99 Problems But My Ads Ain’t One

99 Problems but my ads ain’t one: How to master social media ads (using epic rap lyrics)

Whether you love it or hate it, paid advertising is here to stay. Though sometimes invasive (and often a little creepy….how did they know I was thinking about avocados?) advertising on Facebook is a tool in the markers toolkit that needs to be utilized. And ads work! Don’t believe us? Check out these stats.

So we know Facebook advertising works, but how do you do it well? The internet is flooded with content everywhere – “Get results with Facebook Ads”… “How to use Instagram Ads to drive ROI”… You’ve probably read a million articles that all say “use a great offer”, “have a CTA”….gee thanks; super helpful!*

But, what really matters to achieve high-performing social media ads?

Here’s the secret to success with Facebook Advertising

Know Your Audience + Take Care of Zuckerberg + Be a Humble Marketer.

Let’s unpack this formula a little more (and use some epic rap lyrics to help explain).

Know Your Audience

Lyric #1: “Started building with her constantly around the clock, now she’s in my world like hip hop.” – The Roots (You Got Me)

It’s marketing 101…but really, you have to know your audience. And you don’t have to just know your audience, you have to like your audience, even love your audience!

Much to a marketer’s disappointment, Facebook has stripped down our targeting capabilities in Ads Manager in recent years. But, if you really know your audience, this doesn’t really matter…that much.

You need to get to know your audience on a deeply personal level. Not just as a job title, or as a consumer, or a demographic, but as a human. Having great customer personas is key to success here. Get to know what brands your target audience interacts with, what kind of music they listen to, where they like to eat. These are all available ad targeting options that go beyond your basic demographic information. 

Take Care of Zuckerberg

Lyric #2: Either you play the game or watch the game play you.” – J. Cole (See World)

The Facebook ad game is more like chess than checkers….there is some serious strategy involved. In order to see success, you have to play by Facebook’s rules. And at Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg is king.*

Here are some tips for playing the Facebook game:

Ad Setup: How your ad looks is almost as important as what you are even offering.

  • Avoid using large paragraphs and utilize good line spacing, bullet points, short sentences, and sometimes (gasp!) even fragments.
  • Remember who you’re talking to. Don’t be overly cheesy but also not overly sales-y.
  • Pay attention to your ad creative and placement.
    • Test different colors (bright colors often outperform muted palettes) and videos versus static images.
    • Try testing user-generated content that looks more raw and organic and blends into the Newsfeed better.
    • If your audience is 55+, Instagram ads probably aren’t good use of your funds. Same goes for if your audience is under 20; Facebook might not be worth it.
    • Make sure your ad creative is the right size for different placements (IG story size versus Newsfeed).

Facebook Tools: Facebook has invested millions of dollars into tools for advertisers to keep users on the platform USE THEM.

  • Your landing page might be beautiful, but Zuckerberg says “I don’t give a $*@#”.
  • A study conducted by Wordstream found that lead generation campaigns using Facebook Leads convert to leads (from clicks) at a 2.07% higher rate than conversion campaigns that send to a landing page. Keep users on the platform and keep Zuckerberg happy.

Lyric #3: “Too many Urkels on your team, that’s why your win’s low” – Kanye West (Dark Fantasy)

“Did I do that?”….Yes, you did.* Don’t do it again. Don’t be an Urkel and make these mistakes.

  • Don’t go pixel-less. The Facebook pixel is the set of code you can place on your website to track website traffic and behavior. As much as Facebook says they don’t want to use your data, they do. And the more data you provide the better results you’ll get. Add the Facebook pixel before you start running ads, and let it warm up, collecting the valuable information it can provide you for segmented targeting and conversion tracking.
  • Don’t make your audience too big. When you are targeting your audience, millions aren’t a good thing. If your audience is too broad, you won’t see good results. Keep your circle small and test multiple ad sets, versus a few large ones.  There might be 3.8 million people who could potentially fit into your target audience, but by narrowing the playing field, you can zero in on their intent more personally.
  • Don’t forget to monitor your frequency. Your ad frequency is the average number of times a user sees your ad. If your audience is too small, or your campaign has been running for too long, your audience will start to see your ads more than they like. And nobody likes spam. Keep an eye on your ad frequency and if it starts to go over 5, it might be time to set up new ads or turn off the campaign. You don’t want to annoy your audience.
  • Don’t break the rules. More and more ad accounts are getting shut down every day as Facebook as more of their team monitoring the quality of ads and ad accounts. If you’re running ads of national importance (social issues, politics, and elections), make sure you are authorized to run them and be careful of your word choice so that Facebook doesn’t flag you for being misleading.

Be a good marketer

Lyric #4: “Sit down. Be humble.” – Kendrick Lamar (HUMBLE)

Here’s the thing…there’s no magic formula for success with Facebook advertising. Every campaign is different. Stick to marketing basics and don’t be afraid to test, test, test! It’s a good idea to have 5-8 ad sets per campaign and 10-12 ads. 

After you’ve tested, test some more. Keep optimizing and learning from your successes (and failures). 

And sometimes, you just have to take the L. Zuckberg holds the crystal ball and your audience is the fortune teller. It’s nearly impossible to predict how effective an ad campaign will be without any testing and at the end of the day, what Zuck wants, Zuck gets.

You will fail a lot with social media ads. The humble pie buffet is open 24/7 and no ad is created equal. You’ve got this. Keep going.

Feeling stuck? Let us help. Though we don’t claim to be experts, we do think we’re pretty good at running Facebook ad campaigns. Give us a shout and see how we can help!