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5 Steps to Develop a Killer Facebook Ad Strategy: A Personal Journey

by Tabitha Young on February 27, 2019

Did you know that 66% of ALL Americans use Facebook? Not only are they using it, but they're using it a lot. The average American spends 58 minutes per day on Facebook. From a marketing standpoint, Facebook is a goldmine. It's filled to the brim with active users (a.k.a your future customers), and those users are engaged. To add a cherry on top, Facebook has a robust ad campaign creation tool that lets you get hyper-granular and personalized with your marketing campaigns.

Unfortunately, Facebook isn't only saturated in users; it's also filled with your competitors. In fact, over 93% of marketers use Facebook as part of their daily social media marketing strategy, including both paid and organic posts. So, finding a way to reach your prospects in all of that digital noise can be tough.

With the majority of businesses trying to tap into Facebook's user base to grow their website, sell their products, and effectively brand, you need to start getting personalized to score leads and make conversions. Gone are the days where you can simply set up a Facebook page and wait for all of those sweet organic leads to drip down your funnel. We're in a pay-to-play world. And that means ads.

Since late 2018, Facebook is wired to emphasize "Friends and Family" in the newsfeed. So, businesses looking to sneak some organic content into the mix are struggling to penetrate the wall of status updates from all of your estranged cousins.

To combat this, marketers need to get savvy with ads and leverage smart segmentation and rich data to make impressions. So, if you're looking to create a killer Facebook ad strategy that will help you stand out in the ad-filled monsoon, look no further.

We're going to break down exactly how we approach Facebook ads with our clients.

These are the 5 actionable steps that we take when creating facebook ads that increase conversions, improve CTR, and simply grow businesses.

  1. Discuss Goals
  2. Develop a Persona
  3. Create Offer
  4. Create Target Audience in Facebook
  5. A/B Testing

Let's dive in!

Step 1: Discuss Goals

When we first set out to help a client get results on Facebook, we start with a strategy meeting. Here's the thing. Plenty of businesses know what results they want out of Facebook, but not all of them know what it takes to get those results. In other words, we all want a higher ROI. But, achieving that ROI is going to look different for every business. Are you looking to get more followers on your Facebook page? Do you want to drive users to a landing page? Looking to boost engagement?

Goals are going to vary by business type, industry, and even by-the-business.

Example: A B2B software-as-a-service business is going to be looking for prospects who are genuinely interested in purchasing their product long-term. B2B companies need to pay careful attention to their customer's lifetime value and long-term goals. A B2C eCommerce brand, on the other hand, might be looking to grab as many purchases as possible and hope to build their brand identity through positive product experiences. It really just depends on the brand.

When we meet with our clients for this initial meeting, we're really trying to figure out what that client's goals are, and what kinds of steps we can take to achieve those goals. This includes going over key performance indicators and all of the juicy metrics that indicate a successful campaign.

Step 2: Develop a Persona

Alright, we've got your goals in-hand, and we've discussed the KPIs we're looking for. Great! Now, it's time to build a persona. A persona (or buyer's persona) is a semi-fictional representation of your customers. By combining existing data (CRM, behavioral, etc.) and marketing insights, we create mock customers to represent your real customer base. Not only does this let you put a face on your customers, which can help with empathy and relatability, but it lets you get a granular view of your customers that you can later use to segment.

Most businesses are going to have more than one persona (you have more than one type of person buying your product/service, right?) Each of these personas is going to have different tastes, likes, dislikes, and behaviors.

Why are personas important?

  • By 2020, 51% of customers will expect companies to anticipate their needs through personalized content and ads before they ever interact with that company.
  • Over 88% of marketers have higher returns when they use personalized ads.
  • Over 75% of consumers say that personalized content (ads) increase their likelihood to purchase from that brand.

Need help building your personas? Download a Free Persona Development Guide 

Step 3: Create Offers that Appeal to those Personas

It's offer creation time! This is where we start to delve in the creative territory of Facebook ads. Armed with our handy-dandy personas, we can start to build ads that appeal to these semi-fictional customers.

Building effective ads takes a blend of creativity and statistics, and the behaviors outlined in your personas should be baked into each step of the ad creation process.

Did you know that 90% of rapid judgments are made based on color alone? What about the fact that colors massively impact how your brand is perceived by different people. What about the fact that customers are more likely to purchase a product if the product is turned right instead of left? Even the size of specific words can play with customers' emotions.

Building ads is a complex process. You want to glue your persona's behaviors and personalities to the ad creation process in an intuitive way.

Let's take a simple example.

Example: Let's say we're working with a law firm (this is a true story.) Customers who click ads that have a "Free Legal Consultation" offer aren't necessarily going to click ads that have a free "Guide for Victims of Mesothelioma." While both of these ads offer value-added content to get users to a landing page, the types of users that click on these ads probably wildly differ.

When you're creating ads, you want to use buyer's personas, human psychology, and a touch of data to really try to impact customers on an emotional level.

Step 4: Create Target Audiences

So far, we have a set of goals, KPIs, buyer's personas, and some killer offers that appeal to those personas… now what?

It's time to create target audiences . Your target audience is a representation of the customers you're trying to attract to your offers. So, in a sense, your target audiences are an extension of your buyer's persona.

What's the difference between a target audience and a buyer's persona?

A target audience is a segmented population of your whole audience based on your buyer's persona. So, you take all of the information contained in your persona and use it to create a segmented population of customers that represent that persona.

In other words, your target audience is a data-driven (mostly demographics) view of your customers.

To really clarify, your target audience is almost entirely based on demographics, while your persona is both demographics and behavior. You use the behavior to create the ads and the demographics to create the target audience.

Repeat with me: "You use the behavior to create the ads and the demographics to create the target audience."

How do you create a target audience?

You use Facebook campaign manager!

The Facebook campaign manager is robust, and it gives you a granular 360 view of your customers. So, you can start creating these target audiences using data, like:

  • location
  • demographics
  • interests
  • behaviors
  • connections
  • life events
  • custom audiences (based on people who've visited your website/social accounts.)
  • etc.

There are thousands of different data points you can use on Facebook to create these audiences. The actual audience you create is going to be hinged to that buyer's persona.

Bitmoji ImageBIG note: There are definitely data points that you can not use on Facebook. These include sensitive information like: race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disabilities, religion, etc.

Once we build these target audiences on Facebook, we can insert those amazing ad campaigns from step 3 and start the magic show!

Now, we have a bunch of creative, personalized ads being shown to members of your target audience (which is based on your buyer's persona.)

Yay! We're done, right?

Step 5: A/B Test (The Neverending Dragon)

Nope! There is no "done" when it comes to Facebook ad campaigns. Now, we start A/B testing. To do this, we run multiple ads toward the same target audience. Then, we figure out which ad they like better, keep it, scrap the other one, and build a new ad.

This neverending process of ad creation, testing, scrapping, and recreation is how you really dominate Facebook ads. Over time, your campaign is going to continue to get stronger-and-stronger, your CTR is going to go up (and down sometimes, people aren't static creatures!), and you're going to continue to produce creative, original ads catered to your buyer's personas.

This process of nonstop evolution will help you remain relevant, fresh, and consistent across campaigns. Not to mention, it will keep your pipeline stuffed and your funnel overflowing.

Final Thoughts

Any business that wants to stay competitive on Facebook should be using ads. However, creating a Facebook ad strategy takes more than some quirky one-liners and flashy graphics. After all, the platform is saturated in marketers competing for user attention. If you want to create killer Facebook ads that help you stand out, try these five steps. We use them to growth hack our clients' campaigns and produce significant results.

If you're a business looking to drive conversions through a pipeline-optimized Facebook strategy, we can help.  

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Social Media

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