Facebook is one of the most popular platforms for running paid ads, and of course, Instagram ads also fall under this umbrella. That’s why it may surprise you to learn that many people aren’t seeing the results that they want when running paid ads on these platforms.
Or maybe it doesn’t surprise you. Either way, the truth is that there is some hidden data that Meta is hiding from its paid ads users, and accessing this can be the step you need to take to transform your paid ads campaigns. Think of it as the golden key to a magic kingdom.
Before we dive into the good stuff, I do want to mention that I run my own paid ads agency, Snowball Creations, so if at any point you find yourself thinking “This is too much for me to handle”, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and allow an expert ads manager to take over your account. I also have a YouTube video sharing what I know about the hidden data, so if you’d rather watch that than read this blog post, feel free to access it here.
Columns = keys to success
Here’s the thing: when you’re looking at your ad campaigns, Facebook is going to give you the standard, run-of-the-mill column setup. And if we’re being honest, it’s pretty useless.
It shows you a bunch of stuff that no one actually cares about, instead of what you’re after, which is valuable data. You can switch to a performance view which will give you some more information on results, but the bar is still pretty low.
I would recommend coming up with your own column setup. If you want to see an in-depth tutorial about this, watch this video. This way, you can look at your Meta campaigns the way expert advertisers do.
How we set up our columns
We start with the basics:
Start with what’s important. I think the reason for this is pretty self-explanatory. For e-commerce businesses, the most important information is purchases, and for B2B businesses it might be something like leads. This is your simple conversion that you want to track.
Next up is your conversion value, because that’s also important.
Your ROAS plays a big role in your ads, so that should be your next column. Pro tip: instead of only relying on Facebook to determine your ROAS, use a third-party tracking software as well.
Then we move into a funnel:
I recommend always having a column for results, in case you change your goal.
Then we move from the top of the funnel down to the bottom:
- Add to cart
- Initiate checkout
- Custom columns
We also like to add custom columns as this will give specific information depending on the business and its ads. This is where you can add custom things that you want to track, like how many people go from adding their cart to actually checking out.
You can also add the classic (but important) conversion rate of your website as a custom column so that you can see how many unique clicks are actually converting. This will give you a good idea of how your website is converting.
The bottom line on columns
Basically, if you’re using Facebook’s pre-set columns, you’re missing out on a lot. Setting up custom columns will allow you to easily access the information you actually want in a way that works for you.
Some key players
There are a few key players that you always need to consider when trying to access information from your Facebook ads in order to maximise your ROI, so let’s do a bit of speed-dating where we run through each of them.
“Facebook ads are dead”. This is something that I’ve heard super often, and I bet that you can say the same. More and more people think that Instagram should be the go-to Meta platform for ads. Or that they should only be running ads on stories rather than in-feed.
That’s a very narrow-minded opinion to have. Shame on you! The truth is that it’s much more complex, and if you want to get the most out of your ads, you need to consider all your options. Play the field. Flirt with possibilities. Don’t be monogamous right off the bat.
Therefore, when choosing a placement, run multiple ads to see what works. You never know – Facebook might just be the underdog who makes a comeback.
There’s not just one way to run ads. For example, some of the brands whose ads we manage are super high-end and luxury, which means that they perform best on Facebook. Why? Because Facebook has an older demographic, and generally, older people are the ones who can afford to invest in high-end items.
Days of the week
Most people don’t really put much thought into ad data when it comes to days of the week, but it can actually provide really valuable insights! Perhaps your ad is more popular over weekends, or maybe it’s the opposite, and people are clicking on your ad like crazy during the week whereas it’s getting no traffic on weekends.
In the beginning, this may seem like a small thing, but over time, you may start to recognise some patterns and use that to your advantage.
There is so much information out there about the demographic that uses your ads, not to mention the fact that you probably have a bunch of data compiled about your ideal demographic as well. So, it’s important to make sure that you’re looking into it.
Do you have a wide variety of ages looking at your ads? Or do your ads tend to attract people in a certain age group? Once you have this information, you can tailor your ads to appear enticing to that age group.
Of course, age isn’t the only factor that plays a role in the demographics. You should also think about the geographical implications. If you only advertise in one country, that’s pretty simple. But if you advertise in multiple countries, you can split those up into different campaigns to see which ads perform best in which countries.
Again with the Instagram versus Facebook thing! If you are running ad campaigns on both platforms, this gives you the chance to actually compare how they are performing so that you can analyse which platform is best for you, or at the very least, which ads perform better on which platforms.
Those are just a few of the things you could be looking at. If I had to cover everything, we’d be here for ages, and I don’t want to keep you, as I’m sure you have some important business to attend to (such as improving your Facebook Ads campaigns; nudge nudge, wink wink).
Some other things that are very interesting to look into and play around with include:
- Time by week
- Conversion device
In the end, it’s all about trying to understand who is seeing your ad, and then catering to that audience in a way that appeals to them, rather than trying to force-feed them your ad.
If you know that most of your conversions come from an older audience, old-school ads like single-image ads may be the winner. If young people flock to your website, make sure to use modern ads like UGC or videos. But don’t limit yourself to these things right off the bat.
Test different audiences and different ad types to help you create the perfect combination.
And I’ll say it again before I leave you be: if you still feel like this is too much for you to handle on top of all of your other duties, I’ve got you! Fill in the form below to get in touch with my ad agency.