• Richard Campbell

2 Key Pillars for Improving Paid Facebook Performance

Facebook plays a large role in the marketing mix of many businesses, across all sorts of industries, both in Australia and globally. The success of the platform for advertisers speaks for itself. Yet with that, comes much competition among advertisers, all jocking for prime position to get the attention of their target audience in a crowded news-feed. With increased competition comes inflated advertising costs, which can see your campaigns performance begin to decline. We have broken out 2 key pillars to consider if your campaigns are under delivering: targeting, and creative.


TO DO: Aim for a large target audience, but balance this with quality through optimisations.

Reasoning: Larger audiences will remove the strain put on the Facebook system to find the right audience for your objective and ad. This also allows the system more flexibility to find the right prospective consumer to align with your goal, particularly in the learning phase when a new ad set is launched.

Tip: Try for an audience size of 2M. Using Facebook’s third party data, this should not be an issue. If you find your audience is quite particular, look at expanding your audience using a number of different methods, from interest targeting, to custom audiences, to lookalikes, or a combination. Using the Facebook pixel or Facebook’s third party data, extending the reach of your audience can allow you chisel this audience down until you have just the right target market for your course.

Not having success?

Use Lookalike Audiences. Lookalike audiences allow advertisers to expand the reach of their audience by finding people similar to the potential consumers you may already be targeting. For example, if you have a set of data of people who have placed a lead on a course on your site, you can create a lookalike audience of people with similar attributes or browsing habits and encourage them to also take action. Using a sliding scale, you can get as similar or dissimilar as you like, with the latter enabling you to extend your reach even further. Be careful not to extend this too far, as it’s important to balance reach with quality traffic.

Add your current database as a custom audience.

Have your own set of data? Why not upload it to Facebook and use this audience to carry out a new action. For example, users who have filled out a lead form, may be targeted with a follow-up survey or request for feedback on how their experience with your product or service went. Alternatively, use this extremely qualified audience to build a lookalike and extend your reach.

Expand existing targeting: clicking the checkbox to expand your target audience will enable the system to find users within your targeting parameters who are likely to take your desired action. This in turn will result in a higher relevancy score, more impressions, and more conversions, making your campaign more efficient and effective overall.

Open up your custom audience parameters to sit higher in the funnel.

Have you created a custom audience of users who have, for example, began filling out a lead form however have not submitted a lead? Is this particular audience size relatively small? Try aiming for an action higher in the funnel, for example, page viewers of the product or service you’re promoting.


TO DO: Create thumb-stopping content, which is digestible at a glance.

Reasoning: Our attention spans on Facebook are shrinking! Creative will have a significant impact on conversion rates, and poor creative will result in your campaign under delivering.


Ensure creative is to spec.

If running video creative, ensure assets are produced in square, 1:1 format. If there are voice-overs included, ensure you use subtitles. Most videos are consumed with sound off.

Ensure creative aligns with your objectives.

If you’re running a campaign with the objective to drive clicks and sessions, use appropriate creative for this. For example, don’t use video creative for traffic generation activity. Further, if it’s engagement that you’re seeking, serve an ad format which is tailored to this, alongside a news-feed description which encourages users to engage and interact with your content either through conversation or reaction.

Keep Headlines Punchy and news-feed descriptions to a minimum.

MMA Global conducted research on consumer attention and cognition, which suggests that the human brain needs less than ½ a second to engage with mobile advertising and trigger a reason – POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE. Weak ads are processed faster and create negative responses in less than a second. It is super important to have creative which connects with your audience on an emotional level, and which they can take information in swiftly.

Not having success?

Add new creative to ad sets.

Test your creatives to allow Facebook’s system to learn and serve the best performing ad. As a rule of thumb, ensure you have at least 2-3 creatives per ad set, giving Facebook the ability to A/B test naturally. Test variables such as images, headlines, landing pages, and news-feed descriptions, until you find the best combination for your target audience. Through testing of imagery in a number of ad sets, one of our clients saw a 56% decrease in CPA for lead generation over a 30 day period. Further, another one of our clients noticed a 64% decrease in CPA using the same testing method. Important to note – ensure you keep all other variables the same when A/B testing, to ensure you’re able to compare apples with apples, and single out one variable as what you wish to test.

Finding the perfect solution for Facebook’s Ads platform to maximise conversions within your budget can be difficult. It’s important to ensure your targeting is always meeting a healthy balance between broader audiences and narrow, niche markets. Further, ensure your creative is captivating and digestible within seconds of first viewing it. If you find your campaigns are under delivering, try one of these recommended approaches and you’re sure to see your results improve.