The Complete Faceboook Ads Checklist
Published: July 16, 2014
Author: Molly Shotwell
Today, without a doubt, we can say that Facebook is one of the most effective ways of advertising. With over 1.3 active billion users worldwide, Facebook should arguably be incorporated by all advertisers.
Alongside the growth in campaign numbers and budgets, the Facebook ad system has substantially improved in the past year, and it now offers its advertisers a wider array of options.
This post’s goal is to assist those who already know how to use the Facebook ad manager and Power Editor, by helping them set up ad campaigns without forgetting any vital actions in the setting, managing, and analyzing of campaigns.
How can you achieve the most from this post?
When setting/managing a campaign, keep this checklist next to you and make sure you didn’t forget any of these vital steps for running a proper campaign.
Does this checklist cover all the Facebook advertising options? No, but it certainly suits about 99% of the campaigns available in this platform.
Before the campaign – what exactly do we want to achieve?
When we start a Facebook campaign, we need to set specific goals that we can measure so that we can remind ourselves of what to focus on.
So what are the main goals we can achieve by advertising on Facebook?
1. High amount of clicks for a website / landing page/ app – the maximum amount of relevant clicks for a certain budget.
2. Conversions on our site – the actions a user takes on the site and where it is a Lead, Sale, or key page view
3. Getting page likes – how many new fans can we add to our page?
4. Increasing content engagement – increasing the “buzz” around the contents on our Facebook page from pictures/videos, etc.
5. Installing apps (mobile or desktop)
6. Increasing content exposure – one of the “forgotten” goals of digital advertisement is creating high quality exposure for our content within our audiences. The users see your ads on their News Feed just like they see them on the TV or newspaper. You can use Facebook not only for conversion campaign but also for awareness.
When we start a new Facebook campaign, it is highly recommended to set one main goal that we are trying to achieve. In many cases, when we try to achieve many goals, we are not be able to achieve any of them.
-The campaign goal – does the campaign have one clear goal? (If you have more than one business goal, it is important to set separate campaigns for each of them)
-Campaign goal – is the goal clear and measurable?
-Do all the actions we take in the campaign relate to the same business goal? For example – “shoe campaign” compared to “summer sale”.
-Message – do you have a clear message that you want to go through to your audience?
-Did you name your campaign in a way that will allow you to understand what it contains? A good example for a campaign name that revolves around selling shirts on sale would be “shirts sale – June 14”. It is highly recommended to include the month and year in the campaign name.
-Is your campaign budget clear and known?
-Did you set the dates? Even a campaign set to last indefinitely should have an ending date in case we forget it or are sick/on vacation, etc. We should have a memo to recheck and re-upload the campaign.
-Did you make sure that every ad set is divided into different audiences, messages and pricing? For example – if we have “our” audience as well as the page followers and our custom audience, we need to separate them from general audiences and Lookalike audiences.
-Does every ad set have a name that defines it from other ad sets? For example, if we have a teaser ad set, then the change is in the creative content. If the difference is in the audience (fans, general users, and look-a-likes), we should also make sure that the content is written in a way that best suits that audience.
-Did you choose the ad type that best suits your business goal and did you set it according to your campaign goal?
-Did you check different ad types under different ad sets?
-Did you make sure not to combine more than 6 ads at the same time for the same at set? When combining many ads, sometimes Facebook chooses one ad and then that ad gets the most views, without knowing if it’s actually the best ad.
-You should check the ad sizes and optimal settings before uploading an ad. Facebook frequently changes those setting and you should keep them updated.
-Is there continuity between the ad and the landing page it leads to? Always remember your business goals and create a clear path for the user- from the moment he sees your ad until the moment he reaches the action you wanted him to take.
-Did you use an appealing headline?
-Did you use an appealing picture?
-Does the text let the user know where they will end up after clicking on the ad?
-Does the text include a call to action?
Did you make sure that the picture is in the right resolution?
-Did you use at least 3 different messages and two pictures per message?
-Is your link coded for Google Analytics so you can know the results of your site?
Page like ads
-Did you explain to the user what he or she will gain from clicking on the page?
-Did you make sure to connect the page with your business goals? For example – if you want to work on your “reputation” you should just use newsfeed ads. On the other hand, if you want likes you can just use the right hand side ads.
-Did you create a different picture for the News Feed and right-hand-side ads?
-Does the text include a call to action? It is highly recommended to use the call to action at the end of the text and not at the beginning.
-Did you make sure the picture resolution is up-to-date?
-Did you use at least 3 different messages and two pictures per message?
-Do you have all the necessary permission to run the page you are promoting?
-Is the headline attractive enough to make the user want to read the post?
-Does the headline text include a call to action?
-Does the picture attract attention?
-Does the page logo stand out when you see it in the news feed? (Unlike text that is just clear when you go onto the page)
-Did you use the recommended picture size?
-Does the picture obey the Facebook 20% rule? (Use the official tool by Facebook to test if it fits)
-Did you set an informative headline on the link to make sure the user knows what he is clicking?
-Did you use Facebook video? In the case of a video based post, uploading a video to Facebook will make it more likely that you get better results; the ad will be bigger this way and the chances of the user interacting with the post is greater and, not to mention, this will lower your costs.
-Did you use the add description to include more information and prevent unwanted clicks?
-Did you check how the ad looks in the different locations? Did you make sure the text doesn’t get cut in a problematic way?
-Did you use PNG as your picture format?
-Did you create at least 3 different creative solutions?
-Did you use an unpublished post when necessary?
-Does each ad set have its own coding for Google Analytics that we added at the URL tags? Remember that each post includes its own organic coding and we need to change it. The main reason for doing so is so we can get all the information about the user while he is in our site. Another reason is so that we can isolate the organic action that came from the post.
-Did you add versions with a call to action in the post? (Such as learn more, sign up, etc.)
-Is your landing page adapted for both mobile and desktop? On Facebook ads, it’s always recommended that you have a responsive landing page that works with both mobile and desktop. We cannot be certain where the user is coming from (due to organic sharing, etc.) so we should be prepared to get users from both platforms.
When should we use an unpublished post?
-When we want to make an offer to people who don’t “like” our page but we don’t want our page members to see it.
-When we want to check out a few creative options in order to find out which is most effective.
-When we are concerned about negative feedback and we want a post that won’t stay for long. Although it’s not recommended, it’s much easier to delete negative comment on an unpublished post than a comment on a published post where a user can see the comment having been deleted.
When should we not use an unpublished post?
-When we want to promote a conversation on our page.
-When we want a viral effect on our post. Unpublished posts won’t be seen organically on a user’s newsfeed.
-If one of the bullets above is something we want to achieve, it’s recommended to always use a published post.
Mobile App Install ad
-Did you install the Facebook SDK inside your app and register it on Facebook in case you chose to use the mobile app install ad?
-Is your ad text appealing yet clear enough so that the user knows what he is going to download? If the text is very appealing yet not clear enough, the user will click on the ad but won’t install the app.
-Did you add a call to action at the end of the ad? Instead of “Download the app that will save you money now!” use “Want to keep your money safe? Download this app now!”
-Is the picture we chose similar to the picture in the app store? This will make the user feel like there is continuity between the ad and the app.
-Did we use a picture that includes the device the user is using?
-Did you choose the right tracking pixel? Did you make sure it works fine and that you got an “active” approval? Alternatively, did you use a Facebook add-on to make sure it works? (You can get it Here)
-Did you adjust the locations for your business needs? (For example – the campaign for raising awareness should only be posted on newsfeeds)
-Did you separate the different locations on the ad set level? It is always good to separate the side ads from the newsfeed ads, and in some cases, you should also separate desktop and mobile.
-Did you use a custom audience? (Use it if you can, you will get the best results this way)
-Did you use both email and a cell phone number with your custom audience? Combining the two will most likely increase the chances of finding a match between your data and Facebook’s data.
-On the custom audience for websites, did you limit the time from the moment the user reached you? You don’t always need to use all 180 days that Facebook allows you.
-Did you exclude the customer who already got your offer, meaning you don’t want them to see it again?
-Did you exclude cities where your audience isn’t there?
-Did you make sure you are not combining too many targeting options and ending up reaching only a very small audience? If we want to target different audiences we should separate them into different ad sets.
-Did you make sure you matched the audience and message in the best way possible?
-Did you make a separate ad set for the friends of fans?
-Did you use a different creative message for men and women?
-Did you separate interests into different ad sets?
-Do you have different targeting settings for different countries?
-Did you save your targeting settings in case you want to re use them?
-Did you make a separate ad set for iOS and Android? (This is more relevant for those who run a mobile app campaign)
Optimization & Pricing
-Did you set the conversions tracking pixel also on this screen? (relevant when optimizing for conversions)
-Did you make sure the ad set only includes one option of pricing?
-Did you set the maximum cost you are willing to pay for an action? Sometimes there is a conversions cap.
-Did you set the maximum CPA for action in the campaign? I advise to set a max CPA that will be 3 times higher than the real CPA you are willing to pay for in the launch of the campaign.
Just before we go online
-Did you upload the campaign by clicking “upload changes”?
-Did you check that the upload was successful and that there were no errors?
-Did you check the Ads Manager to see that the campaign is setup right and that all ads were uploaded?
-Did you check that the campaigns, including ad sets and relevant ads are active?
-Did you check that all your ads were approved?
Analyzing Facebook ad reports
-Do you first check the results that are important to you on a business level? When analyzing reports, it’s very important to pay attention first to the business goals of the campaign.
-Did you check the campaign results according to the content?
-Did you check the campaign results according to location?
-Did you check the campaign results according to ages?
-Did you use the “Attribution Window Settings” so that you will only see conversion after a click on your ad?
-Do you save the reports that you regularly use?
Ongoing campaign management
-Budget – it is highly recommended to set a clear budget for all the monthly activity so that you can divide it efficiently among all your campaigns.
-Do you check yesterday’s daily budget usage so you can see if the system uses the entire budget? If it doesn’t use the budget you can change the content of the ad or the target audience.
-Do you check the campaign results on Google Analytics?
-Do you check the effect the campaigns have on sales along time with Attribution Model reports? These reports give the users the option to check the business reports on the site not just by the last click, but also according to the first click or the importance of the Facebook click during the sale process.
-Are you learning which audience responds best to your campaigns and will you be using those audiences again for future campaigns?
-Did you let the campaign run for at least 48 before you started making decisions? (Especially relevant for oCPM).
-Are you checking when there is a decrease in the results and changing the creative content accordingly? When we advertise on Googleother sites we usually reach new audiences that sees our ads.
-Are you creating custom audiences on your site according to your Facebook campaigns, and are you going to reuse these audiences?
-Are you checking your page notifications so you can see comments and reply?
-Are you making sure you don’t show the same message over and over again to the same audience? When working with small audiences you need to remember to refresh the creative content often.
On a personal note, I believe that knowledge is something that needs to be shared. I did my best to combine action items with the way I personally see Facebook campaigns.
If you have any comments about this checklist, feel free to comment and I promise to read anything you have to say.
Did you like this check list? I would be very thankful if you can share it, like, +1 or tweet about it – you don’t have to limit yourself to just one action.