Facebook advertising continues to evolve, so it’s important to keep track of the latest trends and developments.
If you’re planning to advertise on Facebook this year, here are seven key considerations:
1 Make it Video
According to statistics quoted by Social Media Today, video on Facebook accounts for just 0.9% of all posts but 7.15% of all reach on the network. And that number is growing.
The popularity of video is driven by a number of factors, including:
- Facebook’s algorithmic encouragement of video posts (Facebook is more likely to show your followers video content)
- the spread of unlimited broadband (more than half of Kiwi households are now on unlimited data plans), so we now have the capacity for lots of video content
- generational preferences (Gen Y and Gen Z prefer pictures and video to text)
- limited attention spans, now less than a goldfish
- scroll speeds on mobile — as we swipe through post after post on Facebook, moving pictures are far more likely to catch our eyes
In other words: if you can, go video, your posts are far more likely to be effective.
PS Check out our Online Video Marketing course if you need help with the medium
2 Use High Contrast Images
The AdEspresso blog suggests:
Ad images are the first touching point between people and your offer. And there’s a lot at stake. It’s either love at first sight or a sorry attempt to gain potential buyers’ attention. If your ad image catches people’s attention, they’ll read through your ad copy as well. It is incredibly important that your ad visuals manage to catch attention in crowded news feeds.
One of the best pieces of advice about Facebook ad design that I’ve ever heard is this: Use a high level of contrast.
Utilize contrasting colors and bold fonts, mix positive and negative space, and spice up your ad with complementary colors.
A high-contrast example:
3 Use an image of a smiling woman
Yes, apparently, according to Kim Garst:
This little trick has proven itself again and again; images of happy, smiling women lead to the highest click-through rates. Facebook also suggests showing people using your products rather than just images of your products:
“Remember that your ad may show in someone’s News Feed, and it should feel like it belongs there. Your image is competing for people’s attention with stories from their friends and family.”
Here’s an advertisement that follows Kim’s advice:
Our own view: if she’s relevant to your product and your target audience, sure, use a smiling woman in your advertisement. Otherwise, don’t.
4 Choose Your Target Location Carefully
Moz warns us to proceed with care when choosing a target location on Facebook:
Let’s say you want to target people who live in Wellington. You might type “Wellington” into the Locations box, leave it at the default 40-kilometre radius, and keep moving.
But, if you did that, you might miss the small drop down menu above the map that says “Everyone in this location.”
See it now? Well, if you click on that drop down, you’ll find out that Facebook’s Locations targeting gets way more granular:
That’s right — not only can you target actual residents whose home is in the selected area, but you can target people currently visiting Wellington who live more than 100 miles away, and people recently in Wellington.
As an example, a 40-kilometre radius for Wellington shows 310,000 audience members for “Everyone in this location,” but only 290,000 audience members for “People who live in this location.”
In other words, 20,000 people, 6% of the default audience, are irrelevant if you’re only trying to reach Wellington residents — which means you could have been wasting at least 6% of your ad budget.
5 Optimise your Ad Specifications
The ideal Facebook Advertisement specifications in 2017, for a single-image ad, according to Buffer, are:
- Text: 90 characters
- Image size: 1,200 x 628 pixels
If the post contains a link to a website, ideal link specifications are:
- Link Headline: 25 characters
- Link Description: 30 characters
The recommended image size ensures that your image always looks high-quality. The recommended text length is how many characters of advert copy could be displayed on smaller screens (the vast majority of your audience will see your Facebook ads on mobile devices).
Your image should include a minimal amount of text, ideally less than 20%, otherwise Facebook will restrict delivery.
6 Add a call-to-action button
These days, Facebook enables you to include a call-to-action button as part of your advertisement.
It’s a familiar sight to Facebook users, and they are now well conditioned to clicking such buttons, so make sure you take advantage of the option.
You have ten different possibilities:
Choose the one that is right for you.
7 Track your ads to see which are the most effective
As Kim Garst notes:
There is nothing more frustrating than paying for ads and then having no idea if they are working. Conversion tracking solves this problem by allowing you to know exactly which ads led to conversions.
For more on this, see Facebook’s help article on Conversion Tracking and Optimization.
There are, of course, plenty of other tips that we offer to help guide your Facebook activities and 2017 beyond. We recommend that you check out our Complete Facebook Marketing course (for those new to Facebook marketing) or our Facebook Accelerator course (for more experienced Facebook marketers).