Didn’t get the chance to attend our Ads Summit sessions last week? Don’t worry, we’ve got the whole scoop for those that missed out. Here’s a recap of our favorite sessions, tips, and lessons we learned from Social Examiner’s 2019 Ads Summit

The first day of Ads Summit was heavily focused on traffic retargeting via Facebook Ads. Andrew Hubbard discussed a few best practices to use Facebook Ads intuitively in order to increase reach for businesses.

For any business who finds themselves active within a community page or Facebook group, using self-created and contributed content can help you build up a retargeting audience. Andrew suggests creating video content for a Facebook group page that both contributes to the value of the group and collects an audience of those who watched at least three seconds of the video content. This audience can then be funneled into Facebook ads and used as a custom audience to retarget ads towards.

Andrew also suggests using external content to create continuity and credibility with your audience. Have you had a recent feature in an article, podcast, or business review? Using content from highly regarded sources that feature your business can help build reach, even if it isn’t linked back to your content. Though Facebook Pixel will not be able to track the performance of the add as it links back to your site, you can use an external tracking source to track ad performance while also gathering a new custom audience. Andrew suggests using PixelMe to do just that.

Basically, when it comes to Facebook Ads, there’s a lot more to utilize than meets the eye! Thinking about new and exciting ways to reach and retarget audiences can be a huge game changer for any business or client looking for a recharge in website traffic and audience reach!

On day two, we focused our attention to Paul Ramondo as he spoke about the power of Facebook video ads: How to use video ads in all stages of a proper targeting funnel to increase reach, lead generation, and conversion rates.

This session was into three different segments: The psychology behind Facebook video ad consumption, the Facebook Ad funnel and how it functions, and an overarching strategy that businesses can apply when using Facebook video ads to increase traffic and generate more conversions

In segment one, Paul highlighted the pain points that many businesses are facing within the Facebook ad platform. With Facebook’s user control increasing and allowing users to limit what ads reach them, there comes a directly related increase in Facebook ad costs. However, through video ads, businesses can see their ad budget go a long way.

Paul discussed the importance of knowing the Facebook video ad funnel, which can be broken down into three segments: The attraction stage, the information and trust building stage, and finally the conversion stage. He also stresses how ads that include a lead magnet (think form fill content and email subscriptions) can weed out those who are valued buyers from those who just seem to be “window shopping” in the trust building stage of the funnel.

Paul ended by outlining a winning structure for businesses to utilize when creating their own video ads by highlighting a client case study that any business can easily emulate within their own ad practice.

Day three’s session was all about ad spend: How to best use your business’s ad budget on Facebook to get the most bang for your buck!

Guest speaker Andrea Vahl spent her session breaking down the best way to develop a Facebook ad test plan that delivers a better result for businesses without wasting their ad budget. She spoke about the best way to map out an ad budget, how to choose testing variables, and some basic rules for optimizing the campaigns you test.

When dealing with businesses that have limited ads funds, you want to make sure you’re able to stretch the value of their dollar as far as you possibly can. So, in order to optimize your budget spend, Andres suggests setting your budget at the ad campaign level- meaning your budget will then be split between different ad sets using Facebook’s budget auto-optimization setting. Facebook’s setting is highly intuitive, but in order to set yourself up for budget success, you’ll want to make sure your ad sets have a similar sized audience. This way, Facebook knows to distribute allocated funds as evenly as possible.

Andrea recommends using creatives that are vastly different from one another to get the full effect of ad testing. She also suggests allocating anywhere from 10-20% of your ad budget strictly to testing to give testing ads a fair chance. Then, after 4-6 days and a review of how your test ads are performing, you can shut off underperforming ads and slowly scale up ad spend on those that appear to be doing well. This was a great refresher course for those us trying to build up a top performing campaign while using an inexpensive ads budget. 

We wrapped up our week by listening to Molly Pittman instruct about cold audience targeting best practices via Facebook Ads Manager.

Molly started by discussing the importance of creating an avatar- or an ideal client for your business’s market. She then breaks up businesses into two different groups: those who are market-centric and those who are product-centric. For market-centric businesses- those whose audience seems to be just one type of buyer- she suggests focusing on building one avatar. However, for product-centric businesses- those whose products fit more than one type of client type- she suggests having at least two, if not more avatars built up to reach every potential audience.

So, how does one go about building up an avatar? When it comes to creating cold audiences, it can be especially hard to target your perfect client if you aren’t sure what to focus on or where to look. 

That’s why Molly lays out a plan to get businesses on the right track. Her focus is on the detailed targeting box within the custom audience creator in Facebook Ads Manager. She claims this is the key to creating cold audiences that perform well. 

But how do you know what to include and exclude within this box? That’s where avatar research comes into play.

Molly suggests doing an exercise that allows you to get to know your ideal avatar a little bit better. Where do they shop? What products do they use? What pages are they liking and interacting with on Facebook? If you can find this information out, you can then start building up a Google Document filled with pages on Facebook behavior and activity. 

You can then plug this list into the detailed targeting box in order to see the value of these Facebook pages in terms of audience sizing. If a Facebook page does not show up in the “include” box, you can toss it from your list. All of these Facebook pages should be used to generate a good test audience for cold outreach.

Overall, the 2019 Ads Summit held some highly intuitive and fresh information about the ever-changing world of Facebook Ads. We hope that anyone who missed out on the experience was able to use our recap to learn something brand new (but don’t miss out next year!)