Facebook ads is by far one of my favorite ad platforms for generating brand awareness and direct response conversions. The ad targeting options are completely unprecedented. You can target people based on demographics (age, location, gender), psychographics (likes, interests, desires) and now with partner targeting based on behavior and habits.
No other ad platform has this much raw power in its targeting capabilities. You can filter down to your most ideal customer by comboing together all of these targeting options.
With that said, Facebook ads still leaves a lot to be desired. Despite their recent efforts to improve and optimize the ad platform there’s still some “no brainer” missing features…
How often you show your ads to your audience is known as campaign frequency. For some products, you might need 30 views per person to make a sale, where others might only need 3. This is something that you should test but currently you have no control over the maximum number of times your ad is displayed to each unique user per day. Frequency capping gives you control over how often people are exposed to your ads. In some cases you might need to be extremely aggressive, where in other cases more than one or two impressions per user per day might upset your audience.
Optimizing ad campaigns usually comes down to making small, strategic tweaks that make your ads more relevant or timely. Dayparting is a standard feature on many other ad platforms, like Google AdWords, but is still missing as a Facebook advertising tool. There are software solutions available that will let you setup a dayparting schedule but Facebook should offer this natively instead of making me use a 3rd party tool.
If you aren’t familiar, dayparting is the process of setting a schedule to tell the ad platform when your ads should show up. For example, lets say you run a brick-and-mortar store that operates and services customers from 9-5 Monday – Friday. You wouldn’t want your ads to show up on the weekends or after hours, right? In this scenario a dayparting schedule that turns your ads off on Saturday, Sunday and between 6PM – 9AM would be the most optimal schedule.
Dayparting isn’t just for physical stores though, here are a few other scenarios where it can, and should, be used:
- If you sell more products during a certain part of the week (i.e. right before the weekend).
- If you tend to sell more products during a certain time of the month. If you’re B2C keep in mind people typically get paid on the 1st and/or 15th.
- If you have better lead quality at a certain time of the week.
Precise Interest ANDing
I’ve wrote about it more than once. If you ever talk to me about Facebook Ads you’ve probably heard me complain about precise interest ANDing. If Facebook made one tiny tweak to the way precise interest targeting works Facebook Ads would instantly become a much more powerful and profitable traffic source.
When you create an ad, if you use more than one precise interest Facebook targets anyone that likes interest A or interest B. Digital marketing (and PPC more specifically) is most effective at an extremely granular level.
Lets say you want to target people who are likely entrepreneurs and copywriters. If you enter entrepreneurship and copywriting as precise interests Facebook will target anybody who likes entrepreneurship or copywriting, making your audience larger instead of smaller.
Making the audience larger is almost never going to give you better results.
Facebook – PLEASE, I am begging you, give us the option to AND interests together so I can spend exponentially more money with you.
Ad Rotation Options
Facebook still hasn’t developed a reliable algorithm for rotating ads in an ad set.
Right now, if you put a group of 3-4 ads you want to test into an ad set you’ll notice that one will get impression priority WAY too quickly. Basically, your other ads will never see the light of day.
In my opinion Facebook should have several rotation options similar to AdWords that let you rotate ad variations based on:
- Rotate evenly
- Rotate indefinitely
In the mean time, a good workaround for this is putting each ad in its own ad set with its own budget. It’s a little bit more work to setup but you can be sure that your ads are getting even amounts impressions.
Precise Interest & Category Breakout Reporting
The new reporting manager in Facebook Ads is significantly improved over the old reporting but still leaves a lot to be desired. (sorry Facebook)
Currently, you can breakout campaigns in the reporting manager by:
- Ad set
- Ad Objective
But you know what you can’t do? You can’t see which precise interest or category target the conversion is responsible for. This is another reason (aside from the lack of precise interest ANDing) I only use one precise interest per ad. There’s no other way to know which one worked.
T0 sum up my complaining: unless you’re using one precise interest per ad, you have no way of knowing which is generating conversions.
For now, only use one category or precise interest target per ad.
Precise Interest Freshness
This one would be a serious game changer for advertisers. The problem with precise interest targeting is that as time goes on, people “like” more and more pages, often times without really “liking” the product or business. The average number of likes per profile is increasing every day since people don’t actively unlike pages.
If someone “liked” the Los Angeles Lakers page 3 years ago, do they still like them? Have they changed their allegiance to a different team that’s performing better? Did they only like them because they had a phenomenal season or a star player they follow?
If Facebook added a ‘freshness’ feature that lets you choose how recently the person liked a page, we can be more confident in answering some of these questions.
If I can choose to target people who liked the Los Angeles Lakers within the last week or month I can make some assumptions about whether they like the team right now.
Lets say you want to promote your health book about the Paleo diet by targeting Paleo related pages. If you can target people that have liked “Paleo” within the last month you can assume they’re just getting started and encourage them to hit the ground running.
What Facebook Ads feature(s) are you waiting for?