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Create Facebook Ads That Work

Whatever the ad format, here are seven tactics to ensure that your Facebook ads get results

Never run a Facebook ad campaign without A/B testing

Facebook offers strong, intuitive, ad-testing capabilities. Try several different ad headlines, images, offers, and calls to action. You will be stunned by the performance variations between versions. Even veteran marketers are often surprised by which version wins.

Take advantage of audience targeting

For instance, try targeting your brand’s fans versus friends of fans versus friends of rival brands (with your fans excluded). Brand loyalists and variously qualified prospects will all demonstrate different cost-per-action. And employ highly personalized ads for specific audiences: try geo-targeted regions, gender splits, or zeroing in on a hyper targeted audience like students at a particular college or employees of a particular business. Facebook’s signature strength is the wealth of data it collects on its fans’ demographics, likes, and interests. Use it to your benefit as a marketer.

Make the most of your image

That 100 × 72 pixels canvas is your Sistine Chapel ceiling. Grab attention with emotional, high-contrast, highsaturation images. Faces work well. It’s been shown that smiling, attractive women appeal to users of both genders. Test your logo (especially if it is widely recognized). And try using text as an image, especially with a strong call to action.

Issue a strong call to action

A very effective Facebook ad campaign tactic is to dangle the prospect of money-saving coupons, free samples, prize giveaways, or other goodies in exchange for the “like.” Coffee-mate encourages Face bookers to “’Like’ us to save $1 now,” while Nespresso offers a chance to win a coffee machine. Hub Spot offers a free e-book, while pitches two free audiobooks. Some advertisers push emotional buttons to elicit a “like”: “Click ’like’ if you love your kids!” exhorts “Click ’like’ if you love to ski,” reads an ad for a ski resort. Ken Burke, founder and chairman of the Market Live ecommerce platform, calls this the “’Click like If’ Formula”—and it works.

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