All successful Facebook ad campaigns have 4 ingredients in common.

Can you guess what they are?

Before reading any further, take a minute to write down your answers (try to resist the urge to scroll down!). I’ll get to the answer in a minute, but first there are a couple key concepts to address so we’re all on the same page…


Concept #1: The Goal Of Your Facebook Ads

This may sound obvious, but it’s worth addressing because it’s so easy to get distracted on Facebook.

We’re all familiar with how Facebook works as users, and because of that experience, there can be a tendency to lose focus on the ultimate goal of Facebook ad campaigns.  For example, it’s nice to see the Likes, Shares, and Comments on our ads, but none of those metrics are the goal!

Businesses should not invest in ads for the sole purpose of getting Likes, Shares, or Comments…

We know that’s ridiculous, but again, it’s easy to fall into that trap because of our personal experiences on Facebook (it feels good to get Likes, Shares, and Comments on our posts), as well as the way Facebook’s reporting highlights these metrics.

So what is the ultimate goal of Facebook advertising?

To generate leads and sales!

That’s why any business invests in marketing and advertising.  With that said, there is certainly still a benefit to getting Likes, Shares, and Comments on your ads.  In fact, there are very good reasons to display ads geared more toward this kind of engagement versus directly selling.  However, those ads need to be part of a larger strategy.

(If you haven’t already, then read How to Create Facebook Ads That People Love (& Also Generate Sales).  In that article I walk through a two-step campaign that starts with what I call an “Engagement Ad” and then follows with a “Direct Response Ad” to generate leads and sales.)

OK, now that we’re on the same page that the goal is to generate leads and sales, let’s move on to the 2nd key concept…


Concept #2: All Facebook Users Are Not Equal

We all know the famous Thomas Jefferson quote, “All men are created equal.”  However, this does not apply to Facebook advertising!

In other words, all Facebook users are not equally important to your business. If you’re familiar with advertising, then this is nothing new.  I’m simply emphasizing the critical point that the success of your Facebook ad campaign hinges on targeting the right users.

To find the users most likely to turn into leads and sales for your business, you can use the following targeting options:

  • Demographics
  • Interests based on what the user likes, shares, clicks on, comments on, as well as the apps he/she uses
  • Behaviors based on activity on Facebook, as well as 3rd party partner data from Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon.  This includes purchase activity, device usage, and travel preferences.
  • Key pages visited on your website
  • Lists of email subscribers or customers in your database

You can even ask Facebook to find other similar users, called Lookalike audiences, after you create an audience using the options above.  As you can see, the targeting capabilities are really what set Facebook Ads apart from other ad networks.

This leads us to the first key ingredient..


Ingredient #1: Laser Targeting

Was this one of the answers you wrote down when we started?

By far the most important ingredient in a Facebook campaign is your targeting.  If you’re not showing your ads to the right users then two things will happen:

  1. First, you’ll waste your budget on users that don’t turn into sales
  2. Second, your Relevance Score will be low, which means Facebook will force you to pay more for the ads.  Your Relevance Score is Facebook’s measurement of how relevant your ads are to the audience you’re targeting.  If they deem your ads to be not very relevant, then you’ll pay a premium for the ads versus other advertisers that are matching the ad copy more precisely to their audience.

As you can see, it’s a double whammy! That’s why getting your targeting right is so critical to your success.

Assuming you’re targeting the right users, then eventually you need to get them to take action.  That leads us to the second ingredient…


Ingredient #2: Direct Response Ad

A direct response ad uses copy and visuals to elicit a response.  In our case, the response we want is a click-through to our website.  Likes, shares, and comments are nice, but the goal of this ad is to get a click so that’s the one metric you’ll use to measure success.

Unfortunately, Facebook reporting can get a bit confusing when it comes to measuring Clicks on your ad.  That’s because by default Facebook reports on “All Clicks” which includes clicks to Like, Share, and Comment, as well as clicks through to your website.  To isolate exactly how many users actually clicked through to your website, you need to report on “Link Clicks.”  That’s the metric we care about with direct response ads.

Once the user clicks through to your website, then she lands on ingredient #3…


Ingredient #3: Direct Response Landing Page

One of the most common advertising mistakes I see is businesses sending ad traffic to their website homepage.  This is never a good idea because homepages are designed to be portals into the rest of your website.  Take a look at some homepages and you’ll see they provide a more general introduction to the business and all the different products or services provided.

Remember, the user just clicked on a direct response ad that made an offer.  The offer is likely for a specific product or service so it doesn’t make sense to send the user to a general homepage.  Instead, send the user to a dedicated landing page that reiterates the offer made in the ad and clearly displays the next steps to take advantage of the offer.

OK, what are we missing?

If you only used these 3 ingredients then you’ll quickly run into a problem after your campaign is live.  Without ingredient #4 you’ll have no way of knowing which ads are performing well and which are wasting your budget!


Ingredient #4: Conversion Tracking

The final ingredient is to set up proper conversion tracking.  This will allow you to measure the number of leads and sales generated directly from your Facebook ad campaign.

Without conversion tracking you’ll be flying blind and likely wasting a lot of your budget on ads that are under-performing.

The process to set up Facebook conversion tracking is similar to other ad networks.  First, you need to copy your unique tracking pixel and add that to every single page of your website.  Second, you have two options for tracking conversions:

  1. Track custom conversions using a webpage URL.  For example, if you want to track demo sign ups, then you would copy the demo sign up thank you page URL and tell Facebook to track that page as a conversion.
  2. Event tracking using Event codes.  This is a bit technical because you’ll need to copy a line of javascript and paste it at the end of the pixel code (before the </script>) on the webpage you want to track.  For example, if you want to track demo sign ups, then you would copy the Lead Event code, which “fbq(‘track’, ‘Lead’);”  Then you would paste that code right before the </script> of your pixel code on the demo sign up thank you page.

If those steps sound too advanced, then there’s also the option to email the code and directions to your developer.  For most websites, this should be an easy, pain-free process.

Once your conversion tracking is set up, then congratulations, you have all 4 ingredients to run a successful Facebook ad campaign!

Want more tips on creating Facebook Advertising Campaigns?




Register now for our  live online training — How To Create Facebook Ads That Actually Generate Leads & Sales — and learn exactly how to create Facebook Ads that don’t just get “Likes”… but actually generate customers for your business.

Join us on Thursday, May 19th 2016 from 12:00pm-1:30pm EST.

Click here to learn more and register.