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Your First Facebook Ad Campaign: Warm, Cold & Custom Audiences

· work online,Skills,online business

You're about to find out how to create your first Facebook ad campaign.

When carrying out a Facebook ad campaign, it’s advantageous to create a funnel of ads to change a cold audience to a warm one. What does this mean? Cold audiences are made up of people who have never heard of your company while warm audiences have seen some of your ads, are familiar with what you do and are more likely to take action when they see your ads. You must gradually build trust with audiences by showing them a range of different videos. This can be easily done by retargeting interested people.

If you’re still not really sure what a funnel is, read our blog post on the Inbound Marketing Funnel.

The InbounD Marketing Funnel: How important is it for Facebook Ads?

What types of Facebook ads are there?

Facebook Ad Formats

You can choose to display your Facebook ads either in the right-hand column of Facebook or else in the centre of the newsfeed. Centre newsfeed ads are more expensive as they are more visible and receive more engagement from audiences. Column ads need to be eye-capturing and should have a strong call to action.

Ads managed through Facebook can also be displayed on Instagram.

There are many different types of Facebook ads, the most popular being video, image and multi-product ads. That’s not all though. You can create ads for events, applications, offers, and you can also boost existing posts that are performing well.

A centre newsfeed  video ad on Facebook

Who should you be showing your ads to?

Creating Custom Audiences

One of the best things about Facebook is that you don’t need to display ads to cold traffic. Facebook Ad Manager allows you to create custom audiences by uploading information about people who are already familiar with your company. This may be people who have visited your website or your blog, subscribed to your newsletter or downloaded one of your lead magnets. You can upload a list of emails or phone numbers and Facebook will automatically find and display your ads to these people. If you don’t have a large enough email list yet, you can put a pixel on your website and track the people who visit your page. Even if you don’t have enough traffic on your website, you can run Facebook ads to a cold audience using Facebook demographic and interest targeting.

How to put a pixel onto your website: Check out Number 24

How to create a custom audience: Check out Number 4

Saved, custom and lookalike audiences on Facebook: Who should you show your ads to?

Facebook Targeting

After you have created a custom audience you can make it either bigger or smaller by doing some Facebook targeting. Facebook stores a huge amount of information on people. Start with the basics. You can choose to whom you display your ads based on gender, nationality, location, relationship status, language and age. Then you can narrow it down further with life-event targeting and interest targeting. For example, if you are a wedding photographer, you can select to display your ads to people who have recently gotten engaged in Portland, Ohio.

Interest targeting is where you can get very specific and narrow it down to a niche audience. It’s necessary to have an estimated reach of at least 100,000 people for your ads. If you have a smaller budget, you should decide on a smaller reach in order to target the most qualified people possible. If you have a larger budget, you could increase this reach to 1 or 2 million people.

Lookalike Audiences

So... you’ve just created a custom audience, narrowed it down or expanded it, but you still don’t have enough people to target. What else can you do? Create a lookalike audience.

How to create a lookalike audience on Facebook from your email list

Just like with custom audiences, Facebook takes the information you provide it with, but this time it creates a new audience of people with similar demographics, interests and behaviours. It will automatically create a lookalike audience with the top 1% of similar people but you can increase this to up to 10% if you have a huge budget or want a wider reach.

You can create a lookalike audience with those who are similar to:

  • People on your email list

  • People who like your Facebook Page

  • People who visit your website (or specific pages)

Lookalike audiences can take up to 48 hours for Facebook to create.

You can run the same ad to different audiences and you can combine different options to make as many different audiences as you want. Here are some examples.

  1. Cold Audience: Basic Demographics + Interest targeting.

  2. Cold Audience: Lookalike Audience from Email List

  3. Warm Audience: Custom Audience - Email List

  4. Warm Audience: Custom Audience - Blog post visitors + Email List

  5. Mixed Audience (some warm, some cold): Custom Audience - Facebook Page Followers, + Lookalike Audience from Facebook Page

  6. Hot Audience: Custom Audience - People who have bought your services (eg landed on thank you or checkout landing page)

Once you have created an audience on Facebook, you have the chance to save it. Next time you create an ad you can use this saved audience, you can add others to it or choose not to use it at all.

Retargeting people who see your ads on Facebook

After you have ran an ad to one of these audiences you can then start retargeting them, meaning that they will see your next ad. They are then more familiar with your company and are known as a “warmer” audience.

This is done by creating custom audiences once more.

  • If your ad was a lead magnet you can use the emails that you collect to create the custom audience for your next ad.

  • If your ad was a blog post or a link to your website, you can track who visited your site using the Facebook pixel and make a custom audience for the next ad this way.

  • If your ad was a video, you can retarget those who watched either 10%, 20%, 50% or 100% of it.

You can also create custom audiences to exclude certain people from seeing your ads. So if you don’t want to show an ad to anyone who has already bought from you, you could create a custom audience of those who have visited the “thank you” landing page and exclude them from an ad showcasing your product. This is important as no one wants to keep seeing an ad that is not relevant to them. It will also help to increase the relevance score statistic on Facebook Ads Manager.

If you don’t have a large email list or many website visitors, start with a cold audience. Then as you get more website visitors and collect more emails, you can create custom audiences and lookalike audiences.

What kind of ads should I be showing?

The type of ad you show a cold audience is not the same as the type of ad you show to a warm audience.

What you should show to a cold audience

A cold audience doesn’t know anything about you or your company. They only care about the end benefit for them. Ads to a cold audience need to stand out and should include strong benefits as well as a strong CTA. Branding, logos and images of your team are not needed. The viewer only has their own self-interest in mind.

Initial ads for cold audiences need to give as much information as possible. Longer videos and lots of copy seem to work best. Avoid using sales jargon but instead try to be as direct, authentic and transparent as possible. The point of your copy should be to solve the viewer’s problem. Instead of selling, you are attempting to slowly gain their trust.

People automatically put their guard up when they see that a post in their newsfeed is sponsored. You can help to break down these barriers by being very transparent about what you’re offering. You are not just promoting your company, but you are also providing valuable content for free. Put in brackets what you are offering at the beginning of the copy, whether it’s a [video], [blog] or an [article]. Consider leaving the “Learn More” button off lead generation or content ads, as real organic content does not have this button.

What you should show a warm audience

A warm audience knows a little bit about your company. They may have read a blog post, watched some of your videos or visited your homepage.

Now you can start to use brand related language and images in your ads. Action photos and images of you and your team work well as they help people to become familiar with you.

Use action photos, team images and branding when advertising to a warm audience on Facebook

It’s important to consider how you warmed them up when showing an ad to a warm audience. The follow up lead magnet (free guide, workbook etc…) should be related to where they came from. If you have made a custom audience from visitors to a blog about how to become a digital nomad, then you could promote a free guide about becoming location independent to this audience.

Shorter videos work well for warmer audiences and copy can be shorter too, as long as it’s captivating, engaging and follows roughly the guidelines below.

The copy for an ad has three main components:

  1. Address the viewer’s pain point. This can be easily done with a question such as “Has your competitor been stealing all your customers?” You can frame this either negatively or positively. Both work well. You could A/B test to see which works best for your niche.

  2. Describe the end benefit for the viewer of using your product/service.

  3. Use a call to action (CTA). Tell them what they need to do. Make it clear and easy for them to take the desired action.

Whether you are showing them to a warm or a cold audience, your ads should be eye-capturing and attention grabbing. They also need to be similar to the landing page where you are sending people. People feel better if they don’t notice that they have moved away from Facebook towards another website. You can achieve this synchronisation by:

  • Using the same headline for the ad and the blog post

  • Using the same images on the ad and the landing page

  • Using the same layout of content and copy on the ad and the landing page

How should my content look?

Check how your content will look on mobile, desktop and tablet and think about from which platform your audience is viewing your ads.

Facebook ads: Optimising ads for Mobile, Desktop and Tablet

Audiences show preference for square videos and tend to watch them for longer. 80% of all videos on Facebook are watched without sound. This is why it’s important to either caption your videos yourself manually or use the Facebook captioning tool. When using the automatic captions on Facebook it’s important that you look back over the captions to make sure they are all correct.

Facebook has a 20% text rule on images. If the text-to-image ratio is too high, your adverts may not fully reach their audiences. You can check your images using the Facebook image checker tool.

What are you waiting for?

You're ready to start advertising on Facebook. Create some audiences, test out some different ad formats and have fun analysing the results. If you're not sure what kind of content you should be putting out there, why not check out our blog post on the best content strategy for your business.

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