Mastering Digital Ad Placement
Updated: Nov 30, 2018
Facebook can be a frustrating hell hole that sucks up your ad spending and returns only half-hearted comments from bots.
As an entrepreneur i've spent tens of thousands of dollars on Facebook ads and have learned over the years what works and what doesn't. As a consultant i've helped clients maximize their ad placement and spending, to great results.
Here are my five rules for not wasting your money on facebook ad placement.
Rule #1 : Ads suck, everyone hates them, don't run ads
People hate advertisements. As soon as a user is suspects the post they are about to scroll past is an ad, then speed up and move on, never to see the ad again.
This is why spending money to promote something that looks like an ad, is a terrible strategy.
The better strategy is to make content that doesn't appear to be an ad at all, and spend money to promote that into people's timelines. If it looks like an ad, people will skip over it.
So make short films, animated infographics and meme's that users won't mind seeing in their timeline.
Rule #2 : Use every demographic and behavioral constraint possible
When placing ads into facebook and instagram you have a series of filters available to limit who sees the ad. The age of the person. Whether they shop premium items or discount. Their gender. Their political leaning.
If you don't filter down to your exact target audience your entire budget can be eaten up by placing the ad into the timelines of those you're not really trying to reach. Good digital ad placement is highly targeted to maximize every penny.
Rule #3 : A/B test & adapt constantly
Creating successful digital ads is more art than science. I have had to learn this hard way over the last 6 yeas of throwing money into the facebook machine. Whatever campaign I think will be successful, i'm not really sure it will until I start analyzing the data on day 1, 2, 3 and so on.
This means a constant tweaking and updating. Clients hate hearing this is the reality. They would prefer a formula that allows them to, "set it and forget it," but sadly this rarely works.
Rule #4 : Retargeting is the magic bullet
This goes hand in hand with rule #3 about updating based on data returns. As your ads live on facebook and instagram certain data sets start to emerge. For example, "Users who watched at least 10 seconds of your video."
This kind of data is gold for the second and third version of your placements, that allow you to retarget to users who are interested, while cutting out users who are ignoring you altogether, there by maximizing the value of your ad spend.
Rule #5 : Take users with you away from facebook
Facebook and instagram ads are most powerful for their ability to generate leads and take users with you. This means moving users from a facebook post to your campaign website and getting them on an email list.
An email list is still the premier way to cultivate a direct connection to a large user base. If you need to raise money for your campaign a large email list is the answer.
It's an art, not a science
The bad news is that successful advertising on facebook and instagram is more difficult than ever. The constantly changing algorithm is designed to harvest more money from advertisers and candidates.
The good news is, that's digital advertising is still the most powerful and efficient option that candidates have to reach voters. For a fraction of the cost of a mailer or TV ad, you can reach millions of users. (Who the hell is moved by a mailer these days?!)
My recommendation to candidates is to ditch spending on old media, and take advantage of digital ads, before they get more expensive, which they most certainly will.