How to Maximize Returns from Facebook Ads

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By Boris Dzhingarov

Getting the best Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) should be a goal for anyone who’s either managing their ad campaigns themselves or who has tasked a media agency with this responsibility. One of the best places to promote content is on Facebook because it has one of the largest reaches of any website, period. Not just social media either.

Here are seven ways to maximize the returns with Facebook advertising.

1.      Know Your Likely Customer Better

With Facebook, it’s possible to narrow the focus of advertising to reach the target market precisely.

By targeting keenly, it’s possible to avoid being wasteful with the ad budget. Using advertising smartly reaches exactly the people who are most likely to click-through to read an article, watch a video, opt-in to a newsletter, or purchase a product or service on your website.

Surveying your existing customers is an excellent way to better understand them. Pay attention to the kinds of questions that will get meaningful, on-point responses – not general or non-specific answers.

For instance, try asking existing customers what attracted them to visiting the website, using the app, or deciding to do business with the company? The answers may surprise you! It may change how you advertise your products and whom you target with the advertising on Facebook – and elsewhere too.

2.      Offer Something of Value for their Attention

People think of link magnets – those eBook giveaways for opt-ins – as throwaway items. Nevertheless, they still attract people to sign up for a newsletter to receive them.

It stands to reason that offering something of value causes human beings to want to reciprocate. Just asking for a sale isn’t always enough.

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Think about what likely customers want or would find useful. If you’re targeting existing customers, what free add-ons or extras could be created to make your brand or products more attractive?

Incorporate this into the Facebook ads to interest people who prefer some give and take, rather than to be marketed to where they perceive there’s nothing in it for them.

3.      Use Custom Audiences

The Custom Audiences feature within Facebook allows advertisers to narrow the reach of their audience to market advertising. While this may seem like a bad idea at first, it’s genius.

Specify the state that you wish to target, the language (where relevant), an age range, and whether to promote to men or women.

By using this feature, it’s possible to promote offers in states where they have greater appeal. For instance, sunblock product advertising to Floridians is going to do well into months where it’s already too chilly elsewhere in the country.

Also, using the gender specification, advertising can focus on the benefits of the product or service to that gender. Depending on the type of product, this can be impactful too.

4.      Separate Desktop from Mobile

The size and type of advertisement on desktop varies considerably from what’s effective on mobile devices.

The screen size on a smartphone or tablet just doesn’t allow for seeing as much, and adverts are far more intrusive. As such, they’re less effective when approached incorrectly.


For mobile users, the attention span is considerably less, and the ad formats are generally smaller. It’s also sometimes more difficult to make out the details with an advert when too much information is conveyed.

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The message must be simplified down to capture the attention of the mobile audience. They’re fickler and pay less attention to ads. To get their click, advertisers need a clear message and a reason to interrupt what they’re doing with their phone or tablet at that time.

Accordingly, the same format of the advert should not be adjusted for mobile ad sizes and then used directly. Think about whether ads suitable for the Facebook user on a desktop will be suitable for mobile users – often, they’re not.


For desktop users, their attention span is longer. Also, there’s far more screen real estate on the typical laptop or desktop PC at work or home.

Subsequently, advertising formats are more varied, shown in a variety of positions, and can be visually more complex too. Use larger ad formats to convey a detailed message.

Desktop users are also more likely to click ads because they’re not mobile and are less distracted. Therefore, they’re likelier to be prepared to make a purchase compared to other users. Facebook ads and landing pages should reflect that reality.

5.      Be Careful About Placement Options

There is a multitude of placement options with Facebook today.

While it’s possible to advertise in a Facebook feed, it’s equally possible to do so on Instagram too now. Similarly, you can have an ad show on a suggested Facebook video or one of the pre-recorded stories (short media clips).

Where is your likely customer hanging out? This will relate to their typical interests, age range, and other demographics. Are they the type to watch videos on Facebook? Will you find them there if you get ads shown there? Do ask these questions to avoid being wasteful with your advertising budget.

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6.      Device and Age Selection

Also, look at Google Analytics to determine what device people are using when accessing your website.

Filter the results through the Audiences, Mobile, and Overview Reports to view the devices used to visit the site. It’s possible to match this with new visitors by looking at the New Users column on the same page to see how they compare to all recent visitors shown in the column to the left.

By examining the types of new visitors who might be more mobile-friendly and younger than existing customers, it will highlight whether to target mobile more or to adjust the age range in the Custom Audiences feature too.

7.      Vary the Visual Approach to Ad Design

It stands to reason that people respond to ad design and ad copy differently. Avoid getting stuck in a rut of sticking to the same advertising style, word choice, and overall approach for your entire audience.

Be prepared to try out different styles and ad designs in your version of A/B testing to discover if different segments of your target market will respond differently. With this new approach, you won’t know it will work unless you try it. However, if your ad response rate is predictable, it’s surely time to mix it up.

Maximizing returns from Facebook advertising isn’t a one-fix solution. Instead, it’s necessary to make small tweaks to the approach to see how that changes the outcome. Then let that inform your next adjustment to achieve meaningful incremental gains over time.