The ABCs of Facebook Advertising

Updated: Jun 28, 2024 | |

It’s no secret that the caravan industry has hit a rough patch outside of our control. With rising interest rates and inflation leading to a cost-of-living crisis, to government mandates on vehicle efficiency, it’s perhaps no surprise that OEMs and dealers have seen declines in sales.

When times get tough, the marketing budget is the first on the chopping block. It’s the easiest to chop because functionally, businesses can still operate without marketing. However we have seen research show that businesses that continue to advertise in tough market conditions are more likely to see stronger growth when those conditions ease.

As such, we at Retain Media felt it necessary to give our industries a tool kit so you don’t have to cut your marketing dollars, but to make your marketing dollars work harder for you. Below are some of the ABCs of Facebook advertising to help you get through tough economic times.

A is for Automation

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There has been a lot of press about AI in recent years, its capabilities and its potential to put people out of a job. But what if we told you AI is friend, not foe, at least from a social media advertising perspective. Facebook has a number of automated features designed to help advertisers get the most out of their platform.

Our favourite is dynamic product ads. This does require a catalogue feed setup (you can learn more about that here), but is worth the time to set one up as it will help your marketing efforts long term. Dynamic product ads work by using behaviour and intent signals to show audiences an ad curated just for them.

In theory, every single person in your audience could see a different version of your ad, especially if you have hundreds or thousands of products. It is essentially personalisation at scale. Ad relevancy is something audiences crave and they want to see ads that reflect their interests, which dynamic product ads facilitate.

Facebook has many automation tools under its Advantage+ product suite, and we highly recommend you check these out to see if there are any automation tools you can apply to your marketing campaigns.

B is for Best Practice

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Facebook released its first iteration of on-platform paid advertising in 2007. That’s given Facebook 17 years to learn what works on the platform and what doesn’t. Facebook has a wealth of resource which covers their best practices and optimal use of their ad products. While we won’t go through every single one, here are a couple worth touching on in a bit more detail. 

In the mid-2010s, over-segmentation was en vogue. If you were a pet shop owner, you’d have an audience for dog owners, one for cat owners, one for bird owners and so on. With the introduction of automation tools and machine learning, we have gone back the other way. Over-segmentation is out, and broad targeting is in.

The theory behind this is the Opportunity To See (OTS). Platforms like Facebook have so many data points from how users have engaged with the platform, that without you telling them, they can identify the dog owner, the cat owner and the bird owner, and show them an ad relevant to them. Over-segmentation limits OTS, which limits a campaign’s overall potential. 

Just like building a house, your campaigns can’t perform without a solid foundation. A good campaign structure is just as important as having good creative, and a bad campaign structure could sink your advertising efforts. Try to avoid having too many ad sets in your campaigns.

If you find your campaigns have 10-12 or more ad sets in them, use Facebook’s audience overlap tool to see how similar your audiences are. If they have a significant overlap, merge these similar audiences. On the flipside, having only one ad set can be just as harmful to a campaign, as this could impact Facebook’s machine learning and effectiveness.

Our recommendation is to have 2-3 ad sets active at any time, but if you need a few more, we suggest to have no more than 6.

C is for Creative

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Smartphones and mobile advertising have been part of the advertising landscape for nearly 15 years. At Retain Media, 95% of our ad impressions were served on mobile devices in 2023. But despite such a high proportion of advertising impressions going to mobile, few advertisers invest in mobile-first creative. 

What makes creative mobile-friendly? The first step to check is to review your creative. Is it legible on a mobile screen, or is the text overlay too small? Do you take up the available ad space, or are your images 1.91:1 horizontal ratio? We understand that you may not have the resources to create new mobile-friendly assets, which is why Facebook has tools within its advertising suite such as templates and video editor to help you. 

And if you are playing with video ads, think about your story structure for social ads. Social media video isn’t linear like traditional TV commercials. You can’t have your brand reveal at the end as audience retention is low. In fact, most people will only see the first 2-3 seconds of your ad on social media. That’s why we recommend featuring your brand at the beginning of the video, so at a minimum, audiences remember who the video ad was for. 

S is for Strategy

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The above should give you a starting point in how to make your marketing budgets work harder for you across social media. But what if you need or want some additional help?

That’s where we come in. At Retain Media, we are marketing specialists for our industry. Our Facebook experts are Blueprint certified, and our agency is a Facebook Marketing Partner, giving us access to resources not available to most direct advertisers. We have tried and tested strategies that have helped our clients increase their business outcomes.

If you’re looking to upgrade your approach to Facebook advertising, contact us today to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.

Like what you’ve seen so far?

There is more where this came from. We recently presented this plus more at the CIAA conference in May. You can download and view the whole toolkit by clicking the button below.

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