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March 21, 2013

Facebook Ads Campaigns: Easy as 1-2-3-4!

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OK, well maybe a Facebook Ads campaign really isn’t as elementary as counting to four, but with the right approach, your business can be off and running with a clear path and a test budget to see just how much those social ads can impact your engagement and conversions. If you’re new to the concept of Facebook Ads, you probably have a lot of questions like:

  • Where do I begin?
  • What makes a good campaign?
  • What if I only have a small budget to start?

These are the questions we asked Tal Baron of DataXu, speaker at upcoming SES New York conference, where he’ll be tackling the topic of Facebook Ads. And while Facebook Ads take skill, the four-step approach Tal lays out in this post to create successful campaigns makes it manageable for those who are just starting out.

Jessica Lee: If I’m new to Facebook Ads, what do I need to know about them? 

Tal Baron: There are a variety of ad types available on Facebook to meet different marketing objectives. For fan acquisition and engagement on Facebook, marketers can use Facebook “native ads” such as “Like” ads, page post ads and “Sponsored Stories.” Marketers can leverage demographic, geographic and interest-level data from Facebook for highly targeted ads through the marketplace.

Tal Baron Headshot

Tal Baron

For direct response objectives, the Facebook Exchange (FBX) has been driving performance for advertisers since it was first introduced last year.

FBX lets marketers use their own first-party site data to retarget site visitors who have shown purchase intent (third-party data can also be targeted). FBX ads are only available through Facebook’s DSP partners like DataXu.

What are some of the components of a successful Facebook Ads campaign from start to finish?

1. Set clear objectives for your campaign and select the Facebook tools that are best designed to meet those goals.

2. Test a variety of creatives and audiences throughout your campaign and follow common best practices:

  • Treat your Facebook ad like a billboard – less is more.
  • Use eye-catching imagery with bright colors.
  • Include a time prompt and a clear call to action.
  • Seasonal messaging is recommended.

3. Measure results against goals. For fan acquisition or Facebook engagement campaigns, you can measure:

  • CPL (cost per like), which can be calculated by taking media spend and dividing it by the number of likes achieved.
  • CPSA (cost per social action — such as sharing a page post ad). This can be calculated by taking media spend and dividing it by the number of social actions.

For direct response campaigns run on FBX, measure CPA (cost per action). Keep in mind that FBX can only be used to drive action off of Facebook.

4. Finally, make sure someone in-house or from a partner is keeping tabs on Facebook’s latest options. Facebook is constantly testing new advertising offerings and it can be hard to keep up! There are many resources available across the web, but a good place to start would be the Facebook Marketing page.

How do you suggest getting started if I only have a small budget to play with?

It really depends on the campaign goals. Set a clear objective, leverage the right tools, follow best practices and optimize constantly to get the most out of each campaign.

For example, to build a fan base on Facebook, marketers can utilize “Like” ads (be sure to test multiple creative concepts) across different target groups, and measure which ads and which audiences generate the lowest CPL.

Even with small budgets, advertisers can gain meaningful insights at a small scale on which audiences are receptive to their offering and which ads were most effective for the next campaign.

You can catch Tal at SES New York speaking at the session, “Maximizing Twitter and Facebook Ads for Lead Gen, Engagement & ROI” on March 26 at 11:45 a.m. Stay connected with him on Twitter @TSBaron

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