So your eCommerce business hasn’t gained the traction you’d hoped for. What to do? Facebook ads may be a better option than you think, especially if you’re willing to do some research. After all, advertising won’t work if you don’t know who it is you’re trying to reach.

Do You Know Your Customers?

Nevertheless, many Facebook advertisers seem willing to waste money targeting everybody. That has consequences. According to the most recent data, Facebook ads produce an average click through rate of 0.90% versus over 3% for Google’s AdWords.

And yet Facebook is getting better. In 2013, the average CTR for a Facebook ad was just 0.20% — myriad options for targeting buyers have improved results in the years since.

For example, a retailer advertising on Facebook may now choose to place ads when a prospective buyer is nearby. Similarly, a high-touch antiques dealer may choose to push ads to members of Facebook groups who profess interest in high-end collectibles. The more targeted the ad, the greater the odds of a click that leads to a purchase.

3 Ways to Get Better Results from Your Facebook Ads

So how do you target well? Keep these three ideas in mind:

  1. Develop buyer personas. The idea here is to study and write ads aimed at your ideal customer. Who are they and what are their interests? What are they usually looking for? How do they behave when buying, and what can that tell you about what they may be interested in now? Answering these questions well can make your ads demonstrably more attractive to potential buyers: HubSpot found that behaviorally-targeted ads are twice as effective untargeted ads.
  2. Try A/B testing. Think of this as a taste test. You create two ad concepts. Try them both at the same time and under the same conditions and see which performs better, and then document what you learn, refining with every successive test. Facebook’s has a documented set of best practices for anyone trying this sort of A/B or “split” testing.
  3. Write the cleanest copy you can. Good ads start with good copy. Follow David Ogilvy’s rules for writing clearly and don’t waste space since short, punchy ads work well on Facebook. Or, as HubSpot puts it, the best Facebook ads have an enticing value proposition and a clear call to action.

Never stop experimenting

Finally, while this isn’t a specific strategy, it’s important to vary your approach. Don’t let the same ad sit for months. Test lots of different concepts and then set a rotation for everything that’s proven to work so no single ad gets stale.

And don’t forget to keep testing! Digital platforms such as Facebook make it easy to swap out concepts soon as you see something is or isn’t working. The more provably effective ad inventory you have now, the more ready you’ll be when the holiday shoppers you’re targeting go online.

MEET THE AUTHOR

Adam Tanguay is responsible for SEO, Content and Organic Growth at Weebly, a simple yet powerful website builder used by thousands of businesses.

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