How We Transformed a Failing Social Media Advertising Campaign in 30 Days: 7 Tips for Success
Marketers spend an unprecedented $37 Billion in Social Media Ad Spend in 2019 out of which 80% of ad spend was on the Facebook ad platform. Companies though are still struggling with optimizing their ad spend on social media including not knowing what metrics to measure the success of their ad campaigns. Below you will find some of the tactics that have allowed us to take our clients’ campaigns from a money losing to a money making campaign.
But before we even start diving deep into the tactics of optimizing your Facebook ads, lets first spend a minute on why many campaigns fail. There are basically two reasons that we have seen over and over again:
C-Level executives are so used to allocating marketing dollars on PPC (Pay-per-click) search ads that they expect the same type of conversion results and measure the same metrics on Social Media ads. So, right off the bat there are misaligned expectations since the consumer behavior is different on social media ads and so they do not follow the same linear conversion funnel as paid search ads.
Know What to Measure
Another common mistake we have seen companies make is they are not sure what metrics to track to measure the efficacy of their paid social campaigns. Basically, what is that number that can tell them if their Social Media Advertising is working or not.
So once we were able to educate our client on what metrics to measure to determine the profitability of the campaign, the next step was for our team at Digital Sparx Marketing to hit the ground running and turn around the campaign from a money losing to a money making social ad campaign. Let’s dive into the 7 Social Media ads tactics we specifically took:
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1. Cut the Fat
When you take over a paid media campaign, one of the low hanging we recommend to tackle is trimming down the waste and making your campaigns lean. On Paid Social Media, there are many campaign attributes that you can attack to cut down the waste – like account structure, audience targeting, ad copy, creative testing, etc. but this client was focused on customers in the Dallas metro area and so we went under the hood and looked at their GEO targeting.
Essentially, we looked at where their impression share was coming from and where their conversions were coming from. After analyzing the campaign, we saw that only 70% of the impressions were coming from the Dallas GEO location that was targeted but 99% of the conversions were coming from this GEO. This means there was a waste of 30% of impression share that we were able to cut right off the bat. We were able to bring in 99% of the conversions from 95% impressions from the local GEO market. Right there was an increase of about 25% in positive ROAS.
2. Build New Audiences
Unlike Google Search, where we are trying to capture the handraisers (aka capturing demand) by bidding on keywords, on social media ads we are generating demand so we have to build our target audience. The name of the game on Social Ads is you need a targeted audience to show your ads and after that as marketers we need to continuously build new audiences to whom to show our ads to. If not, the law of diminishing returns will kick in real fast with your ad frequency going up and conversions going south. On Social Ads, the audience you might have targeted last month will start to diminish in conversions and so you always need to build new audiences. Now building new audiences is a work in progress and depends on the frequency of your ads but you can create a lookalike audience or matched audience that is either 1% closest to your targeted audience or 10% closest to your target audience.
3. Create FOMO
Social Media is all about how someone is having fun while the others are missing out. The Fear Of Missing Out in combination with Social Proof works amazingly well on Social. This means that your social ads focus on real people at your venue. When we took over the social ads we noticed how the focus was on the “art” as opposed to people enjoying the art. So yes your products can be cool but if people are not featured then you are not creating the social proof which further drives the FOMO.
4. Leveraging Paid Ads with Organic Social Media
In digital marketing, all channels need to work cohesively to create a ripple effect and in this case you can create organic social media to boost your paid social ads. This means leveraging your organic social media to lift your social ads performance. One of the easiest ways to do that is to build engagement around your organic social posts and then use those same creatives for your social media posts. This way you can increase the relevancy score of your ads which in turn would help Facebook to serve your ads more.
5. Test Creatives Cheaply
Now testing creatives is one of the major elements of any paid media campaign. This is an area where you want to be careful of not spending too much of your budget on ad creatives that may not perform well. One of the most common blanket statements most “experts” spew is that videos work great on social media – but it just all depends on your audience, the platform they are using and how well your videos are created. In our work with our clients, we have seen that images can outperform videos so again you have to test your creatives quickly without spending a lot of your ad budget.
6. Implement Dayparting and Day of the Week Spend
If you look under the hood on your Facebook ads you will realize that your conversions are taking place at a certain hour of the day or blocks of a day. With one client we found that a bulk of conversions were taking place between 9 am to 11 am in the morning and then between 3 pm – 5 pm in the later afternoon. So instead of running ads for a certain ad group all day long and incurring additional click costs, think about implementing dayparting into your ads. By the same token, you can also look at the conversions in terms of day of the week and implement week parting.
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7. Measure the Most Important Metric
John Wanamaker’s legendary quote “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don’t know which half” rings true for social media advertising. Most businesses know they are spending advertising budget and they are getting conversions but they don’t know what metric they should be using to measure the efficacy of their programs. Of course there are many metrics and variables like looking at ROI or Lifetime Value (LTV) or even online-offline impact but one metric that all businesses should measure is Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). This should be the baseline metric that all advertisers should measure and then progressively create metrics like LTV, ROI, etc. Like any advertising campaign, your focus should be to at least make $1 if you are spending $1. That means that you have achieved parity and not losing money. Anything above that means your ad spend is positive. Here’s the simple formula to measure ROAS:
Total Revenues / Total Spend = ROAS
As many businesses have experienced with Social Media advertising, it is easy to get started with your ad campaigns but it gets complex once you start scaling your campaign. As with any ad campaigns, the trick is to optimize each segment of your campaign to keep improving your ROAS.
Have feedback, questions or want to schedule a complimentary brainstorming call? Get in touch today!