So you’ve decided to start running Facebook Ads… what next?

Firstly, HOW EXCITING!! I truly hope that you fall in love with this incredibly powerful tactic for supercharging your digital marketing activity. Read on for 5 simple things to do before you start Facebook Advertising.

When I first start working with clients who have never advertised on Facebook before it’s an exciting time. Many may have boosted post before, and a lot of the time they’re starting fresh – but need a lot of help getting everything ready for Facebook Advertising success.

Your website

Do you have Google Analytics code installed to track your site visitors usage?

Whilst not strictly necessary to Facebook advertising success, it is absolutely crucial to have this installed so you understand how effective [or not!] your website is.

Once installed you’ll be able to track and compare the analytics from the Facebook Ads Manager and Google Analytics and investigate any discrepancies.

Plan YOUR landing page or Ad destination

Does the destination you’re sending ad traffic to live up to the hype of your ad?

Are you making the process of signing up / finding the right product and generally letting the user find what they came for as easy as possible?  

Please never EVER just send traffic from a targeted ad to your website and expect the user to find what they need to do. People expect a better user experience and you need to virtually hold their hand. It’s usually better to have a dedicated landing page for your ad campaigns, if you’re not sending traffic directly to a product page in the case of e-com.

Tip – Message match your landing page destination with your ads, and use the same imagery to ensure a consistent brand experience. Typically a landing page is usually a stripped back user experience to focus on your offer or service and guide the user as to what to do next.

Set up your Ad Account

Whilst its best practice to set up an Ad account under a Business manager account if you’re going to have people working on your ads on your behalf, it’s not essential if you’re just planning to run your ads yourself.

If you are setting up a new Ad Account, ensure that the currency and time zone are set appropriately for your location. Often accounts get set up on Pacific time [US West Coast], which can be frustrating when you’re planning campaigns to go live at certain times in Australia [or elsewhere of course].

The time zone and currency settings can’t be changed after the account is created, so it is a good thing to try and tackle first up.

Be sure to add a payment method when you set up the account too. That way anyone you’ve granted access to the account will be able to get started straight away.

Set up and install your Facebook Pixel

One of the first things I do when a new client comes on board is check to see if a pixel is already installed on their website [I use the Chrome extension – Facebook Pixel Helper].

If not, this is something I recommend doing as soon as possible. You can read more about the pixel, and walk through the process here.

Installing the pixel will depend on your website platform, but the instructions for WordPress, Shopify, Squarespace and Wix are all easy to follow. You’ll need to be able access the <head> area of your website to place the code and most of the above platforms make this pretty straightforward if you’re familiar with the back end of your website.

If you’re going to be tracking conversions [sales, leads and completion of certain events] as part of your ad campaign, ensure that you install the conversion code to the appropriate ‘thank you’ pages on your website.

So, for an ecommerce page this would be on the ‘order received’ page, for an email acquisition campaign, it would be on the ‘thank you for subscribing page.

This conversion code only goes on the ‘success’ page, when someone who’s been exposed to your ad reaches that step of the sales process, it is recorded as a conversion in your ad campaign.

Even if you don’t plan on running conversion campaigns, the pixel is really important for effective audience targeting and creating custom audiences to test in your advertising.

Audit your creative

Do an audit of your strongest content and start to plan your creative approach. This might include reviewing past organic posts that performed well and identifying those with social proof [likes and comments] that might work well as an ad.

Do you have a suitable bank of images – high quality, bespoke images [not stock] typically perform best. Be wary of too much text in your photos – yes, this can be tricky for some product based business, especially when their product is beautiful quotes and printed materials!!

Look at the video content you might already have, or consider creating video assets to test in the campaign.

If video exists, you may need to add captions and look at modifying the video to the recommended square or portrait format.

When it comes to testing creative I like to always test at least 2 elements – ie 2 single images against each other, 1 single image vs a video, 1 carousel vs 1 single image ads etc etc. The types of ad you will run will largely depend on the creative assets you have.

So there you have it, 5 simple things to do before you start Facebook Advertising that I action as part of my on-boarding of new Facebook Advertising clients. Let me know if you have any questions!