“If you really had to sell to survive, you would realize that the most underpriced ad product in the world right now is Facebook advertising. If you had to sell something, to stay alive, to feed your children, you would put your money there.” — Gary Vaynerchuk

Prelude

It’s been called the reachpocalypse. After conducting an analysis of over 100 brands, Ogilvy concluded that Facebook’s organic reach will soon drop to zero.

Surprisingly, this is a good thing.

Today, Facebook is a much more effective marketing channel than it was when organic reach hit its peak.

Here’s why: Facebook is the most cost-effective advertising platform we have ever seen. It’s the best way to reach a highly-targeted audience, drive direct sales, and increase awareness for any product or service.

Facebook designed its advertising engine to make sure any marketer could easily deliver the most relevant ad to the right user. In just a few years, their solutions have transformed how businesses large and small can reach buyers affordably.

Most people lack the time and energy to master the intricate science of Facebook advertising. I will show you how to launch campaigns that can help you get real results in minutes, not hours. Below is a powerful strategy anyone can use to create leads, generate traffic, and drive sales online.

Step 1: Start by building your audience.

Before you create a Facebook ad campaign, invest some time in gathering data about your potential customers. A common mistake new advertisers make is making assumptions about their audience.

By taking a data-driven approach toward your marketing efforts, you can take the guesswork out of advertising.

Your initial audience will serve as a rich database of customer information. This data will become useful when selecting and creating targeting options for your advertising campaign.

Capture customer data by creating a powerful incentive for people to connect with your business and spread your message online. Here’s how.

Host a contest

Noah Kagan, founder of AppSumo, executed this tactic beautifully when launching his new podcast. He offered people a variety of prizes in exchange for subscribing to his podcast and writing a positive review on iTunes. Before a single episode was released, Noah had already built a massive audience for his new podcast.

Get creative. Offer people free merchandise, a Skype call, a gift card, a surprise package — anything in exchange for their info.

“Marketing has always been about the same thing — who your customers are and where they are.”— Noah Kagan

Ellie Goulding’s team used ToneDen to promote her single “Still Falling for You,” and collected data from her most loyal fans. Now she leverages that data for all of her upcoming releases and tour dates.

Pro tip: Turn your entrants into your marketing force. Use this opportunity to grow your socials. Incentivize people follow your business on Twitter, subscribe to your YouTube channel, and share your contest on Facebook to increase their chances of winning the contest.

Step 2: Install the Facebook Pixel

The Facebook Pixel is Facebook’s conversion tracking system.

A conversion tracking system tells you if an advertisement worked in driving a conversion (or “sale” in marketing speak). This lets you tweak your marketing campaign to optimize for performance. Conversion tracking is essential in measuring how your ads are actually leading to conversions or sales.

Here’s the Facebook Pixel Implementation Guide.

Make sure you configure your Facebook pixel correctly to track the right conversion events for purchases that happen on your website. Without this, you’ll find yourself in the dark about whether your advertising strategy is working.

Step 3: Website Conversion Ads

Now that you have hosted a contest, installed the Facebook Pixel and collected some rich data on your potential customers, you are ready to start creating your Facebook ad campaign.

If your goal is to sell more stuff online, choose to run Facebook’s website conversion ads. By doing so, Facebook will deliver your ads to website visitors who are most likely to take your desired action or buy your product.

To do this, select website conversions as your objective when creating your campaign. This will ensure that Facebook optimizes your campaign for individuals that make purchases online.

Step 4: A/B test your audiences

Another common mistake new advertisers make is selecting a single audience to advertise to.

When choosing target audiences, don’t assume the first audience you create is the best audience. Every successful advertising strategy incorporates testing multiple audiences to identify the specific targeting parameters that lead to success.

Leverage the data you acquired from Step 1 to make intelligent decisions with your targeting options.

Here are some examples of audiences you can easily A/B test:

  • your Facebook page likes
  • people similar to those that have liked your Facebook page
  • people similar to those that entered your contest :)
  • people who have interests pertaining to your business

Go crazy. Test, test, test, until you figure out what works.

I almost always see campaigns where an audience that I didn’t expect to drive sales converted the most customers. Don’t miss out on that!

If you’re thinking all of this testing sounds expensive, let me tell you, it isn’t. If an audience isn’t producing any results after a $10 spend, simply turn it off and re-allocate your ad spend toward audiences that are performing well.

After you figure out the right targeting options for your business, your audience will pay off tenfold.

Step 5: Optimize your message

Within each of your audiences, design several ads with different creatives.

Test multiple lifestyle photos, videos, and copy. This will ensure the most convincing message is being presented to your audience.

As your ads are delivered, Facebook will optimize your campaign to deliver your most relevant ad to your audience. You can sleep easier knowing you are sending the right message to the right audience at the right time.

Step 6: Monitor performance and scale your campaign

Remember the Facebook pixel you installed in step 2?

Time to put it to use. Over the course of your campaign, your Facebook pixel will track what audiences and ads are leading to sales.

It’s up to you to take that information and apply it to your campaign.

Turn off audiences that are not performing well. Reallocate your budget. Track your return on ad spend. Scale up your campaign and drive those sales.

Call to Action

I know it’s a lot to handle. Building a network from scratch is hard, time-consuming, and stressful. Save time and effort by using optimization software to do all of this easily and automatically.

ToneDen offers a simple self-serve solution for Facebook and Instagram ads.

Given this knowledge, I’d love to hear how you plan to use Facebook ads in your marketing strategy. Let me know in the comments below.