How to Breathe New Life into Your Tired Facebook Advertising Strategy

by Sandra Rand 4 years ago

Remember the movie Groundhog Day? Bill Murray finds himself in a time loop, experiencing the same day over and over and over again until he finally gets to a point where he starts to reexamine his priorities?

Do you ever feel that way with your ad campaigns? Well, minus the whole “what am I doing with my life” part, but more like “what am I doing with this campaign?”

Sometimes when your job is to push the same messaging over and over again, you get caught up in the automation and start to lose the momentum and excitement you had at the beginning.

If you feel like your Facebook advertising strategy has grown stale, consider the following ways to revive it and see if any of these approaches can turn some of those underperforming ads and uninspired campaigns into major drivers of success.

1. Creative

I can’t stress enough the importance of rotating creative and trying a bunch of different approaches to see what resonates. Your success hinges on your creative strategy, so if you’ve been using the same concept for campaign after campaign, there’s a good chance the audiences you’re going after might feel a little Groundhog Day about the messages they see from your brand as well.

Using stock imagery? Try something less polished and more personal. Borders, buttons, text overlays, filters – they are all are fair game and can often be small and simple tweaks that make an impact on your important KPIs.

Ecommerce companies should test the power of showcasing one product vs. collections of products. Use text within the image to convey your urgency or offer. Cute dress + $20 off? Sign me up.


Your creative should be unique to Facebook. It certainly can echo the look and feel of the advertising you might be running on other channels, but Facebook users demand bold, eye-catching imagery.

Once you begin testing this new creative, iterate on the winning concepts. Building multiple variations of your best performing ads will help overcome ad fatigue with your audiences.

2. Targeting

With more than 900 million daily active users, it’s safe to say there are always going to be more people you can reach with your advertising.

Segmenting, lookalikes, precise interest sets, Facebook partner categories, custom audience lists, retargeting. Break out the white board, you’ve got a lot of options here.

Custom Audiences and Lookalikes are a big part of our best practices for any client program. Get a pixel up on your site and then create a website custom audience from the folks who have visited your website but didn’t convert. Or, build a custom audience of people who use your mobile app and have or have not taken a certain action.

Then, build Lookalike segments around these Custom Audiences. Facebook will optimize your ad to be shown to folks who have similar demographics & interests as the people you built your Custom Audiences around.

Retargeting people is another huge opportunity for most of our clients. In addition to retargeting people via a website pixel or email addresses, you can build a custom audience off of a list of phone numbers. If acquiring phone numbers is a significant part of your funnel, see what sort of performance your Facebook ad campaigns result in when targeting those folks who have given you that information.

Play with your messaging and offers to find the sweet spot for activating people who already are familiar with your brand. If you haven’t started really diving into retargeting as a way to reach people who have started doing business with you in some way, this is definitely an area that you want to explore.

3. Try different Facebook ad types

The holy grail of Facebook advertising is the newsfeed, or even the mobile news feed for most. Don’t dismiss the other options you have, like older ad types (right hand rail, which afford you higher frequency) and new ad units (multi-product ads or dynamic product ads) as potential opportunities to refresh your campaigns.

New ad units in particular are an opportunity: they cut through the clutter in ways that older ad types can’t really do anymore (banner blindness). By being an early adopter of these new ad formats, you can reap the rewards of cost effectiveness and better performance by standing out with a new format that catches the eye of users who are used to seeing the same ol’ same ol’.

4. Bidding

Try out a new bidding strategy. If you’re running everything on CPC and you have a huge audience to work with, try testing oCPM and see what impact it has on your conversions. oCPM relies on Facebook to optimize your bidding in a way that helps you reach people that are most likely to help you reach your ad objective.

If you’re already running most of your direct response ads with oCPM and you know your audience really well, test your max bid on CPC. oCPM is the most common bidding option, so the automatic optimization that Facebook’s doing behind the scenes may actually be hindering you since so many other advertisers could be playing with the same hand. You may find you have more control over your budget with CPC while still reaching high quality customers. If you’re seeking mobile app installs, CPA bidding might be a better strategy here.

5. Consider new channels

If you truly feel you’re maxing out your strategy on Facebook, what other complementary advertising channels can you use to identify new audiences and test new messaging or creative? Twitter and PPC (Bing/Google/YouTube) are the most obvious options where you can apply what you’ve learned from Facebook to these channels immediately – and vice versa.

Twitter in particular has upped its game for direct response. Some of our clients are seeing better CPAs on Twitter than on Facebook, though Twitter has some work to do to compete in terms of volume. Regardless, remember what I said about early adopters reaping the rewards – it applies to these new channels too, particularly if you have a team of experts like us who have been testing best practices already for some time.

6. Repositioning the value proposition

What does your messaging really say about your brand or offer? Take another look at why your customers buy from you, why people use your app, why people trust your services or products, and make sure that your value is clearly communicated.

Offer variations of your value by weaving in seasonality, current events, and other industry factors to remind customers or users why they should care about your offer and take action.

What Next?

Refreshing ad campaigns is tough work. There’s a lot that can be tweaked and tested when it comes to managing a large scale Facebook advertising effort, but the result is precisely why it’s worth the effort.

If you’re dedicated to experimenting with different ways to refresh your strategy on an ongoing basis, it could help you unlock some small incremental wins that add up or you could hit the jackpot and stumble upon a huge opportunity to improve your performance by leaps & bounds.