ads - split testing

Ads undergoing split testing need to be quite similar in their design, as this ensures you are able to clearly define the exact changes that are having an impact on performance. For example, the two ads below offer the same wording and layout, but the change in imagery could be enough to elicit a different response from viewers.

IFP - facebook ads - examples of split testing

Once these minor changes have been set up, it’s then a matter of setting a budget for the testing cycle that will ensure the ads reach a sufficient number of Facebook users to determine a representative example and give a clear indication of preference between the two designs.

IFP - facebook ads - split testing budgeting

The results of split campaigns can prove extremely useful, highlighting the most profitable approaches to marketing your products or services to specific demographics or groups. It’s a process based on identifying people's individual preferences and means you can better get to know your target audience.

Ultimately, split testing can help to boost conversion rates and is a simple, low-cost method to ensure better targeting for your advertising spend. At the same time, the benefit of collecting this type of data means your business can deliver better optimization for all ongoing Facebook ad campaigns, as well as those you plan to run in the future.

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