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Images – Royalty free stock ex SXC, plus my own headshots – faces draw eyes so it’s worth starting with those to get a high CTR and low CPC.
Social Ads Manager (SAM) by Brighter Option – bulk ad creation, upload, powerful tracking built in, save targeted interests for reuse, great support by skype and email, cost is % of spend
Pixlr & MS Paint – Cropping, adjusting image brightness and contrast to shout louder, adding text and certain effects. Free! YAAY.
FBAdsToolbox – To add standard effects like image borders in different colors and certain neat image effects like scroll buttons, video play buttons etc. Very affordable at $58/year (save $60+) or $12/mo.
Confessions of an Advertising Man – ad copy guidelines by David Ogilvy. I also want to get Ogilvy on Advertising and my friend Marty Weintraub’s Killer Facebook Ads
Google Website Optimizer (on html, not WordPress) – conversion rate optimization
Landing pages set up and ready to be split test in GWO.
Step 1: Collect Pics
Browse for useful pics and download new ones to my pc. Useful = Faces, and anything that jumps out at the eyes. I’m looking for contrast, bright colors, faces, action shots, and niche stuff. Ex. of niche: With SEO, I got pics of guys in black hats. (The copy with those ads should say “Outscale Blackhat SEO.”)
Step 2: Make Pics Eye Catching
Go to MS Paint, Pixlr and FBAdsToolbox to tweak the pics so that they pop more, model’s eyes look towards my ad text (right) or towards the center of the screen. (That’s a test I’m running against best practices (which say have eyes look at your Call to Action), based on a hypothesis that if my model can catch their gaze by looking where I expect the user’s eyes to be, that I can boost CTR.
Step 3: Write Campaign & Upload Pics
Upload pics en masse to SAM then choose those I’ll use – aim for max variety so testing has higher impact. Ex.: White woman and black woman, border vs video play button etc. As more experienced campaigners have noted, images matter more than copy on FB, so that’s the bulk of my effort.
(Note: This skips some of the initial setup work you need to do in SAM, such as creating a product, setting revenue levels, creating interest targets and saving them as clusters for reuse etc, because much of that is one-time work.)
SAM takes the different versions of copy, URLs, and images and multiplies them all by each other, as well as by your demographic targets. So if you’ve got 2 titles, 2 body copies, 5 pics, 2 URLs, and 5 demographics, you’ve got 200 ads created. Much easier than trying to do that manually ;).
Important optimization tip: I recommend duplicating campaigns to target each country separately, because this way you avoid overpaying by bidding high for the US/UK and paying the same price for countries where traffic costs less. It’s worth separating out, depending on your time constraints, from 2000+ people in your target audience, imho. You may want to try this for age and gender as well.
Step 4: Measure and adjust
Monitor results. Reuse copy, images, countries, landing pages, ages and interests that got best CTR and conversion rates. Cut the rest or bid lower on them.
Step 5: Stay patient
Just because you can post an ad in 5 minutes, doesn’t mean that winning at the ads game is fast. It takes time to create everything, set up tracking, split tests etc and then measure and repeat. The more you do it though, the faster and better you get at it because you realize how to move faster, what your better targets are, etc.