facebook ad optimization

Over the past month, we’ve provided a great deal of information on Facebook advertising and how it can benefit your fitness business. We talked about why promoted posts are a great way to get started with advertising on this platform. We covered why setting up conversion tracking pixels is a crucial piece of determining ROI for your Facebook ads. We also provided step-by-step instructions on creating Facebook advertising campaigns for business owners who are first-time advertisers on this social site.

Your campaigns have been approved and they’re starting to get impressions, clicks and hopefully some on-site conversions. So now what do you do? Facebook ads, just like Google PPC ads, are never a set it and forget it promotion. To truly get the most bang for your buck, you have to frequently make slight changes and tweaks to the ads to ensure you’re getting clicks, and more importantly, the clicks are leading to conversions on your site. Here are the some of the easiest ways you can start optimizing your campaigns today.

1). Get Specific with Your Targeting…

Not all clicks are quality clicks. If you’re getting far too many clicks and going through your budget quickly, there’s a good chance your targeting is too broad.

As a local fitness business, you need to make sure are targeting potential members in your immediate area. We highly recommend that you target a set mileage around your business. To do this, enter your business’s address in the “Locations” section, then select the mileage around your address where you’d like to target your ads. This is the best way to ensure your ads will appear in front of people who are close to your business (e.g., people would be willing to drive to there).

There are several other category targeting options such as age, gender, relationship, education, financial, life events and much more. If your business primarily serves female clientele, your ads should be targeted to women. If the majority of your members fall into a certain age group, ensure your ads contain age targeting.

You can get creative with targeting as well. If you’re trying to attract an older age group, ensure your ad copy specifically speaks to that group and contains relevant imagery. If you’re a personal trainer looking to help people get in shape for major life events, consider targeting individuals in your area who are recently engaged, with ads that feature messaging about getting in the best shape possible before the wedding.

2). …However, Don’t Get Too Specific with Your Targeting

While this might sound contradictory to our first point, getting too specific with your targeting can limit your ads as well. If you’re targeting too many specific categories within a limited area around your business, there’s a good chance that your ads will get very few impressions. For example if you’re targeting individuals that live in a two-mile radius around your gym, who make at least $75,000, are females between the ages of 25-30 and are interested in kickboxing, there likely are not many people in such a limited area that fit this extremely specific criteria.

I also recommend that you start small with your targeting. We recommend that you at least include location targeting. Try adding other categories such as age and gender if you have a specific target you’re trying to reach. We recommend against adding several additional categories when you first launch your ads, as you don’t want to limit your reach. You can test adding on additional categories over time, but if you see your impressions decrease significantly and your ads are no longer getting clicks, remove them from the campaign.

3). Test Creative Images (and Lots of Them!)

Facebook posts and ads with images get much higher engagement than those without images. Eye-catching, fun images can help your ads stand out in the extremely flooded news feed. Better yet, you can test up to six images per ad, so do it! Use images that you’ve purchased from iStock, photos that you’ve taken yourself or free professional images from Shutterstock (Facebook gives you the option to select free Shutterstock photos when setting up an ad).

Remember, you want the image to help your ad stand out, so don’t only use stock photos. Incorporate photos that you’ve taken during your classes, bootcamps and special events at your fitness business. Images of your members in action can also give prospects a good peek inside the strong community you’ve established.

4). Try Different Calls-to-Action

facebook cta buttonsFacebook provides advertisers with the option of adding a call-to-action (CTA) button to their ads. There are six different buttons you can choose from:

  • Shop Now
  • Learn More
  • Book Now
  • Download
  • Sign Up
  • Watch More

Just as you can test different images with the same ad text, you can test different call-to-actions within the same ad. Try testing three different CTAs (if possible) for each ad. For example, if your promotion is “Try a Class for Free!” you could test an ad with the buttons “Sign Up”, “Book Now” and “Learn More”. You could even test a fourth ad that didn’t include a CTA button, but had a CTA within the copy of the ad. Sometimes what seems like an insignificant change can lead to a huge increase in conversions. [clearfix]

5). Switch Up Your Ad Copy

Similar to our previous two tips, we highly recommend that you run several versions of the same ad with slightly tweaked ad copy. First, try testing different headlines in your ad. After you’ve determined which version works best, try testing your body copy text. You get 90 characters to work with in this section, so play with presenting your offer differently (“free class”, “first week free”, etc.), or try asking a question (“looking to get in shape?” or “need help reaching your fitness goals?”). There’s also an optional news feed link description section, which gives you an additional 200 characters to talk about your business, your classes, your offer and/or your community.

Be sure that when you’re performing this test, you’re only testing one thing within the ad. For example, if you would like to test which type of headline performs the best, be sure to keep the body copy, image and link description the same. Testing too many components at once makes it hard to determine which portion of an ad is responsible for its success.

Facebook ads are a great way to get your name in front of relevant prospects in your community. Get excited about running ads to target individuals and get creative in how you target them. Use fun imagery, mix up your messaging, incorporate branded colors into the visual component of your ad and remember to always include a relevant, strong call-to-action.

Have you tried various A/B tests in your Facebook advertising efforts? If so, what’s worked best for you? We’d love to hear your tips. Share your personal success stories in the comments section below!

Once you’ve tried Facebook advertising, consider expanding your advertising efforts by giving Google AdWords a try. PPC advertising on Google is another great way to reach a relevant target audience in your neighborhood. Need help getting started? Download your Guide to PPC Advertising to get step-by-step directions on how to develop a keyword list, create ad campaigns and launch a successful paid search program in Google.

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