How to Create Facebook Ads that Work

Part of our ongoing series How to Adjust Your Marketing to the New Normal, advertising on Facebook is a great way to target specific customers and increase brand recognition in a very focused way. But not all ads get the same results. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your Facebook ad spend and achieve the results you are looking for.

Who would you like to speak with?

The great thing about Facebook ads is that you have available hundreds of different parameters to really hone in on your target customer. Categories like Job Title, College attended(ing) or Life Events (e.g., just married) can be very useful in getting the right message in front of the right audience. And you can combine parameters to get very granular. For example, if you were a homebrew retail shop, a little desk-top research would reveal:

  • Homebrewers are spread across the country, with 31% in the South, 26% in the Midwest, 24% in the Northeast and 19% in the West.
  • The average homebrewer is 42 years old, and 52% are between ages 30-49.
  • Eighty-five percent are married or in a domestic partnership.
  • Sixty-eight percent have a college degree or some form of higher education, and nearly 68% have household incomes of $75,000 or more.

With this information you could target people between the ages of 30-49 years, married, college-educated, who live in your and surrounding towns, who have an interest in craft beer. Now that is getting granular. In fact, there is a famous example of a digital marketer that was able to get so granular that he targeted ads specifically at his roommate in the prank to end all pranks.

Talk to people who already have visited your website.

Stop reading this right now and install the Facebook pixel on your website. Yes, now. I’ll wait…

Why the urgency? Because every person who visits your site before you install the Facebook Pixel is someone you have lost as a Facebook audience. Let me explain. The Facebook Pixel is a cookie, or piece of code that marks your browser as a visitor to your site. This helps both the visitor and the site owner for a variety of reasons. The Facebook Pixel allows you to create a custom audience in Facebook Ads of just people who have a Facebook account and have visited your website. Again, this make for a more targeted and effective Facebook ad.

The pixel itself is relatively easy to install. If you need help, let us know.

Talk to people who are like the people who already have visited your website.

Once you have created a targeted group to advertise to, Facebook uses its computer learning to analyze your existing audience, and then create an audience of people that have similar characteristics. So for example, if you created a Facebook Pixel list of people who have visited your website. Facebook can create a list of people who share similar attributes with your website visitor list. This help you quickly expand your effective reach.

What about the content for my Facebook ad?

This is where insight into your target customer helps. Using our beer-lover example, what content do we want to serve him? This may sound like odd phrasing but it is purposeful. We could show them an ad that talks about how awesome the business is, but that’s all about us. Think about the audience, and their needs. Remember, people don’t buy a drill because they need a drill. They need a hole and the drill is the best way they know for making a hole. A good exercise when developing a Facebook Ad campaign, is to describe your ideal customer, and what their needs may be. For a beer-lover, you could assume new beer recipes, specifically copy-cat of famous brands, might be interesting. Or a discount on brewing supplies.  The idea is to think as your ideal customer and what would interest you enough to stop and read your Facebook post (ad) in their timeline. Your target understands that an email address is the currency of the internet. If you expect your customer to reveal contact information to you, you should provide them with something of real value. A good piece of original content is a sound investment for your business, usually returning many times it’s initial investment. And then once you get that email address, treat it with respect.

Trial and error.


The other great part of Facebook Ads is their ability to test ads for audience and content so easily. We do a lot of analysis of our Facebook ads. Simply copying an existing ad and just changing the headline or the image, can yield significantly different results. It can also help you understand your audience’s preferences. We can also quickly change the audience to see if a message resonates better with one over the other. The point is that you should always be testing your messages. In this way, over time, you’ll be able to create a very granular—and very effective—ad campaign.

Start slow—like any relationship.

Imagine this seen: you walk into a bar (I know, this example is sooo pre-COVID), anyway, you walk into a bar and see an attractive person sitting there. You walk up to them, smile, and then say, “Will you please marry me?” You probably realized after they immediately walked away from you that you might have come on a little strong. It would have been more appropriate to simply say hello, and maybe mention something you both may have in common as an ice-breaker. After talking a while at the bar, maybe get their number and plan a second date. After an appropriate length of time, asking that person to marry you makes more sense. And it also increases the likelihood of a “yes.”

Long-lasting, loyal customers are built this way. Start slow and offer them something. Take an interest in them and what they might like. Learn about them and interact with them online. They understand you need to make a buck, but like anyone else, they don’t want to be clobbered over the head with it. All this comes back to the Facebook Ad strategy and plan. How will you get to know this audience? What will you provide them along with your sales message? How else, beyond you product or service, can you provide value to them?

This post, of course, is just a broad overview of how to create effective Facebook ads. And oddly the same principle that has applied to every ad since the dawn of time still applies: understand your target, understand their needs, and provide them with value. If your intersted in learning how you can leverage Facebook ads for your business, contact us. We’d love to sit down with you and answer any questions. And perhaps come up with an effective Facebook ad campaign for your business.


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