Facebook has an incredible global reach of more than 1 billion active users, so it makes perfect sense why businesses – both large and small – are flocking to Facebook Advertising to reach their audiences.
With a variety of platforms and options to choose from, Facebook makes it almost too easy to target exactly the audience demographic that you want, even allowing you to niche down to the most finite of audiences. Once you choose your objective, Facebook gives you the power to segment and optimize your ads in innumerable ways, including placement and even posting it to Instagram. But it doesn’t end there, Facebook also helps you to track your results, allowing you to tweak – if need be – as you go along to ensure your success.
Katrina Crowell is the Digital Marketing Consultant and Strategist, as well as an SEO guru at flyte new media. Her sharp marketing skills – as well as a few learned tips and tricks – have made her both successful and effective while utilizing Facebook’s advertising platform, not only for flyte, but for their clients as well.
Rich: Katrina Crowell is the Digital Marketing Consultant here at flyte new media. She manages social media campaigns, digital advertising and creates in depth digital marketing strategies for a wide variety of clients. She has over 8 years of experience in web content development and social media marketing, along with a Masters Degree in Marketing, with a concentration in social media.
She’s worked as a ghost blogger, a freelance web marketer and SEO consultant for businesses across numerous industries. Having spent 5 years in the direct response industry, Katrina has a soft spot and keen insight for advertising and marketing with measurable goals.
Katrina, welcome to the show.
Katrina: Thank you, RIch, I am very happy to be here.
Rich: You of course have been involved with the show many, many times before. You are often behind the scenes, you used to put together the shows for me and you continue to do marketing and promotional work for the Agents Of Change Podcast.
Katrina: That’s right, now I’m actually given a moment of glory in front of the microphone.
Rich: Actually, you are not experienced being up on stage. You actually sang for a packed studio audience at the Agents Of Change Conference back in 2014.
Katrina: Yes I did, and it was fun and another moment of glory. I like to rack those up.
Rich: I don’t know if I mentioned this, but when I looked through the feedback from last year’s Agents Of Change Conference, somebody said, “What happened to that woman who was singing, why didn’t you bring her back?”
Katrina: No, really?
Rich: For reals.
Katrina: That is awesome.
Rich: Maybe we’ll try embedding the video from that presentation in so people can see just what an amazing singing voice you do have.
Katrina: Wow, yes, thank you.
Rich: What was the song again? It was a Jackson 5 song, right?
Katrina: It was “I Want You Back”, because remember we tried to think of how we could tie it into marketing and we were thinking retargeting. We tried.
Rich: An unofficial retargeting theme song.
Rich: Alright. That’s not why we’re here today. Today we want to talk about advertising on Facebook. There’s Facebook Ad Manager, the Power Editor and Business Manager. It seems like there’s a lot of different confusing platforms for advertising on Facebook. Could you give us a breakdown of each one?
Katrina: Definitely. So Facebook Ad Manager – what it used to be and for the most part still is – is the introductory platform for the person who is just getting started with Facebook ads. It’s their general offering for their advertising platform.
The Power Editor has the same features as Facebook Ad Manager, but they add on. So it’s a little bit more advanced, it’s for those that have a little more experience with Facebook advertising, or maybe you’re building your skills, so there’s a few different tools and tricks within that platform.
And then Business Manager is basically a platform for wither agencies who are managing several different Facebook advertising accounts, or it could be for a large company or business where multiple people are sharing. Instead of one Facebook login you’d open up that account for the agents in your business in Business Manager and go from there.
Rich: Ok, that makes a lot of sense. So first we have the Facebook Ad Manager, this is kind of like a good onboarding platform for people just getting started with Facebook ads. You might graduate to the Power Editor. That’s like taking off the training wheels, a little more room to make mistakes, but also a lot more opportunities for more powerful tools. And finally the Business Manager, which is primarily for agencies and large corporations. Did I get that right?
Katrina: That’s correct.
Rich: So let’s say that I’m a small business owner – which I am – and I am looking to get started in Facebook ads. I’m not getting some really great organic reach and I just want to leverage the world’s biggest social media platform. So how exactly would you recommend that I start using Facebook Ad Manager?
Katrina: The first thing I would recommend is establishing your goal. So going into it, understanding exactly what it is that will be success for your campaign. So we can go on the assumption that you want more people to contact you, so filling out a contact form could be a goal. When you log into Facebook Ad Manager you have several options for different objectives that you can choose for your campaign. So if you wanted to send a ton of leads to your website, you could choose, for example, “send leads to my website”. So I would start from that objective.
Once you choose your objective it will ask you for the website that you’d like to send people to. So when you enter this website, there’s a couple of things to keep in mind. You want to make sure that the website is trackable. We like to use Google URL Builder, and that basically puts tracking parameters on whatever URL you’re putting into Facebook so that later on you can look back in your Google Analytics and see what happened to those leads once they left the Facebook platform and went to the website. So I would definitely make sure to have the tracking parameters there.
Then also I would consider sending people to a squeeze page, which is basically just a landing page that is benefit and offer driven and has really no other navigation other than to convert. So those are a couple of things to do really before you dig into Facebook Ad Manager.
Rich: So just to recap, first is to establish my goals or objectives. And then these tracking parameters, how exactly do I set these up? Are those tools within Facebook or are those things that I grab from another place?
Katrina: It’s something you can grab from another place. We like to use Google URL Builder. You can just type that into Google and the website will populate and all you have to do is answer a series of questions.
Rich: So that’s kind of like a “pro tip”, because many people might go directly to the Facebook Ad Manager and type in the URL they want to send people to. But what you’re suggesting is to first go to that URL builder and generate the additional code that’s tacked onto the end, so that when you look at your Google Analytics, you can get more robust reports on exactly how that Facebook advertising traffic is behaving once it gets to your website.
Rich: We actually have a video and a blog post all about that, so I’ll try to remember to link to that in the show notes. And then you talk about a squeeze page. And what exactly is a squeeze page for those people that don’t know?
Rich: Alright, so we’re getting rid of the distractions which hopefully will then increase the conversions. Are squeeze pages something we set up at Facebook or do we have to talk to our web developer and ask them to set something up for us?
Katrina: Well, you could talk to your web developer to have them set something up for you, you can use a tool called LeadPages that’s pretty user friendly. I’m definitely not a programmer by any sense of the term at all, and I’m able to put together some really effective and professional looking squeeze pages using LeadPages. So there are tools out there like that that can help the person that doesn’t have an awesome programmer on staff.
Rich: Ok, cool. So we have our goals and objectives set up, we’ve figured out our URL tracking parameters, we’ve got our squeeze page. Now what do we do?
Katrina: So you plug this into Facebook once you’ve chosen the objective and they will ask you what site you’re sending people to. So you plug this in and the next thing that Facebook will ask you is set your audience and set your budget for the campaign.
So setting your audience you actually have a lot more capabilities that didn’t used to exist before with Facebook Ad Manager. So there’s one really cool tool that used to be just available with Power Editor, and that is the ability to create custom audiences. So with a custom audience you could – for instance – upload your email newsletter list. Or you could upload even phone numbers of your customer list, so people who have opted in to either your email list or have given you their phone number, you can upload that into Facebook. Facebook will then create an audience for you based on the people who are on that list that also match the emails or phone numbers.
So that’s really cool because then you can target your email newsletter list with a Facebook ad. So that’s one of the really cool tools that used to only be available via the Power Editor that you can now do in Facebook Ad Manager.
Another tool that’s pretty awesome that’s available is the ability to save audiences. There’s a lot of really awesome targeting capabilities now with Facebook Ad Manager to the point where it’s almost scary how niche you can get. There are demographics and lifestyles and psychographics and any kind of way that you can imagine that you can find someone pretty much is in there. You can even target people who are interested in specific pages.
For example, we’re running a campaign for a company that sells high end kitchen gadgets, so one of the ways we were able to target people was to target those that like William Sonoma. So we can target all of these and build this really great audience, and then if we see that audience performing very well, we can save the audience and then go back to them as our “control audience” without having to plug it all in all over again.
Rich: Alright, so that makes a lot of sense. Now with the custom audiences, can we also exclude that audience? So let’s say we have an email list and we want to advertise something for first time customers only, we don’t necessarily want to show that to our email list. Within the Facebook Ad Manager, can we exclude custom audiences or is it only for including?
Katrina: No, absolutely. You can definitely exclude audiences. You can exclude people who like you page, you can exclude your email list the same way that you can include those audiences you also have the ability to exclude them. So just like you said, if you really wanted to get something out for just new customers only, you could upload your list and exclude people who are on your email newsletter list for that campaign and they wouldn’t see it.
Rich: Alright, that makes a lot of sense. Talk to me a little about the Instagram ads within Facebook Ad Manager.
Katrina: This is something really cool and something that fairly recently rolled out for everyone. So within Facebook Ad Manager, as you’re going through and placing your ad, you have the ability to choose where the ad shows up on Facebook. So in the past you could choose to show up in the general newsfeed, the right hand side, mobile ads and smartphone ads. So those were your choices for placement.
Well now there is also the ability to place ads on Instagram. It’s really just handled the same way that any other account placement would be handled. So you can choose to have your ad displayed on Instagram, the only thing that you have to make sure that you do is to integrate your Instagram account with your Facebook page. It’s a really easy process, and then you can start running Instagram ads.
Another way that you can run Instagram ads, too, is when you first go into that objective – say you only want to run an Instagram campaign – you can go into Facebook Ad Manager and as your objective target people to Instagram.
Rich: Now I know on Instagram one of my frustrations sometimes is the fact that I can’t include any links in the description. Can I do clickable links within my Instagram ad that will drive traffic to my website?
Katrina: Yes, absolutely. That actually is – for now – what is available to the majority of advertisers. So right now with an Instagram ad you can either send leads to a website, you can send people to an app. What’s not available right now for most of us – it’s slowly rolling out for large companies – so right now Instagram is primarily for driving leads to somewhere offsite, like a website or an app.
Rich: Alright, makes sense. Now how can we measure whether or not any of this is actually working? How do we measure conversions?
Katrina: Well Facebook has a lot of really great options. So we like to use Google Analytics, because that tells us what happens after people have reached our website. But Facebook actually has their own tracking conversion pixel that they’ve rolled out. So there was an old pixel called the Conversion Pixel, and that basically was you have your developer place it on whatever the success page is – the page people get after they submit their contact form or made their purchase, the thank you page – and it will tell you how many people hit that page and it will count that as a conversion.
So they now have added to that conversion and they’ve come up with another tool called a Facebook Pixel. Basically they want people to start using this, they’re going to be phasing out the old Conversion Pixel in the first or second half of this year. They really want everybody using this Facebook Pixel. So the Facebook Pixel is a little bit different than the Conversion Pixel, there’s a lot more functionality. So instead of just placing it on the success page, you’re able to place it everywhere on your website, so you can track audiences, you can track whether or not someone has made a purchase, you can track leads, sign ups, there’s lots more that you can track. It gives you more capabilities as far as retargeting. It looks like they’re moving towards offerings out in that space and also you can still track those conversions.
So if you are using the old Facebook Conversion Pixel, I would definitely recommend you go into Facebook, look at the Facebook Pixel and have your developer put the Facebook Pixel into your website.
Rich: Yeah, so there’s a lot of talk about pixels, and I guess that was my next question. If I don’t have mad development skills, is there a WordPress plugin for that or is this where you just want to talk to somebody that’s a little bit more understanding of how websites are built and ask them to make this change for you?
Katrina: I would ask someone to make the change for me. It used to be that there were plugins that would do this for you, but something we’ve been running up against a little bit more now is some “bugginess” if you’re placing it between the header. So sometimes for us there needs to be a little bit of extra massaging from one of our programmers to get everything to fire off correctly.
Rich: Alright, so this is something you’re not even doing yourself, you’re having somebody else in the company do for you.
Katrina: Yes I am.
Rich: Alright, you mentioned retargeting. What are some of the retargeting options within Facebook?
Katrina: So right now they have a tracking audience capability within the Facebook platform. So one could run an ad to people who have visited your website and didn’t convert. What we use here at flyte is a platform called AdRoll, so that’s another way that as you’re running a Facebook campaign you have that also running at the same time, so you’re dropping cookies on people as they visit your site and if they don’t convert they’ll see a retargeting ad. So they’ll see another ad for your product and the ad will target them so they have come to your website so it will come from a different point of view. It’s basically just following them around Facebook – or around the web – basically saying we know that you’re around and liked what you saw, we’re still here, why don’t you go and make the purchase.
Rich: So in your professional opinion, if you’re using something like AdRoll, you can run retargeting campaigns on Facebook, on Google and websites all around the web. Is there any advantage to Facebook’s retargeting tool, which I assume only works on Facebook?
Katrina: I really think that right now I would stay with the platform AdRoll. I’ll be keeping a close eye on what Facebook does with their offerings, because Facebook Pixel is really pretty interesting with what they can track. So I’ll be keeping an eye out for it, but I wouldn’t go canceling AdRoll right now.
Rich: Alright, sounds good. Moving away from Ad Manager, the next step up you mentioned is Power Editor. What are some of the bells and whistles I get with Power Editor that I’m not going to get with Ad Manager?
Katrina: So Power Editor used to be a lot of the functionality that I was just speaking about with Facebook ads. It used to be that you could only include your custom audience through Power Editor. Power Editor gives you some real cool tools that give you the ability to create lookalike audiences.
This is a really neat tool. You can take your email opt in list and you can plug it into the Power Editor and this tool will create an audience that‘s based off of the profiles of the people that you uploaded that matches those profiles. So people who are similar to you and the people on your email opt in list. If most of the people on the email opt in list that we have are mostly small business owners, and we have the Power Editor create a lookalike audience for us, we could reasonably assume that we’ll be getting more small business owners who aren’t already on our list. So it’s a great way to expand your target audience and reach new people and still target then within your niche.
Rich: That’s cool. So how much back and forth can I do between Power Editor and Facebook Ad Manager? I guess what I’m saying is, if I go ahead and I create or save and audience on Facebook in Power Editor, can I then bring that over to Facebook Ad Manager, or are those really two separate tools and there’s no mixing and matching?
Katrina: No, actually it’s really cool. If you save that audience now in Power Editor, you can access it now in your Facebook Ad Manager. So you just want to go up to an option when you go to set your audience, you have the selection, “saved audiences”, and you select that from the drop down and your audiences will populate there. So any audience that you have created in Power Editor, or that you have created just off of demographic data, or lookalike audiences, those all now will populate for you right there in Ad Manager. So that’s pretty neat not having to go back and forth like we used to.
Rich: Excellent. So besides managing client’s Facebook ad campaigns, what other kind of work do you do here at flyte?
Katrina: I do lots of other things. I do a lot of search engine optimization, which it’s so easier just saying “SEO”. So I spend a lot of time on that front. I also do a lot of high level marketing work, coming up with strategy for digital marketing campaigns and marketing campaign in general.
Rich: Excellent, awesome. And where can we find more about you online, Katrina?
Rich: Katrina, I know it’s a long distance between our offices, so I appreciate you making time for me today. Thank you very much, I appreciate the expertise.
Katrina: Thanks, Rich, this was fun.
Check out the past blog post that flyte new media did on setting up a Facebook Ad Manager account.
Watch Katrina’s performance of “I Want You Back” from AOC2014.
Katrina talked about the 3 platforms that Facebook offers for advertising:
Katrina referred to a few tools that she uses at flyte in conjunction with Facebook advertising:
Rich Brooks is the President of flyte new media, a Portland, Maine-based web design and social media marketing firm. Rich is also the creator and main force behind the annual Agents Of Change Digital Marketing Conference