20 Sep '21


No time to run Facebook and Instagram ads?

If you’re flying solo, or part of a small team, you probably don’t have a lot of time for marketing. Running Facebook & Instagram ads is just one of a million things you need to do. Having to keep on top of them can feel overwhelming.

To help you along the way, we’ve pulled together a list of things you can do to minimise the time spent on your ads... and maximise the results too!

1. Use your existing posts

Creating content takes time and effort. Avoid adding to your workload by using your regular (‘organic’) Facebook & Instagram posts for your ads. Whether you’re boosting posts or using Facebook ads manager, ‘upcycling’ your existing content for ads can save a lot of time.

If you’re using Ads Manager, you can edit the text of the original post for when it’s shown as an ad. This means you can remove any time sensitivity from the text - for example, a post saying “... launching 17th September!” becomes “... just launched!” for ads run in October.

Start with the posts most popular with your existing following - they have already been ‘road tested’ with an audience and are likely to work well.

As an added bonus… our data suggests natural feeling, organic content tends to outperform bespoke content made for ads by 50%!

2. Define what you want to achieve and stay focused

You can’t possibly do everything, especially with a small team! So try not to get overwhelmed with all the things you could do (we’ve all seen the “5,472 hacks for an awesome click through rate” type articles...) and focus on what is most important to you right now.

If it’s growing an initial audience, the focus should be on reaching new people and retargeting those who have engaged with you before but aren’t doing so regularly (in other words, people who are hard to reach organically).

Is increased website traffic your main thing right now? Optimise your ads for landing page views (or Traffic if you don’t have a Facebook pixel installed on your side). If you already have an established audience and want to focus on sales, use retargeting - reaching people who have already engaged with you on social media or your website - combined with a campaign optimised for purchases (this will require a Facebook pixel - check out our article about getting more sales from your ads).

3. Get into a routine and evaluate

Little and often is the key. Get into a routine where you allocate 5 minutes each day to check in on your ads, or every few days if that feels too much. You can make small changes and tweaks at this point, turning off ‘losing’ posts that aren’t doing well, adjusting your budget, updating the links used in your ads etc.

Do a bigger, more strategic review every 4-6 weeks or so. Should you keep your main objective the same in the next round of ads? What are the aggregate results, looking back over the 4-6 week period? Can you learn anything about the sorts of posts that are resonating best with people? Which audiences have performed the best?

As you get more familiar with the results you are generating, this process will get easier.

4. Test one thing at a time

Testing the images / videos used in an ad (the ‘creative’) and then the caption/text (the ‘copy’) are usually the most important things when it comes to optimising Facebook & Instagram ads.

Start by focusing on just one element - we recommend testing different images and videos (or simply different posts) to begin with, as getting the creative right often brings the biggest improvements in performance.

Don’t worry too much about more minor elements of the ad; for now, go with what makes most sense to you. For example, if you’re sending people to a website where they can sign up to your mailing list, use a “sign up now” type call to action button. You can test it down the line if you want, but it's probably good enough for now.

5. Set and forget (as much as possible!)

This ties into points 3 and 4. You don’t have to do really complex tests to start getting the insight needed to improve your ads.

Let Facebook do the heavy lifting when it comes to testing. For example, use campaign budget optimisation, which is just jargon for being able to set your budget at the campaign level in Facebook. Set up multiple adsets in the campaign - one for each audience - with same ads in each. Then add a minimum spend to each adset so you make sure Facebook tests each audience.

In other words, you set one budget (at the campaign level) and this is then allocated across your audiences and ads by Facebook. Plus, it's easy to add new ads into this campaign structure when testing out new posts.

Once you have a basic structure like this set up, you can enjoy an amount of "set & forget" and let Facebook do its thing. This approach is best suited to Facebook Ads Manager rather than boosting posts. It does take time during the set-up phase... but you'll more than make it back in the long run!

Can Feed help?

Hopefully this article gives you some reassurance that even busy people can run great Facebook & Instagram ads.

If you're looking for a bit more help, we built Feed for small teams that don't have much time or resources to dedicate to marketing.

Feed uses your existing posts to create ads, identifying and leaning into the content that works, to move your audience along the journey from discovery to purchase or sign-up.

All you have to do is connect Feed to Facebook & Instagram, set a budget and we’ll do the rest!

Learn more about Feed and get started here.

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