As I see it, there are 3 essential parts of building your Facebook ad:
- Understanding how to use Facebook’s ad tools
- Defining your target audience
- Your ad copy & image(s)
Understanding how to work in Ads Manager is usually the easiest of the 3 simply because it’s a process and tool; there’s not much – if anything – left open to interpretation on how they work.
Defining your target audience, and crafting your creative can be much more challenging, however.
When you talk about split testing your Facebook ads, you are talking about comparing audiences, images, or copy. There’s a lot of thought, understanding consumer behavior, and strategy that goes into determining what your audience, image, and ad copy will be. When we work with a new Facebook ads client (who has no existing ad history), we run through a series of questions with them to zero in on what the goal will be for that ad, which ad type we’ll use, and exactly who we are trying to reach with the ad. This also can help determine how we approach split testing.
Who you are trying to reach – and how to find them on Facebook – is usually the trickiest part of setting up a Facebook ad. Not to take away from the significance of the ad copy and image (because they are also hugely important), but even the best copy and image isn’t going to do much for you if you aren’t showing your ad to the right people.
So, where do you start with identifying your target audience for your next Facebook ad? Right here by asking yourself these 4Â questions.
4 Questions to Ask Before Running a Facebook Ad
- Who do you think is your ideal customer? Do include age and gender info in this customerÂ profile, though your ideal customer profile goes beyond that. Keep in mind that your ideal customer type can vary between ads, too. There are lots of businesses who service more than 1 customer profile. You are not trying to be all things to all people with every ad you create. It’s OK to have more than 1 type of customer you are trying to reach with your ads. Plus, once you run an ad or two, you can look at the ad reports to see who is and isn’t interacting with your ad, and then tweak your audience accordingly.
- What likes, dislikes, and interests do you think your customers have? Facebook’s powerful ad tools allow you to target an audience based on demographics, interests, behaviors and more. Knowing more about your target customers’ typical likes, dislikes, and interests can help you build more effective targeting. For example, a local toy store advertising a new toy line they carry could add interests like Parent, Parenting, Child, and Motherhood to their ad in addition to more obvious targets like Toys, and some popular toy brands.
- What geographic area(s) do you serve? Facebook allows you to be so specific with your geography that if you are a small business owner with a single location, you can add the name of the town where your business is located and then add your desired radius around your town. Only service customers within 10 miles? No problem!
- Who are your competitors? Include regional or national brands in this list and not only your local competition. You can target fans of those competitors with your ads. You can also use Facebook’s Graph Search to conduct research like “Pages liked by people who like (_________)” to uncover more fan pages to target in your ads.
Proper research and planning ahead of launching your ad campaign can and does have a significant impact on your ad’s success.