• Tony Grant

CXL Course Review: Facebook Ads

If you're spending money on online advertising then this course is for you.

In this CXL Institute course, you'll learn:

  • The fundamentals of Facebook ads platform,

  • How Facebook works

  • How to approach Facebook ads. Covering, segmentation, audiences and campaign set up.

The course is full of gems, which you can inherently action as you move through course.

There are two running themes throughout the course, which you should remember:

  1. Training the Facebook Pixel, to achieve better audience targetting

  2. Leaving money on the table by setting up transaction ads. For example, 'buy my stuff', 'buy my stuff for 15%, buy my stuff it's now 50% it doesn't work.

This course is most useful if...

  • You’ve done Facebook advertising before.

  • You’re starting and stopping ads.

  • You want to lower your acquisition costs.

  • Optimize current campaigns

This course isn't ideal if...

  • You’ve never run Facebook Ads before

  • You don’t have a basic understanding of retargeting

  • You've never used Facebook Ads platform before

Check out the Facebook Ad course

The B.E.L.T. Method

The course like many of the CXL courses starts with the strategy. Providing you with a framework to help structure your campaigns. Curt takes you through his award-winning B.E.L.T method.

  1. Belief - help the audience believe they have a need and you can solve it

  2. Engage - Help the audience evaluate why your offer is the best

  3. Lead - Provide a clear next step by offering something of value for information

  4. Transact - Ensure the audience to do business with you.

This method immediately makes you think about the customer journey.

There is a misconception that people see our ad and buy. Whilst that might be true for (1% of your audience) there are on avg. 7 interactions before people tend to buy. Don't forget, how I research a product or service will be different from you. So we need to ensure the right message, at the right time to ensure an effective campaign.

Facebook helps us by providing 3 audience types

1. Core audiences

Core audiences allow you to reach precise audiences based on four main targeting options.

  • Location

  • Demographic

  • Interests

  • Behaviours

They also look at interests, location, demographics. The key here is to train the pixel.

2. Custom audiences

This audience type is like remarketing. You can create custom audiences specific to each step of the customer journey.

3. Lookalike audiences

Be careful to not dilute the pixel here. If you have a customer perform the desired action, lookalike searches for more people for you.

If you get leads coming in, the lookalike audiences will automatically update.

There are 3 stages I now think about when creating a Facebook strategy.

  • Top of the funnel (ToFu) - These people have had no interaction with our brand. No idea we exist and no idea they actually have a problem

  • Middle of the funnel (MoFu) - These people may be aware of your brand. They know they have a problem, but not convinced you can solve it.

  • Bottom of the funnel (BoFu) - These people are ready to buy, they have researched and aware of value on offer.

If you are running Ads purely focussed on BoFu. You may start to see there is a lot of money left on the table by not advertising higher up the funnel.

The course then takes you through key tactics and messaging to best align your customers to their respective stage in the journey.

Top tip: Not all Ads need a call to action.

Learn more about Facebook strategy

Ads & Content

Once you have a broad understanding of the B.E.L.T strategy, you will go into the application. How to build the campaign and through the various Ad formats.

Top tip: Start at the bottom of the funnel first.

There is no point in creating a strong top/middle of the funnel campaign if the customer can't become a lead or transact. So start at BoFu first and work your way up.

Ad formats

The idea is to stand out in an already busy newsfeed.

  • Images - of your product or brand, does not have to be all singing and dancing photoshop. It stands out but not in a good way

  • Videos - adding movement can be more eye-catching.

  • Slideshow - you can upload different images and sound if you are uncomfy with video

  • Carousel - great for middle and top of the funnel.

  • Collection - If people have looked at one product, they will also be recommended other products you have. This is superb for relevancy and upsell. Perfect for bottom of the funnel.

  • Instant experience - If you have a call to action, Facebook will generate a form on the platform. It can be very handy for conversion if you have a slow site. There is a word of warning, because of the low friction, you may get low quality leads.

Inspiration for content

Sometimes coming up with content can be difficult. Here are some ideas for inspiration.

  • You can always start with what is the competition doing. Important to note that because they are running ads, doesn't mean they are compliant. So check if running for a long time (3 months) and the engagement on the ad.

  • Set up pages to watch

  • Go to insights and add pages you want to watch

  • Facebook will then give you a top ten posts of the week

  • Buzzsumo - Superb tool to find out if your topic is topical.

  • Google Alerts - Set up 3 main keywords and Google sends you a daily breakdown. You can skim the headlines and see if the topic is relevant for you

  • Google images - If you want to create relevant imagery for your campaign, you can see what Google best suits the search phrase

Application of practice

The above is great, but it's all theory. Here is where CXL excels. It gives you frameworks to build on. You might not be able to do everything but gives you a starting point.

How often should you be posting/running ads?

  • 4 times daily on the business page

  • Pick a theme for the month and build sub-topics

What time is best?

  • 6am 8am 11am 4pm 8pm - local time. Facebook then works out when to best present to the right audience. So if someone is asleep at 6am, they may see the ad later in the day.

What sort of content works?

Use the 10/4/1 method:

  • 10 fun and entertaining - meme, fact, quote

  • 4 informational - blogs, consume the info

  • 1 transactional - buy from me or offer

The course goes into detail about Facebook Live and video content. Such as what length of the video to use for different customer journeys.

Some quick notes when building an audience

Facebook Targeting

When creating custom audiences, Facebook might not know the exact amount because of privacy. If it's low don't worry.

Breakdown effect

What typically happens is you will see the cost rise. This is natural. Facebook target low hanging through first, once that has gone, the cost goes up a bit.

As you see the cost go up, keep updating your audiences once a month.

Go away and do now:

  • Set up business page insights

  • Pick a theme to post about for the month

  • Set up Google Alerts (start with 3 keywords)

  • Break your customer journey into 4 stages and align messaging

This should get the creative juices going.

If you’re looking to build a career, or increase your companies sales in there’s nothing like it out there. You’ll get advanced level skills - from conducting conversion research to running a testing program.

The whole course is self-paced and teaches you a systematic, repeatable process for getting wins. The best part - the content is industry agnostic, so you can use it to get uplifts in any industry.

Learn about Facebook Advertising today


Key facts

Instructor: Curt Maly, Facebook Advertising Expert, Black Box Social Media

Length: 6Hrs 15Mins

Lectures: 21

Exam: 10 Questions to earn your certification

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