facebook advertisingWith over 2.07 billion ACTIVE users across the globe, you simply cannot ignore Facebook as a marketing channel. Advertising on Facebook may sound intimidating, but the average cost-per-click is around $1.72 for all industries. This means you can easily put some skin in the game without forking over a ton of money.

Check out our Do’s and Don’ts of Facebook advertising for online retailers and start advertising on the most popular social media platform out there.

Facebook Advertising Strategy & Reporting Do’s & Don’ts

DO: Use FB ads as part of your marketing strategy

Many ecommerce businesses fail to see the importance of paid social campaigns, like Facebook ads. They prefer the other side of paid search campaigns, like Google Ads. There is a major difference between the two: paid search helps a target market find your business, while paid social campaigns help your business find potential customers. With more than 2 billion monthly users, Facebook is THE social media platform for lead generation.

DON’T: Rely solely on Facebook Advertising

An all-or-nothing approach to creative advertising can be costly and unsuccessful. In addition to Facebook, we recommend running your ads across multiple social media platforms like LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. A social advertising approach, combined with PPC advertising like Google AdWords, allows you to test different strategies and see what works best for your online retail business.

DO: Be selective with targeting

One of the biggest pros of Facebook advertising is their accurate targeting options. You can target geographical areas, age, gender, interests, behaviors, and more. Be selective when targeting, because you are looking for quality, not quantity.

DON’T: Overlap your targeting

It’s important that your targeting doesn’t overlap when running multiple campaigns at once. Overlapping targets cause your campaigns to compete against each other. This will lead to increased costs and damaged ad results. Use Facebook’s Audience Overlap Tool to compare multiple audiences and see which users overlap. This overlap tool provides information for greater campaign insights and increases your chances for success.

DO: Use retargeting

Retargeting shows ads to anyone who has visited your site or interacted with your FB page. This helps you target a “warm” audience more likely to make a purchase in the future.
Do Use Retargeting

DON’T: Use the Audience Network

The Audience Network shows your Facebook ads on various external websites. There isn’t a way to track results, and most ad clicks are from bots rather than real humans.

DO: A/B test

A/B testing is comparing two variations of an ad with small changes to images or copy to find the right combination for your target audience. For the most accurate readings from A/B tests, be sure to change ONLY one factor at a time. Changing more than one feature of an ad for a test means you won’t know which feature affected the audience the most.

DON’T: Start an advertising campaign and leave it

You must monitor your campaigns the entire time they are running. Facebook Ads Manager is a useful tool that monitor clicks, CTP, CPM, CPC, reach, impressions, and more. Keep track of these metrics and make necessary adjustments to reach your goal for the least amount of money.

DO: Track ads with Google Analytics

While Facebook Ads Manager will give you useful information, Google Analytics can provide more data regarding how and why users are converting. Learn how to track your Facebook ads in Google Analytics here.

DON’T: Forget to customize reports

Depending on your marketing objectives, some metrics will be more helpful than others. Facebook offers the functionality to customize the data before saving a report, so you can see the data that is relevant to your campaign objective. Learn how to customize reports here.

Facebook Content & Visuals Do’s & Don’ts

DO: Use high quality images

The key to a great converting Facebook ad is a high-quality image. Images are responsible for 75-90% of an ad’s performance on Facebook. How many times have you scrolled past an ad or product because the featured image was low quality? The image you choose is a direct representation of your company, so make it a good one.
Do Use High Quality Photos

DON’T: Rely on weak stock photos

Stock photos are a great resource for digital advertising but are vague by design. Therefore, they can be used across different industries. Be sure to use stock photos that are relevant to your business. Otherwise, your product or service may not be clear to the user.

DO: Use stock photos the right way

Take the time to find a stock photo that works with your brand, as well as the theme of your campaign. If you must use a vague stock photo out of necessity, don’t make it the focal point of the ad. Make the stock photo the background image and let the focus be eye-catching text. Be sure to check out this article of do’s and don’ts for using stock photos.
Use stock photos the right way

DO: Use icons and illustrations

Icons and illustrations are an easy solution. You can find hundreds of free, customizable graphics online. Icons and illustrations quickly add context to an image. They help the user understand your business much quicker than words.

DON’T: Use a light background

If you can avoid using a light background for an ad, you should. The primary color of the Facebook Feed is white, so try using a dark or vibrant background to make your ad stand out.

DO: Use video ads on Facebook

Video ads are among the most powerful Facebook ad formats for generating user engagement. Data repeatedly shows that videos have a much larger organic reach and engagement than other forms of content. Facebook video ads receive 10-30% more views than photo ads, and populate up to 11x larger in news feeds.

Creating a Facebook video ad is easier than you might think. Animoto is a free, easy-to-use tool for making videos with no experience required. Use their site to compile free stock videos, along with your product photos or pre-recorded videos, into a video ad. But be sure to apply our do’s and don’ts for stock photos references above to the video process as well.
Related: Getting started with ecommerce video marketing

DO: Use a clear call to action

A clear, direct call-to-action will motivate users to take the path you want them to take, whether that is to purchase a product, or to visit a new article. Some CTAs work better than others depending on your audience and other variables, so this is a perfect opportunity to start some A/B tests.

DON’T: Use too much text

Facebook’s 20% rule forbids advertisers to cover their ad image with more than 20% text. This makes sense. Research conducted almost 40 years ago proves that people tend to notice images and headlines first, then bolded words next, and consume block text last. While many advertisers fight for the end of the 20% rule, it has been proven that images with no text overlaid perform consistently better with a 6-7% lower CPC.
Don't use too much text

To avoid using too much text in ad images, try using Facebook’s Grid Tool. You can use this tool to test an image to see if it has too much text before submitting the ad.

There you have it- a quick guide to Facebook advertising. Avoid our Don’ts and practice our Do’s to perfect your social media strategy, create ads that get noticed, and sell more!

Have you used Facebook ads before? Let us know your specific do’s and don’ts of Facebook advertising for online retailers in the comments below.

Do's and Don'ts of Facebook Ads Infographic

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