So I had a conversation today with a Facebook marketing expert as part of an initiative on Facebooks part to teach more people about their advertising options. I thought this was a great idea because obviously a lot of us have a lot of questions about how to make an effective Facebook ad, how we need to be engaging with them and all that good stuff. I had a few main takeaways that I wanted to go over with you dear readers and I’m sure you are going to be hearing more from me on this as my work with this very nice Facebook marketer continues. I think that social media ads are really one of the great mysteries of our time and unlocking their power is the difference between being an okay band who sort of get traction and becoming a band who are bale to blow up, get fans and become stars in their own right. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you are day trading in attention and this is how you do it in 2018.

The biggest takeaway and the one that really blew my mind was that carousel ads actually get 30–40% higher engagement than their peers. If you know anything about anything you realize that’s a huge deal and is going to be a game changer if you’re trying to run ads. I never have experimented with this format before so this was a really big thing for me to find out. It’s crazy to me that one format could do so much better, but it seems like it’s time for this ‘best kept secret’ to leak. I was also informed that if you have a set of content that is both video and photos it is best to lead with the video and then have the potential buyer flip through the rest of the non video content. This should be a big deal for you because you as an advertiser are obviously looking to get the cheapest impressions possible. If this is what gets that, then you had better start setting up your ads for this format!

Another key that was really pressed upon me was the importance of retargeting your ads. Essentially, when you run an ad for engagement you end up getting stats telling you how many people saw and interacted with your ads. When you set your next ad up you can actually hit the people who saw the ad the first time around. This is great because it fits into the advertising rule of sevens, where you need to see something seven times before you act on it. Furthermore if your secondary set of ads is for the same thing, for example, to sell more shirts, then you should set those as looking for conversions. Got it? The first round of ads is engagement. The second set of ads needs to be aimed at conversion. Once you get this one two punch set up then people are going to start clicking through, liking your page, buying your shirts and CD’s and doing all of that good stuff. Breaking through is hard but once the audience knows who you are things start to move a helluva lot more smoothly.

Tied into the idea of having the video being a key piece of your carousel, I learned that as a general rule if you have to make a choice between two pieces of content, one that is static or a link versus a video you should always go with the video. Of course with a video, as we have previously discussed, you can actually include a link by adding a button. These are built right into the ad manager and super easy to use. I know that I’m always raving about the importance of video content, but I just wanted to put that emphasis back out there. It’s always nice to know that I’m not some crazy internet dude who is totally wrong about everything. Having the ability to create high quality video is vitally important these days. If you are facing struggles with this there are a ton of services online with everything from Adobe Spark to Rotor making it a lot easier to make really interesting and effective videos that will boost your online ad game.

The main takeaway though was that no matter what you do and no matter how good you might think your understanding of the system might be you always have to A/B test. I straight up asked if there was a flow chart I could follow in order to optimize how we do things with the groups and labels I do ads for and they told me there were no guarantees. You really have to work through the kinks on your own to some extent in order to ensure that you can figure out what works best for your target market and your content. Once you determine that you’re golden, but it’s a hard thing to do since the Facebook algorithm is constantly optimizing and the minute you find one hack you can guarantee that Facebook is figuring out a way to prevent people from exploiting it. These things aren’t easy but they weren’t meant to be easy. If they were then everyone would do it and your advantage would be lost. You need to grind it out.

The biggest mistake bands make with social media ads is that they give up too early, before they figure out what’s best for them. They could have had it all, but instead they got pissed when spending small amounts two or three times got them nowhere. Social media ads are a tricky game and there are constantly books being churned out about them for a reason. This is not an easy thing to take advantage of nor is it something that you’re always going to get from the first. To make good Facebook ads you’re going to spend a lot of time making bad Facebook ads. It takes a lot of hard work, compassion and discipline in order to optimize your Facebook presence. Keep grinding it out and then you will get there.

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