Facebook gives business owners and entrepreneurs alike an incredibly powerful marketing tool and platform, but if you’re not prepared with the right approach, it can also represent a potential to waste a ton of your budget. It happens every day, companies spend time, effort and money to produce ads that just don’t convert. So how can you save yourself from becoming a part of that demographic? Here’s how to build truly outstanding Facebook Ads, plus an example of what makes a great ad that stand above the rest. 

Are Your Facebook Ads Working? 

You can’t solve a problem if you don’t know that you have one. Many startup entrepreneurs get sucked into monitoring vanity metrics that aren’t necessarily converting to sales or contributing to the bottom line. Don’t take this the wrong way, while it’s great to have engagement and traffic, if your ads aren’t leading to eventual sales, it may be time to face the facts – your ads aren’t working. It’s not all bad; in fact, there are probably elements of your ad that are successful – especially if you’re seeing some engagement. The trick is to understand what parts of your ad are working and which ones are not, and then change what isn’t working. It’s part of building a successful ad, but more on that later. 

First, let’s looks at what you need to make an outstanding Facebook Ad. 

1. Have a Great Offer: You can follow the rest of these steps religiously, but if you don’t have a strong offer in place, your ad will still not be successful. Make sure that your offer is truly attractive to your target audience and you won’t have to try very hard to “sell” them on it. A truly good offer is one that makes the product you’re selling seem like a favor, not something that’s being pushed or forced. 

2. Set a Clear Goal: This can’t be said enough: without a clear end goal there cannot be success. It’s simply impossible to measure. The first step to building a great ad is to know its purpose. Are you looking strictly for sales, trying to find leads or raise awareness of your brand? Each of these goals has a different measure of success and metrics that you should be analyzing. Luckily, Facebook lets you choose your marketing objective right from the start. So you can choose whether you’re after Reach, Traffic, or Conversions.   

2. Target, Target, Target: Facebook boasts an impressive number of users. In fact, advertising with them gives you the potential to reach 1.59 billion daily users. The problem? Many digital marketers feel the need to market to all 1.59 billion of them. To succeed in Facebook Ads you need to be as targeted as possible. Think niche, and then go in even deeper. If you don’t have an exact idea to who your ad is speaking to, then you might as well not bother putting it out. 

3. Make It Visual: Most people out there suffer a serious case of content fatigue, which means you have to work extra hard to make you ad stand out. Use eye-catching images or, better yet, videos whenever possible and you’re guaranteed an increase in engagement. Make sure whatever media you use, that it’s relevant both to your offer as well as your target audience. 

4. Work On Your Content: While a great image will capture your audience’s attention, it’s great copy and content that makes the sale. You know that adage about taking a horse to water, but not being able to make it drink? When it comes to ad content, it should be able to make that horse chug. In other words, how you craft your offer, down to your call to action all need to work together to drive conversions. Good copy should be clear and crisp and communicate a sense of urgency. 

5. Have A Strong CTA: That brings us to the next point: there should never be any question as to what your ad is asking of your audience. Tell them explicitly where to click and what to do. If you want them to shop your collection, then a prominent “SHOP NOW” button should be a part of your ad. The same goes for filling out a survey, downloading a document or visiting a blog. 

6. Test and Optimize: There’s not a single formula for a great ad, that’s why it is so important to analyze and test their success. When testing your ads, it’s important not to change more than one variable per test. This allows you to know how each individual element is performing, and then keep what works and change what doesn’t. Keep optimizing your ads this way until you feel that they ready to scale. 

So what are some successful Facebook Ads and what makes them so good? Let’s take a look at an example: 

Amazon’s Black Friday Deals Week Facebook Ad: 

True, Amazon may not need such good digital advertising nowadays, but that doesn’t stop them from having it. Their Black Friday promotion deserves special attention because of the following: 

  • A Strong Offer: Amazon’s ad features an automatic cat litter box – which is a product that can offer a tremendous amount of value to any cat owner. By offering a product that makes people’s lives easier, the rest of the ad may not need to work as hard to sell it. 
  • An attention-grabbing visual: Amazon’s image features a photo of a product, and prominently displayed reviews in the familiar form of stars. It also has a bold text portion reading “Countdown To Black Friday Deals Week” so it could technically stand alone without any accompanying text and still communicate the message.
  • A strong CTA: The headline of the ad reads “Check Out Today’s Deals” with an accompanying “Shop Now” button. Anyone viewing this ad 
  • Concise, crisp copywriting: Amazon’s ad simply echoes the headline, saying “We’re counting down the days to Black Friday. Check out today’s deals.” That’s literally it - no pushing, no overselling. 

As you can see, Facebook Ads are something to be crafted, not just created on a whim. There needs to be a strong foundation to your ads to make it successful and to see the right ROI. While Facebook Advertising is anything but straightforward, if you stay consistent with these basics you should start seeing a successful payoff.