Our Top Facebook and Google Advertising Hacks for 2019

Good news! We’ve hit the midway point of the year so it’s about that time for us to share our top Facebook and Google advertising hacks of 2019. After spending over $19m on both platforms, these top strategies have either saved us time, money or increased conversions.

Good news! We’ve hit the midway point of the year so it’s about that time for us to share our top Facebook and Google advertising hacks of 2019. After spending over $19m on both platforms, these top strategies have either saved us time, money or increased conversions.

Whether you work with a digital marketing agency or run your Facebook and Google ads in-house, you need to know about these top hacks to decrease spend and increase ROI.

Our top two Facebook Advertising hacks for 2019

This first Facebook hack is a favorite among our staff because it has increased the conversions on almost every campaign by over 15% and it saves us about 5 hours a week in ad optimizations!

 

Facebook advertising hack #1: Avoid the Facebook ad text rule

If you’re like most marketers, you’re split testing multiple ad creatives on Facebook to increase your conversion rates and decrease your cost of acquisition.  And since Facebook ads are visual, you’re spending more and more time trying to get specific ads approved with text on them. Bottom line, the Facebook advertising text rules are brutal. Ad images with greater than 20% of the space taken up by text will either not be allowed to run or will have a limited reach. The reason for this rule is that Facebook has identified that their audience prefers ads with little to no text. Too much text and the ad is deemed obnoxious. 

Typically, advertisers want to use text on their ads to:

  • Share unique features of their product
  • Detail value propositions of their service
  • Include a CTA for an offer, such as “Download Now” or “Shop Now”

For years, marketing agencies have not been able to get around this Facebook text rule, and have resorted to using ads with little to no text, to the detriment of their campaign performance.

Luckily, we finally figured out how to run the ads that Facebook kept disapproving! 

Convert your static image-based ad into a video ad!

If ad text is a priority, then you should convert your image ad into a video ad. Simply upload your image into the Video Ad Creator, and you can include as much text as you want. 

Facebook doesn’t put the same constraints on text for video ads as they do with image ads. 

Here are some features you might want to include in your video ad:

  • Sound or no sound
  • Text CTAs
  • Text feature descriptions or value propositions
  • Zooming in or out of an image
  • Panning over an image
  • Colored backgrounds instead of text background
  • Showcasing multiple photos (not just one)

Tools like Biteable and Promo are great for creating simple, eye-catching Facebook ads.

 

Facebook advertising hack #2: Use custom audiences for a multichannel approach

The majority of Facebook advertising is focused on customer acquisition. But staying top-of-mind with your current or past customers is a very effective way to keep them in your sales funnel.

For many service based businesses and CPGs (consumer packaged goods), your budget is best allocated on audiences who are already acquainted with your product, or have purchased from you in the past. 

Here’s how to do this…

  1. Collect a list of your customers or leads into a single Excel spreadsheet, including their first name, last name, email address, phone number and other information if available (city, state, age, gender, and birth date can all be used to match up with the right person)
  2. Make sure the list is perfectly formatted before uploading into Facebook’s advertising platform. Just click “Create Audience” → “Custom Audience” → “Customer File”
  3. Create a new campaign targeting this audience and use an ad creative that’s relevant to existing customers, such as “20% off for returning customers” or “Refer us for 20% off your next order” or “Attend our customer appreciation event.”

Note that Facebook does require that you confirm that this is a list of customers, not cold leads. If you want to use Facebook advertising to target leads, you can do that with retargeting ads that show up for anyone who (for example) clicked on one of your landing pages, but didn’t buy. 

 

Our top Google advertising hacks for 2019

Are you running a Google Ads campaign for clients with a regional or national target?  If so this hack can save you 5 hours per campaign and increase your conversion rates by up to 24%!  

 

Google advertising hack #1: Dynamically add city name to ad text

When you create a national Google Ads campaign targeting 400 separate cities, your Google Ads manager can spend five hours (or more) creating ads with each specific city’s name within it.  They do this because it’s well established that inserting the city within the ad helps to boost the conversion rate (we’ve seen a 24% boost in conversions with the city called out in the ad copy versus the same ad without the city name!). 

So instead of mind-numbingly creating hundreds of ad variations for each targeted city, you can use Google’s ad platform to dynamically insert the specific city name in your ad based on a users’ exact search. 

To do this, you upload a CSV data feed to AdWords. The data feed contains the geographic codes that Google uses to dynamically insert the user’s location. You can download a CSV from Google containing the master location list here: 

the following values: Criteria ID, Name, Canonical Name, Parent ID, Country Code, Target Type, Status; you can download the CSV with all the location from Google here: https://metrictheory.com/blog/localize-your-ppc-improve-ctr-with-geo-ad-customizers/

Then when you write ad copy, you can dynamically insert the data where you’d like:

For example: a search query of “house cleaners in San Diego” yields two results of companies using this exact hack. 

Handy and Care have both used the keyphrase “San Diego” in their ads, and are using dynamic insertion to cater their ads to the search query (instead of manually making hundreds of variations). 

Using dynamic insertion for city names or other factors allows you to:

  • Increase the quality score of your ad because it is more relevant than an ad that doesn’t show the city name
  • Save time on the manual task of making endless ad variations inside of Google Ads
  • Increase your CTR because you satisfy what the searcher is looking for
  • Decrease your PPC cost because of the improved quality score 

 

Google advertising hack #2: Use tighter geo-targeting parameters around your store or office

Now onto our second favorite hack for Google advertising…utilizing a much smaller geo-targeting radius for your campaign. 

The majority of businesses utilizing Google’s geo-targeting feature have it set too broadly, like focusing on their city or region.  While a city or region may define your potential client pool, there are always specific areas within your city that yield better results.  

For example, a personal injury attorney click can be well over $100.  So while the potential inventory of available clicks across a city or region is never an issue, most marketers always focus on finding the highest quality clicks.  So we utilize geo-targeting for our personal injury attorney clients by targeting the local hospitals in their region of influence. This strategy has almost doubled the quality of clicks and produced a 32% increase in the number of conversions.

 

Conclusion

These Facebook and Google advertising hacks for 2019 have made our staff—and more importantly—our clients happy with more conversions and less time spent doing $10-an-hour work.  Let’s keep the conversation going! Do you have some tips to add to our hacks? I’d love to hear from you!

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