Anyone who knows me has heard me on my soapbox about ideal client profiles may sigh a bit – I’m off again!  However, if you want Facebook ads to work for you, choosing who sees them is essential.

If you are going to invest in an ad, you’ll need to:

  • Get the headline and message right – to influence the people who see it to take action
  • Get the images right – to attract the people who see it to read it
  • Test alternative text and message combinations to ensure the best-performing ads are presented to your audience
  • Pitch the call to action correctly for the audience

There’s an old cliché ‘If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.’  If you have not spent time building an avatar for your ideal audience, any text, any message, any call to action – will cost you money and IT WON’T WORK!

If you’ve ever met anyone who tells you ‘Facebook advertising doesn’t work’ – ask them how much drilling down into their target audience they did first.  I’d put money on the fact that they made one of these errors:

  1. Chose a general audience – e.g. men and women between 20-60 years old.
  2. Didn’t test their headlines and images on a sample audience to see what worked.
  3. Pitched a big ‘ask’ rather than something easy for the audience to sign up for so they could be warmed up.
  4. Didn’t supply enough information during the action process to engage the customer – like the benefits of taking action.

Building an avatar

If you want to improve the return on your investment in Facebook ads you need to nail your audience down in as much detail as possible.

Of course, your audience may be broad, but pick the best segment and aim the ad at those people.

  • Decide whether they are male or female;
  • Choose an age range that is no more than 10 years;
  • Identify the interests they have
  • Try a geographical area to start with;
  • What groups or Pages are they already interested in that would also make them a good customer for you?
  • Upload your current customer list and Facebook will find them on Facebook and find other people who have a similar profile.

Remember that you can have more than one custom audience – and one ad will not work for everyone.  The message for an 18 year old student and the message for a 40-year-old Mum will be vastly different – that just means you’ll need to run separate ads for each audience.

That’s for starters.  Now you know who you are talking to – and if you can imagine a person who fulfils your avatar, then pretend you are talking directly to them.

  • What would get their attention?
  • What kind of images would capture their interest?
  • What would they be willing to take action on? Start with the least action – you’ll feed your pipeline better that way.
  • What could you offer them that would get them on your list so you can market to them?

If you’re taking them to a web page it needs to be one that re-engages them and makes them want to take action.  That might be a free assessment, a free download (usually a report or ‘how to’ document or ebook, it might even be a low-cost item.

Video on the web page is good – and also on your Facebook Page.  But keep it short; just a couple of minutes max.

Finally, don’t expect miracles in 24 hours.  You’ll need to give your ad at least a week, often more, to start making a difference.