Patricia from SMART Apps here to shed some useful light on a topic that everyone loves to talk about but hates to execute.
The Facebook Ad.
Since its birth at the end of 2007, Facebook’s advertising platform has generated a hair-raising amount of money for companies across the globe. The exact number is inconceivable based on the multi-billion dollar revenue the platform generates Facebook quarterly.
So along with this great power comes great responsibility … and uncertainty.
There is no doubt that social media has revolutionized eCommerce and marketing; we are now – easily – able to laser target our audiences and speak with them directly.
The downside is that anyone and everyone is taking part and shoving their virtual bulletins down the throats of trillions of consumers.
Meanwhile, those very same consumers are adapting to these marketing tactics and altering their behavior to cut out the constant bombardment.
On top of trying to stay relevant and grab the attention of your dear customers, Facebook is continuously updating their advertising policies. Advertising techniques and procedures that once worked are now getting flagged and denied.
My job today is to get you up to date with these policies, illuminate the elusive social media mindset, and dissect 4 different successful Facebook ads for you to use as references.
Facebook is extremely stringent with their policies, and understandably so.
According to their Community Standards, their top priority is to maintain a safe environment for their users. Facebook doesn’t tolerate anything that may allude or encourage physical, emotional, and even financial harm
In addition to safety, Facebook also believes in being a platform that stands for voice and equity, so they must work out an even balance of all 3 facets when determining what is appropriate and what isn’t.
Their strong belief’s in their core values and standards are the reason for their extensive ad review process, which can last anywhere from 24-72 hours, sometimes longer.
During this process, Facebook assesses the ads images, text, targeting, positioning and even inspection of the landing page associated with the ad. If none of the inspection points adhere to their standards and regulations, the add will not be approved.
The policies are straightforward, and I have listed a summary of 10 key takeaways that should pertain to your eCommerce business.
Although I am briefly covering the policies in the post, I highly recommend taking the time to read through the full terms and policies yourself since I will not be going over everything.
1. Violation of the Community Standards
As mentioned previously, the three pillars that form the foundation of Facebook are safety, voice, and equity. A breach of any of these standards will guarantee disapproval and the possibility of a ban.
2. Illegal Products or Services
Ads are not allowed to promote illicit products or services, this includes targeting minors for products or services that are inappropriate, unsafe, or mislead the age groups targeted.
3. Tobacco Products
Ads are not allowed to promote tobacco products or related paraphernalia.
4. Unsafe Supplements
Facebook determines the safety of these supplements at its discretion.
5. Weapons, Ammunition, & Explosives
Ads must not promote the use of these items as well as weapon modification products.
6. Adult Products & Services
Ads may not promote the sale of these products unless it is for family planning and contraception and must target people 18 years or older. Avoid any suggestive poses as well as activities that are overly suggestive and provocative.
7. 3rd Party Infringement
I’m just going to go ahead and cite them directly, “Ads must not contain content that infringes upon or violates the rights of any third party, including copyright, trademark, privacy, publicity, or other personal or proprietary rights.”
8. Surveillance Equipment
Ads can’t promote the sale of spy cams, mobile trackers, or other hidden surveillance equipment
9. Poor Grammar and Profanity
Ads can’t contain profanity and poor grammar and punctuation.
10. Low Quality or Disruptive Content
Ads aren’t allowed to contain content that leads to external landing pages that provide an unexpected or disruptive experience. “This includes misleading ad positionings, such as overly sensationalized headlines or prompts for users to interact with the ad inauthentically, and leading people to landing pages that contain minimal original content and a majority of unrelated or low-quality ad content.”
Other key points from their policies that you should note:
What exactly do I mean by this ‘mindset’?
Well, to adequately explain it, I’ll have to paraphrase Steven M. Edwards perfectly articulated explanation in his article for the Journal of Interactive Advertisement:
In summary, Edwards states that social media outlets allow people to interact with each other and stay informed about products and brands. Each platform also contains its own tools for encouraging ‘buzz’ and facilitating campaigns.
There is a chance for a sale to be made on each of the social platforms, and these platforms should be taken as seriously as any other media outlet, maybe even more so.
The only issue is that the lifecycle of these platforms and the trends of virality are continually changing, so it’s important to understand the basic principles of encouraging word-of-mouth (WOM) that were first introduced by Andy Sernovitz.
These principles must begin and end with an exceptional product or service, but use effective social media marketing to influence consumers.
Talkers are people that will talk about you. They don’t necessarily have to be your customers, but you must continuously keep them engaged, informed, and entertained.
Topics are simple, interesting messages that should be organic and easily shared. Subjects should also be relevant to your customers and products such as special sales or anything humorous like memes and gifs.
Tools help spread the message. Social media and email marketing make WOM spread quicker and easier. Encourage sharing by asking your audiences to tag a friend, promoting contests, or offering coupons/discounts.
Taking part in interactions is your chance to become a part of the conversation by actively listening and responding to your customers.
Use search engines to track brand mentions and track online conversations to understand the discussion on social media.
Once you get the hang of the social media mindset and start using and applying it every day, engaging and relating with your audience will go from artificial to second nature.
So far we have gone through what you absolutely can not include in your ads and how to effectively relate to your audience, it’s time to break down what constitutes a converting ad.
I highly recommend using these tips alongside our free Facebook Targeting Checklist to really conquer the ad space!
Get the attention of your audience through unique, vibrant imagery.
Recently, we have seen video ads explosively take off and monopolize the ad medium space. The reason? They are the most effective at catching your customers attention with their constant frame bursts compared to the typical one framed photo that looks like every other photo on their feed.
The best way to execute the video ad is to keep it at an optimal 2-minute length while placing the best part of the content within the first 5-10 seconds of the video.
As far as the best colors to use, tests have shown that primary colors work the best. Red and blue induce urgency while yellow provides optimism – the perfect recipe for a sale!
Along with being visual creatures, humans are more adept to remembering something that is in the context of a story. This form of learning is the reason folklores and cultural stories are continuously passed down and spread through societies today. If you can tell your brands story through your ad, then you have guaranteed yourself some real estate in the mind of your consumers.
The optimal headline is about 5 words, anything more becomes too wordy and droning.
Within this compact framework, you must be able to state your products or services unique value proposition clearly. The headline must be clear and concise.
Content to consider while crafting your headlines:
Tip: Split test 4 different headlines to see which one gets the most clicks, the one that does should be the one to use.
Just like the headline has an optimal word count, so does the ad copy – 20 words.
In some cases, long-form copy performs really well, but as a general rule of thumb, 20 words is the sweet spot that keeps your customers engaged.
The context of your copy can vary depending on the product or audience, below are 7 copy ideas for you to use.
Create a custom call to action (CTA)
Your use your custom CTA as overlay text at the end of the video. The CTA should incorporate your brand’s voice and avoid using the redundant CTA’s Facebook already provides.
Research your competitors
The best way to stay on top of ad trends is to study your competition and see what companies outside of your niche are doing.
The Chrome extension Turbo Ad Finder will become your best friend
Once activated, it will block out everything except for ads in your Facebook news feed – and it’s free!
Lets put all of this new information to good use and distinguish the features that set an excellent ad apart from a mediocre one.
If the cheeky name (no pun intended) of their Bum Bum cream didn’t grab the attention of their customer, so many other aspects of this ad did.
To really nail the role of Greatest Facebook Advertiser, download our free Facebook Targeting Checklist and make sure you use it while creating your ads!
Patricia is a self-proclaimed dog enthusiast who also happens to spearhead the content marketing efforts at Skup. When she’s not petting dogs or writing about the industry insights, you can find her on a yoga mat or reading anything that feeds her bibliophilic needs.