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The Northern Lights Direct Approach to Scaling Facebook

Facebook is a channel that we leverage to drive results for many of our clients. Depending on the client, it is often a core channel in a digital marketing strategy due to the sheer volume of users on the social media platform. However, one of the biggest challenges faced by many advertisers is scaling Facebook for volume while avoiding declines in the efficiency of their results. We offer here an outline of how we scale Facebook: by scaling horizontally, expanding audiences, creating a segmented funnel and investing in creative, our approach allows us to meet our volume objectives while keeping our key performance indicators efficient.

Scale Horizontally

When starting a new Facebook campaign, the testing phase is an important step to determine which audiences, targeting and creative work with your messaging and objectives. We spread our tests across multiple ad sets, audiences and creative formats, which gives us insights into what works and what doesn’t, and provides us with a way to increase volume without just increasing our budgets. In addition, we make sure to give ad sets enough budget and time during the learning phase to provide these insights. We avoid pouring the majority of our test budget into the obvious low hanging fruit tactics; although this might be tempting, testing out new tactics allows us to effectively use this phase to learn and find opportunities for scalable long-term success.

Grow Your Audience

You may already have a good idea of who your target audience is, based on certain interests and demographic data. This is a good start, but there are ways to grow this audience while making sure you keep it filled with people who find your messaging relevant. Firstly, you can grow your audience by creating multiple remarketing audiences based on recency of their engagement. You can also create lookalike audiences of differing degrees of similarities or create new ones from pixel events. Also, consider growing your prospecting audience through leveraging learnings from your Facebook Audience Insights or Google Analytics behavioral info – perhaps there are things you didn’t know about who is most engaged with your messaging and you can use this information to find new targeting opportunities.

Build a Segmented Funnel

Even if the objective is to drive bottom of the funnel activities like sales, registrations or leads, those customers only arrive at the bottom of the funnel by entering at the top. As such, efforts to build customer segments at each stage of the funnel (although this won’t immediately pay off in sales) will help you avoid running into decreasing potential to scale. Consider optimizing for a higher funnel objective like page engagement, video views or time on site, to build a warm audience of people who have demonstrated some interest even if they aren’t ready to convert. Importantly, for each segment of the funnel that you’re optimizing towards, it is important to tailor ads and messaging accordingly and to not blanket everyone in the funnel with the same creative. Consumer needs will be different based on where they are in the customer journey and your creative, messaging and offers should reflect that.

Invest in Your Creative

Equally as important as your media strategy is your creative strategy. It is easy to throw some creative together and use that indefinitely, but you may be missing opportunities if that is your strategy. You could consider creating different ads for different customer segments within your audience as well as for different stages of the funnel. This is especially relevant for your remarketing creative because you’re hitting people who have already expressed interest – this is your opportunity to offer something a bit more enticing to move those people through to conversion. Perhaps a special offer or discount – something that you wouldn’t offer to customers higher in the funnel. Furthermore, Facebook has many different creative formats. The single image is the tried and true format, but experiment with other formats like video, carousel or canvas ads at different stages in the conversion funnel. Additionally, regularly refreshing your creative is also important. People become immune to creative they’ve seen repeatedly and frequently, and it is likely that creative older than 6 weeks will begin to see declines in performance as it becomes stale with the target audience. Frequency is also a good indicator for predicting creative fatigue with an audience.

In summary, to scale Facebook is not simply a case of uncapping your campaign or ad set budgets. To scale it efficiently, and in a way that promotes long-term growth, it is important to scale horizontally, grow your target audience through remarketing, customer lists and audience insights; create a segmented funnel with different creative and messaging for each segment and invest in your creative strategy.

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