If you’re considering trying Facebook Ads, you may have heard the (largely true) hype that it reaches 58% of the adult U.S. population, that it’s cheaper than Google, that it intuitively matches ads with the appropriate demographic groups, that its remarketing capabilities are out of this world, etc.

But if you’ve been using Facebook Ads and have done more sinking than swimming, you know that getting the most out of this platform is not as easy as it looks. Which is OK, because anything that doesn’t come easy is always educational and probably worth the work.

Gather round, swimmers.

Don’t feel bad if you went rushing into Facebook Ads like a five-year-old jumping into the 12’ without their water wings – many have gone before you. And hopefully you’re not the type to be put off the 12’ forever, but you’ve realized you now need to really listen to what the lifeguard says in swim class. Think of us as your lifeguard.

The good news is: failure is your friend, in this case, anyway. Our super-smart head lifeguard (Solutions 8 CEO, Kasim Aslam) wrote all about it in his Are You Making these 6 Facebook Ad Mistakes? guest blog featured on Infusionsoft’s “Knowledge Center” blog site. And those of you who are going to be in the Phoenix area on Tues., April 25th would be well-advised to catch Kasim’s “5 Steps to Generating High Quality Leads with Facebook” breakout session from 6:15-7:15pm at Infusionsoft’s incredible ICON17 conference.

What Kasim’s blog gets at is that failure is great way to find out what’s working, what needs work and what needs to be kicked to the curb. Honestly, even if you do your due diligence by studying your competitors’ best practices and getting advice from marketing virtuosos like us, you’re still going to have moments where you’re splashing around aimlessly.

And when you do, you’re going to dogpaddle to the side, go over your technique and figure out where you went wrong. Every time this happens, you’ve got something to build upon. It seems counterintuitive, but if you’re the perceptive, analytical and hardworking type, failing marvelously in the beginning is going to eventually turn you into Phelps.

Straight to Intermediate Level

Now those of you who are going to ignore your failures, continue placing ads randomly, serving up crappy content, casting a wide net and failing to properly manage leads deserve to stay in “beginner”. But if you’re willing to do your homework and take some sound advice, you’ll soon be front crawling your way to conversion island.

  • Know your avatar – You will never get a better chance at “precision marketing” than with Facebook Ads, which is one of its biggest strengths and something you need to put some weight behind.

    Because Facebook knows so many specific details about its subscribers, it uses that information to help you target the people who are going to be most interested in your offering. Your job is to know those people like the back of your hand.

    Creating your avatar isn’t like defining your “target audience.” It’s much more specific: How does your avatar spend their day? What kind of car do they drive? How many kids (if any) do they have? Your product should dictate what types of things you need to know.

  • Lovingly craft content for your avatar – You know your avatar. You like your avatar. You believe in what you’re selling and you want to do your friend, that avatar, the huge favor of making his/her life somehow better/easier by introducing them to your solution. Now make sure they “get” that.

    And remember, no matter how much you mean it, they won’t get it if it’s poorly or cryptically written, attached to unappealing images, is off-putting in tone (figure out beforehand how much familiarity, authority, humor, etc. you can or can’t get away with) or is (horrors) being wasted on the wrong people.

  • Test, test, test the content! – Since Facebook Ads is relatively cheap, it’s a prime spot for split or A/B testing. You simply work hard at creating two fantastic ads and then run them by similar groups to see which gets the lion’s share of attention.
  • Be proactive in your targeting – Facebook has lots of great ways to help you find your perfect audience, but they don’t do all the work for you. Get familiar with “Facebook Ads Manager” (FAM) so you can:

    Create lookalike audiences: Once you get some conversions, you can go into the “Audience” section of FAM and target people that have similarities to your leads by using the conversion pixel as a source.

    Target by education, income, property ownership, etc: Facebook provides access to the data banks of third-party-partner partners like Epsilon, Axciom and Datalogix in the “Behaviors and More Demographics” section of FAM, allowing you to narrow your scope.

    Send mobile ads to people within a 10-mile radius of your business: Just choose the “Reach people near your business” option in FAM to reach folks who either live nearby or are just passing through.

    That was only a sampling of what you can do with Facebook’s incredible tool set, but you get the drift.

  • Don’t forget to retarget! – Be sure to set up website retargeting in the “Audiences” section of FAM so you can send ads to everyone who’s visited your website, but failed to convert. They may just need a gentle reminder or nudge to get them back on board.
  • Track, track, track conversions! – In this class, we repeat ourselves when it’s really important, so sit up straight and take note: unless you track where your conversions are coming from, you’ll never know which campaigns are the “good” ones – the ones that are bringing you all the love. You must know this above all else so you can use them on other audiences and create more like them.

    Tracking Facebook conversions involves installing a FB pixel on each and every web page you need to track and it can be dreary work (instructions online), but you’ll only have regret if you don’t.

  • Have your Infusionsoft stocked with great content and ready! – Not having Infusionsoft, or any other kind of automated marketing provider, in place for your leads is going to leave you like Lucy and Ethel at the pie factory – you’re going to be overwhelmed, you won’t be able to keep up and most of the “pies” are going to end up on the floor and worthless.

    While Infusionsoft is going to more than hold up its end by sending your emails when and where they need to go, your leads and conversions won’t remain engaged if the content is subpar, so make sure to put just as much effort into your email content as you did your ad content.

Feel Ready to Swim the Channel?

Well maybe not yet, but if you can begin the habit of dissecting your mistakes, familiarize yourself with Facebook Ads Manager and do your best to follow these steps, you’ll have a better chance of making it than most.

Don’t forget to register for the ICON17 conference and be part of the largest gathering of small business owners from around the world, in the world. Network like never before, make discoveries, get inspired, set new goals and, seriously, be transformed. And, as we mentioned, you’ll get to hear Solutions 8 Founder and CEO, Kasim Aslam, deliver his valuable, insight-packed breakout session on getting the most out of Facebook Ads.

And if you have questions about Facebook marketing, Infusionsoft or content creation for either, please don’t hesitate to reach out.