Have you considered Facebook ads?
Not sure about where to start?
In this article, you’ll learn 7 different ways you can use Facebook ads to market your business.
The best marketing channel to get your message in front of the right people at the right time
I’m sure you’re fully aware of the absolute powerhouse that is Facebook, second to only Google advertising. However, there are a few subtle differences. Unlike Google, Facebook advertising allows for a far wider marketing scope and your marketing budget can potentially go much further thanks to the undervaluation of the platform.
If you haven’t started using Facebook ads to promote your business, including Facebook’s sister platform Instagram, a second placement option built within Facebook ads, then you are leaving revenue on the table.
Before taking a look at the 7 different types of Facebook ads you can use to advertise your business on the platform, firstly let’s cover audience temperatures as these will impact the ad types you run.
How you use Facebook ads will depend on the audiences you have in your business
Target audiences for every business will fall into one of three categories. Cold, Warm or Hot. These are also known as audience temperatures. The temperature of your audience will determine what type of ad to run.
Before we dig deeper into the ad types, let’s briefly cover the different audience temperatures.
First up: cold audiences. This audience contains people that don’t know you and have yet to be exposed to your business. They are incredibly important since they are the foundation of sustainable Facebook advertising and are the starting point for the majority of people who will become your customers from your ad campaigns.
They are the largest of the three audience temperatures and include Saved audiences and Lookalike audiences.
Saved audiences are the most basic audience type on Facebook. Facebook gives you the ability to use saved audiences to group people based on location, age, gender, demographics, interests (such as page likes) and behaviours.
The smaller the niche your business falls into, the better these audiences work. Lookalike audiences on the other hand are the most advanced targeting option on Facebook.
They allow you to find new people that share the same characteristics as a source audience which you have full control over, such as your website traffic, specific event actions people have taken on your website, your customer database or email list. This is the closest way to clone your existing customer base.
Next are Warm audiences. These contain a section of people who have previously engaged with your business on a Facebook owned property, whether that be via organic or paid content. This includes the Facebook family of apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp.
Since Warm audiences only contain people that have engaged with your business, they are a step further down the funnel and so are smaller in size than Cold audiences, but larger than Hot audiences.
At this stage, all of the audiences you use are Custom Audiences and include Video, Engagement, lead forms and events to name just a few.
The most effective audiences to use are Video, as these contain people who have watched your video content on Facebook as well as Facebook Page and Instagram Business Profile engagement custom audiences.
Video is one of the most engaging forms of content working on Facebook, and is an incredibly effective ‘scroll-stopper’. Click here to learn how to create the different types of Custom Audience.
Finally, we have Hot audiences. These contain people who have visited your website previously and are familiar with your business but have not converted into customers or clients.
Using the Facebook pixel and conversion tracking, you have the ability to tag people and have that data fed back into your Ads manager. They are the smallest in size due them being at the bottom of the funnel, as well as due to the fact that they have to have visited your website and use the website traffic custom audience.
Being the most qualified audience, as they have previously viewed your products or services, they consistently deliver the highest return on ad spend (ROAS) when compared with the other two audience temperatures. Click here to learn how to accurately measure your Return On Ad Spend.
Now you know the audience temperatures, let’s look at the 7 types of ads you can run to these different audiences.
#1 Video content ads to Cold audiences
Content is the starting point for sustainable Facebook advertising. It is the point at which you can create that all-important first impression with your potential customers, who from then on will remember this encounter as it will shape their opinion of you as a brand.
The aim of content is to “warm” up cold audiences and build recognition in the Newsfeed. Further to this it also establishes credibility and builds authority for your business.
As mentioned previously, video is the most effective type of content for successful Facebook ads right now and it falls into two categories: educational and entertaining. If you fall into the ‘business to consumer’ category, your best approach would be to start with entertainment. Whereas if you operate through a ‘business to business’ medium, then it would be more appropriate to create educational content.
The benefit of running video content to the advertiser is that you can group the people who watched your videos along with a percentage of watch time, how much of a video they watched, into new “warm” audiences, who you can then run product or service ads to in order to drive traffic to your website.
Let’s take a look at the ad example above. It shows educational content with the intent of functioning in a business to business setting.
Through directly teaching in the video itself, you deliver huge value to your cold audience with no need for them to take any additional action; this is effective since it allows the cold audience to establish a relationship with you.
Their engagement remains on Facebook. They will also feel subconsciously indebted to you, due to the fact they received value for free. This will encourage them to act reciprocally later down the ad funnel.
The second video ad example below is of a brand story. This is a type of content that works extremely well for business to consumer companies but also business to business.
Explaining the brand story in your Facebook ads is a great way to both entertain and educate potential customers about how you came to be and the ‘why’ behind the business. Building brand awareness through Facebook and Instagram advertising is massively overlooked and pays dividends in the medium to long term.
The campaign objective you want to use here is Video views, as the goal is to drive the most consumption of your video content.
#2 Blog article ads to Cold audiences
The next campaign type you have the option to create is one that aims to drive traffic to your blog. Similar to using educational video content, you can send people to your blog to educate them on a relevant industry topic.
Using Facebook ads and Instagram ads to promote this type of content to Cold audiences allows you to provide value, educate or entertain whilst simultaneously building that all-important recognition and awareness for your business.
The ad example above perfectly demonstrates how to use the blog format for educational content. You want to use the Traffic objective optimising for landing page views.
The benefit of running ads to your blog is that you can create a website custom audience to group everyone that has visited a particular article into once audience. As with video content, you have a warm audience that you can run new product or service based ads to, also known as Engagement Remarketing.
#3 Sales ads to Cold audiences (purchase tests)
The final type of ad campaign that you can run to Cold audiences is known as purchase tests. This is the most frequently used ad campaign types that advertisers create. However, it’s worth noting that an over reliance on this campaign type can be detrimental to your to the success of your Facebook ads.
Driving sale ads to Cold audiences only works for certain industries and lower price points. That’s because typically there is only a small percentage of the audience that is referred to as ‘hyper-responsive’, usually less than 1%. These people are seeing your ad at the perfect time since they are both problem and solution aware. With this in mind, they do not need a lot persuasion to convert into a paying customer since you have removed almost all concerns they initially had.
If you only run this type of ad to Cold audiences and omit all other audience types mentioned in the article, you are massively under-utilising the Facebook ads platform. You’ll quickly saturate your target audience and you’ll find your cost per acquisition (CPA) increases leading to lower return on ad spend (ROAS).
This ad above is promoting an individual sale on the launch of a new product. Discount promotions are extremely effective at generating new customers, they are proven to work time and time again.
Unlike the content-based campaign types for video or blog traffic, when creating a purchase test campaign, it’s a good idea to use the Conversion objective and aim to optimise for the event action furthest down your sales funnel. That would be the Purchase event if you are selling a product online where a consumer buys directly on your website or Lead event if you convert that customer offline via phone for example.
#4 Webinar ads to Warm audiences
Next, we’re going to take a look at campaigns that you can use to target Warm audiences. Here, you can directly position your products or services in your ads and how you position them will depend on your sales funnel.
This campaign type to position webinars is most commonly used by information businesses selling courses or in-person training or is used by software companies selling trials.
Similar to creating educational content, webinars allow for a more in-depth educational experience, however, they differ in the way the audience engages with them. To access the webinar, the audience is required to attend the scheduled screening after opting-in, allowing you to capture their data.
The ad example above is a webinar that uses a call to action video to inform the target audience of what they can expect to learn during the webinar; this is also repeated in the ad copy for maximum impact.
PRO TIP: If you want to succeed with Facebook ads and webinars in 2020, providing value is a HUGE must! Now this doesn’t mean including 20 minutes of basic information followed by a 30 minute sales pitch. It’s not 2012, and target audiences have a much higher standard they require in order to give you their attention and are aware that webinars are usually a glorified sales pitches.
#5 Flash sale ads to Warm audiences
The next ads are targeting Warm audiences: Flash sale. If you are an eCommerce store owner, this ad type can incredibly effective, and when implemented correctly, can feel like printing money. I’ve seen Flash sale campaigns deliver as high as 47.8X Return on Ad Spend and cost per purchase as low as $1.
You’re reading that right……$1 Purchases from Facebook ads in 2019, that’s insanely rare, as I’m sure you know, but clearly highlights the impact of Flash sales.
A Flash sale consists of a heavily discounted sale within a limited time-frame, normally a few days but can be up to a maximum of a week. Therefore, by definition, they have built in scarcity which is incredibly successful as driving sales as increasing the conversion rate. This coupled with targeting warm audiences who have already engaged with your business results in an influx of new sales.
The ad above promotes a site wide flash sale offering up to 60% off. Although promoting a high discount sale reduces your profit per unit, the increase in the volume of sales results in a net positive impact on your business. Additionally, acquiring a customer is often the most difficult part of marketing. So, gaining a customer’s trust through offering a considerable discount will massively increase the likelihood they will make a repeat purchase.
PRO TIP: When implementing a Flash sale on your site, you want to present the discount already applied on your product pages. You don’t want consumers to have to input a coupon or promo code since it creates a level of friction along the customer journey. To maximise ad landing page continuity, match the colour scheme for the Flash sale on your website with your creative assets in your Flash sale Facebook ads.
#6 Reminder ads to Hot audiences
The next type of campaign you can run targets Hot audiences. These audiences are the most qualified and highly engaged due to the fact that they have previously visited your website but haven’t purchased or enquired with your business. Therefore, they consistently deliver the highest Return on Ad Spend, when compared with campaigns that target the other audience temperatures.
The reminder campaign type forms the first part of the RTM Method. This is an ad type methodology consisting of three different ad types: Reminder, Testimonial and Messenger.
One of the main achievements of reminder ads is how successfully they are at establishing urgency, getting your target audiences to take action and ultimately purchase. For this type of Facebook ads campaign, if you have at least 500 people visiting your site per day, you want to build a 3 day website custom audience and use the Reach objective.
This audience has super relevancy due to the short time duration from which they last interacted with your business. Since they are “hot” you don’t want Facebook to further optimise and narrow the audience so the Reach objective allows you to reach more people in your audience.
If you have less than 500 people per day visiting your website, create a Testimonial campaign instead. Full details can be found below in point 7.
#7 Testimonial ads to Hot audiences
The final type of campaign in this list is the Testimonial ad targeting Hot audiences. The aim here is to build trust through promoting social proof in the form of a customer review or testimonial.
By doing this you are providing an external source of validation for your business. It’s not just you and your business pushing how amazing your products are, as a source that clearly has a bias, but an actual customer and someone who is unbiased by comparison.
If you don’t have a video testimonial, we’ve found text based testimonials can be just as effective. Start your ad copy with the testimonial, then follow this with your promotion such as a discount and finally a call to action to drive the ad click.
Unlike the Reminder campaign type with Testimonials, you want to use a longer audience duration of 30, 60 , 90 or 180 days, which creates a larger audience. Then instead of using the Reach objective, you want to use the Conversions objective optimising for Purchases or Leads.
There you have it, 7 different campaign types you can run on Facebook, based on the different temperatures of audiences.
To see the fastest results for your Facebook ads with the smallest investment in ad spend you want to implement them in reverse order starting with Hot audiences targeting website traffic, then Warm audiences targeting engagers and finally Cold audiences targeting new people that don’t know your business.
What do you think?
What Facebook ad type are you going to use first?
Let me know by leaving a comment below.
About Charlie Lawrance
Charlie is an advertising strategist, writer, speaker, and agency owner. He’s the Founder and CEO of Gecko Squared, a Facebook and Instagram advertising agency that specialises in working with high growth clients from around the world including eCommerce, software and professional service businesses. He’s been planning and buying digital media for over 9 years since he started his first business aged just 18. Stay in touch by liking his Facebook Page (Charlie Lawrance).