Facebook has a whopping 2.19 billion monthly active users, with 68% of US adults connected, from college students and young professionals to seasoned execs and stay-at-home moms.

Just because everyone is hanging out there, though, doesn’t mean posting for free will help you achieve your marketing goals. Nor will blowing your marketing budget on driving traffic to your FB page.

From lead generation to boosting sales, to building a following, Facebook advertising is a valuable piece of your marketing strategy whether you’re a small business or a large corporation.

This FB ads guide looks at advertising best practices, plus 16 great examples of companies dominating the social network.

It All Starts with Targeting

The real key to Facebook Ad success lies in its ad targeting capabilities.

Targeting allows you to drill down into specific interests so you can reach the people most likely to respond to an ad. If you sell modern furniture, for example, you can target an audience of people who just bought their first home.

Here are some of the ways you can target your ads:

• Location
• Custom Audiences
• Gender
• Interests
• Connections
• Behaviors

Targeting groups on its own isn’t necessarily enough. You need to address these groups in a way that resonates. Take the wrong tone or speak to the wrong motivation, and you’re mostly throwing your Facebook ad spend into a big black hole.

Best Practices for Creating Facebook Ads that Convert

1. Visuals and Copy Must Work Together

Visual content gets top billing in the latest version of the Facebook Algorithm. It’s more likely to be shared than plain old text and makes for a more memorable post. And, since the platform began cracking down on branded content earlier this year, brands may be better off focusing on video than static ads.

Still, copywriting counts for a lot. You need to tell your viewers exactly what they’re in for in just a few words and gently guide them to your site after offering something fun or helpful. The art attracts viewers and the copy closes the deal.

2. Make Sure You Know Your Audiences. Yes, Audiences.

Write with these different groups in mind: customer, potential customers, repeat customers, recent buyers, the list goes on and depends on which audiences you selected in the Facebook module.

Klient Boost recommends ranking audiences by temperature. “Cold” means people who have never heard of you, “hot” means repeat customers or those working through the sales funnel. This graphic lays out how to match your offer to the corresponding audience.

Source

3. Include Your Value Proposition in the Image

Adding your value prop to the image both ensures that your ad copy matches the picture, and will get noticed the second someone looks at your Facebook ad.

Your value prop needs to clearly lay out your benefits and the advantage of buying from you, versus the competitor. Still, if you’re going to say you’re the best in the world, you’ll need to back up that claim with a statistic, testimonial, or some other form of social proof.

4. Send Visitors To a High Converting Landing Page

Don’t send Facebook users to your homepage, instead make sure you’re directing traffic to a relevant landing page that matches the tone and goals laid out in the ad. If your call to action is to download an ebook—the landing page should send you somewhere like this:

eBook Landing Page

eBook Landing Page

5. The (Written) Bones of a Great Facebook Ad

  • Headline—A quick rundown of what you’re offering. Treat this like a CTA.
  • Media—The image or video used in your ad. This is the focal point—the thing that makes viewers want to take a closer look.
  • Description—Not available in every type of ad, but it’s an opportunity to gain more info about your product. It’s similar to the meta description you see when you search for something in Google.
  • Post Text—Text placed directly above or below your image. This is often the first piece of copy your readers will see.
  • Call-to-Action—A button that appears near the bottom of the ad with a directive as to what readers should do next. One or two words, like learn more or shop now. Your CTA should create a strong sense of urgency.

Types of Facebook Ads

Facebook ads present an opportunity to promote yourself in a variety of ways. You can opt for a traditional ad—complete with a call-to-action, features, benefits, boost posts, or choose from a range of interactive lead gen ads.

Many marketers first attempt at paid ads is boosting an existing post. The process can feel quite effective at first, but it’s hard to measure your ROI. You can’t effectively target custom demographics, so though more people might see you, they might not necessarily be the right people.

Here’s a look at your options:

Facebook Ads Guide

Facebook Ads Guide

Analyzing Your ROI

Your first move when deciding which type of ad to use is identifying what you want to achieve. When you start the process, Facebook asks whether you want to boost awareness, conversions, or engagement.

Facebook Ad Options

Facebook Ad Options

The second part is setting a budget. How much can you dedicate for the whole campaign and how much are you willing to pay per click? What is your target conversion rate?

Worrying too much about likes and impressions won’t get you very far. Tons of likes don’t necessarily mean tons of sales. Instead, focus on the stuff that counts.

  • Leads: Measure your lead gen efforts by comparing the total amount of people who access your landing page from your ad to those who actually enter their information.
  • Sales: To see if your FB ads were a success, calculate ROI by dividing the revenue generated from the campaign by the total amount spent on ads.
  • Traffic: Here, you’re measuring the total number of clicks to your website after creating your ad. Create a Pixel directly in the back end of Facebook to ensure the platform tracks your ad performance and cost per link. Or, head over to Google Analytics for a picture of all your social accounts.
  • Frequency: Frequency refers to the number of times any one user sees your ad. More doesn’t equal better, so make sure you’re focusing on promoting your ad to unique viewers. According to FB, ad frequency should not exceed 2 times per week.

Brands That Really Have Their Finger on the Pulse of Facebook Ads

Here, we’ll take a look at what these brands are doing that makes their Facebook ads particularly useful.

1. Slack

Slack Facebook Ad

Slack Facebook Ad

Slack’s ad featuring a woman riding a pink unicorn stands out in any feed—it’s real visual candy. The ad’s contrast between the simple, straightforward copy and playful image catches your eye.

Slack’s ad gets to the point in just a few words, and playing to the bane of every working professional’s existence: too many meetings. Their guarantee is something specific and tangible: 25% fewer meetings.

2. Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club

Dollar Shave Club is known for their clever ad campaigns and their very straightforward messaging. This example was an unusually high performer—leading the brand to a 1.5x increase in subscriptions and reaching over 1.6 billion subscribers.

Their copy is succinct: “The smarter way to shave.” Here, they’ve done a fantastic job of showcasing their value proposition in their image – Dollar Shave Club sells great razors for both genders while taking a jab at the assumption that women’s razors need to be pink.

3. KAYAK

Travel booking service KAYAK ran a campaign during March and April 2017 that reached 2.1 billion users. Their new video ads added basic motion to still images in a series of four short videos, resulting in a 39% reduction in cost per searcher (versus their still images used in past ads).

Animation brought new life to their brand, increasing memorability and overall a more interesting ad to look at. Their FB ad also highlights a single, clear benefit: search travel now and get the best price on your flight. (If you’re considering video animation, make sure you build for sound-off auto-play – since 85% of Facebook videos are now played without sound.)

4. Birchbox

Get Lipstick Queen’s FULL-SIZE Hello Sailor lipstick ($22 value) for FREE with your first Birchbox! The innovative formula transforms from blue to berry with the pH of your lips. Just use code LIPQUEEN at checkout!

Posted by BIRCHBOX on Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Birchbox, the online beauty service, used a series of videos to attract new customers, showing close-up demonstrations of new products, along with music and eye-catching graphics.

Video rules. But what Birchbox is doing is giving their audience a closer look at beloved brands in action—a vital part of the decision-making process when it comes to beauty. Birchbox used a lookalike audience to reach people similar to their current subscribers, resulting in a 35% increase in mobile conversions during the first half of 2017.

5. Digital Marketer

Digital Marketer Example

Digital Marketer Example

Digital Marketer’s top performing ad is ironically about high-performing Facebook ads.

This ad works because the messaging and the image work well together in a very literal sense: the word library, plus books, connoting tons of resources. The friendly, helpful tone and concise call-to-action make clear exactly what you’ll get from this library: great ideas for your own ads.
This ad produced over 80,000 leads at $3.26 a pop.

6. Lyft

Lyft Facebook Ad

Lyft Facebook Ad

This Lyft ad offers new drivers a minimum earnings guarantee, for a limited time – a genius way to create a sense of urgency.

Their value proposition is clear and enticing – earn $1,500 and all you have to do is give 60 weekly rides. The repetitive nature of the ad (“Limited time” and “guaranteed” is used multiple times) drives the point home.

7. Groupon

Groupon

Groupon

Groupon is known for its epic deals on local yoga classes and marked down items you didn’t think you needed—multipacks of skirts, a single-use appliance – you name it.

This ad is simple, but here’s why it works so well: the headline of the ad is the offer. While “51% Off – Limited Time!” isn’t particularly creative ad copy, it does speak to our urge to take advantage of a great deal that will disappear soon. Adding a “shop now” button also makes it easy to act fast.

8. Moon Juice

Moon Juice Carousel Example

Moon Juice Carousel Example

This carousel example from wellness brand Moon Juice is colorful, attractive, and informative.

They include very clearly defined product benefits, plus a nice offer, in their ad. They show how to easily incorporate the brand’s signature adaptogen powders into everyday foods like waffles and lattes – making their brand relatable to their audience’s every day routines. Additionally, these ads are consistent with the brand’s healthy, California aesthetic.

9. Shopify

Shopify

Shopify

This Shopify ad is a good example of emotional and aspirational appeal. In this example of “sell your crafts”, the brand does a great job of showing how easy it is to set-up an online marketplace for your creations. Simplicity in getting started is a great way to inspire action.

The copy in this ad speaks to entrepreneurial ambition. Why should you craft for nothing, when selling your crafts on Facebook with Shopify is so easy?

10. MeUndies

MeUndies

MeUndies

You may know them from your favorite podcasts, but MeUndies has a solid marketing campaign across channels. They used Facebook ads to showcase one of their fun, funky products.

This is another example of great visual and copy alignment. The copy “it’s lights out” corresponds with the dark photo with glow-in-the-dark underpants. They’ve also presented a unique product. While something of an impulse-buy item, the novelty factor really boosted engagement: 7,000 people liked the post.

11. Grammarly

Grammarly

Grammarly

Grammarly’s ad is a good example of an ad that uses a statistic to show why their product is a critical investment: 96% of online daters say good grammar is essential. While this ad calls out the embarrassment of making grammatical errors, they presented themselves as an accessible solution to your problem; a very clear value prop.

12. Glossier

Glossier

Glossier

Glossier’s short video on how to use their blush product, Cloud Paint, is a great representation of their brand personality (the video used in the Facebook Ad is featured above). It also feels very personal. The video, shot in natural light with minimal background, features the model showing how to use the blush, as well as how the different colors can create different looks. Plus, the “shop now” CTA makes it easy for viewers to head over and make a purchase.

13. Nike

Nike Ad

Nike Ad

Nike goes short and sweet here, taking advantage of the fact that people tend to gravitate toward images over lengthy copy.

The headline, “Customize with Nike ID” paired with a variety of colors and styles shows that there is something for everyone. They sweeten the deal with free shipping on orders over $75.

14. Square

Square

Square

Instead of using the carousel to illustrate a feeling like Moon Juice, Square takes advantage of the multi-image ad by showing exactly how their card reader works. Images are clear and show both the original card reader and the chip card reader.

15. Blue Apron

Blue Apron

Blue Apron

Blue Apron’s before and after ad gives you a taste of what the service looks like: transforming raw ingredients into a restaurant-quality meal.

The brand showcases exactly what you’re getting in just two appealing images. The copy “make cooking easy and fun” speaks to the skeptics, making the process approachable for beginners and foodies alike.

Finally, the brand recognizes the barrier to entry is that initial buy-in, so the first order is free. That first order encourages a positive kickstart to your relationship with their brand, making it less likely you’ll cancel once you have to start paying for your subscription.

16. Bombas

Bombas

Bombas

Rather than extending a straightforward discount to new customers, Bombas offers a short and playful quiz so the audience can get to know the brand.

This ad is fun. Instead of offering a discount flat out, inviting readers first to take a quiz engages them on a deeper level. You’re also looking at a large, colorful image of the product—featuring the brand name front and center. You can tell these socks stand out before you even head to their website to browse their selection. The ad also leads visitors to a relevant landing page where they can enter their email in exchange for a discount (one of the best practices we mentioned above!).

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We hope this FB ads guide makes things a little easier. We looked at some of the brands ruling the space—but most importantly, saw that capturing their voice and using consistent branding was the key to success.

Paying more per day will not necessarily award you any more leads, conversions, or whatever metric you’re focused on. Instead, focus on setting goals that align with your overall sales and marketing strategy.

If you’ve got the marketing budget to spare, try new strategies, use different types of content, and try to post only what is fun or useful to your audience.

Some other great Facebook resources you might enjoy:

Interested in learning more about Facebook Ads?

Join us at one of our upcoming social media marketing conferences, with dedicated how-to training sessions to help you get the most out of your Facebook ads.